Originally Posted by cri33
Well I have a 2007 Focus and I think some are different. Anyway there is a rod that connects the outside handle to the mechanism inside. That makes it impossible to pull out the actuator without removing the door handle/mechanism. Believe me I tried for almost 30 min. If not for that it would be sort of easy. I have seen a couple of You Tube videos and they are helpful.
But in the end you have to get in there and sort of peck and hunt your way through it. I figure if worse comes to worse I can always drive the thing to the garage and have them take over. But I think I can handle it tho it will take some time, effort, and maybe head scratching.
Yes, I have 2007 too but all cars from 00-07 are the same in that respect. I'm not sure which youtube videos you watched, but every one I saw plus the factory shop manual show the exterior door handle must be removed before the rod is freed. Only then can you tackle latch removal.