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Questions & Answers about Minivan Sliding Doors

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  • Questions & Answers about Minivan Sliding Doors

    A Training Officer for a city fire department in Canada wrote:

    "The question that I have is, are there any special techniques that should be used on forcing entry on the side sliding doors (manual and powered) on minivans?

    Yes. Realize that a normally operating sliding side door pops out at the rear edge when you pull on the handle. You want to mimic this action when forcing a jammed door.

    First, set up a purchase point and get the back edge of the door to bend out from the side panel of the van. Then move to the front edge and force the door rearward. This will get it open.

    Then, once open, realize that the door will probably not slide open easily. If the two or three tract mechanisms are out of alignment, the door won't go backward. You may have to force the door off from the tracts or cut or saw through the pivot arms of the door to get the total opening available for rescue.

    Also consider that if the door is really messed up, leave it closed and just make the van into a convertible; total roof removal.

    Ron Moore
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

  • #2
    It has been my experience that a lot of these doors are on plastic tracks or at least have plastic rollers on them. When you start prying on them, don't be surprised of the whole door just comes off at once when the plastic gives way.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter


    • #3
      We had a mini van that was T-boned with heavy intrusion of the sliding door. We had seven people trapped. We cut all the posts and remvoved the roof. The sliding door was then pulled out by hand. We did not remove the door we just left it lying on the ground still attached to the van. We cut the locking pin mechanism with the Hurst "O" cutter.
      Once the entire roof was off we had a lot of room to work on the pts.


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