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HOW TO - Remove and replace door latch assembly

Discussion in 'Body Work & Detailing' started by teCh0010, November 12, 2006.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. robertsc

    robertsc New Member

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    Makes me think it might be the actuator since that is the operable lever at that point. I'm surprised that the inside door rod didn't open it up since that pretty much overrides everything as a safety measure. Don't scrimp, replace both and have peace of mind. Do mark where the push rod goes into the yellow clip so you won't have to fuss with it to reinstall. Follow the instructions in the thread and don't skip and any steps although you might just want to gently pry out the actuator as in the video instead of drilling out the rivet.

    P.S. The yellow clip opens like a book, i.e., its hinge is on one side. To get the lock rods changed, slip the C clip off the lock cylinder, pull it to the outside, then you can easily get off the nylon bar that goes from the cylinder to the lock push rod.
     
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  3. desastr

    desastr New Member

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    96 xlt
    awseome

    Excellent Instructions
     
  4. artg

    artg New Member

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    Thanks TeCh for the how-to. The repair manual was abysmal, It came down to "disconnect rods, remove latch assembly, reverse to install." A search of this site for "door latch" and there was your masterful step-by-step.
     
  5. Cheddarhead

    Cheddarhead New Member

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    '97 XLT 4.0L SOHC
    My LH Rear Door is stuck shut...won't release from inside or out. If anybody has a photo of the highlighted area (above) I would greatly appreciate it!

    TIA!!
     
  6. baez23

    baez23 New Member

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    96 Exp Sport 2WD 4.0
    1996 Sport 2wd 4.0

    ATTENTION NEWBIES!

    Just wanted to say this and other latch problem threads have been VERY helpful in getting my psngr side's replaced. Some general problems/observations for this particular task:

    * CAN'T SEE S**T! (I had to cut a section of the panel out between the existing holes in the middle of the panel and where the lock is) Very helpful and EASY TO DO! Newbie here and I just used my drill to perforate the metal, then twisted the section off with needle noses pliers.

    * Clips appear to be un-unlockable. Again, open the door up with the panel hole to get a better look.

    * BUY THE REPLACEMENT FIRST. Harder to take the old one out than get the new one in. This sounds obvious to smarter people, but I STRONGLY SUGGEST you buy the replacement and look at it first before starting in on removing the old one. Once you see how things slide and twist AND where things clip, how they unclip, where to press on the clip, etc. You will be amazed how convoluted these things are.

    * In my model there were wires attached to the window elevator that no thread had mentioned (not bitter, I know the risks). Almost yanked it off. Be careful. Lesson is that each model and each person's own X may have slight assembly differences. If what is explained in these tutorials is not an exact carbon copy of what you see, don't panic. Search other threads, use logic, ask questions.

    * When someone says it's a cinch, don't be discouraged if it isn't for you. I've attacked other problems using the info here and it's been a 'cinch' for some (IAC valve, MAF sensor), and others that have not been the cinch that the post implies (the door lock).

    Can post pics of the door hole if any novice is interested. This job can be done. I'm on to adding shocks/ball joints/bleed brakes (one man),add trans filter this summer based primarily what is written here.
     
  7. robertsc

    robertsc New Member

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    Every post is important

    My suggestion to a newbie is to read every single post above and understand all the nuances. For instance, the warning about the wires to the window track is found in post # 11. They are all relevant.
     
    Last edited: June 30, 2010
  8. Cheddarhead

    Cheddarhead New Member

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    Would very much appreciate any pictures you have taken on this.

    If you prefer, you can email them to me @ CAP53188 @ G Mail.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  9. baez23

    baez23 New Member

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    I see should have typed "no thread that I had read".

    Read all posts. Got it. Yet another lesson learned. Thanks!
     
  10. baez23

    baez23 New Member

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    Will get one out by Sun (have to remove panel for window motor this weekend)
     
  11. pwgsx

    pwgsx New Member

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    this happened to me today, I am hoping to tear into it this weekend :)
     
  12. hawc

    hawc New Member

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    Just replaced the driver's side latch on my 98 Sport literally 30 minutes ago. Good instructions. Definitely the best way to do it. On the PITA scale of 1 to 10 (1 being a quick 5 minute repair and a 10 being a knuckle buster five hour curse-athon) I'd give it a solid 7. Took me about an hour and a half. Got the part from a local dealer for $39.87. Part number is 6L5Z7821813C.

    Hawc
     
  13. gto06

    gto06 New Member

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    Tackled this the previous day. The directions are spot on...once u know what you're looking at. Like mentioned before, its hard to see the latch so I cut some of the sheet metal out of the door by the latch...much easier.

    Took about an hour and pretty easy to reinstall.
     
  14. pcsullivan91

    pcsullivan91 Member

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    my issue is a bit different than everyones. Rather than the typical having to pull the inner door latch to unlock the truck mine doesn't lock at all. Neither manual nor power locks work my door just stays unlocked all the time. (I bought the truck like this)
    Is buying the whole new latch assembly the route I wanna go for my issue? thanks guys and gals

    let me add, when using the manual lock. the rod connecting to the oink clip on lock cylinder twists out of the pink clip when turned.
     
  15. robertsc

    robertsc New Member

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    The door latches right? It opens with either the outside or inside handle right? I think what you have was the symptom when my actuator was frozen. (It sounds like it works when you push the button, but it doesn't) See if when you push up on where the actuator attachés to the latch to its other rest position if you can get it to work. You might take a mechanics mirror and see if the compression spring on the bottom of the latch is in place and intact (although that step would only because that is the spring that everyone describes as breaking and screwing up the latch.) If it is, then that tells you something also.

    Before you pull apart the latch, you might want to unhitch the actuator from its bracket. (You can drill out the rivet or better yet, simply gently pry it out as in the video cited above in post #45. Make sure you are careful with the wire connected to the track as in post #11 above.)

    If when the actuator is hanging free the latch works, then you'll know. Make sure you test it with the lever on the latch that connects the actuator with the latch in both rest positions.

    Don't forget it could be BOTH the latch and the actuator. One thing is for sure, if you replace both the latch and the actuator (making sure all the clips, nylon connectors, etc. are intact and operating) you should cure your problem. Do mark the position where the rod goes into yellow clip although maybe you can't trust that since it might have been diddled with and installed back wrong. Nothing says you can't mark the rod and then see if unclipping or adjusting helps. You can then reinstall it in the old place if that doesn't work. To be on the safe side, you should mark the rod where it goes into the yellow clip as a matter of procedure so that you know where the original installation was no matter what you do.

    About eighty bucks if you replace both the latch and the actuator. Then the problem is over for good.
     
    Last edited: August 1, 2010
  16. pcsullivan91

    pcsullivan91 Member

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    thanks alot robertsc! everything you said seemed right on except for one part about the actuator. I think it is dead it makes no clicking noise or anything when opperated.
     
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  17. robertsc

    robertsc New Member

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    No sound when you push the lock unlock switch. Bum actuator maybe? You think? Perhaps if it is seized and it is not allowing the door to lock? That's what happened to mine. Try taking the actuator out of the bracket and allowing it to hang so it doesn't put any strain on the lock lever and prevent it from going into lock. See if you can use the manual locks then. Try testing the lever that the actuator goes into in both positions since you probably don't know if it is in lock or open or halfway right now. Bet it's the actuator. Let me know.

    In any case you know you got a bum actuator (unless it is just unplugged) so you might want to prepare to replace it. Before I did though, I'd get a voltmeter or a test light, unplug the plug from the actuator, and see if I get power up to the plug when I push the lock unlock switch. If you got power and no sound, you got a bum actuator. If you don't get power in the plug maybe you got a wiring problem, maybe depending on how the wiring is fused a bad fuse, and maybe a bad fuse and a shorted actuator. In either case the first step is to check for power at the plug with a tester, then the fuse. If you got power and no noise, its the actuator.
     
  18. merck123

    merck123 New Member

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    Read all the post and noted that some or the problems that cause the door latch not to work is that the spring fails, can i not just replace the spring ?
     
  19. robertsc

    robertsc New Member

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    There are posts that discuss that. I think the problem is getting a compression spring with the right tension to replace the spring. Also, since I haven't done it, I don't know if it can be installed without disassembling the latch itself which probably can't be done easily. It seems that is why everybody is using the work around. Personally, if I was going to go to the trouble to take off the door panel and all the work that involves, I would get a latch from Ford and an actuator from Autozone, install them both, and be done with it!

    Also, make sure you read all the posts from the beginning. (Page 1)
     
  20. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    Depends on which spring, mine was the small one you can see looking in the latch (if you know what you're looking for by comparing where it is on the new latch) without the door panel off. When that spring failed on mine I could not find a replacement spring so I bought the whole latch, took the spring out of the new latch and put it in the old one.

    It can be done while the old one is still in the door, it just takes some patience, a good pair of slim needle-nose pliers, and a flashlight.
     
  21. scampa

    scampa New Member

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    Thanks to all of you who provided guidance. I just replaced the latch on my 2000 xls. It was a little tricky reattaching all the connecting rods, but your instructions made the job approachable. The only thing I would add is to have good lighting if your are going to try this.
     
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