Not an A but still barely a Mopar...'12 Caravan lock actuator fail...

pishta

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Another job that sucks. 2012 Dodge Caravan sliding door lock actuator. the damn mechanical lock lever jammed in the locked position on a manual sliding door. You gotta take the inner door mechanism out to get the friggin door OPEN and then you can somehow replace the power door lock actuator. Trouble is the door wont friggin open to get the latch out of the jamb. So Watching a few youtubes they tell me to remove the inner door panel (not hard, just 1 T20 and yank it out) and then your facing a mini city-scape of cables, wires and bolts. remove the 10 10mm bolts and the door panel is supposed to come out, wrong. The panel is still attached to the window so you pop 2 rubber plugs and get access to 2 10mm nuts that capture the bottom of the window to the lift mechanism. No you can take it out? Well, no because its still attached to the door latch subframe at the rear of the door. Peeling back the istill attached inner door panel shows the latch subframe thats bolted to the doorjamb is a slide interlock with the inner door frame but no matter how much you try and push the inner frame back to seperate the 2 they wont budge. So after about 5 minutes of eyeballing this I decided brute force could not hurt my cause so I pushed the doorlock rod back sharply into the jamb and the thing actually moved. Wait, did I just fix this? I looked up at the lock lever and sure as **** it was in the unlock position. I worked the rod back and forth and it was free and clear now. WTH? This thing was not moving 20 minutes ago. So the door gets put back together and I'm cycling the lock after every bolt I'm tightening, still working. get the window attached again, panel back on. Still works fine....but the power lock now makes a loud buzz when the door locks. They lock but it just makes a buzz. Did I bend the flimsy rod when I was manhandling it and now the throw is off? Ill live with the buzz but that is weird. I cant imagine doing this again and actually getting to the actuator as I never got that far as the 2 inner door parts would not seperate.
 

pishta

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Note the square keyways that the sub panel fit into. The actuator is the thing with the 2 green paint dots. The inner door panel should just slide back and unhook from these keyways and then lift free (cables still somewhat attached but manageable) but I beat on mine with a hammer and they would not budge.
$_57.jpg
 

Biff

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They are no fun , patience is key. It can be done ,I have been known to remove the complete sliding door to change out the actuator.
 

pishta

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This door has no glass or power lift like mine had, but you see the complexity of this stupid sliding door!

 

Ironracer

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My Jeep that I ran my Carpentry/ Remodeling business out of got totalled for Christmas last year. The rear hatch actuator died on me, I had to rip the panel out, after crawling all over my tools and getting beat that way. But I could pull that arm and get it to pop open. I didn't put up with that **** long locally they wanted about $140 for that little part. Found one sent to my casa fer less than 20 bucks... sorry that's all I got. Again, You win the Patience thing! Mine was easy as hell in retrospect and it really was, once you get the damn door open, it was just crawling over all my tools. Looks like my crap was night and day to the PITA you had going. Did you lube that SOB while Ya were there?
 
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royslead

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Get ready to do that job for real. That buzzing is another telltale sign the actuator is on its way out, and will stop working again, at any time. I didn't watch the video, I've been replacing those things for years. The inner door panel - the trim panel does come off easily, once you get the plastic retainers, designed to withstand an IED, to release. You have to remove the rubber glass surround weatherstrip, too, IIRC. You take off the rearward applique from the outside of the door off. Its held by two retainers and 3M tape. You might wreck it, so be prepared. There are a couple bolts and a nut (I believe a ground wire is attached to it) that hold the rear ward glass run track in place - remove them. There is one bolt through the center door hinge that will give you some clearance issues. You'll see ...just back it out. Pivot the rearward glass track toward the rear - you do it from the outside. Remove the nuts or back them out enough that hold the glass to the regulator, and start lifting the glass upward, from inside. Now go back outside and remove the glass. It will come up and outward toward the outward side of the van, through the cut out toward the rear of the door, where the glass run was that should be out of the way. There is JUST enough room to do this, and if you are not careful, the glass could break. Once out, disconnect all the cables, dont forget the forward latch, near the middle, and facing the front of the door, and wiring from the door, and outside release handle. Remove the three latch bolts from the rearward of the door. Now you can remove all the bolts from, and finesse the regulator and carrier out of the door. Its not going to fall out or go back in easy. When you get it out, you can then access the actuator. I may have forgotten some steps here, so if things feel like they are not coming apart right - look. Carefully reassemble everything. If I remember right, warranty used to give us about an hour and a half for that job, start to finish, and yes I could do it in that time. A non- tech DIY'er is either going to spend all day, or may be best to pay someone to do it. It all depends on the skills he or she has, and how they value their time.
 
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Ironracer

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Damn.... that's a Royal Pain! My money's on Phista getting it ( I never seen a Marine quit!) ESPECIALLY with Your detailed, experienced, blueprinted description. That was kick ***! Sounds like a few brews to keep from killing the van...
 

royslead

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Yeah, I think k he'll get it, it just is a real PITA. I've been out of wrenching a few years now, so it is possible I missed a few details.
 

Dana67Dart

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My 06 grand caravan drivers side slider lock actuator is not functional. The manual lock works fine

I have had the pass side inner door skin off, not too much of a problem.

Now I'm not looking forward to fixing it:(:mad:

Automotive "engineers" should be required to work as mechanics for 5 years before they can graduate.
 

Ironracer

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My 06 grand caravan drivers side lock actuator is not functional. The manual lock works fine

I have had the pass side inner door skin off, not too much of a problem.

Now I'm not looking forward to fixing it:(:mad:

Automotive "engineers" should be required to work as mechanics for 5 years before they can graduate.
I've been saying the same thing for GC's and Architectural asses for years....
 

pishta

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well F me then. Ill be ready for the day. The "asian mechanic" youtube link I put up said there was one more bolt I never got to, inside the door at the rear under the latch but inboard facing. Maybe that is the F'r that stopped me cold? I got an idea on how its disassembled so Im game for another round with this ***** but Ill be armed with a new actuator next time. @royslead I dont understand the window trim disassembly part, I think I can get it out with that piece unbolted from the black inner frame? Ill have to watch that vid again. If those 3 tabs linking the plastic flap to the latch to the larger inner door panel would just slide out, that would make it far easier.
 

pishta

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Get ready to do that job for real. That buzzing is another telltale sign the actuator is on its way out, and will stop working again, at any time.
Is the buzzing the gear stripping or hitting a stop internally? If that is the case I know how that happened....:BangHead:
 

YY1

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I've been through half a dozen actuators on my 2000 Dakota CC. Fingers crossed the last one has lasted several years.
There for a while it seemed like I was replacing one or the other every 6 months.

At some point, they changed the design and the attachment bolts got reversed from 2 on top and 1 on the bottom.
WHY TF did they do that? Everything else is the same but they don't interchange.

...and don't get me started on Dakota QC cable power window actuators.
 

pishta

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better video.....I missed 2 bolts! He also said there was a release tab (@ 10:24) for the 3 keyways to seperate the frame and the latch plate. looks like you can release it from the front by pushing the rear plate in 3 mm right above the central push connector next to the front window lift rail to get the tab over the 3 mil plastic. Then it will decouple if you slide the outer panel to the rear 1 inch. This guy got it in without taking the exterior fascia off. Good luck!
 
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pishta

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No muff too tuff! :icon_fU:
1661188624049865985413093908004.jpg


Total time to removal minus the snap on inner door: 30 minutes! (The key is those 2 frigging bolts inside door at rear that I missed) I didn't have to remove outside fascia, I just lowered rear and rotated up the front and it cane right out with track and all.

>>>> putting it back together is a **** and a half. That window track is the *****, you got to get it up there around the window edge and then with luck and a whole lot of jiggling and repositioning, the latch will finall slide in a and get to where you can put a bolt in it. The rest is just putting the cables back into position. Swear words per minutes: top worst job ever. But it doesnt make that sound anymore using the same actuator I pulled apart and looked at. Its missing one tooth. removed the grease and now it doesnt buzz...?
VideoCapture_20220822-144221.jpg
 
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royslead

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My 06 grand caravan drivers side slider lock actuator is not functional. The manual lock works fine

I have had the pass side inner door skin off, not too much of a problem.

Now I'm not looking forward to fixing it:(:mad:

Automotive "engineers" should be required to work as mechanics for 5 years before they can graduate.


The job on your '06 is nothing like the Rube Goldberg Engineering in the later models it will be much easier.
 

royslead

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No muff too tuff! :icon_fU:View attachment 1715974216

Total time to removal minus the snap on inner door: 30 minutes! (The key is those 2 frigging bolts inside door at rear that I missed) I didn't have to remove outside fascia, I just lowered rear and rotated up the front and it cane right out with track and all.

>>>> putting it back together is a **** and a half. That window track is the *****, you got to get it up there around the window edge and then with luck and a whole lot of jiggling and repositioning, the latch will finall slide in a and get to where you can put a bolt in it. The rest is just putting the cables back into position. Swear words per minutes: top worst job ever. But it doesnt make that sound anymore using the same actuator I pulled apart and looked at. Its missing one tooth. removed the grease and now it doesnt buzz...?
View attachment 1715974465

Putting it together is quite easy, if you did it the way I mentioned. The important thing is, you got it. Good job. The buzzing can be stripped gears or stripping gears, or just a stalled motor, drawing too many amps. It seems a lot of the power accessory actuators used very similar motors, and they just aren't robust enough, compared to the old ones.
 

pishta

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@royslead I could not remove the exterior fascia piece so the glass had to stay in. That was my issue. Once the track lined up with the existing window (20 minutes of trying) it was able to pivot in and bolt down. Still a PITA. I left the 2 panels apart (the 3 square keys are not meshed) as it will make doing it again that much easier. Not sure why those are snapped together anyway. That fascia looks like it will break for sure as the 2 one way clips will surely break, and those fascias are $85 so..no. But thanks for the tips, I got it and strangley it doesnt make the buzzing anymore. I just have to replace the 12 push rivets now as only 4 survived.
 

royslead

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"The important thing is, you got it. Good job."

I meant this. Not being facetious.
 

pishta

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Once again...THIS JOB SUCKS! Got the new one in after soccer got cancelled today. Few more tips. There are 2 bolts holding the rear track in, make sure you get both and NOT the rounded bolt under the hinge, That is not for the track. If you decide to do this without removing the window (some won't want to remove that $85 trim and surely break its anchors in the process) when you are putting the SUB assembly (unclipped from the inner door panel) back into the door, you must push the track up into the window channel to clear the bottom inner door brace. I tried about 3 times before I realized there was no way I could get this latch assemble in without going over this brace and then a steady push up (your going to be dragging against the window)clears it and it slid right in. I think this was my big issue last time I was putting this together. That is why the track is only supported in the bottom and is free to pivot on the sub assembly or else there wold be no way to get it up in the channel. Last hurdle was getting the new style clip on the replacement actuators to clip over the lock lever rod. There is very little room in there to rotate the clip up and lock it onto the rod. I had to position a screwdriver under it and push it up from the bottom and then slide the inner panel over this in-place rod. Wear long sleeves are there are lots of sharp edges in there. Have a good time! I'm NOT looking forward to the other one failing......
 
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