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Lock Actuator Fix WITH Pictures!

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Old 05-03-2010, 07:02 AM
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Lock Actuator Fix WITH Pictures!

Ok, I FINALLY got around to starting a thread... sorry to those who were asking. I'm late, aren't I? Oh well, I'll make up for it with this thread... hopefully.

One thing: This may look involved... it is! But, it's not that hard. Look at it this way: you have NOTHING to loose! Either way, they're screwed... you're just looking to see if you can save $200-$400 bucks on a set of actuators that'll end up like your existing set after awhile. My cousin after seeing these pictures was almost ready to just go and buy some new ones... I told he was crazy! I told him to meet me somewhere and I'd have all 4 (with his help) fixed in a couple hours. Guess what? I DID!!! They were out, fixed, and replaced just in time! Lets just say, he was glad I helped him out... I would be too! The problem that keeps causing these things to fail is a small thermal resistor in the motor. Supposedly, they're there to "save us from ourselves". if for some reason, we should decide to hit "L", then "U", then. "L", then "U", and continue to do this for another hour... it'll prevent the actuators from burning up! When I replaced that resistor, I found the locks to have more power to move and the locks really "POP" now... DEFINITELY worth the time!

Pop off the light lens:


Pop off the pillar cover:


Pop off the switch panel and remove the harnesses:



Unscrew the two screws that hold the panel on:



Lift up the entire panel and gently pull it out, but only enough to get to the rear to unplug the courtesy light (if equipped... another '99 perk! )


Twist out the door light from the back of the panel before you remove it:


Now! For the Nitty-Gritty part!!!

Take off the door handle and once you do, look down and you'll see the actuator, or the black plastic box. To get the handle off, there are two screws... one on top and one on the bottom with each on opposite sides. These are accessed from the inside of the door. One is accessible from the door cavity, but to get the other one, you have to pop a black rubber grommet on the edge of the door. There's a funky clip that holds the rod that pops the door that you have to pull off to get the handle loose. When you get it, just gently work the handle out so you can save your paint. If you've got masking tape, go ahead and tape the door around the handle and save yourself the heartache! Mine is ugly anyways so I wasn't too upset when I screwed up the door. Anyways, here's what you'll see when you get it off (look for the black, and dirty actuator on the latch assy.):


There's a little tab that you have to bend up to slide the actuator out. Use a screw driver to pry it up and pull straight out on the actuator. It's kinda tricky at first, but once you get it, it's pretty easy to do the rest. An extra set of hands REALLY helps! You'll need to disconnect the harness to the latch first:


Once you get it loose, pull it out through the door cavity:


Disconnect it and clean it up a bit:


Take a screwdriver and gently pop the plastic rivets. Don't break the case, or the metal rivets at the bottom:


Notice the little black rivets are popped:


Gently pry open the case just large enough to get the motor out. It's a little tricky so just be patient and don't snap the case:




Take some pliers and bend back the tabs that hold the back onto the motor and gently pop the back off the motor. These tabs are made outta some pretty stiff metal so, you'll need some good, solid pliers to do this:



See that little metal plate? That's the resistor. Take your pliers and pull it out:




I took a metal plate and cut me a solid piece of metal the size of the old plate resistor and put it in place of the resistor. The plate I used was actually one of those metal plates that you nail onto the the sides of your sills and top-plates over top of interior plumbing so that the nails from your sheet-rock won't punch holes in your plumbing. I stuck the plate in a vise and cut it with a simple hacksaw. Just make sure whatever you use, to get ALL the paint and rust off using sandpaper, a file, or both! Also knock off the harsh edges with the file while you're at it. The plate on the left is the resistor... the one on the right is the solid plate:




Reassemble the motor and put it back into the case. It's tricky to get the motor back together so, just be patient and try to notice the parts that have to be situated this or that way to get it back together:



To seal it back up, I took took a soldering iron with a blunt tip and melted the old rivets back onto the case, kinda like a mushroom. I know others have used zip-ties, screws and nuts, etc... but I've found this to be clean-looking and VERY effective:



And Viola!!! Put it back in your truck and repeat the process for all the other actuators! I'll do my best to answer any questions about something I may have missed.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:09 AM
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Great job on the write up and the pics Jon. Thanks Reps sent
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:12 AM
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Great write up and very good pics
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:19 AM
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Nice write up and pics. I need to dive into my rear doors soon for this.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:40 AM
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Looks so easy, a caveman could do it, oh wait, I already did..

Great write up!!
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:14 AM
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Great write up, thanks for your efforts.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:30 PM
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Awesome work. Reps sent.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:12 PM
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Great write up and pics. Reps sent.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:15 PM
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I remember doing mine not wanting to do all 4 at one time, But I did. Nice pics.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:41 PM
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NICE!!!
First time I've heard of this one. I'm sure someday I'll have to do it.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:52 PM
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Nice Job Jon. I melted my rivets back also I thought it was a little neater fix to. But really I guess it want bother any one if its zip tied cause you cant see it when you put it back in. Nice Pics
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:11 PM
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Well done Jon,reps sent!
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:49 PM
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Simply outstanding on the writeup and pics, this is how its done, reps sent. Door actuator mod, I like it..
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:00 AM
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The little DC motor reminds me of my Slot Car days!
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:09 PM
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Thanks guys... I appreciate that feedback. I just tried to write posts and add pictures to give others the stuff I wish I'd had when I did my fixes/mods.
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