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Deputy Director, Region 4
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think it's the actuators. Power door locks work okay but the locks turn extremely hard when using the key. Same before and after I replaced the locks. I opened up the door today to see if anything was binding, doesn't look like it. The rubber boot on top of the actuator is all shredded. I disconnected the actuator rod and manually with the key from outside the door locks and unlocks fine. So I think there's too much resistance on the actuator to manually move the plunger when using the key.

Can the actuators be lubricated, are they supposed to be lubricated, or when the boot fails then the system dries out and stiffens up? If I have to get new actuators I'll probably get remote.

Could it be something else? Or who has recommendations for remote door locks? Thanks.

Greetings from sunny Virginia,
Jim
 

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thru my experiences, I agree, sounds like the actuators.
 

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i have taken them apart and cleaned and lubed them.some improve some dont.some come right apart some are glued together.the glued ones use a sharp pocket knife and start at the parting seam and work carefully along the seam and you can seperate the two halves.use a very light weight greese it thick and you will have the same issue
 

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Jim, glad you posted this. I have problems with the Pass side using the key to unlock. I took it (door panel) off and shot some lube into what I thought would help, put it back together, and no help. Now, I know to go to the actuator. Thanks.:You_Rock:
 

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Deputy Director, Region 4
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update: as it turns out, looks like in my case it was more of a problem with the lock mechanism than the actuator. At least on the drivers door. Haven't done the passenger side yet. I bought and installed a new actuator and while in there I gave a liberal dose of spray can lithium grease to the lock mechanism. That freed it up nicely for manually locking/unlocking from outside with the key along with one trick described below.

Anyway one of the issues that started this was the replacement door locks I bought from one of the popular mailorder aftermarket vendors - they never worked quite right, like they were cut too deep and the key had to be just the right "depth" to turn the lock. So rather than flubbing around with a key that had to be just right in the lock and a lock that turned hard anyway, I wanted to get a wireless lock system.

Got some recommendations on this site, ended up deciding to buy one on ebay.

Need to use the truck, need to use the garage to fix something else, so I can't wait any longer for the keyless remote system I bought on ebay. Thinking I have to put it together and redo it again then realized I can install the wireless system when I do the passenger side door. I checked - power door lock on either side opens/closes both sides. And it's probably a better location for the wireless system on the passenger side anyway - more room behind the glovebox than behind the steering column.

So here's the intermediatary low-tech solution to help me manually lock/unlock the door with the key. I cut a 3/16" piece of a 3/16" ID hose and stuck it on the key with black silicone. Now the key goes the right depth to turn freely every time. Won't have to mess around with it once I get the remote door lock system installed.

http://i866.photobucket.com/albums/ab221/Jim3inVirginia/MVC-338S_zpsa7e86afb.jpg

By the way, when I had the drivers door open, I checked the power door lock wiring. On the wiring going into the switch (on my 84), the orange wire is hot; pushing the switch to lock powers the blue wire from the switch; pushing the switch to unlock powers the black wire coming from the switch. On the wiring going to the actuator: the gray wire goes to the lock function, the tan wire goes to the unlock function. I'm only looking for wireless door lock control, so when I connect up the wireless, I'll connect system power input to BAT, and lock and unlock functions to the actuator wires.
 

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Past Director Region 13, Senior Member
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I'm only looking for wireless door lock control, so when I connect up the wireless, I'll connect system power input to BAT, and lock and unlock functions to the actuator wires.
Would you hook input from the remote between the switch and the relay or, between the relay and the actuator?:dontknow:
 

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Deputy Director, Region 4
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Les - Haven't rec'd the wireless remote I bought on ebay yet so I haven't yet seen the instructions. I expect there will be a wire from the unit to connect to 12V, one for ground, and one each for lock and unlock that will splice on the wires between the door switch and the actuator. Unit shown with other wires and advertised to also do interior light, ignition kill, etc, but I only want to control the door locks. - Jim
 

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I bought a $30.00 unit off eBay, two in fact. It was a four door system so I had a couple spares. It was all plug and play the only connection was power to the battery and ground. There are two extra wires for interior switches and you ground one for lock and one for unlock. The driver’s door actuator is special and has five wires and the others are only two. The extra wires on the DS door are for the position sensor.
Easy to install but the wires were too short for the driver’s door so I had to "lengthen" them a foot. I guess they were set up for a little car not a real one.
 

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Past Director Region 13, Senior Member
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Les - Haven't rec'd the wireless remote I bought on ebay yet so I haven't yet seen the instructions. I expect there will be a wire from the unit to connect to 12V, one for ground, and one each for lock and unlock that will splice on the wires between the door switch and the actuator. Unit shown with other wires and advertised to also do interior light, ignition kill, etc, but I only want to control the door locks. - Jim

Yeah, I bought a kit from Electric-Life which looks pretty good but, it also has a number of functions I don't want. The instructions for the lock/unlock function are pretty slim "Green - connect this wire to the vehicle lock wire, Blue - connect this wire to the vehicle unlock wire" period. I'll try it wired between the switch and relay first.

Also, the wiring diagram indicates the black wire is the ground but, it doesn't have a connector to run to ground anywhere on the vehicle. I'm assuming the ground is the relay case when it's bolted to the vehicle.:dontknow:
 

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I have an Electric Life remote door kit that is 6 years old. Works great. Also, great tech support, if needed.
 

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Take a Sta-kon soderless ring terminal ,crimp [ with crimp tool ] onto your ground wire . Find a spot near where you are going to mount the wireless box. If you can remove a small bolt under your dash ,take out, size it up with your New crimped terminal ,scrape paint off, clean metal better ground . Install terminal and retighten bolt...
 

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Note to David Dunbar...I sent you a PM.
 

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Past Director Region 13, Senior Member
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Take a Sta-kon soderless ring terminal ,crimp [ with crimp tool ] onto your ground wire . Find a spot near where you are going to mount the wireless box. If you can remove a small bolt under your dash ,take out, size it up with your New crimped terminal ,scrape paint off, clean metal better ground . Install terminal and retighten bolt...
Thanks but, I should have been clearer. I'm retrofitting with power windows and power locks and I bought a used lock wiring harness. The missing ground I was talking about is on the lock harness, not the remote. The wiring diagram shows a black wire "door lock relay ground" coming from the relay. I thought maybe the connector tab was broken off the original (rusted) relay that came with the harness but, I bought a new relay from Rock Auto and it has no separate tab for the ground wire either. So, I'm assuming, since the relay has a mounting bracket that is supposed to be bolted to the body above the passenger footwell, that the ground is in the relay case.

Thanks again for the response.:beer:
 

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