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Driver Door Lock - Not functioning

01STrunner

Elite Explorer
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City, State
Greer, SC
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 SAS'd Sport Trac
I've been putting off this problem for a while. The rivet that holds my lock actuator to the door broke and it has been held in by wire for a year or so, but the last 8 months or so, the actuator will not actually unlock the door. The only way to unlock it was by pulling the handle on the inside. Not even the key hole on the outside would unlock it.

Fast forward to today: I finally had some time to look at it. I tore everything apart and remounted the actuator to the door. Greased all moving parts with silicone spray lube and tested it. It worked! Then I closed the door and back to the same issue as before...

At this point the door will unlock/lock if open but not when it is closed. It's almost like the door jamb parts are too tight, but they seemed to move alright by hand. I'm at a loss. Oh and key hole still doesn't unlock it all the way almost like the rod between that and the jamb is too long.

[MENTION=186147]koda2000[/MENTION] or [MENTION=106710]swshawaii[/MENTION], do you guys have any thoughts?
 



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May be a faulty actuator. Buzzing sound when locking or unlocking? Very common for these "toy" actuators to strip
their internal nylon gears. I believe ANY ST door actuator can be used for the front doors as long as the latch rod is removable. If that's the case, pry the actuator out of the existing bracket after disconnecting the latch rod and buy
the least expensive one. Also make sure ALL latch rods, clips, and mechanisms are moving freely without any binding.

Door Lock Actuator Motors Identical
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=426643
 






I've been putting off this problem for a while. The rivet that holds my lock actuator to the door broke and it has been held in by wire for a year or so, but the last 8 months or so, the actuator will not actually unlock the door. The only way to unlock it was by pulling the handle on the inside. Not even the key hole on the outside would unlock it.

Fast forward to today: I finally had some time to look at it. I tore everything apart and remounted the actuator to the door. Greased all moving parts with silicone spray lube and tested it. It worked! Then I closed the door and back to the same issue as before...

At this point the door will unlock/lock if open but not when it is closed. It's almost like the door jamb parts are too tight, but they seemed to move alright by hand. I'm at a loss. Oh and key hole still doesn't unlock it all the way almost like the rod between that and the jamb is too long.

[MENTION=186147]koda2000[/MENTION] or [MENTION=106710]swshawaii[/MENTION], do you guys have any thoughts?

Wondering if this may be related to when you removed the doors. Maybe try remove and remount the door?
 






Thanks! Looks like I'll be going to the local junkyard and looking for a new actuator.
 






FYI any front door Gen II actuator (from the same side) will fit. I replaced the one in my '01 ST with a used one from an older 4-door. The fronts are easy to unhook from the latch if you spray a little WD40 on the rod clip first. I replace the rivet with a small bolt and a nyloc nut.

That fact that your key wont open the door makes me wonder if you don't have a broken spring in the latch. I had that happen on one of my trucks and it's not an uncommon problem. Key fob would only open the door maybe 8 times out of 10. Key wouldn't unlock the door either. I couldn't understand why sometimes it would work and sometimes not. I finally looked inside that latch with a flashlight and saw a small spring (roughly the size of a ballpoint pen spring). I carefully removed the spring with a dental pic and it's worked fine w/out it for 2 years now.

I find the actuators can get weak with age and sometimes the gears will strip. The driver's door lock in my XLT is weak and doesn't always unlock all the way, or lock all the way. If I remove the plastic lock button it works fine.
 






I want to say it is the latch that's messed up, but I can't find anything that looks out of the ordinary. I think I saw the spring you're talking about. Do you recall if it was closer to the inside panel as opposed to the outside panel?

Also, is the latch interchangeable between doors? Maybe I can swap out the latch to see if that really is the problem.
 






Wondering if this may be related to when you removed the doors. Maybe try remove and remount the door?

Nah it was a problem before I removed the doors, but I was able to fix it for a few months and then again. I am in the process of trying to realign the latch though to see if it helps.
 






New finding after sitting in the truck. The part of the latch that the actuator latches to will not budge at all when the door is closed. I had the sprin lying around so I figured I'd see if that helped any. I don't think the issue is the actuator at this point in time.

EDIT: I think the problem is the spring inside the latch that attaches to the linkage with the yellow plastic on it is broken or worn out. Basically that needs to go up in order to allow the door to unlock. When the door is shut, it keeps getting hung up in the down (locked) position. If I give it the lightest tap it will go up and allow the door to unlock. Guess it's time for a new latch.

AE249E8D-12E7-49BE-B6DB-5903B914C2C4_zpsqifxyztj.jpg
 






I don't know where/what the little spring attaches to inside the latch (or what it's purpose is). When I found mine it was just rattling around inside the latch. I was able to see it and remove it from the outside (where the bear-claw jaws are). Depending on where the lose spring ended up the latch would work or not. IMO your latch is the problem. Something is preventing it from unlatching once the bear-claw jaws are in the closed position.
 






Did the added spring enable you to lock and unlock the closed door? If so, you and koda are probably correct.

Expensive and failure prone parts, I've replaced three actuators and two front latches in the last two years. :(
 






I had the exact issues as you yrs back. Broken rivet and loose spring. I attached my spring on/near that yellow clip and up to a spot on the door handle and that has fixed it completely. Try remounting your spring up to the door handle versus down

7FA04EF8-9F3C-497B-A0B6-78022DA31B76_zps7diwdesl.jpg


I forgot it was actually mounted up to the key thing rather the door handle
 






Thanks, I'll try mounting it that way. I had a second spring (same as the lower one) mounted to a higher spot but the tension was too much and wouldn't let the door lock.
 






Here's the original six page door latch spring thread found in the 2001-05 ST stickies. Tried everything without
success, although my issues were both front doors locking by themselves. Only fix was replacing both latches.

door latch problem solved - temporarily maybe??
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=207373
 






I think what KJ is suggesting is a different fix (the floppy door handle fix) but I've also read where it can help with unlocking. I've done the spring fix on my EB to fix a floppy door handle, but I never had any unlocking problems because of it.
 






Looks like I forgot to update this thread (only posted in the weekend thread).

Turns out the latch itself was the culprit. The springs had no effect on the outcome and the door would only unlock when it wasn't closed so I was able to narrow it down to the latch mechanism which I was able to replace with one from a low mileage Mounty I found at the local JY.

No to fix the newly broken handle on my rear door that lit the fire under me to fix my driver door.... It looks like I just need to go pull a handle from another RBV. Either the pass door or pass rear door for the least use.
 






If I remove the plastic lock button it works fine.[/QUOTE]

Had the same problem of not locking.
I rotated ccw loosening it two turns.
Works like brand new.
Thanks
 






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