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Daur Lohks

How to install door lock actuators in your 2002 -or- How never to worry about breaking your key off in the door ever again!

(1) Select your door locks. You can get these at the car stereo install dept at BestBuy (thats where I got mine) for about $20 a piece or so. I think I paid like $2, but I bought them way long ago when I worked for BestBuy, installing stereos. These are "Harada" brand actuators, which I've installed a ton of in my day.



(2) This is where I'll deviate from most installs. Normally, there's a little aluminum channel with a few tapped screw-holes in it. The idea is to slide the door lock bar through one of these, then fit it over the existing lock bar in the vehicle and tighten the screws down. The famous "Stella" uses this very same method:

(With credit to Keith, if you want me to remove this, just let me know.)



You can see this little piece of channel at the top, near #9 (it has three gold screws in it.) In the 4 years I did stereo install, I noticed that repeated use of the doorlocks would eventually cause these screws to back out and the lock motors to fail. You can achieve some success around this if you flatten one edge of the bar going into it, but I still don't like this method. Instead, this is what I would typically do in my installs - Find the lock arm that engages/disengages the lock, and drill a new hole for your motors:



Done in this manner, the lock arm will never work itself free. I'll elaborate in the remaining steps.

(3) Bend your bars to fit the motor and new hole. In the method I am showing here, the bars has to be installed on the motor first, then the two are installed in the door as one unit. Typically, the bar goes in first and motor fits onto it. Again, the failure rate with my method here is nearly non-existent.

The bars should look like this initially. Remember to mirror them left to right to fit the opposite doors.



(4) Then install them on your actuators. They come with a pre-bent "U" shape that fits the nylon end. I like to pinch this shut slightly after the bar is installed so that it fights tighter. Less play in the system will save excess wear over time.



(5) Place both pieces in the door as one unit, and fit the "L" into the hole you drilled earlier. Let the lock actuator hang for now. The bar should look like this:



(6) With the actuator hanging, measure out where the holes will be drilled in the door to hold the motor in place. I suggest this channel in the door so that the screw heads will not interfere with the doorpanel. Mine are drilled already in the shot below, and filled in with some POR-15. Make sure to test the lock actuation up and down, and mount the motor accordingly. Don't worry if the lock throw is shorter than the actuator throw, this is typical and not a problem at all with universal actuators.



(7) After the actuator is mounted to the door, bend the outer arm of the "L" at the lock arm down to create a "U" shape, similar to the other bar in the same place:



(8) Run some wires, and you're set! With this method, you don't have to worry about any small parts sliding off or those threads on that aluminum piece stripping out during installation (its happened to me a few times) Hopefully this helps out a few people. Its a great mod with any alarm system and really doesn't take much time at all to perform.

Really nice work and helpful instructions. I've read about your plan for routing the wires from the doors to the body through a rubber accordion tube. I'm actually up to that step and I'm a bit hesitant to drill such a large hole in the body and the door to accommodate the rubber tube. Have you done so yet and do you have any pointers?

Really nice work and helpful instructions. I've read about your plan for routing the wires from the doors to the body through a rubber accordion tube. I'm actually up to that step and I'm a bit hesitant to drill such a large hole in the body and the door to accommodate the rubber tube. Have you done so yet and do you have any pointers?

I haven't gotten a chance to route the rubber lines around the wring just yet, but most of the aftermarket door boots out on the market are far too large for my application.

I'm looking into wrapping the wire with thin diameter silicone tube, and putting rubber busings in the holes on the door and doorjamb. After that, I'll heat up and flare the end of the silicone tube to keep it from slipping out.

A hard plastic line might work as well, but we'll see what I can do when I get there. Right now I'm fixated on getting the engine running!

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