Power Door Lock Repair
This is the section that started it all

This section describes how to replace the Power Door Lock Actuator (door lock motor). Although you can use this to install a new one it's intended to install a used one. Buy a used actuator from a junk yard, around $15-25 each (compared to $70 each new) .
Bring your old one to match them up.

The same actuator can be found in 1979-93 Mustangs and should be in almost all Fords from 79-93 (with some minor swapping, see text below). I bought one from a '85 Bronco-II for $15, and had to use my old rod (other one was about 3 inches longer).

Key not working ?
If your key can't unlock or lock the door because it can't turn, then it's usually a sign of a frozen door lock motor.

You will need to remove the door panel,
Click on the link to the right for detailed info -->
Spark Plug's Door Panel Removal Section.


First check to see if the actuator (GREEN) is the problem.
- Check if it's getting current when pressing Lock or Unlock.
- Nothing is blocking or in the way of its movement.
Once you have determined that the actuator is no longer working,(or to check it) Pull the interior cover off the door (2 bolts in armrest, mirror cover, handle cover, plastic tabs and screws, you don't have to take the screws off of the door lock switch panel).
...See Door Panel Removal Section...
Squeeze your hand in (caution, sharp edges) and disconnect wire from actuator. With a flat screwdriver pry the actuator's pegs out of the plastic retainer (YELLOW) that's holding it to the door, be careful not to break it.

Don't bother drilling out the rivet that holds the plastic thing to the door, you will waste your time and a good drill bit.

Once the actuator is freed from the plastic bracket the tricky part is to pull its rod out of the lock mechanism.
It has a curved top so lift and turn it until you've pulled it out.

Be careful, don't damage the plastic thing that's holding the rod to the lock mechanism,
or the rod itself, you might need this rod if the "new" one is a different length.

New Photos that might help ...
Here's that rivet that can cause you headaches ...Don't bother touching it!
It's right above the blue plug.
Here's the inside view of a door, think its hard to get a camera in there?, try to get your hand in! Can you see the bracket that the motor is held in with? It's held on by..., you guessed it... the @#&*% rivet!
Why drill out the rivet? Just pry the motor out of the bracket. Then wiggle the hook shaped top rod out.

If you acquired an actuator from another Ford vehicle it will be the same, the rod length and wire socket may be different.

The lower text goes with the above lifelike artwork.

If the rod length is different (Bronco's were longer) pry the small cover/retainer up and pull the rod out, it will spin up and out. DO NOT LOOSE THE VERY TINY BEARINGS!!! There are 3 of them.

Insert your old rod from the original actuator and put everything back in reverse. When you have the retainer (cover) snapped in, make certain the rod spins up and down, to test if the bearings were replaced correctly.

If the wire socket is different, keep the new one on and splice it into the original wires in the door.

If you happen to remove the rivet here is a tip to fix it...

You will need a 1/4"-20 x 1/2" bolt, suitable lock washer, and a nut to fit the bolt. A square nut would work best, but a hex will do. Just be sure one side is fairly flat. Drill out or otherwise remove the original rivet; I used a Dremel MotoTool with the cutoff wheel to do this. Remove the new actuator from it's u-shaped mounting bracket. Super glue the nut to the inside of the bracket, centered over the hole, flat side against the metal. Put the actuator back into the bracket, and attach the wiring harness. Work the actuator assembly into place, with the actuator rod through the hole in the lock shaft assembly. While holding the actuator in place, line up the mounting hole with the hole in the door, and thread in the bolt with lock washer. Tighten the bolt. The metal part of the mounting bracket is slightly concave, and the edges of the nut will dig in, preventing it from turning.

Submitted by Jack M.

Part Numbers
Lock Actuator
1990 part #
F0Z=1990's Part
F=90's Decade 0=year(1990) Z=Mustang
Plastic Piece above motor, that allows you to open door. E9AB-54220A91-AA
E=1980's 9=1989 A=Generic Ford part L=Left or Right door.
Thanks to Ed S. for supplying the part numbers...

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