replacing a power lock actuator motor in a gen i prius

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by Sonarcade, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. Sonarcade

    Sonarcade New Member

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    a few months back, the power lock on the front driver's side door stopped working. This prompted me to do a little research on finding DIY solutions to this problem. It happens that there are some very affordable solutions out there for various other makes and models of cars but saw nothing about a Gen I Prius. Sites such as this, this, and this have given me hope about simply replacing a mabuchi motor with my presumably defective power lock actuator.

    I've successfully removed my actuator and am finding it difficulty to take apart. There seems to be a seam of some sort that suggest that it can be easily pried apart, but doing so with a flathead screwdriver only led to chipping. I'm now thinking that perhaps I may have to carve through it to gain access to the motor. Getting to the actuator itself was quite different from what I had expected and a tad more difficult. I would be more than happy to do a write up on how to get to the actuator should there be interest in such a report.

    Anyhow, I come to you in hopes of finding a way to open this actuator having come this far. Please let me know if any more information is needed and I thank you in advance for any information leading to a working power lock in my Prius.
     
  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Pictures?

    Bob Wilson
     
  3. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    There must be many of these (2001-2003 model) in the salvage dismantlers' world - have you checked? It would be a shame to have to buy the entire door though.

    Not trying to discourage you from popping in a new motor. Some people would find pleasure in that work.
     
  4. rlin78

    rlin78 Junior Member

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    I would like to know how you removed the actuator. I have the same problem with the driver side lock actuator. I've removed the door panel and removed the bolts connecting to the actuator, but I am having a hard time removing the links to the key lock and the handle. Also, let us know what your fix action is, thanks!
     
  5. adric22

    adric22 Ev and Hybrid Enthusiast

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    My actuator in the driver's door on mine is weak. It seems to always work, but I've noticed it doesn't move the little knob the entire distance like the other doors.. So I suspect I'll be travelling this road eventually.
     
  6. mjfreder

    mjfreder Junior Member

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    Were you ever able to find a replacement motor or actuator? 3 of my 4 doors in my 2001 have gone out. Did you use the Mabuchi motor?
     
  7. bbcb

    bbcb Junior Member

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    Just did both front doors in mine ~ 45 minutes per door. About 15 minutes was spent opening the actuator and removing/replacing the tip from the old motors.

    The links listed by the OP helped, and to find replacement motors, simply search for "Mabuchi" on motors.ebay.com.

    A couple of tips (no, not the ones I removed, and sorry, no pictures):

    • When you order a motor, get the plain shaft, it costs $1 less per motor, and you'll be removing the brass sleeve anyways.

    • We have it easier then the Lexus crowd, as the removal of the door handle bolts is much simpler. We have a port covered by a clear sticker at the top/outermost corner that allows easy access to their most troublesome bolt.

    • You do NOT have to remove the window - remove the two nuts holding the bottom of the weatherstrip guide to allow you to pull it out of the way saves a lot of frustration getting the actuator out. You'll see them just below the bolt that holds the actuator to the door panel.

    • DON'T Dremel the case open, using a single-edge razor, tapping it in along the seam to break what appears to be a super-glue bond. Some the the links mentioned above use hot-glue to seal it, or leave it unsealed after replacement as it's screwed down. I sparingly used plastic epoxy - it's on my workbench shelf and I didn't want water getting into it down the road.

    • To remove our graphite sleeve, don't heat it up - either use a mini-press or shade-tree it with a pair of needle nose pliers, a vise and a very thin punch. As my chain breaker was not small enough, I used the shade-tree method and it was very easy, but needs a third hand to swing the hammer. Seat the punch inside the sleeve and drive the motor shaft down and out of the sleeve.

    • Putting it on the new motor was even easier. With the sleeve step facing the motor, guide the shaft into the sleeve and drive it down into the sleeve gently with taps from a hammer on the exposed shaft on the back of the motor.
    I don't know why I put it off so long, but now I can unlock all the doors with the remote again (saves me from the glare having to reach over to let the wife in when we come out of a store into the rain).

    BBCB
     
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  8. kquainta

    kquainta 2001 Toyota Prius - 175,000 mi

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    I am also having a hard time removing the actuator from my driver door. I have read about many people who report that this is easy...but I don't get it for some reason. I have even tried to remove the door lock and door handle as one assembly with no luck.

    It seems the trick is to remove the rods that connect to the door handle and key lock but this doesn't appear to be easy for me. I have flipped up the plastic fasteners and expected the rods to pull out from their place, but it's not happening. It appears that the plastic fasteners are pushing against the tip of the rod and preventing it from releasing. I have tried to slide the tip past the plastic fastener with no luck.

    Once I figure out how to remove those two rods, I believe I can remove the actuator and door lock assembly, but my next challenge is the replacement actuator part I purchased (~$100USD) appears to somehow "plug-in" to the rest of the assembly. If anyone has completed this step, I'd appreciate some advice. Here are some pics (sorry for the poor lighting). Click on each for a larger view:

    IMG_0404.JPG My 2001 Toyota Prius driver door

    IMG_0408.JPG The rod that connects to the door handle. See the yellow plastic fastener that I flipped up. See how it is blocking the ball tip of the connector rod.

    IMG_0411.JPG The replacement actuator assembly ($100USD). I read about people purchasing the motors for much less but I didn't want to hassle with opening the casing. I figured I'm already saving a bunch of $$ instead of having the dealer replace this.

    IMG_0406.JPG The existing actuator mounted on the inside of the door. The actuator is connected to the interior panel and the lock mechanism.

    IMG_0407.JPG The same as pic #2 but before I lifted up the plastic fastener.

    IMG_0409.JPG A pic of the door handle. See the control rod on the top left with the yellow fastener that connects to the door handle and the rod on the lower left that connects to the keylock. I think I need to remove both of these.

    I appreciate any advice. Once I figure out how to remove those 2 rods and replace the actuator from the rest of the assembly, I should be all set. (yes, I have a ways to go still ;) )
     
  9. ea8631

    ea8631 Member

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    you need to remove the window rail in order to remove the actuator. I think you also do need to remove the lock mechanism since the actuator is held together with the lock mechanism by a bolt.
     
  10. RW5207

    RW5207 Junior Member

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    Since I just did this today, I thought I'd post a link to my blog where I documented the procedure with lots of pictures.

    Russ
     
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  11. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    Man Russ, you really hooked us up. Great details. Thanks a bunch.
     
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  12. Rod F

    Rod F New Member

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  13. Rod F

    Rod F New Member

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    Great info, just want to confirm the Mabuchi part number. Please confirm that you used the 10 mm long shaft as per the ebay seller info:
    "THERE ARE OVER 8 SHAFT VARIETIES OF THE FC-280PC-22125.
    THIS IS ROUND AND 10MM LONG."
     
  14. robert mencl

    robert mencl Member

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    Ummm...I just searched power door lock actuator on Ebay and found hundreds of listings for new actuators at 5 bucks apiece delivered...I'm usually a purist, but if it locks and unlocks the door I really don't care...I've got one dead door too, and I will try zip tying a new actuator in place in the door and piggybacking to the actuator rod without removing the old actuator or rod. This is not a critical process, because if it fails I've still got 3 other ways to get in the car.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Radioteknik

    Radioteknik New Member

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    So, my wife's prius started to act up, driver door locked but wouldn't unlock, and passenger door eventually stopped working at all...
    I'm comfortable with taking cars apart, and doing actuator replacing in cars, but most of the cars have rods, prius... Don't, it's a cable base unlock/lock , similar to the way a cars hood is locked. I went to the a wholesale car audio and alarm place in Los Angeles. Bought 4 door actuator motors, some wire and 4 relays(just in case it was needed) turned out it was simple. Total cost of parts used,
    Was $12... Have 2 extra actuators in case the rear doors start to act up as well, and the relays,
    I didn't cut any wires, just put T style connectors to the cables going to the factory wiring, and the tricky part was the part that attaches to the lock/unlock part under the handle, I attached the pictures hoping it helps any one wanting to try this and it works! Total time was 1 hour for both doors, the front passanger side is the exact same way, with the same wires getting attached too! image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
     
  16. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I might be mistaken, but I think our exact actuator can also be found in Lexus GS300, GS400, GS430, and for some reason there are aftermarket replacements on eBay with those keywords but not Prius. Try "front left actuator gs300 gs400 gs430" and check whether some of the sixteen dollar choices that come up remind you of an actuator you've seen before. ;) (The six-pin versions, of course, and you can compare part numbers if you're very cautious.)

    -Chap
     
  17. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Ok, I bought one of these. The listing said:

    And 69120-30010 is the exact Toyota part number for our actuator, so it should be a slam dunk, right? Almost:

    upload_2018-7-26_21-17-18.png

    Left is the one that came out of my car, right is the new one. As shown by the yellow triangles, the new one has both a slightly longer 'spur' on the inside lever, and a slightly longer radius out to the hole for the Bowden cable. Neither of these differences will prevent installation or use. It fits, and it locks/unlocks the door. The extra long lever does interfere very slighly with another part in the lock assembly, not enough for anything to bind, but enough to feel a rough spot in the motion when turning the key from the outside. A person could drill a new hole in the lever closer to the old location, and trim a few mm off the lever's end, and solve that problem completely.

    On to electrical testing....

    actua.png D13.png upload_2018-7-26_21-17-41.png

    When you put 12 volts across pins 1 and 2 it should lock or unlock (and do the opposite thing when you apply the 12 volts the opposite way. Check. (Edit: just to be specific here: you can see the diagram shows red and green wire colors for the two pins. When you put + on red and - on green, the pointy lever should move up/unlock. + on green and - on red should move it down/lock. Now you have the info you need to be sure the motor spins the right way. The diagram above is for the driver door; see the diagram manual for the passenger side, the pinout is different.)
    upload_2018-7-26_21-18-5.png

    Pin 3 is a common to pins 5 and 6 to sense when the key is being used to lock (pin 5, outer lever down) or unlock (pin 6, outer lever up) the door. Check.

    Look back to the top image. It also shows that pins 3 to 4 should conduct when the door is unlocked (inner lever up). The one I received does not. Oops.

    Here's what happens if your actuator doesn't have a working door-unlocked signal:
    1. You will set off the alarm every time you get in your car. (You can avoid this by pressing the fob unlock button twice, or turning the key to unlock twice, so that all doors unlock. The computer will then see the unlock signal from another door, and realize you're not breaking into the car.)
    2. If you've ever used (or even known about) the feature where you can roll the window up/down from the outside by holding the key turned left or right, rolling it up will still work but rolling it down will not.
    3. The feature where the car detects if remote locking failed, and unlocks again so that you notice, will no longer be dependable, since the actuator looks locked all the time.
    I wasn't sure whether this actuator was just a different model that isn't even supposed to have an "unlocked" switch for pins 3 and 4, or it was supposed to be the right thing but the one I got was defective. Having only paid $16 for it, I cracked it open.

    By the looks, it was definitely designed to have an unlocked switch ... the inner lever can be seen to have the same two-slots-and-a-nubbin for fixing a copper contact spring just like the one seen on the outer lever. But that spring is just missing from mine:
    [​IMG]

    That's disappointing because that's not easy to fix. This thing is all glued together, so anything that requires getting into it is no easier than cracking it open and replacing the motor, which some people already do.

    I need to contact the seller of this item to find out what the story is. Maybe there's a big load of these on eBay for cheap because they were all built with this part left out. Or maybe they're so cheap just because the supplier has lousy quality control and mine just happened to have that part left out, but another one might be just fine. Also, there are other suppliers on eBay listing these parts, not just the one I used - I don't know if others could have better stock.

    This is definitely a right-priced repair option if the unit you receive is fully functional. And that's easy to test with an ohmmeter and battery as soon as you unbox it, so there's not much risk of wasting time installing a bad one as long as you do test it first.

    -Chap
     
    #17 ChapmanF, Mar 29, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2018
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  18. pioneer Steve

    pioneer Steve Junior Member

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    You were right; drivers door actuator is bad. Thanks, Steve
     
  19. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Success!

    I gave another eBay seller a try, this time it was this one. It arrived today, I did the continuity and motor tests above at my desk before going near the car—in fact I did the tests at my desk with a video capture going in case it tested bad and I'd have to send it back, but it passed with flying colors and is now in my car, perfect fit, perfect function. $17.99, free shipping.

    So it is at least possible for these eBay cheap ones to be non-defective. I'm one for two right now, from two different sellers (the first seller, to their credit, has stopped listing the item since I referred them to this thread).

    There seem to be different sources of supply; the one I got today is noticeably different from the one the first seller shipped me (besides the fact that it works, I mean). It has a black circuit board where the flaky one was white. It is also a lot quieter.

    My conclusion: if you need the lock actuator, go ahead and order one of these. Just grab a multimeter and bench test it as described in my earlier post and return it if it happens to be bad. If it's good, your door is fixed for under $20, and without wire splices or pipe strap. :)

    -Chap
     
  20. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Phooey, I was 1 for 2, now I'm 1 for 3. I just bought a passenger-side unit (from the same seller that sold me the perfectly-working driver's side last June) and this one has the same electrical defect. Unlike the first one, I haven't cracked it open for the gory details, and I've contacted the seller to return it. But electrically, it's the same issue - constant open circuit on the LSWP circuit, pins 3 to 4.

    Frustrating....

    -Chap
     
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