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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Remove Repair Replace Rear Door Lock Actuator DIY with photos
DIY below is on a 4Door E36 DIY without removing the rear window or window track.

Applicable to 4 Door and 2 Door BMW's.

Tools Necessary:
T-20 Torx Wrench
T-27 Torx Wrench
Flathead Screwdriver
Pliers

1. Remove door panel.

Vehicle door Technology Electronic device Vehicle Car

2. Peel back vapor barrier.

3. Remove inside door handle (Use T-20 for this) Pull back and out to remove handle assembly. Unclip the black rod holder to the left with a set of pliers. Use the pliers behind the door and squeeze clip while pulling out on rod.

Vehicle door Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Vehicle Car

4. Unscrew plunger hanger. Use a flathead screw driver and pliers for this. Its easier to apply pressure under the screw while twisting. Since its plastic, you can easily push it back in by accident.

Trigger Bumper Auto part Finger

5. Remove Locking assembly by removing 3 torx screws using a T-27 Torx wrench.

Automotive exterior Vehicle Vehicle door Auto part Fender

7. Once the lock assembly is loose you can drop in down a little and see where the actuator sits. Include on this picture is the inside view of the actuator on the lock assembly. See picture.

Vehicle door Automotive exterior Auto part Vehicle Door
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
8. The actuator can be removed with the latch loose inside the door so dont worry about trying to take the lock assembly out. Take your flathead screwdriver and place is on the left side of the actuator. This will disengage the retainer clip (Black clip left of the actuator) on the side of the actuator. Pull up to release the actuator rocking upwards front to back.

Machine

9. Here is the actuator still connected to the harness. Just push down on the slider clip to remove.

Vehicle door Bumper Auto part Door handle Windshield

10. Make sure you lubricate the latch assembly before reinstalling the new actuator.

11. As always, installing the new actuator is the reverse. Lining up the new actuator on the lock assembly is the hardest part. It only lines up one way so keep trying until you can push to the original position.

Here are some pictures of the actuator if you are curious of what it looks like.

Auto part

You can find new actuators on line starting $52 for a new or $25 for used. Keep in mind that the rear actuators have a different part number from the front.

This should take you about 15 to 30 minutes depending on your skill level. Use my knowledge but don't blame me if you break something.

Created by Almario
 

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One of my rear doors has stopped locking/unlocking when using central locking, would it be the actuator thats gone wrong?

Also I've always had a problem with one of my car handle surround, any tips as to the knack for fitting them?
 

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Hello i have a 1992 318i, and the right rear door is locked, and will not unlock. is there anyway to manually unlock it, so i can change the acutator etc.
thank you,
 

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hi saw ur post and u seam like u know what u are talking about
wondering if u can help me
i have a 318i i disconnected the battery for vacation and lock everything but last minute forgot something inside and unlock the passenger door with key
Next time a re connect battery driver side and all doors except passenger won't open with key it only turns to the lock position and the locked from inside does nothing it seams like is on a spring in the down or lock position trunk lock does not auto lock or open locks, any idea what could be wrong?
 

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Great write up and the photos really helped. Removing the screw and pivot for the manual door lock to let the rod flop down as well as removing the inside door latch from the rod to let it flop gave the door lock more space to move down to get at the actuator on top of the latch. Setting the new actuator on the forward most pin and rocking it rearward onto the rest of the mount turned out to be the ticket to get the new actuator back on. Thanks!
 

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One of my rear doors has stopped locking/unlocking when using central locking, would it be the actuator thats gone wrong?

Also I've always had a problem with one of my car handle surround, any tips as to the knack for fitting them?
Most likely the actuator, but check the wires going to it. My trunk wouldn't lock/unlock the doors with the key, and it was just a disconnected wire.
 

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Rear Door acutator on a E36 1999

Please help, I have taken off the Rear door actuator and checked that it works, OK,although would not work originally ? re seating it on the lock is a real problem. I do not seem to be able to get all the protrusions lined up. Any Help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Problems removing the actuator

I am attempting to remove and replace the actuator on the passenger side door following the instructions of this post. Once I undo the screws for the lock assembly it does not slide down as described. It appears that it is being held up by the outside door handle and I did not see this mentioned as a necessary step, which I believe would require removing the window, etc. I'm a rookie here and would like to still have a working door at the end of this regardless of weither I actually get the actuator replaced. Am I overlooking something? This is a problem because I have no access to release the retainer clip. Can you release the retainer from the engine side of the lock assembly? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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i decided to attack mine with a multimeter to see what part had failed, as it turned out a microswith was dirty as it was not reading a fully closed circuit. i pulled off the rubber cover from the microswitch and blasted switch cleaner in there, working fine after that :D

saved buying a 2nd hand actuator.:thumbup:
 

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great write-up! I've already replaced my passenger side front door actuator which I did without unscrewing the lock assembly but that wouldn't fly for the rear-door since you can't get your hand in there in a normal way.

thnx!:thumbup:
 

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Perplexed...

Hello i have a 1992 318i, and the right rear door is locked, and will not unlock. is there anyway to manually unlock it, so i can change the acutator etc.
thank you,
Great DIY presentation for those of you who can open the car door.

I'm with Swiftkraft. My rear door actuator is locked-up and will not release the door to access the other two door lock retaining screws,:dunno:

Even tugging on the door lock bar will not manually unlock the door to open.

Is there a way to override the actuator long enough to manually unlock the door?

Will disconnecting the battery power off the actuator to manually unlock?

Perplexed....

Update:

No. I unplugged all three central door lock fuses and still could not manually unlock the door.

Diabolical ! :confused:
 

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Excellent write-up termignoni. Thank you! The write-up made this R&R easy.

Update:

No. I unplugged all three central door lock fuses and still could not manually unlock the door.

Diabolical ! :confused:
Mine started doing this as well. Luckily the door unlocked one more time so I could get the door open. I had to wait a few days before the actuator decided to work again.

I think you're somehow going to need to remove the actuator with the door closed, possibly by pulling the window and frame. Once the actuator is disconnected you can manually unlock the door.

Keep us updated on what you figure out!
 

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Gave up

Broke down and took it to a shop. The mechanic verified the actuator had locked the door mechanism and basically had to "break in" to the back door. Broke the actuator and striker to access.

We'll see what the cost damage is when I go to collect the ol' girl.:tsk:
 

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Broke down and took it to a shop. The mechanic verified the actuator had locked the door mechanism and basically had to "break in" to the back door. Broke the actuator and striker to access.

We'll see what the cost damage is when I go to collect the ol' girl.:tsk:
Bummer. Well... keep us updated.
 

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BMW...Bring Money Willingly

Well, two hours labor $198 was the solution. Glad to have access to the back seat on the driver's side. It is amazing how often I throw stuff in the back and never realized it until I couldn't!

Now to tackle that pesky "air bag" warning light on the dash... it's always something.:p
 
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