How-to: Repair spring in Jammed Door (pics)
There are a lot of very useful posts online about a $2 spring that breaks inside the door of an Explorer and prevents: the door inner handle/outer latch from operating, the electric lock to operate properly, and even (as was my case) any way of opening the door at all! In everything that I personally found online I could not see a CLEAR picture of how this spring was supposed to connect between the yellow clip that attaches to the OUTER door handle and the bracket that secures the door key lock. So rather than (just) gritching about that fact I am at least TRYING to post a clear picture of that linkage after I repaired mine. Its tough to get the camera to focus in such a narrow space, so mine might be blurry too - I took a dozen and picked what seemed to be the clearest. On the yellow tab, the existing circular loop on the spring "caught" on the backside (towards the door, where it is not visible) of the yellow tab. I created an extended "U" on the upper side of the broken spring (that I had found inside the door) and just slipped that over the thin metal piece that is held in place by the circlip one the end of the door key lock (i.e., you are looking at the end of the "thin metal piece" in the picture.
Two helpful hints on fixing the initial problem. My door stuck closed (about the same time that an officer was standing outside the door saying "Please get out of the car". True story - the "courteous" occifer was helpful enough to break my inner door handle as he didn't believe it was stuck). Anyway, I found that if you're problem is JUST that broken spring you can drive around on a normally bumpy road while repeatedly hitting the power lock and the little bar that is SUPPOSED to be held "up" will eventually bounce and catch and the lock will work just that once. I did this successfully several times (and drove home with the door held open) before I had time to tear the door apart. I read where some people tore out the drivers side seat trying to take the inner door panel apart with the door stuck closed. Just your normally lousy Pittsburgh road was enough for the linkage to bounce up - you don't need to go four-wheeling.
Second, the helpful instructions suggest you free the power window linkage bar by pulling the left bolt and let that hang in the door while working on the door. Its a good suggestion as it gives you more room. But I found my window bound a bit when I just reversed the process and put the bar back and tightened down the bolt. By loosening the bolt, but leaving it snug, and operating the window a couple of times the linkage found the location that the window operated smoothly on its own as the friction of the window binding moved the linkage to the BEST position. I am really glad that I tested the power window before putting the panel back on the door - the binding on my window was bad enough that I would have torn the panel back off to adjust it if I had missed this step.