'86 328 Passenger door not unlocking

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by tvu, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. tvu

    tvu Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 13, 2004
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    I have a '86 328, and have been enjoying it immensly in the first few weeks of ownership. I've noticed the doorlocks have been quirky -
    where you have to lock/unlock/lock - to achieve the desired function - again this is sporadic - and I've just chalked it up to an 18 yrs old car.

    However tonight is a different story.
    I couldn't unlock the passenger door with the key(this has happened before), so I proceeed to unlock the driver side - which opened - but it never triggered the slave.

    After getting her back home, here's are my steps of troubleshooting & research on the archives.

    1. Checked the fuse(OK)(#3 on page 94 of the owner's manuals) - Daylight flashing - Cuirrent - socket - Door locking - Interior lights

    2. Looked at the door alignment/catch, and everything seems fine.

    3. Further test with the key on the driver's side door, I observed the following
    a. The driver's doorlock will lock/unlock perfectly with the key.
    b. The passenger doorlock will remain in the lock position at all times.
    c. By turning the key from lock/unlock or vice versa, after 1 second, there
    seems to be a soft short click - totally different from the sound on an actuator. You do not hear the actuator at all during this whole process.

    4. The passenger'd doorlock knob has remained in the locked position this whole time.
    I'm unable to pull it up. I also tried unlocking with the key from the outside, but to no avail.
    The key doesn't want to turn - I fear if I try any harder I'll break off the key.

    From the archives, it looks like I need to open up the driver's side door for further diagnosis and maybe lubricating.

    So my question is.
    1) Did I check the right fuse?
    2) What shoudl I look for if I open up the driver's side door?
    3) Do I have a faulty actuator - if so, how I do I verify?
    4) Any other tips/suggestions.

    Thanks in advance.

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  3. Ferrari_tech

    Ferrari_tech Formula 3

    Jul 28, 2003
    Full Name:
    Malcolm W
    If you cant pull the passenger door knob up, then it sounds like either a problem with the passenger door lock or the electric remote door locking devise inside the passenger door. They are prone to water ingress and I would look into this area first.
  4. tvu

    tvu Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 13, 2004
    Southern California
    Full Name:

    OK, I'll look into that first. Of course it's a bit more difficult since I can not open the door - therefore the removal of the door panels are bit more challenging from inside the car.

  5. jarends

    jarends Formula Junior

    Jul 23, 2001
    Princeton, NJ
    Full Name:
    John Arends
    It does happen that the auto lock will freeze up due to water and such, that's what I was told, I've changed both the drive and the passenger.

    However, once the passenger door wouldn't open and it was that the lock at the top of the door seems to have a ridge and that ridge was stuck on the door frame, not allowing the button to pop up. I'd check that first.

    good luck,
  6. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    May 5, 2001
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    Make sure the passenger side door is fully & firmly closed. The locks are finicky. A partially closed door that hasn't fully let the catch click into the closed position can jam the lock with the symptoms you describe.
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  8. tvu

    tvu Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 13, 2004
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    Well, I did manage to get the door panel slightly off with the door still closed, and was able to disconnect the pin/lock from the actuator. However, due to the lack of time, I think I'll have to save it for the weekend for further investigation.

    However I did check for the following
    1) door lock button/ridge - it wasn't stuck
    2) open/closed the door firmly - still same result

    I'll have to check on the actuators this weekend? How should I check? Get out the voltmeter?? Or how do I revive the actuator if it was water-damaged.

    As it stands, when locking/unlocking the driver's side door with the key, there is no sound or indication that it is working or trying to activate. The fuse has been check, and the red door light on both sides are operational.


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