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Thread: Driver side door stuck close

  1. #1
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Driver side door stuck close

    Having own this car long and been here a long time, I should have figured this out...

    So, the driver door (with power lock) stuck close today. I had to climb to the driver seat from the passenger side (hate to do this in a parking lot when people are watching). I cannot open the door from either outside using the key or inside using the switch or manually pulled the lock tab up. The lock tab only able to get 1/3 up and won't go anymore. Turning the key from outside is the same and won't lift the lock tab more than 1/3 of travel, same with using the switch.

    The power door lock controller is oscillating all the four actuators when trying to open. I had to press and hold the lock tab down to stop the actuactor oscillation.

    I'm not sure how I can access the inside of the door when it is just shut. Here's what I'm thinking -

    1) remove driver seat.
    2) pull fuse to power door lock controler.
    3) Hopefully, without power to the actuators, I may be able to jiggle mechanically open the door lock.
    4) If not, pull door panel to access inside to see if I can open door.
    5) After door is open, replace the power door actuator (have part from ebay).

    What do you guys think ?



  2. #2
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Driver side door stuck close

    Fixed. Was lucky that slight tap at the driver door around key\handle released the jam. Replaced with a unit from ebay. I did mod the output from the door lock controller to reduce the current to the four actuators to reduce the chance from breaking another teeth from those plastic gears.

  3. #3

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: Driver side door stuck close

    Nice work.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

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  4. #4

    conozo's Avatar
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    Re: Driver side door stuck close

    You didn't even give us enough time to steer you in the wrong direction.

    Glad its fixed and you didn't do some hillbilly fix by drilling a hole from the outside or something.

    1988 Honda Accord LSDX-I

  5. #5
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Driver side door stuck close

    I couldn't stand being unable to unlock the driver side door in a public parking lot. I'm pretty sure it was a failing door lock actuator (prob a broken teeth on a gear) that left it half way between lock and unlock position. Those gears are over 35 years old. Everything starts to break this old.

    The part I got from ebay was a little dirty so I spray a little brake part cleaner on it. Immediately I noticed the plastic housing of the motor started to soften and wanted to melt. I cleaned it at once and just wipe it clean with shop towel. I'm gonna to open up the motor housing of the bad one and see if there are any broken gears.....

  6. #6

    ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: Driver side door stuck close

    How did you modify the controller?

  7. #7
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Driver side door stuck close

    Quote Originally Posted by ShiRen View Post
    How did you modify the controller?
    Refer to schematic diagram on FSM page 25-26, I inserted a 1156/1157 type brake light bulb to the Y/R wire coming out of the controller to limit the current to the four actuators.

  8. #8

    ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: Driver side door stuck close

    Did you check current before or after or the resistance of the door actuators?
    I would suggest using a resistor over a bulb as the resistance of bulbs can vary wildly. I think a 1156 is usually 26.9W and an 1157 bright is 21W for incandescent types, so they require a maximum of 2.24A-1.75A and will have a resistance around 5.3-6.6O respectively. This is a problem because you will want to change the fuse accordingly, calculating this is a little bit tricky when you introduce multiple components into the circuit, its not like you have a direct path to ground if something shorts, its a lot better to have a passive component to limit your current for this reason. The bulbs also have a hot and fragile package...
    I estimated the resistance of the actuators by the 20A fuse the circuit is on, and they are the most power hungry thing in the circuit. Just going with worst case scenario, they are >.6O, but they are probably over 1O. So you have increased the resistance of the circuit to somewhere around the 5.9-7.6O range, so when functioning normally peak current will be around 2-2.5A, so you would want a fuse around there. Though I am not suggesting your fuse size, it varies with what you are using as a resistor. So check the total resistance of the circuit, that's be between yel/red to wht/red and blk/red, and take the lowest number. That will be your working resistance, use the formula I=V/R (I=current, V=voltage, R=resistance) to find your fuse size. Say if you have 6O working resistance, at peak voltage, 14.7V, the current will be 2.45A. Measure the resistance of your smallest load in the circuit, in this case it is probably the door actuators. If the door actuators are 1O then we subtract that from the working resistance to simulate a short, then find the current, 14.7/5=2.94A. So you need a 2.5A fuse.
    There is another problem we have created. Automotive fuses don't come in every size under the sun. The more differential you have between your current limiting resistor and the actual load the tighter the tolerance you will have in your fuse size and the less range of voltage you will be able to operate in. For instance, our working resistance was 7O instead, the current would be 2.1A, and if a lock shorts then it is 2.45A, these are both within a 2.5A fuse. To make matters worse, if your battery drains to 12V then it would only pull 2A with a short. You could risk further damage if you were to spam the lock button trying to figure out what is going on.
    A more optimal working resistance would be about 5O, so peak current would be about 2.94A, so you can use a 3A fuse. At 12v and a lock shorted the current is 3A, so any more juice in your battery and the fuse blows, not too bad. The more resistance the locks have the better, I am just assuming they are 1O. 3A is probably a really good operating range for them too, the lower the current the more likely they would be to fail to lock, but yeah the higher current puts more stress on the plastic gears.

    Sorry to be nit picky, but circuit protection can be a bitch when you have variables like this and I would want to set the method straight for anyone else wanting to do this.
    If we were to ballpark it, I would say a 3-4O resistor and a 5-7A fuse should be used.

  9. #9
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Driver side door stuck close

    respectfully disagree. I don't think you read my comment correctly.

    Adding a bulb "in-series" (inserted) increases total resistance thus lowering current draw. I could have used a resistor to do that but the bulb works excellently and has been in the curcuit for 15 years to no deteimental effect.

    This is the same trick some use to current limit a 19v laptop supply to charge a 12v car battery.

    I know electrical theory and play with electrical all my life and this is my little quick and dirty mod. I don't recommend others to do that unless you know what you are doing. I didn't even want to post anything about this for all this time I'm on this forum. But since you asked, I lightly touch on "inserting" a bulb to lower the current to the motors.

    Since a can of worms has been opened, I have attached the schematic to show my exact mod. DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	pwr dr lock ctrl mod.jpg 
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    Last edited by AC439; 05-12-2022 at 12:03 PM.

  10. #10

    ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: Driver side door stuck close

    I did read it correctly, that is exactly what I thought you did. I didn't know that you had done this mod a long time ago though.
    I was just suggesting a resistor is much more appropriate for the application, and the fuse should be changed to retain the circuit protection as the 20A only protects dead shorts, the bulb/resistor and a motor would have to short, or a wire compromised.

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