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Old 08-14-2010, 03:41 PM
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Crist Clapper Crist Clapper is offline
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Join Date: Apr 28, 2008
Location: Blair County, PA 16662
Posts: 1,475
GW: Door Lock Actuators

Hey folks, I’m about to tackle my 1990 GW door lock actuators. They all “click/work”, but some only open, some only close, that sort of stuff. I found this posting. Any other advice would be much appreciated!!! Thanks.

Originally Posted by YoungClayB
Hey guys,
I've hit a milestone...ALL 4 of my electric door locks are working now (up and down!!!) I know, its amazing; I can hardly believe it myself

Prior to getting them all working, I went to the local car stereo shop and had them install an aftermarket keyless entry system...the parking lights even blink when I lock and unlock the doors on my 88!!! They tried to also wire in the horn, but apparently the horn doesnt work unless the car is turned on...oh well.

For anyone having issues with either non-working or "sticky" door locks, here are the things I did that finally got them working;
- I had to replace the actuators for the driver's side doors - front and back - I ordered the OEM replacements from
- Even after replacing the actuators, the rear door would lock, but it refused to unlock. Solution: After trying MANY other things, I finally just removed the torsion spring in the door lock mechanism. Presto. There is plenty of friction in the rear lock linkages already to keep the locks from "falling".
- The front driver's side door lock (after replacing the actuator) was
intermitant. It would always "lock", but only occationally would it "unlock". This was quite the PITA know, it is the driver's door afterall. Solution: First, I opened up the drivers side "switch" and noticed that the "up wire" was a little loose so I took some needlenose pliers and clamped it tight - this helped a little, but it still wouldn't unlock 100% of the time. So, I bought a "light duty" spring from home depot and rigged it up so that the spring was pulling up slightly on the actuator rod. Works like a charm now.
- The rear passenger door worked fine for a while...or so I thought. Upon closer inspection, I realized that when I "locked" the doors, the rear passenger door appeared to be locked (i.e. the plunger went down), but you could still open the door from the outside. Solution: same as the other side - I just removed the torsion spring and it actually locks now.

I found it interesting, that most of the advice on this forum for "sticky" locks is to remove the door lock assembly so that it can be cleaned and degreased. None of my door locks needed this. I actually did remove one of the rear assemblies, but once I got it removed, I realized that it was fine. After this realization, I checked the other ones by simply disconnecting the rod assembly and checking the resistance by hand.

Hurray!!! Door locks!!!
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