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power door lockactuators


Well-known member
Jan 27, 2002
2003 50Th Corvette
Has anyone replaced their power door lock actuators on their c3's preferbly around a 1980 corvette and if so how hard are these to do?
Can't wait to see the response because I am going to have to mess with them to. I have a 79

same here, my locks are all messed up. I have to unlock it on the passengers side then hit the power locks and jump in on the drivers. Then when I lock it I have to hit the switch several times to get the passangers side to lock also. *sigh* the price we pay for a car that's nearly impossible to brake into.

Dee-javue. sounds exactly what I am going through. Spring break is starting this weekend. I am not going anywhere because I am stuck doing senior project. I am going to have this weekend free and I am going to do as much as possible over saturday and sunday.

OH and on the To-Do list is checking the doors and windows, locks among other things.

My actuators are missing in action. Were not on the car, guess I now know why my power door locks were not working. Anyway, I plan to install aftermarket actuators as new replacements from most vette catalogs are about $40.00 each. Parts Express sells an aftermarket for about $10.00 each. I already have spoken with someone who used these aftermarket actuators with no problems. I've attached a pic of them from this guys car.


Did mine last year. It took longer to take the door panel off and put it back on than to change the actuator. They are held on with two aluminum rivets. Just drill the rivets out, unplug the actuators, plug the new ones in, mount the actuators to the door and put the door panel back on. I just used a couple 1/4-20 bolts with nyloc nuts instead of new rivets. Cheaper and easier.
I did mine like 80convertible. Except, I tucked them behind the door frame. In either event, the kind as yo see in his picture are quieter than the stock models.

Over time, they get sluggish, to fully non functional. However, if they are not working at all, 99% of the time it is a bad switch.
What was some of your problems that lead you to change the door lock actuators? I had keyless entry installed and the door
locks or keyless entry didn't work which has lead me to believe it is my power door lock actuators, i cannot open the passengers door even with a key now.
Must be something with the late year Sharks. My problem is the electric locks work great locking the doors, with either switch. But won't open the locks; with either switch. It smells like a switch/wiring problem for me and not an actuator. And I am NOT looking forward to pulling the door panels. I'll let you know what I find.

.............. Nut
The door panels are a snap to take off and reinstall. i am worried about getting the actuators in and out because i think on my 1980 their behind the frame. anyone know for sure?
A tip

Whar ever you do ( replace with new or refurb). Take the time to LUBE everything in the door. The friction of dust , dried out grease, wear & tear it what causes them to get sluggish.

Since nobody has mentioned that....

What do you lube with ? what kind of lubricant?
They are inside the door frame but there is an access attached with four or five screws. Once you take the access panel off you can reach the actuators easily.
Another thing to consider is the locking rods themselves. On my passenger side door, I'm having trouble locking and unlocking with the key. I checked and the rod from the door lock knob to the locking mechanism is bent. The rod is hanging on the door frame and is causing problems. I bent the rod a little and now the key works much better.


Thanks for that hint Jimh. I've got that problem too on my drivers side door lock.

.......... Nut

I have not seen many posts on problems with doors. I guess it is one of common problems.

nstg8r said:
*sigh* the price we pay for a car that's nearly impossible to brake into.

You have an '81? Most C3's are pretty easy to break into...

The first day I got my '73, I locked the keys inside. I looked at the door of my '79 to see how to open the door with a slim jim (the door panels were off it). Practiced on the '79 for 10 minutes until I had it right. Then went over to the '73 and opened it right up.

My '82 has plastic covers that are supposed to keep a slim jim out. Haven't tried jimmy'ing it open yet...
On a 1982:

Does anyone know which wires go where on the power door lock?

The wires don't have the block (plastic broke) that holds them in order. The colors I have are: Orange, Blue, Black, Gray, Brown.



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