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Door Lock Actuator Mod (overhaul)

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Old 09-14-2010, 11:25 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 7

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1998 Cherokee
Default Door Lock Actuator Mod (overhaul)

The story: My Jeeps' power door locks were failing one by one. traced the problem to the actuators. It would make a sound when attempting to lock/unlock but would only work after hitting the switch about 5 times (or more).

I was amazed to find the actuators built into the latch assembly. Have you seen the price of new or even used ones?

The Fix:
You will need 4 universal actuators. These can be found as cheap as $3 US. Or a set of 4 can be found WITH remote/receiver for those without power door locks and want them. (NOTE: This guide will not give you interior switches)

I will not post pics for removing the door skins. If you can't do this on your own please reconsider using this guide.


Start by removing ONLY the rear driver door skin first. Do this so that the driver and passenger door lock modules remain intact until the rear door in the first step is tested. REMEMBER the power door lock control is in the Passenger Door Module and the locks will not function with out this connected.

1.) After the skins are removed I found one almost perfect place on the door to mount the actuator for each door. Starting with the rear driver-side door.
The Jeep's lock link (long rod connecting manual switch to lock on the latch) is long and straight enough to not have to be so perfect on the placement of the new actuator.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

A few things to be aware of for this step.
To start; push the actuator toward the Jeep body and pull the link (rod) also toward the Jeep body. Connect the supplied hardware (supplied with actuator purchase). Be sure to remove excess material from the supplied connector rod (gold supplied hardware SEE IMAGE BELOW). I also recommend Loctite on the screws.
Click the image to open in full size.

Note the electrical connection of the Jeeps door lock actuator. Remove (cut) the connector end and connect to the actuator wires temporarily (twist together). Test the power door lock and make note of the wire color connection. IE: red-blue & pink-green. Reverse the wires if needed and make the connection permanent (I used butt connectors). Use zip-ties or similar for excess or dangling wires. Use the same steps for the passenger side rear door.

FRONT DOOR (Passenger)
I found the best place for the actuator on the front doors is under the front screw mount for the interior door pull (arm rest). Use the rearward spot weld for the first hole to be drilled and then drill the second hole according to the actuators specs. Mount the actuator and note the position of the motor on the actuator in the below pic.
Click the image to open in full size.

This is an odd position of all connections but read on and be patient.

Test to fit: Connect the supplied connector rod to the actuator and position toward the Jeep lock link. Note the bend in the lock link. The supplied hardware screw clamp will be positioned outside (toward the latch) of this bend where the two rods will run parallel (close anyway). After testing fitments, remove excess material from the supplied hardware connector rod to allow adequate movement of the lock switch and actuator. Reconnect all hardware. Yes it appears you will not be able to tighten the screws on the supplied hardware clamp. See below images.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Again connect the wires as was noted in the beginning steps. Continue on to the driver door.

I've tried to make these directions clear and precise. If anybody finds any errors please P/M me and I will revise.
Mods please move to a more appropriate section if I was in error.

I hope my small contribution of a guide can be useful to many as a quick, easy and inexpensive fix. Here is a link to the Power Door Lock section of the 2000 Jeep Cherokee Service Manual
Reluctantly crouched, at the starting line...
98 Cherokee 4X4 pretty much stock, daily driver.
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actuator, door locks, lock, power locks
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