Lock Actuator Removal & Replacement (WJ)

Does your door lock sound like a goose honking?  Time to replace the lock actuator... (how-to w/pics)

I'm getting pretty good at changing these.  This is my third.  Anyone who has owned a WJ (or many other DC vehicles) for any length of time will know that dreadful sound.  When it starts honking, it will normally still lock a few more times.  After that, it just makes noise and leaves the door unlocked, posing a security risk.

This writeup is for the driver side rear door, but they are the same, you just need different parts.

Here's what you get for your $68.  In their infinite wisdom, DC put the power actuator and the latch all in one mechanism.  The actuator with three rods attached (two long, one short).  It comes in a box about 24"L x 6" x 6".  I was expecting a small box the first time...

Lock Actuator

The longest goes to the lock/unlock (mine was blue on the end for identification I'd guess), the one next to it does to the inside handle and the short little one goes to the outside handle.
 
Lock Actuator

Here's my subject.  Take the Phillips screw out of the inside of the cup and the T-15 Torx screw out from behind the handle and start yanking the door panel off.  Might not be a bad idea to pickup a few of the trim fasteners while at the dealer.  I usually end up breaking at least one.  DC thinks these clips are made of gold BTW ($$$)
 
Door Panel
 
After freeing the door panel from the clips, there are 3 things still holding it on.  The two long rods and the electrical connector.

Lock Bars
 
The rods are removed by pivoting the plastic clip at the end of the rod so the clip is not overtop of the rod where it goes into the hole.  These clips can be tough, so you might want to use a screwdriver blade against your finger to save your flesh.  After the clips are pivoted away, the rods just lift out of the hole.

Lock Slider
Here's a close up of the rods and electrical connector with the panel removed:

Door Panel Plug and Rods


Here's the door without the panel on it:

Door Panel Removed

Next, pull back the black vinyl liner from the latch side off the door a bit.  The black butyl tape will release easily enough -- just try to keep the butyl tape clean and the liner will press back into place easily.

Actuator Rods
 
First thing to do is to free the rod that goes to the handle.  Pivot the yellow clip up as shown:

Latch Mechanism
 
Go over to the latch end of the door.  Remove the (3) T-30 Torx bolts.  They are in there pretty good.  I have a socket with a torx bit  which made it easy.

Actuator Removal
 
Actuator Removal
 
Now that the latch is freed up, pull it toward the opening and disconnect the wiring plug:

Now chuck that sucker across the shop!!!  It's toast!

Put it back together in reverse order and start enjoying noise-free locking and unlocking!

Gallery: Lock Actuator (WJ)

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