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I did mine today and it was a pretty simple process once I figured out how to get it out. The hardes part for me was figuring how to get it back in. I unhooked the electrical connection and inside door handle cable before removing the actuator from the door this made it easier to remove and put back in. I used a 5.5mm socket instead of the female T30 torx bit and it worked well.

Pretty simple DIY with the right tools.
 

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Has anyone done this on a 2002 saloon? I have a 2002 320d SE and I cannot find the Female torx bit to allow the window guide to move to the side so I can retrieve the actuator from th edoor :(
 

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I managed to take out my actuator last night and replace it with a new one.Hasn't fixed my issue though so wasted money and almost 2 hours work :(
 

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Ok, many issues relate to this...firstly, when I open my driver door it doesn't appear in the instrument cluster - car thinks driver door is always closed.As a result, car doesn't warn me when I've left my headlights on, to arm my alarm I have to go round and open the passenger door and close it to trick the car into thinking everyone has left it.Remote central locking works fine - locks and unlocks all doors no problem.The key when put in the drivers door will ony open the drivers door - it use to unlock all the doors.I presumed the issue was a micro switch in the actuator but apparently not :(
 

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Ok, many issues relate to this...firstly, when I open my driver door it doesn't appear in the instrument cluster - car thinks driver door is always closed.As a result, car doesn't warn me when I've left my headlights on, to arm my alarm I have to go round and open the passenger door and close it to trick the car into thinking everyone has left it.Remote central locking works fine - locks and unlocks all doors no problem.The key when put in the drivers door will ony open the drivers door - it use to unlock all the doors.I presumed the issue was a micro switch in the actuator but apparently not :(
I've got the same problem.
 

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Yes i worked on the actuator today.

i've searched and searched and i only get half-way sporadic posts for this issue and non-pictured diy that seems quite common among the e46. :tsk:

Today my right door actuator failed. :banghead: The door will not lock/unlock and i can hear the actuator struggling to work. The fact that i hear it doing weird noises proves that it's the actual mechanism and not a software/general module issue. Sometimes the actuator will manage to push the lock pin halfway up/down.

On monday i will get a replacement actuator from dealership and will do 2 things:

I. Replace the broken part with brand new
ii. Attempt to repair broken part (nothing found here)

anybody interested for a complete diy, loaded with pictures (whoever reads my posts will understand)? Takes a long time to photoshop 80+ pictures to add descriptions, resize, arrows etc. If the repair proves successful, i will also write another diy for door lock actuator repair (as long as there's interest). No need to spend $$$ for repairable parts. :bawling:

Waiting for responses :hi:
i need help in removing the handle cable and any thing else that need to be removed on the back side of the actuator
 

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I have a problem that I haven't seen discussed in this thread. My key fob works fine, the door pin goes up and down, but my driver's side door will not lock, ever! Not with using the key in the slot or the button on the key fob. Do I need a new actuator or is something just disconnected?
 

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Just to add my experience in the mega thread of the dreaded non opening door...

After about a year of having the 330, the drivers door got harder to open, more so in the cold.
As many I tried the trick of loosening the Allen bolt at the side of the lock and then re tightened it. It worked a little, but wasn't ideal. Then one day it totally made no difference and the door failed to open from the outside. It still opened from the inside so when I had a passenger I'd Ask them to open it. When I was on my own however, I had to hold the open button on the key to open the windows and put my arm inside to get to the I side handle.

Well mot time is next week so it's an instant fail if you can't get in the door from the outside.. Time to take action.

There are a couple of options,

Take it to the garage to fix.... £££'s
Get a new lock or one of eBay... Not a bad option, about 50 of the queens finest
Take it out and try to fix it... Cost, lots of stress....

I opted for the latter option.

This isn't a walk through guide but how I fixed my door and a few tips.

First of all, remove the door card, there are many a guide for this, one is :

Then remove the bit of sound deadening from around the door lock side of the door.

Unbolt the top and bottom window runner bolts on the right side. Then using a reverse torx or a deep reach 5.5mm socket, remove the bolt on the bit that holds the window in.

Next I removed the outside lock and handle.

Then I removed the 3 bolts holding it in place.

Keeping hold of the lock, it will drop down. Unplug the electric plug from it.

The next step involved pushing the window runner away from the lock, a lot of swearing, sweat, blood and grazes and finally manovering out the lock from a tight gap.

Now the fun begins.

Straight away I could see the problem..


The famous bolt goes through the two parts and the it had threaded in the hole so wasn't holding it tight in position. This meant when the lever was pulled it didn't actually move enough to activate the unlock feature.

Couple of options that I could see, put something through the little holes where the spring is
Eg.

This worked but it effected the spring and I didn't have anything I felt comfortable fitting and keeping in place.

The next option was to screw and bolt something in place of the Allen bolt to keep it tight. I tried this and it still slipped and left a non function outcome..

The next option was to put something in the hole to keep the travel firm. Que a kitchen blow torch and solder and a small bolt that just fitted in the gap.

I soldered it in place and then fed a screw that was just wide enough and put a panel behind to secure it. Tested it out and it worked.



I then refitted in the reverse. I'd almost recommend putting the internal handle cable on first as this caused a head ache trying to refit afterwards with the lock in situ.
Then connect the plug back on it.

Ensure the lever bit is in the right place before bolting it back together. I didn't so had to re adjust which was not ideal...
Here is it now...
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=L4eSf4Qiz7s_nr_
 

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My problem was that 2 doors , I have a coupe , where closed by the remote but only one opens with the remote, did this DIY was very easy took me less then an hour .

Just wanted to say thanx for the DIY
 

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Word of advice to all attempting to do this DIY. It is not very difficult, and should not take more than a couple hours with the door panel removal and if you have the right tools. I found this thread, and the YouTube video highly helpful. I was fortunate and the metal plate attached to glass remained in place.

I HIGHLY SUGGEST to remove your door lock cylinder prior to replacing your actuator. It takes one long bolt to remove using an allen key.

I did not remove mine, and when I lifted my new actuator to fit it into place, the top of the actuator pushed the metal rod/shaft upward. I did not know this, but I recall a post suggesting to check if the key works. It did not, and I loosened the actuator to try to guide the shaft into place. Somehow the lock cylinder assembly came apart and the retaining pin and the shaft fell to the bottom of my door. I then researched on how to put together all the pieces, and trust me it is not easy, even with an extra set of able hands. When you attempt to reassemble the lock, which you had no intention of touching in the first place, things can and will go wrong (thanks Murphy). Retainer clips, spring, intricate washers, a tiny pin to hold everything in place, are old and brittle. You also risk the cylinder and tumblers jamming. So I paid a visit to very capable people over at Santa Monica Lock and Safe Co.
A rebuild kit will set you back around $30 plus ship and a week's worth of wait. What a stressful-Should not have happened-unnecessary-wish I knew situation. Had the metal plate (holding the window glass and the infamous counter clockwise screw) fallen apart, I would have likely vandalized the door and then cried like a girl. :ben:
 

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Sorry to bump an old thread, I just want to add some insight from my experience having just done this job on a 2001 330i sadan.

1) The door lock actuator part changed midyear 2000. I believe cars with a build date of pre 9/2000 have a different actuator. My car is a 2001 with a build date of 6/2000 so I first ordered the wrong part, pulled my door apart, and at that point found out the new part wasn't going to work. Luckily, I hadn't pulled the old actuator out yet.

2) The window glass bolt was NOT female (or male) torx, but rather just a standard 10mm. I'm sure this varies by model, I'm not saying the OP was wrong, but I'm just saying my car was different.

3) The window glass bolt was also NOT reverse threaded. Again, I'm sure this varies by model. I tried cranking it clockwise to loosen it, but (luckily) quickly realized it was regular threaded.

4) I found the removal of the actuator very simple. Once I removed the bolt holding the glass to the rail, I rolled the window all the way up, and then completely removed the rail from the window and laid it in a horizontal position at the bottom of the door. With the window and rail moved completely out of the way, the actuator had plenty of room to come out with zero effort. Reassembly was dead simple with no alignment issues.

Overall, I thought the job was very simple. It would have been easier had I been able to find a DIY for a pre 9/2000 e46, but simple once I figured out the differences.
 

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On my car I can lock drivers doors with remote most of the time,but some time doors stay open ! But when they get locket with remote, unlocking is only possible with key in key hole !
 
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