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Let's replace the door lock-latch assembly on a 2004 XC70, front passenger

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's stylish, distinctive "P2" platform cars.

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Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:50 am
Year and Model: XC70 2004
Location: Maryland
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Let's replace the door lock-latch assembly on a 2004 XC70, front passenger

Post by Allgonquin »

This job is somewhat of a PITA, but if you are reasonably skilled you can do it. My wife told me her car was making funny noises when she opened and closed the driver’s door, and also if she tried locking the car using the button on the driver’s door. When I looked at it, the symptoms were that anything which involved locking the car resulted in a funky grinding clunk kind of noise, which I isolated to the front passenger door latch-lock assembly. Pulled the door panel and could feel the assembly sort of grinding as it tried to lock the door and failed. Same thing when trying to unlock. You could manually lock and unlock using the lock plunger. Disconnecting the electrical plugs to the door panel resulted in no more funky noises, however none of the car locks worked then….

So using my extreme troubleshooting skilz and logic I made the decision that the actuator assembly needed to be changed. Looking on line I found one reference to someone having done that, and the job being a PITA, but I never found a write-up. They were correct, but this should help the next person. So $175 (ouch) later from FCP (PN 30784977) the brown truck dropped off a package. Let’s go.

First take the door panel off. Very good video from someone on YouTube, but here are the basics. The door has a bunch of these plastic pop rivet things. Just use a T25 to push in the center about as far as the photo shows, it will pop in, then you can pull the rivet out.
Now pry off the grab handle cover, and you have 2 x T25 screws in the deep holes.
You also have to remove the plastic trim triangle at the upper corner of the door. Pry it out, and buy glue, because you will break some, if not all, of the ball ended stalks which plug into the female door bits.

Now you can pull the door panel up, and disconnect the electrical plugs. Each one has a bit different push detent, but you can see them. You also have to disconnect the interior door opening handle cable. Just pivot the connection away from the door panel and it will pop loose. Now you see this:
OK in that photo above you see that the lock plunger rod is behind the gray foam cover, it actually rides in front (outside) the foam cover and over that foam guide block with the dent in it. Now carefully peel back the foam cover, taking care not to tear it. That yellow adhesive is more or less reusable. Now you are going to really need a headlamp and good lighting to see into the door. PITA factor increasing.
There are 3 torx screws holding the actuator to the door.
And here is what you are replacing. This is the new one.
You have several things to disconnect. This is where the job starts getting to be a PITA.

1) The lock rod. This is easy. Pivot the yellow clip and this frees the end of the lock rod. Here is a shot with the old assembly in the car. The yellow clip has been unclipped and the lock rod removed. The rod is below.
2) The electrical plug. With lousy photo showing it before being removed. Just have to lever it off the actuator using a small screwdriver to get it started.
3) The exterior door handle rod. This is a PITA. Look back up at the photo of the new actuator assembly. You see the silver colored arm next to the Part Number sticker? That receives the rod from the exterior door handle. The rod is clipped into the arm in a funky way. Hard to describe, but hopefully you can see in these photos below of the old arm after I dissected the old actuator assembly. The end of the arm is threaded and tapered to a point. The threads just sort of clip into the clip at the end of the arm. I used a drywall screw to demonstrate, but that is pretty much what the end of the actuator arm looks like. The old unit had a blue clip, the new one was black.
Oooh, I just noticed! In the fuzzy picture of the electrical plug, you can see the end of the exterior door handle rod! Perfect shot of this!

I used two needle nose pliers, one to surgically squeeze one side of the clip and the other to pull the rod out of the clip. It just pops out. No unscrewing needed, it just unclips and the threads locate the rod in the right place on the clip.

The last connection is the flex cable to the interior door handle, but you can just leave that on and deal with it after the actuator is out.

Now the largest PITA. There basically isn’t room to remove the blasted actuator from the door, unless you do one thing. And even then it’s painful. The window track is the culprit. The bottom of the track is riveted to the door. You have to grind off the rivet, to free the window track inside the door, to be able to move it enough to maneuver the actuator out of the door. Get out the Dremel with a grinding stone on it and get busy. Don’t bother to try to chisel the rivet head off. DAMHIK.
Grind it down and punch it into the interior. Now the window track can move a little and with much swearing and oathsaying, and levering with screwdrivers and taking breaks to reconsider your sanity, you can maneuver the actuator out of the car.

Then you can take off the cable for the interior door handle.

Replacement seemed to go much easier. It actually went back in place with much less profanity. But you still have to clip the exterior actuator rod back to that arm on the actuator. I did it with my fingers, just squeezed the bejabbers out of it to force the arm into the clip.

And oh yes, the rivet you drilled out. There’s that too. So I have a pop rivet gun, and a million different size rivets. Picked one, applied same, and the end of the track is still a bit loose and rattly. I will probably grind my rivet off, and use a small bolt with some washers next time, when I recover from the alcohol induced haze after this job. And yes, I did prime the interior and exterior of the door which I had ground with the Dremel, to keep it from rusting.

So, plugged everything back up and YES, we have electrically actuated locks, and the car’s electrical system is not freaking out any more. I tried dissecting the old actuator to find out what had failed, but I failed to find out. Could be because at one point while levering apart the glued plastic cover, the entire thing exploded into a million pieces in my basement, which I will be finding for years to come. Forensic work was difficult at that point. I will say that the actuator is an effing marvel of levers, microswitches, worm drive assembly, etc. Do I grudgingly admit it is worth $175? That’s a tough one – I think I’ll hold off on that. However the smile from my wife is priceless.
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:28 am
Year and Model: xc702002
Location: Rugby, Warwickshire
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Re: Let's replace the door lock-latch assembly on a 2004 XC70, front passenger

Post by nickbw898 »

Should have purchased the rivet and fixings pack from your Volvo parts supplier. Here I use a dealer 150 miles away who has a fantastic overnight parts delivery service, he checks the OEM part number against the VIN and his stock. If not in stock the part goes on order to Gothenberg and will arrive at dealership in >24hrs, Items are discounted for Volvo Forum members, payment methods and home address are on file. payment is taken including a small delivery charge and goods delivered the following day or day+1. Superb service and often there is free advice and workshop know how - afterall they have a huge and profitable business. The kit for changing out the Alarm Siren battery and bracket with security screws is only fractionally more then the battery pack and includes new pop fasteners for the front fender.
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