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htmanning Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:37 pm

My Vanagon power locks make a lot of noise, and seem to struggle to lock. I purchased a new door lock actuator for my sliding door but that's the one that seems suspect. Is this normal? It locks, but it just seems to take a little time as if the sliding door locks after the other doors.



24inchstance Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:34 pm

Yeah man, the slowness is pretty normal on these old vehicles. In more ways than just the locks....I just went through power door lock hell last week but now mine are working killer. If they are really noisy, you can take them apart and re-grease the cog wheels and that definitely helps. However, you could have a noisy motor in there. I just took all of mine apart, re-greased them, cleaned the contacts, put em back together and they are smooth as butter but still slow. I was using a 12v makita drill battery to test them after they were done to make sure it all worked properly before re-installing them. You'll need three wires stripped on each end to test em. Its super easy. Just hook one to the brown negative wire, one to the red positive and the third you just touch back on forth on the yellow and white wires to open and close it using the + and - terminals on the battery(this is on the front actuators). The slider and rear doors are slaves and ONly have three wires. Ground, up and down. I used plain old white lithium grease on the cogs. Good luck, its not that bad, just crack a beer and enjoy.

24inchstance Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:42 pm

Dogpilot Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:06 pm

Even with the aftermarket actuators I put in mine, they all close at slightly different rates. It is most likely a lubrication issue with the lock mechanisms themselves. That and different amounts of force each lock requires. Since they all share wires, as each lock runs home it reduces the current draw on the wires, and therefor the highest force required lock will lock last as it get maximum current available.

Here are some illustrations on the system for your amusement:

randywebb Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:06 pm

anyone have pics showing exactly how the wires are routed from the front of the vehicle into the F. doors?

syncrodoka Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:47 pm

Quote: F. doors?
does not compute

randywebb Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:43 pm

from the front of the vehicle where the relays, etc. are into the front doors

F. = front

syncrodoka Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:02 pm

Quote: F. = front
Never seen that one before. :?

I use the factory bellow that goes from the body near the fuse block

To the door

The holes are in the same place on the passenger side.

randywebb Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:09 pm


PS - see the year listed below:

syncrodoka Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:11 pm

Quote: PS - see the year listed below:
yeah, I saw that after and edited my post.
Hopefully the pix give you all the info.

IrideWheelies Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:19 pm

My locks were really slow and noisy, I was just waiting for them to fail.

After installing a brand new Interstate battery a few weeks ago....all of the sudden the locks quieted down and sped up, :D sweet!

Maybe your battery is fine, maybe not. I just thought I'd tell you how it made a difference for me.

delta-vanagon Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:20 am

Everyone knows to check your grounds when dealing with electrical, but often we forget to check the battery connections.

randywebb Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:01 pm

I am curious how VW bundled all the speaker wire, wires for power locks, for power mirrors, and windows when running it all in the doors and to the doors in vans that had those options?

The speaker wires on my '86 run into the open air vent duct (on the passenger side) and then out the door shell thru a hole in the sheet metal (in between the interior door pad and the sheet metal).

But on the driver's side there is a black plastic block off plate with a hole for the wires in the dash side of the duct - it's held in with a screw so VW must have thought it was important...

Where do the power mirror and door lock wires exit the metal air duct in the doors??

syncrodoka Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:18 pm

On power equipped vans the sub-harness had everything prewired in the same loom and it went through the rubber bellows I posted above. Power door locks, power windows, power heated mirrors, and speakers are all wired into the same loom from the factory.

syncrodoka Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:35 pm

randywebb Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:45 pm

thx - I have a loom with a bunch of connectors on it

any easy way to determine what's what w/o going thru the black & white Bentley diagrams?

also, any info on the routing inside the door itself?

and, what do you make of that black plastic block off plate on the driver's side?

syncrodoka Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:14 pm

The power door lock connectors are the longest leads that have a 3 prong connector and yellow spade connector with it. The speaker wires are the loose blue and brown wires with exposed spade connectors next to each other. The 3 prong female connector and the 2 prong male connectors that are paired are for the power mirrors. The odd 6 prong connector is for the power window switch.
To wire everything- that is a job for the bentley and a multimeter but it is pretty easy.

The wiring harness follows the bottom of the large opening in the door and is zip tied to some prepunched holes along it's length.

randywebb Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:47 pm

ok, most of the wires follow that large opening edge.

But they enter thru the opening for the steel air duct (which is the only opening in my door) (??)

How do they exit the air duct?

syncrodoka Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:51 pm

scmatthew Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:33 am

Apologies if this is a hijack.
My wiring connectors on the sliding door don't quite line up. When I took it apart and held it up to the connections the lock works.

I don't want to drill holes to adjust--can the sliding door be adjusted? I see that there are instructions for doing this in the Bentley.



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