Door Lock Issues? - Here's An Alternative Fix
  • Hi All,

    I'm from Melbourne, Australia and have a 2004 Nissan Cube Cubic (BGZ11).


    Ever since I bought my cube nearly two years ago, the rear left door lock and the drivers door lock sometimes lock and unlock. Over time, the rear left door stopped working, then got used to manually locking the doors.


    Back then I had a look to try and see what the issue was but couldn't work it out as it's something to do with the locking motor (solenoid) which I didn't want to remove to take a closer look in case I broke something, plus it looks like a painful job to remove the door locking mechanism.


    With the door trims removed, I can see that the motor is trying it's hardest to pull the cable to lock/unlock but it doesn't seem to have that get up and go power to do it's job. So I left it as it is, later finding out this is a common issue with our Cube's. Only fix is to get a second hand unit or a new unit, which can get expensive.


    Fast forward...
    Lately my drivers side door lock was playing up so I was determined to find a fix or

    alternative solution.

    Something that caught my eye a few weeks back when trying to find a solution for this, when I stumbled on a YouTube video of a guy fixing his locking issue in his Nissan Elgrand. Watching the video, it seems the Elgrand has a similar central locking set up as our Cube. Instead of spending a fortune on second hand (that's if you can find any) or even a new one. I was going to see the guys method will work on our cube?

    End result? Both lock fixed!

    See below how I fixed my door locking issue the alternative way.


    Basically we will be using one of the locking motors of the kit to connect inline with the cube's locking cable to assist the lock/unlock. The good thing about this alternative fix is that we will be using the existing wires in the door. For those of you who have installed a central locking kit before will know it's time consuming job, specially the wiring.


    Total Cost: $25 AUD + Materials you have at home you can use.

    Requirements:
    - Tools
    - Central Door Locking Kit, cheapest you can find, try eBay.
    - A couple hours of your time (longer depending on your skill level).

    Difficulty:
    Depending on your mechanical skills = Med to High

    Other Notes:
    Don't try to attempt this if you can follow instructions, these instructions will not be step by step but will cover the important things you need to do, the rest you will have to work out yourself.

    Step 1:
    Once you have received your central door locking kit, put it side for now.


    image

    Step 2:
    Remove your door trim and the clear plastic cover, carefully make sure not to damage it. I used a stanley knife to slice the black tar glue for easy removal. For this guide I will be doing my REAR LEFT door.

    You need to pop out the 3 clips (circled in red) these hold the door wiring harness which you will need to get to.


    image

    Step 3:
    Carefully open the black plastic cover to reveal the wires, you will notice there will be only two thick wires going to the door lock. These will be the two wires used to power one of the locking unit you purchased for later.

     image

    Step 4:
    You will need to remove the top cable, to do so, remove the bolt (circled in red) to remove the door handle, if you have a quick look, you will easy work out how to remove the door lock cable.


    image

    Step 5:
    In this step, be VERY CAREFULL.

    Unlike many old cars, old cars tend to use a metal rod for the lock/unlock cable, newer cars tend to use a thin cable inclosed in a cover.
    We need to strip back about 2 inches of the plastic coating, to reveal the twisting wires.

     image

    Step 6:
    Using a pointy tip metal plyers, cut away the twisting metal wires.

    image




    See next post for next steps.

    cubelockfix-01.jpg
    800 x 600 - 252K
    cubelockfix-02.jpg
    800 x 600 - 209K
    cubelockfix-03.jpg
    800 x 600 - 214K
    cubelockfix-04.jpg
    800 x 600 - 207K
    cubelockfix-05.jpg
    800 x 600 - 173K
    cubelockfix-06.jpg
    800 x 600 - 184K
  • Step 7:
    Once you cut away the metal wires, there will be a plastic coating, use a stanley knife to slice away the plactic coating to reveal the cable, you will see the cable is very thin.



    image

    Step 8:
    Grab one of the motors from the central locking kit, there should be one main motor which has four wires, and 3 motors with two wires. For this fix, we only need to use the motor with the two wires.

    image

    Step 9:
    You need to mount the motor to the door frame, below is the recommended place, as it's parallel to the locking/unlock cable. Make sure you insert the rod that came with the kit before screwing it in place, because you wont be able to insert it afterwards.

    image

    Step 10:
    This step is very important.

    Please refer to Step 3, connect the two wires on the new locking motor to the door wiring, I used a standly knife to splice away the wire cover to get to the wire. Now because the door is open, if you use the remote to lock/unlock the door, it will not work. If you look at where the door closes, there is a button switch on the cube, press this, the car will think the door is closed which enable will enable you to use the remote to lock/unlock the door.
    Now you will need to notice, which way the cube lock cable is moving in the LOCK/UNLOCK position (left or right), if you connected the wires correctly, you will see that he new motor, the rod will either move left or right, if it's the opposite, just switch the wires around. I repeat, you have to make sure the new motor is moving with the cube lock cable when it's either lock or unlock position.

    Because we have cut away some of the metal sheilding of the cuble lock cable, there is now TO MUCH slack in the cable to freely lock/unlock. So this explains why the cable (before cutting) is tight and straight. When testing, try to keep both sides of the cut section straight with no movement. You will know what I mean when you get to this step.
    We will fix this later.

    Now, because the cube locking/unlocking cable is thin, the adaptor that connects the new locking motor rod to the cube cable, the two bottom screw will not be able to hold it down. I used electrial tape and taped up a section of the cable just enough for the cable to fit into the bottom part of the adaptor where the two screws are. Make sure you put the electrical tape on the correct side of the wire. If you stuff up, remove the tape and put it on the correct side.

    While your at it, put some cable ties like how I did, what we are trying to do is keep the cube locking cable as straight as posible without movement, so I have used the new motor's rod for this. Don't do it too tight, as we want the rod to have movement.


    image

    Step 11:
    I advise to drill two holes on top and bottom of the cube locking cable and using cable tie to hold it down tight, this will remove some of the slack moving of this wire.

    image

    Step 12:
    Test make sure it works, you will now notice that your door lock is now working :) the new motor has plenty of get up and go to assist the stock locking motor. Put everything back and you now have a working door lock.

    I also fixed my drivers side lock, the door layout is different but it's pretty much the same. The wiring that you need to use for the front door, there will be 4 wires going into the door lock, the 2 wires you need to use is the thick ones, easy to spot because there will be 2 thick wires and 2 thin wires. You will need to install the motor at a 45 degree angle.

    I'm happy with the results and now I have working door lock.

    Please read the steps first to see whats needed to be done then decide if your up to the task, if not then I suggest getting a installer to do the job for you. Total cost may be a little more than getting a second hand unit but it works, unline a second hand unit that might fail later on. This alterante fix, if it fails, just grab another cheap kit of ebay, or use your left over spares.

    The only thing that I can see that could go wrong with this is, the step where you need to put electrical tape over the cube lock cable, if not done properly could result in the cable slipping through the electrical tape. By all means, if you can find something better for this part, go for it.

    I hope this will/can help cube owners with their door locking issues.

    Regards

    cubelockfix-07.jpg
    800 x 600 - 174K
    cubelockfix-08.jpg
    800 x 600 - 292K
    cubelockfix-09.jpg
    800 x 600 - 241K
    cubelockfix-10.jpg
    800 x 600 - 270K
    cubelockfix-11.jpg
    800 x 600 - 255K
  • Great guide, love it.
  • Awesome guide. If mine gets worse I will definitely need this!
  • Excellent guide, well done for taking the time to share :-)
  • Hmmm, my rear left door has just given up the ghost. Was wondering if the pics could please be re-embedded, or uploaded to flickr or something similar? Thank you!
  • wow. thank you for the in-depth guide. having the same issue at the moment.

    norb**
  • Updated my old post to fix the pictures, looks like the pictures got screwed when the site was restored.

    Apologise for the long delay in getting it fixed, just going through my old bookmarks and noticed this!

    Enjoy and I hope this will help others with the issue I have had with the doors.

    Regards