Picture of Replace a lock actuator in a 2001 Ford F150
My easy way to replace the lock actuator in a 2001 Ford F150, Driverside.

This may not be the "proper" way but it has worked on both my passenger side and now the driver side. And I can do them in about 15 mins.

I guess the motors in them just get weak and won't lock or unlock the door. When I opened the old ones up no gears were broke and it all looked good.
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Step 1: Gather Tools

Picture of Gather Tools
Ratchet with a 10mm socket (Or a wrench)
Phillips screwdriver
Looooooong straight blade screwdriver
Small straight blade screwdriver

Oh, and the replacement actuator.

Make sure to roll the window to the UP position too.

Step 2: Removal of door panel, Screw #1

Picture of Removal of door panel, Screw #1
Remove the bezel from the door handle, pull from the front to release the clip.

You can see the clip and tab in the next photo.

Once you get the bezel out remove the phillips screw

Step 3: Removal of door panel, Screw #2

Picture of Removal of door panel, Screw #2
The trim on the pillar needs removed and it is held in with 2 clips. Just carefully pull it off.

Once removed, remove the phillips screw shown.

Step 4: Removal of door panel, Switch Panel

Picture of Removal of door panel, Switch Panel
Lift out the switch panel and disconnect the connectors.

This may be a good time to tell you to disconnect the battery since you are working on electronics.

Step 5: Remove door panel

Picture of Remove door panel
I didn't have anyone around to take the photo as I remove the panel, suffice it to say - You just lift up.

That is all, just lift up. No prying, pulling snapping etc ... just lift straight up and pull out and it will come off.

Step 6: Getting to the actuator

Picture of Getting to the actuator
Slowly peel back the rubber backing from the LH side of the door.

Remove the bolt shown to let the window guide rail move to get more room around the actuator.

There it is. Use the long screwdriver to release the power connector without breaking the tab off.

*Edit: Typo*
MrsDJE8 months ago

I just finished replacing the actuator on the passenger door ('99 F150) and thought that if I can do it with arthritic hands I would encourage other women (young and old alike) to know they can do this, too. You have done a superb job here! The pictures are excellent demonstrations for each step.

I left the battery connected (as you did) and brought the lamp back through the lining to drop it inside the door panel for better lighting without the need of a torch held between the teeth. Plus, before closing things back up I also tested the window to be certain the track was correctly re-situated.

The only difficult part of this for me was getting the actuator pin to fully snap into the lever, and that's likely just because my hands don't work as nimbly as they used to. Doing it myself saved nearly $150 over the dealers estimate. Thank you!

mashjax3 years ago
Great instructions - I orderded 2 new actuators, 35.00 for both. I did the passenger door first. I took about 35 min. When you pry the old actuator you are sliding it sideways off two rails. The drivers door only took 12 min total including taking the trim off and back on.

Very easy - Great instructions! Thanks, Mike
TrailH4x4 years ago
Had the same issue with an older model F250 PSD I love. Internet search revealed the same issue in many older Fords and a DIY work around. It appears there is a carbon shunt built in to the actuators that looses conductivity over time and results in lower power delivered to the drive motor. I followed a few steps for dissassembly, wrapping the shunt with foil, then reassembly of the actuators and the modified originals still work great till today! Sorry now that I didn't document the process...

Great instructional though! Keep up the good work.
tsaman4 years ago
Nice! I need to do this myself, but just haven't had the time/inclination to figure it out!

This appears to be well documented and relatively easy....

Thanks for showing us how!

Tim the Technojunkie