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HOW TO - Remove and replace door latch assembly

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Old 12-18-2009, 02:29 PM   #41
bantaj
 
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Broken clip on lock cylinder and experience with Dealer

I came across this post when researching what might be wrong with my 95 explorer. The symptoms were that the door could occasionally be opened from the outside, even when locked, and when using a key from the outside, it turned but felt 'disconnected' from the latch mechanism.

I went to the local dealer and after paying $30 to look at it, they gave me an estimate totaling $352 for a new latch mechanism and actuator.

I came home and looked at it myself as the estimate didn't make sense and sure enough, noticed a white plastic clip broke off the lock cylinder and was interfering with the linkage connecting the door handle with the latch mechanism, causing it to move the push button rod assembly and unlock the door.

Attached is a picture of the clip. Does anyone know if this clip is sold separately or if its part of the lock cylinder? I will ask the dealer too but they already tried to rip me off once today with a bad diagnosis so dont trust them much right now.

Does this clip look familiar to anyone?

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Old 12-19-2009, 07:29 AM   #42
robertsc
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On step 8 on a 94 explorer there is a white plastic piece (bar) with a c shaped opening on one end that clamps onto the lock cylinder and a v shape terminating in a hole where the lock to latch rod goes on the other end. (Previous posts show a different type of clip with a pink plastic fixture, the one the immediate previous post pictures goes to a 94 Explorer and others maybe.) To disconnect the rod from the lock the easiest way to do it is to remove the c shaped metal clip holding the cylinder in the door, pull the cylinder to the outside exposing the white plastic bar, use a screwdriver to gently pry the bar off the lock cylinder leaving the rod attached at the other end. To reinstall do the reverse, bring the white bar out the hole, snap it onto the lock cylinder, push in and reinstall the sheet metal c clip holding the cylinder to the door.

BTW, As I said in the first paragraph, this is the bar that previous post is referring to. It connects the lock cylinder on a 94 Ford Explorer (and maybe others) and the cylinder lock rod which runs to the latch. I haven't asked the dealer if it can be obtained separately. If it can't or it can't at a reasonable price, then a junk yard at a get your own part type is your best bet for a cheapest replacement. You'll have to remove the inner door panel to get at it but that's three screws and pulling it out and off. The trick with removing the big sheet metal c clip and pulling the lock cylinder out with the plastic piece to get access to its end makes it a lot easier to get it off.

Referenced from previous post -

"8. Work the end of the bar that runs from the lock assembly to the lock cylinder free of the rubber clips on the arm on the back of the cylinder."

Last edited by robertsc; 12-22-2009 at 11:39 AM. Reason: Add info
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:29 AM   #43
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How to line up screws holding inner panel to outer door?

Now for my question. I have got everything done except the re-installation of the door panel. After putting the plastic water shield back on with double sided tape and replacing a few plastic panel "rivets" I set the panel back on the door. After aligning everything and getting everything to work I am now stuck on how to get the two two inch screws that hold the panel to the door just above the door pull on the inner panel lined up well enough to screw them in. Just can't seem to line them up. Have thought of using two lengths of stiff wire about eight inches long (coat hanger?) to run out from the clips through the door panel and line them up that way. Any other ideas?
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:47 AM   #44
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Latch and Rods



This is a picture of a 94 Explorer latch with most of the rods still attached and the white plastic cylinder to cylinder rod connecting bar pictured.

Last edited by robertsc; 12-22-2009 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:06 AM   #45
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Lock Cylinder to Lock Rod Clip

I called my local dealer and he sells those white plastic connecting clips separately for about $6.00 He says the part number is 21970. I would take that number with a grain of salt though, it may be a parts explosion reference number, it doesn't seem to be long enough for a Ford part number. He says he keeps them in stock and even gets them from a supplier for techs who need them which is all the time. I would bring the part with you to the dealer for reference.

See



If you're going to do the whole job as discussed below and there is anything defective at all about it, maybe you ought to pick up the outer door handle rod plastic connecting clip also shown in the picture above in the previous post. It is referenced in another previous post and according to that post it costs about $3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nmos View Post
A little more searching turned up the part number E83Z-5421952-B in the following thread. http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...od#post1496424

Sure enough my local dealer claims to have them for $3 each!
With the lock cylinder connecting rod prevented from interfering with the operation of your latch mechanism you should be able to check it out completely right down to the latch actuator. If everything is all working without binding or hangups and the latch operates and the door opens and closes normally then you are right to just replace the clip. If not, then I'd think about doing the whole job at once since you have the door panel off anyway - latch, clip, and actuator. The latch runs about $40 at the dealer (only place to get it) and you can get the latch actuator in stock from Autozone for about $43, don't know how much at the dealer. When doing the whole job, don't forget to mark the door handle rod with magic marker or paint where it fits the yellow clip to prevent the need for trial and error refitting. Make sure you read ALL of the above posts starting with the first one in the thread so that you throughly understand the many nuances people have discovered and posted!

Instead of removing the rivet from the bracket holding the actuator to the door, I gently spread the bracket open with a flat bladed screwdriver, first disconnecting the power connector. Once it hung free from the bracket it was easy to manipulate it off the latch (and vice versa on the re-install.) I removed the new bracket that comes with the new actuator, spread the U as much as I dared on the old one and after a lot of manipulation, straining, and spreading of the U, was able to remount the new actuator in the old bracket. DON'T FORGET to install it on the new latch FIRST. There is a movie that explains the process for the rear hatch that has application here. See http://www.ehow.com/video_4941938_po...r-removal.htmll

Small hands are a must for this job!

P.S. ANYBODY GOT ANY IDEAS ABOUT THOSE TWO HANDLE PULL SCREWS I NEED HELP WITH?

Last edited by robertsc; 12-23-2009 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:16 AM   #46
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Thanks robertsc for the info. I followed up with the dealer and sure enough they were able to find and order the door lock 'lever' for me for $10. A little more than the price you found at your dealer but I'm just glad it was nowhere near the $400+ the first dealer tried to get me to pony up for in unnecessary parts.

For the benefit of anyone else who may have this problem, I am attaching a picture of the parts bag along with the broken piece and new piece for reference. According to the bag, this is part# F3LY-6321971-A for my 95 ford explorer passenger side door lock lever. According to the parts diagram, it is #21970 in the diagram (as mentioned previously by others).

Robertsc, to your question about aligning the door panel to re-insert the screws, I may be lucky but mine just lined up perfectly once I popped the panel back on with the plastic panel clips/rivets. If you cant easily get the screws back in with minimal adjustment, my first guess would be to check the holes for obstruction and confirm that the panel is in fact aligned correctly (for instance making sure the top edge is fully seated in the window sill, etc).

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Old 03-31-2010, 03:35 PM   #47
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So perhaps a dumb question, but a question nonetheless. I'm in the middle of doing this right now and am having a problem twisting the latch itself to unhook from the bottom J rod.

That said, the window itself is down, not up.

....and the battery's totally dead.

Just judging by how difficult of a time I'm having moving this latch around, I'm assuming that the window should be up?

Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:56 PM   #48
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Please explain which rod you mean, where does it go, from where to where. Also, did you miss any steps. Any possibility of swapping in a battery just to raise the window and do job?
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:10 PM   #49
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From the original post...

>>
9. Take the entire assembly and rotate it to free it from the J on the end of the rod from the actuator on the bottom of the door. Work the assembly out of the door with the interior handle rod, door lock button rod, and lock cylinder rod still attached.

That's where I'm having the issue. Looking back through, though, it appears that the window needs to be up, so that should hopefully fix my problem right?
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:46 PM   #50
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I'm pretty sure the window has to be up as you said in order to give you the room to rotate the lock if all of the other rods are free. I did mine with with window up. Hope your window mechanism is in good shape because it would seem simply giving the vehicle a jump might give you enough power to get the window up.
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:57 PM   #51
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Make sure you reinstall the right window track before moving the window up if you have already removed it. If you haven't already that could also be one of your problems. I would get the window up and then go back down through all the steps, not skipping any, they are all important. (With the room you will get with the window up you can probably pry out the actuator now instead of drilling the rivet, see the movie for the rear lift gate actuator referred to earlier in my posts in this thread. I did it because if you take the trouble to replace the latch there is no reason not to also get the $30 Autozone replacement actuator so you don't end up doing the job twice in the future.)
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:19 AM   #52
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Problem solved with the two screws in door panel replacement problem. The C shaped channel at the top of the door next to the weather seal and lock push button had gotten bent over so that the panel wouldn't hook in correctly at the top right. Although I could force the Christmas tree pins in and all that, it just wasn't lined up right. As soon as I straightened the channel and the panel hooked at the top right, everything was lined up and the screws went in with no problems. I did however put WD40 on both the screw sockets and screws before reassembly.
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:09 PM   #53
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Broken spring in door latch assyembly

My 98 explorer Sport seems to have all the problems described in this thread; broken latch spring and broken spring in exterior door handle. The problem is that I can not get my door open. Is there a way to open the door? I've tried moving the various rods while use the interior / exterior handles with no luck. I would truely appreciate any help on getting the door open. Thanks!!!
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:10 PM   #54
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If you have access to the latch, have you tried holding and/or moving the various levers by themselves?
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:54 AM   #55
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I have tried moving the various rods; individually, in pairs, etc with no luck. On my passenger door I can open it from the inside when it's locked. When I try it on the driver door I can feel the rod moving on the door latch but it feels like its not engaging anything. I can't feel anything loose on the exterior of the latch. Something broke in the inside? Hope I wont need the "Jaws of Life" to get the door open!!!
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:23 AM   #56
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Suggest you fix the one you can open as soon as possible. I assume you have the door panel off on that already. I found that my latch got stuck because the actuator was defective. I bought a latch from the dealer (only place) and an actuator from Autozone since I was going to tear it down anyway and why fix it only to have the actuator go a few months or weeks later. It turns out it was not the latch at all. Once the actuator was disconnected from the latch, the latch would work with all its functions. That's when I really looked at the actuator and found it was frozen. Latch is about 40 to 50 dollars at the dealer and actuator is about 40 dollars at Autozone. As to your driver's door which you can't open at all I will leave to more experienced people. As I understand it one removes the driver's seat to give one room to take the panel off but I'm no expert so hopefully someone else more knowledgeable will respond to you about that.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:07 PM   #57
rey90TDN
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Thank you for this post, I am currently having this problem and I took it to the mechanic today to have a look at it and indeed it is the latch, the spring was broken. I went to the ford dealership to buy the assembly.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:06 PM   #58
jaygeo
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Im having the same problems with my 99XLT . Just wanted to clarify that the problem is not the actuator. But the latch assembly... So i need to order a latch assembly .. right? I have already been in the door looking around trying to figure out the cause of the problem. Any help would be appreciated
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:27 PM   #59
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It is really impossible to say if it is the latch or the actuator long distance. At least I don't know how to differentiate between a broken spring or a stuck actuator with the mechanism in the car. I thought mine was a broken latch mechanism but after I got it out and looked at it, there were no broken springs and everything seemed to be working all right. What I didn't realize was the actuator was frozen or at least stiff enough that it didn't go to the right position. I fixed mine by replacing the actuator and the latch. At least now I know they are both new and that fact alone was worth the extra cost. Once one starts the job one wants to finish so I got both ahead of time. If I had noticed I had bent over the c channel at the top so the door panel didn't hang right I could have corrected that and the job would have taken a couple of hours. Since I didn't, the job took a couple of hours minus five minutes and dragged on for a couple of months until spring weather moved me to tackle the rest of the job. I remembered people telling me to check the alignment at the top after struggling for about twenty minutes and sure enough, as soon as I got the panel to hang right, it snapped and screwed right into place. I recommend rather than trying to diagnose anything, just bite the bullet and buy the parts and do the job all at once.
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:25 PM   #60
jaygeo
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first how did u get the door open .mine is locked i have the panel off. gained access to the push pull rods but nothing gives.....Ok got it open . you have to get between the latch mechanism and outer door wall where the rod from lock cylinder connects to the latchmech and push in on the metal tabs that move up and down . this frees up the latch apparently . i had someone gently open the door from the outside ... dont let them pinch your fingers. good luck all you DIY. LOL Appreciate the info from everyone .

Last edited by jaygeo; 06-10-2010 at 07:16 PM.
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