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Thread: That power door lock actuator looks to be a PAIN to replace. Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-06-2013 05:07 AM
elsolo
Quote:
Originally Posted by cri33 View Post
The biggest obstacle to getting the parts out of the car as I see it is the rod that connect to the door handle. It hooks into the mechanism at the top (which of course is plastic) and then connects somehow to the latch mechanism at the bottom. There appears to be no easy, safe way to detach the rod without more dismantling inside the door. Yeah I would say its a PAIN alright. (at least without tons of patience, the right tools, lots of light, maybe a mechanically inclined buddy to help, and maybe a service manual) I would rather rebuild an engine than do this again!
The procedure calls for removing the interior door latch, the exterior door handle, and the latch mechanism in the door that grabs the striker post.
To get the exterior handle off, there is an access grommet on the door, stuff like that is hard to guess.
01-06-2013 05:02 AM
elsolo You really should get the service manual off ebay. 3020 pages just for the 2003 model year.

This job isn't hard, it just has a lot of steps that are not intuitive.

Not just what parts need to be removed, but how to get the pieces off
"push here, slide forward" that kind of thing.

You could buy the manual and download it immediately for $10
paperback book will cost about $100 used

There is no bonus prize for figuring it out by trial and error, just get the directions and be done with it.
01-06-2013 02:28 AM
cri33
Power Door Lock problem

The biggest obstacle to getting the parts out of the car as I see it is the rod that connect to the door handle. It hooks into the mechanism at the top (which of course is plastic) and then connects somehow to the latch mechanism at the bottom. There appears to be no easy, safe way to detach the rod without more dismantling inside the door. Yeah I would say its a PAIN alright. (at least without tons of patience, the right tools, lots of light, maybe a mechanically inclined buddy to help, and maybe a service manual) I would rather rebuild an engine than do this again!
01-06-2013 02:24 AM
elsolo It's not a Ford thing, you will find the same quality of sub components on much more expensive cars too.

Honestly, it sounds like you have soured on the car due to frustration over a small issue. All cars will have small issues, so maybe you would enjoy the piece of mind a warantee gives.
01-06-2013 02:19 AM
cri33
Power Door Lock problem

No I guess they don't build them like they used to but being a Ford economy car I guess I should have expected something like this might happen. I just didn't think it would happen so soon. Everything is plastic. I guess that is how they keep costs low and the weight down. The downside of course is that plastic breaks much easier than metal. At least they could use high quality durable plastic on the high stress parts.
01-05-2013 07:58 PM
elsolo Good luck on your next car.

They really don't build them like they used to. Engines are better, but all the little stuff on new cars is chintzy plastic to save cost and weight. Add to that the greatly increased complexity, and there are more little things to go wrong.
01-05-2013 07:51 PM
cri33
cheap plastic

My mother had a 1987 Ford Thunderbird. Man that car was really built solid. It had over 120K on it and never a problem with the power door locks or anything else. I don' t know what the new cars are like but even my 1990 Eclipse never had a problem with the pdl even at over 150k on it. They worked like the day I bought it. I only sold it last year with 160K on it because the engine was ready for major work and I didn't want to sink a lot of dough into a car that was 22 years old. Other than that never a problem. I have a friend who has a Mazda 3 and at 85K on it no problems so far. The build quality of that car is far better than on the Focus even though Mazda and Ford reportedly share parts. Next time I buy something else. Not impressed with this Focus.
01-05-2013 07:23 PM
Lscman
Quote:
Originally Posted by cri33 View Post
You can get a (used) Ford shop manual on ebay for around $50. That also includes the wiring diagram. I guess I am sort of chicken because I am a little reluctant to start removing screws if I don't think I can get it all back together again. I am also a little confused about the plastic shield. Mine does not appear to have a shield that runs from the bottom of the door up to the outside handle.
Interesting about the worm gear. It figures Ford would make them out of cheap plastic. Makes me wonder what else is going to break before the car even hits 50K miles. I think when I get this thing fixed I may sell the car.
Cheap plastic is not limited to Ford. This is a vintage issue, not brand or model....everything possible is made of plastic now. My 5 series BMW cost $57K new. It has far more flimsy plastic parts on it than my 2007 Focus. The doors and seat mechanisms are filled with plastic gadgets the break when you touch them. You will not find a modern car with all metal latches and that goes for Lexus too. Lexus' blow their plastic radiators every 50k mi. My BMW breaks more often than my Focus and costs more to repair. This is why a 20 year old Mercedes or BMW is worth less than a Chevy of similar age and condition.
01-05-2013 01:47 PM
cri33
Door actuator problems

You can get a (used) Ford shop manual on ebay for around $50. That also includes the wiring diagram. I guess I am sort of chicken because I am a little reluctant to start removing screws if I don't think I can get it all back together again. I am also a little confused about the plastic shield. Mine does not appear to have a shield that runs from the bottom of the door up to the outside handle.
Interesting about the worm gear. It figures Ford would make them out of cheap plastic. Makes me wonder what else is going to break before the car even hits 50K miles. I think when I get this thing fixed I may sell the car.
01-05-2013 05:50 AM
cpalz
Quote:
Originally Posted by doneworking View Post
New to this site. I joined just to share this. My friend has a 05 where one door lock inop and cannot be locked manually. Removed latch assy and separated actuator from it. The shaft of motor above the worm gear had broken the plastic housing enough to jam. Checked the dealer etc. for actuator replacement....only entire assembly at $200. This little motor has some torque to it, and the shaft lifts up and away from driven gear, jamming it. Here's how I fixed it... at the end of the shaft where it sits in the housing you'll notice the breakage. Notice on actuator cover it has a little plastic tit that holds the shaft down into housing. Notice a slot in the housing, just past the end of motor shaft..... I used a picture hanger that width and cut it and bent it into a "J" and twisted it toward the worn area. Took a little finessing (I did it twice to get it right) to get pre load right. Took all of two hours... that's $100 hour. I'm a Retired Mechanic...If it works great, I can fix that too.

Excellent Idea, mine is broken the exact same way.
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