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Discussion Starter #1
This is a problem that's been going on for several years now, but since it was on the passenger side I just never could be @ssed to deal with it, but since I'll be removing the window motor to replace I might as well work on this too. Several years ago the passenger side door would unlock with the door lock electric switch but not lock, current was going to the selonoid and it the knob at the back of the door would move down slightly, but it wouldn't actually lock, like something was rubbing it. I could push down the rod and lock the door manually, so I never really did anything with it, what did keep my attention was it would start working when the temp outside would change, now, this was when it first started happening, so I can't remember if the door would lock electrically when it was warm outside or when it was cold, I can't remember which, but it was either summer or winter and the lock would start working properly with locking and unlocking, eventually that stopped and now it will only unlock, but I have to push the button down to lock it. I was reading thro my manual and the basically said "lube it" so I guess when I take the door panel off, spray the mechanism down in silicone lube and see if that fixes it, or is there something specific I should be looking for when I remove the door panel?
 

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I had a similar situation, although not on my T-bird. The actuator had trouble unlocking the door when outdoor temperature was cold. I replaced the door lock actuator recently and haven't yet had a chance to try it cold, but if I were you I would expect the need to replace the door lock actuator. The one I removed felt like it had more resistance to manually moving the plunger in the actuator than the new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm, I think I'm going to try lubrication of the whole lock assembly and actuator first, money is tight and having to manually lock isn't that big of a deal, if lubing it up doesn't work I'll see about replacing the actuator, can it be found on Rock Auto?
 

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Look under the door latch you should see a medium sized rivet. That holds the door lock actuator against the inside of the door. Make sure the rivet is there and not just a hole where it use to be. My drivers side did the same thing as yours when this happened. The rivet fell off, and the actuator fell to the bottom of the door. I could unlock the door, but when I tried to lock it you could see the actuator flop a bit and wouldn't be able to pull the rod far enough to lock it.

If that's the case you need to pull the door panel and secure it back into place somehow. Once you get in there it should be pretty easy to see if that's the problem and figure out how to fix it.
 

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The thing that makes the rivet fail is the lock mechanism itself.

All the lube is now crusty, and it isn't helping much, so it's harder to move, stuff breaks.

The only way to really fix it is to remove it and relubricate it.

Washing the old stuff out with WD40, soaking it in motor oil, then taking thin moly grease and working it into the mechanism is best.

Think grease that will still work in 20 more years. :)

I use a big syringe with a long tip, and go between the plates/openings as deep as I can, and work the mechanism to distribute it.

This same procedure works on the Recline Lever/Mechanism in the seats. :) And the seat tracks... And motor/gears... lol.

Public Service Warning:
Don't use brake parts cleaner, or similar, unless you're going to soak it in oil after; all it takes is one spot to start rusting, and it's never in a good place, lol.

I have heard Locally of someone doing this way back in a 70's Camaro by flushing it clean with brake parts cleaner, and spraying it with liquid wrench as a "preservative". (FTTMNK: It's an acid used to remove rusted bolts, not a lube)
They were unable to open the doors after it sat overnight, and they ended up replacing both doors. :grin2:

I heard a slide hammer was used to remove the door locks from the inside. :rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Look under the door latch you should see a medium sized rivet. That holds the door lock actuator against the inside of the door. Make sure the rivet is there and not just a hole where it use to be. My drivers side did the same thing as yours when this happened. The rivet fell off, and the actuator fell to the bottom of the door. I could unlock the door, but when I tried to lock it you could see the actuator flop a bit and wouldn't be able to pull the rod far enough to lock it.

If that's the case you need to pull the door panel and secure it back into place somehow. Once you get in there it should be pretty easy to see if that's the problem and figure out how to fix it.
Is the actuator that easy to remove and clean? Looking at my shop manual it doesn't look like there are many cutouts inside the door to allow easy access to parts, but that could just be a problem with the illustration.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Look under the door latch you should see a medium sized rivet. That holds the door lock actuator against the inside of the door. Make sure the rivet is there and not just a hole where it use to be. My drivers side did the same thing as yours when this happened. The rivet fell off, and the actuator fell to the bottom of the door. I could unlock the door, but when I tried to lock it you could see the actuator flop a bit and wouldn't be able to pull the rod far enough to lock it.

If that's the case you need to pull the door panel and secure it back into place somehow. Once you get in there it should be pretty easy to see if that's the problem and figure out how to fix it.
Ok, my problem is the same as yours, the plastic rivet which I guess is two pieces is gone, it's just a hole there, driver's side still has it, it's plastic, is that rivet easy to buy in store or a dealer part? Did you make something for your's?
 

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Where the rivet was on my lock actuator, a shaft was left. I just pushed that trough the hole in the door and was able to thread a small bolt over it. Not the best fix but been working fine.

If it was on my Cougar, which is my nicer car.... I would have taken the lock actuator out of the door and fixed it properly with a new nut/bolt or rivet.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, I'll have to see what's up with it when I get the panel off, had to admit my grandmother I'm caring for to the hospital for congestive heart failure, and she needs me there often to talk with teh nurses and doctors cause of her memory issues so I won't be working on it this week unfortunately, just out curiousity, how big is the vapor barrier on these doors? I got a bad feeling I never replaced it on my drivers side, I hope the interior of the door isn't molded now, or I'll have to do some heavy scrubbing with bleach or lysol.
 

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When I did mine I never took the door lock actuator out of the door. Part of the rivet was left and I was able to tighten a tiny nut onto the end of it.

Pull it out of the door and you should just need to get that rivet out of the actuator; then find a nut/bolt that fits it to the door well.
 
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