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Door Lock Actuator Repair

 
 
 
 
  #1  
Old 06-16-2007, 12:15 PM
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Default Door Lock Actuator Repair

To get your PSD doorlocks to work again WITHOUT spending a dime.

There has been discussions about possible issues and that the majority of us are seeing actuator motor problems and not relays, switches etc. Ill start by saying the problem is that when you hit the switch, the locks attempt to move and after repeated attempts, the signal appears to get weaker and weaker until nothing....seems like a relay or switch.....not the case at all.

If you test the signal at the harness plug to the actuator, its good. No issues here. Now if you completely removed the actuator/lock mechanism and bench test them with 12V heres what you will find. The actuator will act the same as when in the truck. Here's where it gets tricky. These things are built so that they are not serviceable, but they will comes apart relatively easily and can be put back together once apart.
First, drill out the two small rivets and then pry the case apart. As you pry the case apart you'll notice these small little plastic rods protrude up through the case cover. These rods are then "mushroomed" with heat through the upper case and then sealed with some kind of silicone. When you pry apart the case the "mushroom" head breaks off and the rod remains. You can dig out the silicone and mushroom head with a pick. It comes out very easy. Inside you will find a very small motor and some gear mechanism. Inside of the plastic brush housing, you'll find a small, thin rectangular thermal resistor relay, thingamabob - I'm not sure what its called. This little part is what keeps you from burning up the motor, should you continue to press the switch once the lock has been actuated. This thingamabob wears out over time and will not allow enough signal to get through to the motor to make it work.
THE FIX. Take a small piece of aluminum foil and wrap the "thingamabob". voila! Perfectly working motor!
To reasemble it: you cannot glue the unit together as there is a rubber gasket around the perimeter of the case and if you tried to glue the rods into the case, you would not have enough pressure on the two halves of the case to keep the gears in place (these things actually apply a great deal of torque on the case). So what you can do is break off the plastic rods flush with the bottom side of the case and then drill out the bottom case and screw it together. You'll need screws that are the same diameter as the holes in the top of the case to keep it alinged. The screws should not protrude through the back of the unit as some of the mechanism has some pretty close tolerances and a screw sticking through the back would get in the way of these mechanism - this can be remedied with a decent set of wire dikes or a hacksaw. Give it a try, its easier than it may sound!
 
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2007, 04:17 PM
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Thanks for the tip. It got to the point that I stopped using my keyless entry since the dorrs wouldn't lock or unlock anymore...
 
  #3  
Old 10-18-2007, 10:37 PM
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I have a question, yes sirthomas what would that be. how do you get the actuator/lock mechanism out of the door? ( whoa had way to much coffee ) can someone answer that? I looked in there and couldn't really figure it out.
 
  #4  
Old 06-02-2008, 10:20 PM
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Check Just replaced one in a '99 F-250 Super-Duty

In response to the question of how to remove the faulty actuator, cause I couldn't find anything on the internet either, and I'm damn good at some googling...

Remove the door panel, not going to go into detail here, just to say there are 2 screws, one under the lock/window control panel, and one behind the marker light lens.

Remove the 3 Torx screws around the latch, seen on the edge of the door, be careful, these are very tight and from what I've read everywhere, strip easily...

Remove all the linkage from the latch assembly

Follow the lock rod down from the top of the door, it goes horizontal then turns into the actuator assembly, there is a small plastic clip that flips off the rod radially around it.

The interior handle cable does not need to be removed.

The exterior handle linkage is a threaded rod that has a plastic clip holding it on, it is easily flipped open.

A the very back of the assembly you will feel another rod, it runs behind the threaded rod, this is the one that messed me up for a minute.. simply follow it up, it terminates in another plastic clip, stick a long screwdriver through a hole further up the door, and pry one of the catches open to remove the rod.

Unplug both cables, the door lock actuator and the latch sensor.

You should now be able to pull the whole assembly out past the vertical brace.

The actuator is removed by prying on a plastic clip on the rear of the assembly


Hope this helps someone....
 
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2008, 06:06 PM
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Thanks for that! Drivers side is getting weak...
 
  #6  
Old 07-08-2008, 05:35 PM
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Chenery you were absolutely on target. The only thing I did different was to file off about 1/32 from the plastic stud and then drilled them out with a #47 bit and put in #6 x 1/4" sheet metal screws
 
  #7  
Old 08-14-2008, 01:05 AM
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Thumbs up 2001 Ford F350 door actuators

In response to Clay Henry, I wanted to let everyone know, who has door actuator problems on their F350, that I tried this and was a skeptic at first but after the first door and the results, I did all three doors (the last one is not giving me problems....YET) and using the tin foil on the "thingamabob" made the locks pop up like new. The dealer wanted to sell me a new actuator for $56.00 each. Here is my experience...instead of drilling out the rivets (I did on the first two) but found it easier to break that portion off carefully (rivet would spin and it was difficult to stop the spinning rivet and drill at the same time, not to mention once the rivet was drilled out the holes were not of much use), I cleaned the motor using an electronic spray with the brushes still in good condition, and I drilled two small pilot holes into the original two center posts and used small screws to keep it together. Thanks for this post.
 

Last edited by ebromero; 08-14-2008 at 01:08 AM.
  #8  
Old 02-28-2009, 11:20 PM
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Hi Henry sounds like an interesting fix.

I would like to give it a try; however, I am an electrical inspector and am a little skeptical.

By rapping the the thermal resistor in tinfoil, in essence you are by passing it. Yes it will work, but I think you may take the risk of the motor burning up or catching fire during overload due to a locked rotor of the motor?

Please let me know your thoughts, I have the same problem with my 2001 f-350 4x4 7.3L crew cab dually.

Zane.
 
  #9  
Old 03-01-2009, 04:19 PM
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I did mine about a year ago, and have had no trouble. if the motor burns up I'm no farther behind then when I started
 
  #10  
Old 03-27-2009, 04:30 PM
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I'm now knee deep into following your instructions, and so far (on the first door) they are pretty complete. I did elect to saw on each side of the two rivets (a "V" shape) with a hacksaw blade and break out the plastic section around the rivets - worked well. However I am to the part "Inside of the plastic brush housing", and am having trouble removing the plastic brush housing from the aluminum motor housing. It seems to be held on by two small aluminum tabs on the motor housing that are bent over into notches in the plastic. What procedure and tool did you use? The motor is stamped "JOHNSON", and what appears to be a part number "20730 892956".

Thanks for any help.
dcjle
 

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