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1981 Power Door Locks

G

gambit

Guest
Both power door locks LOCK fine but neither will UNLOCK. Got any ideas? Seems odd that both would go bad in the unlock position.
 

LannyL81

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
653
Location
Oro Valley, AZ USA
Corvette
81 White/Cinnabar, 96 CE LT4 sil/blk
I agree...odd. Do you get any movement at all when you hit the switch? If so, then at least the switches are good and you might try lubing the metal rods and plastic guides.

Have you taken the door panels off and checked out the solenoids?
 
G

gambit

Guest
No I have not had the panels off. They both lock fine with good power (also arms the alarm system which wont disarm but thats another issue haha) but nothing at all happens when i try to unlock from either switch, no sounds or movements.
 

LannyL81

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
653
Location
Oro Valley, AZ USA
Corvette
81 White/Cinnabar, 96 CE LT4 sil/blk
No sound at all huh....this has got to be be a broken wire somewhere. I would have to look at the schematics in the Assembly Manual to see what is common between the two doors.
Will do and post what I find later on.

LannyL81
 

Nut

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2000
Messages
890
Location
Bowie, MD
Corvette
Vette-less for now
I have the exact same problem. One of the switches is bad. Could be a loose cable connection at one of the switches but not likely. Just too big a PITA to pull the skins after all these years.

Also, look at the switch carefully before you go out and blow $40+ on a new switch. the backer circuit bd will many times come loose from the plastic housing (as they do a LOT on the Pwr Window switches). Likely you can push it back in and get good contact again and just add Super Glue around the inside end of the switch housing and ..... voila!! Doors working (you hope).

Good luck......... nut
 
G

gambit

Guest
Yeah I would appreciate that, Id rather not pull the door panels if I can get away with it hahaha. it LOCKS fine from both doors but doesn tdo anything at all when I push unlock on either door.

Wipers work but not washer, doubt its related

Radiator electric fan doesnt work but im pretty sure thats not related either, have that just about narrowed down.

Interior lights ONLY work when I turn the highlight switch all the way to the left. They dont work at all when you open the doors, Im pretty sure thats the courtsey light delay relay which I have on order.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
4,611
Location
Newark, Delaware
Corvette
1965 Coupe L76 / 1978 L82
both door lock switches are wired together. When you hit lock on one switch ot flows current thru both switches to send power to the actuators to lock both dorrs. same thing when you hit unlock.
If a wire is broken at least on the drivers side door that controls the unlock function than it will disable that function on both doors.
The wire connector that plugs into the lock/unlock switch itself inside the door panel is somewhat fragile and it's very common that the wires eventualy break or come loose or off the connector and I'd venture a guess that is probably your problem.
last year when we were working on my friends '79 redoing most of the interior his PDL's didn't work at all. Once we pulled the door panels off we saw on both doors that at least half the wires from both connectors had come out.
It's best in that case to pick up a new wire connector, cut out the old one and splice in the new one.
once we did that the door locks came back to life :)
while you have the door panels off it's also a good idea to hit the actuator rod and linkages inside the door with a good spray lubricant to get things moving easily and freely again too - after 25 years on your car and water, dirt, grease, etc all works it's way insode the doors those doorlock linkages tend to get all gummed up and they don't move as easily anymore which makes the actuators work harder and slower.

sorry, but you are most likely going to have to pull the door panels off but it's really not that bad of a job - shouldn't take you but 5-7 minutes a door.
 
G

gambit

Guest
Do I have to take the door lock switch off before I remove the door panels or is there enough wire to take it off from teh back, does it just pry off or is there a screw or clip? how about the mirrors, they just unscrew from the outside and pop back through the door pannel?

Thanks for the info
 
G

gambit

Guest
Got it fixed

I got both door panels off, a tip for those about to try it, dont forget about the screws hidden in the carpet in the front pockets and the rear of the door at the bottom. Also use a small flat screwdriver to help release the door lock clips on each side of the switch, just push in to release the pressure point.

My drivers side door lock had one wire that had broken into at the solder point, I replaced the socket from eclkers for like 12 bucks and it works like a charm, it also fixed my car alarm problem, it would not disarm and the door locks would not unlock, but they would lock and the alarm would arm and go off.

I also too the advice of others and greased up the locks good and all of the window parts, they really go up and down good now too.
 

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