Re: can lock/unlock door when closed but not when open
Sure is. Here is one tip I learned. To pop the door if it is closed, locked and you can't unlock it (without the door panel in place), I found you can use about a 12+ inch long metal rod (works better than a screwdriver, as you might have to bend it a little to get at exactly the right spot). The best access I found is from the hole in the top of the door where the threaded lock knob rod comes through. Looking down through that hole you can see where the door striker sits in the latch. Just above that are two vertical rectangular tabs, one right next to the other. The tab on the right (to the front of the car) actually will move up and down slightly when you push the door handle button in and out. The tab to the left of that (to the rear of the car) is the one you want. Just position the rod on top of the left tab and push down. Door should spring right open.
Maybe this is something everyone knows, but I thought I'd post it. Took me about an hour of looking at the old lock to figure this out and open the door.
I was just thinking that perhaps an exploded diagram of the latch/lock mechanism might be useful. Anyone know where to find one?