1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks
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Driver's door lock actuator- how to remove and replace?
OK, probably everyone reading this will laugh about my ability to not see the obvious, but I am staring at the door hardware on my 1996 F-150, trying to locate and remove the lock actuator, which has stripped its gears and now sounds like a rattlesnake on methedrine when you press the switch. I know I'm not the only one to have had this happen, but no one has detailed how to remove the extremely offensive failed unit on the 1987~1996 trucks, or, if they have, I've not been able to find it. Blind and stupid, eh? Next thing you know, I'll be ready to run for CONgress...
If anyone has the procedure down and will share it, I will be very grateful! This is probably the best technical forum I've seen for any products, and I really appreciate the shared knowledge base I see here. Just wish I could add more to the knowledge base, but I'm operating from such a vast fund of ignorance that all I can do is absorb information as it is found. Thanks for any and all help.
Remove the inner door skin and plastic.
Reach inside and disconnect the link rod between the actuator and lock.
Pry the actuator out of it's saddle.. no need to remove saddle from the door.
Install new actuator and reinstall link rod.
Reinstall door skin.
AhHa! Didn't I predict that I was probably overlooking the obvious? They've complicated this one by making it easy: I was expecting the thing to be riveted in place and requiring massive efforts to detach it from the vehicle. Now, I suppose I should ask what the best replacement would be-I can't seem to find a replacement unit listed for a 1996 F150, for some reason. Earlier and later, no problem finding huge number of offerngs-''96?? Very strange! And I have a phobia about buying from a Ford dealer, after the inner door handle experience... Quality didn't seem to be a concern in replacement parts, almost as if the goal was to insure they broke since that assured you sold more...
Well, after fumbling about for a while trying to find the link rod so I could disconnect the link rod between the actuator and lock, I gave up on that. Then I tried to find out to find an easy way to pry the actuator out of it's saddle, since Conanski advised there was no need to remove saddle from the door.
No joy, so I located the drill and drilled out the large rivet holding the actuator to the door and dropped the unit into plain sight. Strange, no link rod reaching to the lock... looks like the top part of this actuator has ripped itself apart and the link has gone walkabout, leaving no clue of how it fits up to the lock. Still sounds like a miniature rattlesnake on meth when the switch is pressed...
Now removing the remnant from the saddle, I find a matching unit ( made in China! ) will cost me around 75 US devalued dollars, and I still have no idea how to link it up!
Saddle modified by adding an aircraft nut plate to it and reattaching it to the door, I am now ready to obtain and Install a new actuator and reinstall link rod, if it is included and I can figure out how it attaches to the lock...
I am beginning to think this idea of using a Ford original replacement unit may change. General purpose, non-Chinese replacement actuators are available at a price starting around $15.00, and I can tear down the original scrap unit to salvage the electrical connector and yield a carrier for the generic unit which will moiunt it in the stock location.
Links are included with the GP replacement, and hopefully I can figure out how to link up the replacement to the lock. If someone has an illustration of how Ford connected the original to the lock, I sure would appeciate seeing it.
I plan to put the replacement unit back into the old, salvaged and modified saddle using the corpse of the original unit as a carrier and linking it up to the lock just as the original links up. Cheaper, and hopefully giving a unit which won't fall apart and will be fast, easy and inexpensive to replace if it does die.
What has the experience been on GP actuators? The ones I am looking at are Swiss made! Ya, I would prefer US made but nothing is made here any more... Praise our political leadership and our corporate profit seekers...
Chains we can believe in, President 0 promised... I think that's what he said.
I have pictures of the actuators being installed in the doors on my truck when I replaced them a couple yers ago.. but damned if I can find them right now. After thinking about it some more your big problem may be that the window channel is blocking your view of and probably access to the actuator, so you may have to remove the door glass and window channel.. which isn't as hard as it sounds.
P.S. Here are the pics I was talking about. http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorst...7602815798457/ You will have to remove the rear window channel to get easy access to the lock and actuator. To do that doslodge the vent window as seen in the pics.. lower the main window and remove 2 screws on the leading edge of the door under the rubber seal and 1 bolt in the front window channel below the mirror. You may also have to remove the stabilizer bolt for the mirror as well and then pull the top of the vent assembly back as shown. The main window will then slide off the regulator and there should be enough room inside the door to lay it out of the way. Then remove the rear channel to gain acess to the lock.
I got the beast out, Conanski, and got it out of the saddle and disconnected from the saddle and have the saddle reinstalled to be readily remaovable when I get a new unit. But, I don't know if the new, and pricy, OEM replacement unit includes the hardware to link it up to the lock, which is totally missing on the old unit (thus the idea of buying a generic, high quality unit with all hardware) nor do I have any conception of how it links to the lock. I can indeed gain a better view of the mounting area with the window track loosened ( 1, 11 MM bolt!) but still have no idea of how I link up to the (nearly visible) lock! (Today's word is "DUHHHhhh??? as I wipe the drool off my chin with my shirt sleeve... .)
Conanski, if you can find and post those photos, it would be a great kindness, and would possibly keep me from needing to join the Hair Club for Men or requiring aid from the nice guys operating the local rubber room...
I hope the day is going well for everyone. Thanks again, Conanski!
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