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Power locks seem way too stiff?

Interior and Electrical

  1. 8v-of-fury

    8v-of-fury Well-Known Member

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    So my power locks work about %5 of the time. They almost never work though. I have a remote lock/starter installed, and it almost never unlocks the doors. Neither does the door switches inside. All the locks are trying to work though, they just never click up.

    Could this be a lubrication issue? or not enough voltage issue?
     
  2. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    Could be too much voltage drop, or also could be the lock actuators are weak. Another possibility is the lock mechanisms in the door latches are (as you mentioned)are in need of lubrication.
    Sometimes the internals of the latch rust and no amount of trying will free them up like new again and you have to replace them.
    If that's the case, I have had some success by removing the latches and soaking them in muriatic acid for a while. Then rinse with water to neutralize the acid and thoroughly douse them with white lithium spray grease. It will remove the rust but doesn't affect any plastic or rubber at all.
    If you've never used the acid before,,,,,,,,a hint. Do this ONLY outdoors and wear a paint respirator. The fumes are nasty and will travel to other areas of the garage and next thing you know, anything bare steel will start to rust. Don't ask me how I know this:confused: Of course, you certainly don't want to breathe the fumes or get the acid on your skin so,,,,,,,,,,,,USE EXTREME CAUTION!
     
  3. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    A majority of the time (all of the time??), the grease in FMJ door latches get rock hard and causes that problem.
    The power door locks on my ’86 5th Ave are the same way. If you keep cycling the lock button, you can get the door locks to lock or unlock – but is much faster just to reach around B-Pillar to open the back door.

    Aspen500 mention a rusty latch.
    I can say that I have not seen an “installed” latch rusted too bad to work.
    I live in area rust does happen but not to the degree he has there – so that might be why.

    I have wondered what or how to remove that rock hard grease from latches. Getting grease back into the locks is not a problem – getting that gravel (ie: old hard grease) out is what I’ve wondered about.
    If someone has a recommendation, I would like to know.

    My door latches nudged and told me, just the other day, that they are ready to start working as intended, again.
    Now to find that elbow grease – and get after it.
     
  4. 8v-of-fury

    8v-of-fury Well-Known Member

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    Heh, I was gonna pull a rear panel (stiffest locks) and have a look see about what to do with them. As Aspen500 said, I may try just soaking them in the muriatic acid, as it doesn't seem to harm the lock mechanism itself (apparently) lol.

    I will take one apart tomorrow and have a look see! :) Perhaps a huge douseing of brake cleans may dissolve the old shnarf?
     
  5. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to mention, the acid won't touch the grease either,,,,,,or any rust it's covering and (you probably know this already) the latch has to be removed from the vehicle.

    I have seen latches rust solid on the lesser used doors and even the drivers door latches get so rusty they barely work. In some cases, replacement is the ONLY fix. You haven't lived until you have to replace a rotted solid latch, but the door has to be opened to do it, but it doesn't open because the latch is rotted tight......................
    The rust problem here is bad and have replaced latches(and other things) on cars/trucks that were less than 5 years old due to rust, seriously.
    Hopefully you'll get lucky and it's just the grease has solidified and a good cleaning/greasing will fix you up!
     
  6. Darth-Car

    Darth-Car Well-Known Member

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    Old locksmith told me years ago to hit these latches hard with WD40, and they will free up. He was right.
     
  7. 8v-of-fury

    8v-of-fury Well-Known Member

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    After removing them? or while still installed?

    I'm all for less work..... ;)
     
  8. Darth-Car

    Darth-Car Well-Known Member

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    I have always done with them installed, and had good success.
     
  9. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    I can see that working.

    I can also see a big mess. Wait, get out the dark shades and perform this operation at night, then do it. No mess will be seen, then . . .

    At least it won’t be as messy as changing a valve body under a car and having hot ATF drip onto every upper body orifice imaginable, while on a creeper.
     
    Justwondering likes this.
  10. MoparKidD-4

    MoparKidD-4 Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, sorry to bring up an old thread but I found a solution to the problem after reading the WD-40 suggestion... I had this spray lubricant (WD-40 is not a lubricant) lying around and decided to give it a shot. I sprayed it into each latch as I worked the lock up and down, after a bit of that I tried the lock switch... FLAWLESS. Try it out on your sticky locks, no disassembly required! Not to sound like a friggin infomercial lol...

    20170922_170622.jpg
     
  11. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    Thumbs up!

    It is not a lack of lube, per se, on old latches - but the existing lube turns solid (or solidifies).
    The latch needs fresh lube – but generally inside of the door where the spray cannot get to, without removing the door trim panel first.
    BudW
     
  12. Master M

    Master M Well-Known Member

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    OK I had to go to the garage and look at a can of WD-40 to see if the WD-40 company said or did not say it is a lubricant on the label. On the back of my can it says quote " Lubricates moving parts such as Hinges, Wheels, Rollers, Chains and gears " Maybe the newer labeling has changed.
     
  13. kkritsilas

    kkritsilas Well-Known Member

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    WD40 does have some slight lubricating properties, because it contains petroleum distallates. It is not really a high grade lubricant, because it is not designed as a high grade lubricant. The name WD40 stands for Water Displacement formula 40. The petroleum distallates in it are there to help it "creep" or spread in order to displace water. A high grade lubricant would be able to cling to metal surfaces better, and not run so easily when heated. Most would also be thicker.
     
  14. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    WD40 may have lsome ubrication properties – but is, um, lacking in lubrication ability’s.

    Now WD40 does help on some things, like to free a stuck door latch - but if used as such, you need to follow up with some spray lube, after it is working fine.

    WD40 hasn’t been in my garage for a long time. Spray lube, (motorcycle) chain saw lube and penetrating oil just works better for in each of its area, than WD40, IMO.

    Honestly, I don’t know what contents of WD40 is, but I thought it was Lard, not petroleum (not that it matters, and honestly – I don’t care).
    BudW
     
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  15. MoparKidD-4

    MoparKidD-4 Well-Known Member

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    You may be thinking of Marvel Mystery Oil, that stuff has 1% lard in it I believe, written right on the bottle!

    I agree WD-40 can lubricate somewhat but it evaporates pretty fast. When I was a kid I always wondered why if I sprayed WD-40 on my bicycle chain it would stay nice and smooth for a couple days then it would all be gone and my bike chain would be squeaky and rough again. Then when I was older I went to a bicycle shop and found out that's not the way to do it lol.
     
  16. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    I said chain saw lube - but I meant to say chain lube (bicycle or motorcycle chains) - which is meant to stay stuck to the chain. Chain saw oil is a bit different (or I would think it is).

    I didn't realize I said chain saw . . .
    BudW