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Replacing door lock actuators on Gen 1 New Mini (2 replies)

7 years ago
ihughes 7 years ago

Replacing door lock actuators on Gen 1 New Mini

Ian Hughes

7 years ago
ihughes 7 years ago

Door lock actuator failure is quite common on older models of the New Mini.

If either the internal door lock pulls, or the external door handle stop working, this is usually down to a mechanical problem. Both the internal door lock pull and the external handle are connected to the door lock actuator by metal 'bowden cables' (like cycle brake cables) and it possible for either of them to become disconnected from the actuator. If these fail, or get stuck it is fairly easy to remove the door card and check the connections and/or lubricate the cables if they are stiff or stuck. Reconnecting the bowden cable to the actuator will require the removal of the actuator from the door, so the explanation of how to do this that follows will still apply.

If you are experiencing electrical locking/unlocking problems this usually means the actuator has failed either partially or completely.

The removal/replacement of the door lock actuator from the door is a simple task complicated by the very limited space inside the door and the size of the gap between the window glass upright guide rail (nearest to the lock actuator) NOT being large enough to allow the actuator to exit the door past the rail ':x' !!!

However, there is a way around this if you know how!

[b:3oiduyuk]Removing the actuator[/b:3oiduyuk]
1. Remove the door card from the door. The card is held in place by several screws some visible, and some hidden (behind the top reflector on the door lining). The perimeter of the door card is held in place by a series of nylon fixing pegs and when the bottom and sides are free, the card should unclip from the door by lifting it upwards to free the fixing clips by the the window opening. You also need to unscrew the fixing of the tweeter unit and the internal door pull.

2. Removing the actuator is simply by undoing the external bolts on the door edge. This will release the actuator but it will be held dangling inside the door by the Bowden cable from the outside door handle. This cable unclips from the actuator fairly easily.........but you will need to do it by feel alone. Also, you can then remove the loom connector from the actuator socket. There are pictures of the door actuator connections available on the Mini2 Forum and elsewhere on the internet if you want to have a look before attempting this step.

3. In order to remove the acutator from the door you will need to MOVE the window glass guide rail by releasing the adjustment bolt located underneath the door. If you check inside the door before you touch this (a torch and mirror can be useful here) you should be able to see approximately where the rail end sits on the adjustment track and be able to return it to this position when reassembling. If you don't get this back in the correct position afterwards, it will alter the 'throw' of the window glass so that it no longer seals correctly against the window rubber at the top of the door opening.

With the adjustment bolt released you can move the bottom of the window glass guide towards the door skin, and make enough space up near the actuator to slide it out of the door past the window guide rail.

4. You should now be able to remove the internal door pull bowden cable from the old actuator and begin replacing with your new actuator.

[b:3oiduyuk]Replacing the Actuator[/b:3oiduyuk]

N.B. Your new actuator will not be supplied with the nylon fitting that goes on the end of the external lock bowden cable so be sure to remove it from the old actuator, or recover from the end of the bowden cable (hanging inside the door)!

5. Reconnecting the inside door lock pull and the wiring loom is very straightforward. The external lock bowden cable is again done by feel alone, so make sure you are clear on how this fits together before you put the new actuator into the door. You will probably find it easiest to refix the external bowden connector before you actually bolt the actuator to the door.

Now you can replace the actuator fixing bolts through the door edge.

6. Move the glass guide back to it original position at the bottom of the door and retighten the bolt.

7. With the internal door pull back in postion it's time to test the mechanical and electrical connections and that you new actuator is working. Also, with a bit of luck your door glass will be raising and lowering correctly or else you may have to fiddle with the adjustment of the glass guide in the door.

8. Assuming all is well replace the door card and pat yourself on the back. You have just saved yourself quite a few of £'s of labour for about 45-60 minutes worth of work!

PS: I believe most BMW workshops will charge quite a lot of labour for this job as the 'official way' of doing it is to totally remove the door glass before attempting to change the actuator!

Masud Ali
7 years ago
Masud Ali 7 years ago

Well Thanks for the guide there.You are right the actuator really gives a lot of trouble.I have same problem with my car door and sorted out like a pro locksmith using your guide. But most of the times you have be careful about the repairing work you do as there are so many steps and you can misplace some parts and do something wrong with your lock.

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