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Power Door Lock Motor/Latch Replacement - DIY


Old 01-24-2013, 12:18 PM
TheycallmeLaramie is offline
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 325
Default Power Door Lock Motor/Latch Replacement - DIY

1) MAKE SURE THE WINDOW IS UP! If you hate electricity take the negative cable off your battery. I didn't but the service manual suggests that you do I think troubleshooting is easier without disconnecting reconnecting etc. Take out all the screws holding the door panel in place in mine there is two in the door handle cup and one where the rearview mirror would be.

2) Wiggle the switch plate with the unlock/lock and mirror up/down and pull it up. Then turn it sideways and gently guide it through the slot (believe me it will fit)

3) Gently pry on the bottom of the door panel at first slide your fingers across the bottom till you hit a plastic clip and do a peace sign around it and gently pull up. (Make sure you have extra door panel clips before attempting this some will always break)

4) Once you have them all out gently pull up and lift out, while you lift the inside door handle upwards.

5) When you get the door panel off take a sharpie and mark the bottom of the metal rod that has lock unlock plastic piece that you would manually lock and unlock with from the inside, then unscrew it off (this is so you know how far to screw it back in on install.

6) Peel down the plastic cover (or cut holes in the two openings nearest to the door.

7) Now that you can see the inside, I suggest looking at it will someone pulls the handle from outside and inside and manually locks from inside so you can see how the rods move and function.

8) There will be two rods in the back and two in the front. The furthest one in the back is from the manual door handle on the outside. The next furthest one is for the manual inside door lock. Next one closest is for the inside door handle, and the other one is for the inside door handle to open the lock when it’s locked.

9) If you look at the picture above you will see how the plastic clips work.
10) Next use a star bit to LOOSEN the three latch screws on the side. Do not take out completely. This is just to help free the plastic clips (you need a small hand and a little bit of patience)

11) Stick your hand through the bottom hole and go up and around, push the metal rod out of the plastic clip (looking to make sure your pushing the right direction) then pull the rod out. The one that goes to the manual lock you do not need to un-clip as you can pull it straight through without disconnecting.

12) Once you have all the rods disconnected with one hand holding the motor unscrew the other bolts you already loosened and the motor will come free.

13) There is a little plastic clip that holds the wiring to the door, push that in, guide the motor/latch around the window guide. Pull out of bottom hole and un-clip wiring harness.

14) Take the only rod you left on the old motor off and attach it to the new motor in the same position (manual door lock). Plug harness into new motor, and then use the power lock switch to lock and unlock and make sure mechanism moves up and down (save yourself time if you bought a dead one)

15) Guide the mechanism back in and around the window track making sure to put the manual lock bar into its proper slot on the top and tighten the three star bolts firmly.

16) Push the clip that holds the wiring to the door in and make sure it holds firmly.

17) Attach the other three rods (they only can reach one slot properly, there is no messing this up only breaking the clips so don't gorilla them). Make sure the plastic clip is positioned so when you put the rod into the hole it will clip onto the rod (there is only one way)

18) You should make sure that all the rods do not touch each other. One of my rods got bent taking it out of the clip and was rubbing another when I tried and wouldn't unlock. I bent the rod just slightly out of the way and bam worked perfect.

19) Test the door lock mechanism to make sure outside and inside door handles work as well as lock and unlock, and make sure the door handle inside unlocks the door when you pull it. Shut the door and open it to make sure the latch is working (Do this carefully if the latch is in the wrong position you won’t be able to shut the door and will end up breaking it if you slam the door). If the door won’t shut use a screwdriver to gently move the latch into the correct position (look at your old latch). Now if everything is all good you are ready to install back.

20) Screw the manual lock back down to the sharpie mark, tape up the plastic back into position

21) Check all your door panels clips and replace damaged ones

22) Guide the power switches through the panel and then the door panel over the door lock and over the door handle (lift up the door handle)

23) Push the panel back in working top to bottom making sure the clips go into the holes

24) Put all three screws back that hold the door handle cup and side-view mirror

25) Test all mechanisms one last time, and VIOLA! New power locks for 30-50$ a side compliments of ebay or 150$ each side if you decide to go get a new mopar latch/motor.

I would have taken pictures but most of it is inside a door (hard to grasp) And if you are in the section taking the door panel off should not be difficult. You will totally be able to do this if you read and are gentle on the plastic clips.

Last edited by TheycallmeLaramie; 01-24-2013 at 12:26 PM.
Old 01-24-2013, 12:20 PM
TheycallmeLaramie is offline
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 325

If anyone has or is willing to add the section of opening the door latch to replace the little DC motor instead of buying a whole new latch (5$ vs 50$), Please add it in here. Here is a little description of it (maybe someone who is replacing theirs anyway can try to on the old one

Garage is empty, add now
Join Date: Sep 2012
Vehicle: 1997 Ram 1500 5.2L
Posts: 72

Yeah, of course the manual doesn't cover that. How would they make any money?

I always peel into stuff too quickly to think about DIY's. Looking at it in hindsight I wish I did as I've not seen anyone do it for Dodge stuff. It's a bit tedious, but taking pictures as you disassemble can help. A word to anyone that's going to try it: stick a C-clamp on the rear cover (not shown in the pics above) and keep it on as there are 2 springs in there that like to fly out when you take out the 2 philips bolts and they are a PITA to re-seat. After that you take the linkages underneath the gold plates off (take pictures) then use a utility knife to separate the two halves of the black plastic cover where the motor lies (piece where the power connector is). After that, you'll find a motor assembly with a gearbox inside. 2 Bolts hold the DC motor in. To slip the pinion gear out the chassis of the gearbox you need to very lightly file the tips of the pinion gear, as the hole is slightly smaller than the OD of the gear. Once done you slip the motor out, replace the brushes, and put it back together. I used a Mabuchi motor that was at a local supply store.

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