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Problems with Door Locks

Problems with Door Locks

Shane Mantoszko & Brian Radovich

Chip, I had the same problem with all 4 door locks. I did the following and now all 4 work like brand new (and they are still the original 1978 door locks....)

  1. Take all trim off doors
  2. Inspect all levers and arms that are involved with the door opening and locking process. Look for bends/rust/gunk. Make sure that the clips are still all properly holding these arms. If they come out of the clips then they will be pushing/pulling at an angle and will not close right.
  3. Clean off all rust/gunk.
  4. Spray lubricant (I used silicone based) on every joint, and every part of the assembly that has any minute movement. Not just the handle assembly, but every possible thing inside the door that is related to locking/unlocking/opening/closing the door.
  5. Pull the dust cover back off the solenoid and put some lubricant there as well.....the solenoid may be sticking because of gunk. make sure not to spray it deep into the solenoid itself.....just on the central shaft.
  6. Once all moving parts are lubricated, lock/unlock the door 20 or so times in rapid succession to let the lubricant move around and get to work.
  7. At this point you may find the locks are operating just great, so put the door trim back on and live happy. If still not locking/ unlocking fully, then you may need to adjust the arms, and lengthen the opening or closing arm (whichever is not moving the lock mechanism all the way). Be careful though, cause these should be already set up right.....maybe some previous owner played with them. Other option is that solenoid is no longer moving the system far enough, so go buy a good 2nd hand one and try it out to see if it fixes the problem....if so, keep it..it'll last ages. (mine are 20 years old and still work like new after the above process....) If they are still not locking/unlocking fully, then try a new solenoid.... if still not working....then something mechanical is wrong in the arms/joints themselves......look at someone's car who has the same model and see what may be out of place/bent/broken.....cheers.

    Brian Radovich adds a warning

    JCI TIP: 85-87 Sedans drivers door lock switch (looks like a solenoid) will start sticking and malfunctioning. This is a big problem as the switch controls the three other door solenoids and will burn them up in short order. Disconnect the drivers door lock switch ASAP and then replace it - otherwise you will end up replacing the three solenoids too.

    If you have an 85-87 SIII XJ6, this will be happening to you soon, as we have several of these door lock problems recently (including my wife's car) where we had to replace the switch and three solenoids. Just as soon as it starts acting up, disconnect it and then replace it. Not a problem on earlier or later Sedans, not sure about about XJS.

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