How To Replace A Power Door Lock Actuator
This procedure is from a 2001 F-150 with power door lock problems. This article shows you how to change your door lock actuator. This article should apply to 1997-2003 F-150 pickups, but could also apply to other models and other years of trucks.
3/16, #2 Phillips, 1/8 screwdrivers
1/4, 7/16, 10mm sockets
ratchets to fit
Door Lock Actuator Removal Instructions
For starters, be sure the window is in the up position, and disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery. Safety first!
Next, remove the door panel. Remove the vertical panel by pulling straight out (already removed in this picture). Then, remove the door handle cover and panel with the control buttons. These just pull out, for the switch panel, pry at it from the front end of it. Then, remove the two screws, one at the top rear of the panel, and one just near the front of the inside door handle.
Remove the electrical connectors from button panel. Then carefully lift entire panel. Use caution, the wire for the courtesy light is attached. Twist bulb holder 1/4 turn to remove.
In the next picture there is a yellowish object in the middle of the photo where the lock knob rod connects to. Unlatch and remove that from the actuator. Remove the 7/16 bolt from the bottom of the black rail shown on the right. It’s not necessary to remove this from the door.
In the next picture, release the cable at the two white points (between the yellow parts), and then remove the screw at the back of the door handle. Rotate the cable out of the way a bit, toward the front of the door.
Remove the outside door latch by loosening the 10mm nuts inside door. This is easier when the window seal rail is moved out of the way. After removing the nuts, the latch can be removed by tilting the top out first. Use care not to scratch door. You unhook the rod from the black metal circle part just to the right of center in the photo. You unlatch from the latch rod on the white plastic piece in the middle (white).
Remove the three T25 bolts that hold the latch assembly in place. Rotate around window rail. Remove wires from door lock actuator and the door closed sensor. Notice lock rod is rotated to right.
The door close sensor plug (purple) is very close to actuator, but does not have to be moved.
Unlatch with screwdriver (shown), and work up and off of metal guides (one on either side of where the screwdriver is, two short metal parts).
The actuator on the left is the one I removed from the truck, the one on the right is the replacement. The straight profile is easier to install, does not interfere with the purple plug.
Reassembly is reverse of disassembly. It is easier to install outside door latch before tightening the T25 bolts.
Expect this procedure to take approximately 1 hour per door
Article written by member gdt17402.
Other Electrical Technical Articles:
Repair your power door lock actuators instead of replacing them
Power window regulator / motor repair how-to
How to install power windows (aftermarket)
AutoLocks – enabling / disabling
Power door lock actuator discussions in the F150 forum
2001 F-150 passenger door lock actuator
02 f150 power door lock problems
Door locks are sluggish/won’t work 2000
2001 F150 4×4 Supercrew rear door lock actuator
door locks won’t lock 1999
99 f250 Those Pesky PDL Actuators
Keywords: power door lock pdl actuator sticky stuck broken repair replace fix save money diy 2001 01 02 2002 2003 03 2000 00 1999 99 1998 98 1997 97 f-150 f250 f-250 lock electric
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Steve : F150 door lock actuator replacement
Great article as I was having trouble visualizing the process.