2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10
BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
 

2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 F10 Technical Topics DIY Guides & Discussions Replacing driver's side door latch - some tips
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      11-19-2018, 06:51 PM   #1
Breach
First Lieutenant
Belgium
35
Rep
314
Posts

Drives: F10 520dA M Sport
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Brussels

iTrader: (0)

Replacing driver's side door latch - some tips

OK, that's not really a guide, but rather sharing some tips following my replacement of driver's side door latch. Sorry, not videos or pics ;-) There are no F10 specific videos on YouTube but the "technology" hasn't changed that much, so there are at least several for other models which should help you. Do watch videos if first time doing this, otherwise little of the below will make much sense.

Note: Left is left and right is right from the perspective of my case concerning driver side door – switch if working on the other side of the car.
Problem symptoms: Door sporadically/permanently failing to unlock from the inside or outside - locking pin raising, but then going back down - door stays locked. Locking pin becoming sluggish on locking/unlocking. Locking pin half engaging, but door still can be opened.

Causes: Door latch (actuator) failure. Usually the plastic gear inside eventually fails.

My case: Though I've been having this issue for a while, since I could still unlock the door electrically (via the button) and it only happened like 50% of the time, I ignored it. But it's a safety hazard and secondly, if the latch completely fails good luck getting the trim open without cutting through the door...

Complexity: It's not a complicated job, but it's a messy one and some care is required. 1 hour minimum, expect some finger damage and sore muscles afterwards.

Prepare:
New latch
Plastic pry tools
T30 bit
Small metal pry tool (optional)
4mm butyl rope (optional)
Hairdryer (optional) – heat gun may be too hot

1. First things first. Locate the correct P/N of the latch you need for your vehicle. That's actually easier said than done. The part number depends on a) The door (front or rear) b) LHD or RHD c) Options (e.g. soft close doors is a completely different part) d) Probably year of production. Enter http://etkbmw.com/. Make sure you VIN decode if unsure about your options. You can find these latches under Section 51 -> 51_7830 (front) / 51_7831 (rear). Put in your options to filter the list and expect to still be left with a few possibilities ;-) Mine (driver's) side was 51 21 7 202 143. If still unsure I'd recommend you remove door panel and check the three digits printed on your current actuator (they're visible without removing it).

2. Remove door trim - Note: I always disconnect battery, but that's probably me being paranoid.

Remove the decorative top panel trim. Find a good place to grab on the bottom and carefully but firmly pull upwards, then wiggle around to disengage all the clips (also back and forth). Then remove the plastic door recess where the door handle is - that one can be a bit of a PITA. Make sure you only use plastic tools! In my case I'd pull inwards from the left side - this one comes out easily, then you have to insert a plastic tool on the right upper corner section (there's a lighting strip so make sure it's in the corner area or you’ll break it) and press downwards. Also grab the lower right corner and wiggle around until it disengages. These two steps have exposed two T30 screws, unscrew and put aside (I'm still looking for one of mine...). These are all the hard fixtures holding the door trim panel in place. The rest of the door is held into place by several plastic clips. Either use a plastic tool or your bare hands (my case), and pull towards you - I always start in the middle left section, but if you're using a tool the lower left corner may be a good spot. Just make sure you hold the panel at the same time so that you don't rip it off - this could break the plastic locking pin holder on the latch or wiring. Once all the clips are free, push the panel upwards - disengage the corner where the tweeter is and then carefully free the locking pin. Panel is free now, but not quite as it's held to the door by a wiring harness and the internal bowden cable from the handle to the latch, so take care.

2. Door connections
Now remove the white plastic holder which connects the inner bowden cable to the door handle. This one is pretty easy and obvious - just pop off, disconnect the other side from the latch and put aside. As to the wiring hardness you have to decide what to do - it's a pain to remove all plastic clips (still don't know how to unclip them without breaking them) and connectors so I'd recommend just rotating the door panel in a comfortable position and put aside (but exercise care that it doesn't fall and pull on the wiring harness) – my life for a quick release…

3. Sound insulation
This is where it gets messy. You have to peel back about half the sound insulation (the part closer to the latch obviously). It's held into place by butyl adhesive which is some sticky stuff. Do your best, preferably without damage to the sound insulation - take it easy and small sections at a time. Best to tape/clip it so that it doesn't get in the way.

4. Disconnect the door latch

Outside: First, unclip the electrical connector from the latch itself - just press on both sides and pull out. Remove the locking pin from the small round white connector.

Inside: Here you need some good lighting - flashlight or something. Follow the bigger bundle of wires - they're clipped to the door frame and the latch (on the inside), I think in about 3 places with these awful plastic expanding clips. Pull these out - at an angle works best, but you may still damage them. Then comes the internal bowden cable (this one connects to the external door handle). It's about the same design as the internal one, but can be a pain to remove - use a pry tool or brute force. (Almost) finally, it's time to remove the three bolts holding the latch into place - two are on the side of the door and one is internal. T30 again I think. Don't worry the latch won't fall, but even if it does it's not a problem. Now, finally, if it's the driver's side door there's metal pin which goes from the manual keylock to the white plastic opening on the latch. To remove this one lower the latch a bit so that the pin is at about 45 degree angle and pull out - you'll have to do this by feel. And now really finally, wiggle the old latch out of the door - it's perfectly doable but you may have to rotate etc.

5. I recommend you take a break here.

6. Installing the new latch
Insert the new latch in the door and move to correct position. If driver's side you have to insert the metal pin in the round plastic hole blind - just make sure it's properly inserted. You can now secure the latch with the 3 bolts you've previously removed, but don't overtighten them (really). Install the internal bowden cable - should be rather obvious, though again you won't be able to see - visually verify afterwards. Clip the 3 or so plastic clips on the main wiring bundle to the clipping points - two of them are on the latch itself I think. Just make sure no wiring has a chance to get in the way of the internal bowden cable.

Here I'd stop to verify proper operation. Make sure that the latch can lock and unlock. To lock use your finger to rotate the rotary striker (I think it's called) one time clockwise, now pull down on the plastic latch finger where the locking pin inserts. This simulates a locked position. You should be able to fully unlock a) using the external handle b) using metal connector for the internal bowden cable c) using your physical key (from the FOB). All good? OK. If not fix the problem first or risk being locked out later on.

7. Installing sound insulation
OK, BMW say to apply 4 mm butyl rope on the edges (they sell it on Amazon) and then heat with an air blower (hairdryer), but I had enough material left to just re-use. Press around firmly - just make sure the insulation is more or less well glued... ugly stuff.

8. Reconnecting
Almost done now. Re-insert the electrical connector to the latch. Connect the locking pin - insert in the small round hole – make sure to push firmly to engage into place. If you have disconnected any connectors on the main wiring harness reconnect.

9. Re-install the door panel
Take care that the main wiring harness doesn’t press on the internal Bowden cable and that the latter has enough wiggle room. Then check that all the trim plastic washers and clips are still attached – they tend to get around. Start with the upper right corner (under the tweeter), then align along the upper ledge and finally lead the locking pin through the hole. Make sure that the top is well aligned (sometimes it’s tricky) and press down. Then the press around and make sure that all clips have engaged.

Again, stop to verify proper operation. Make sure that the latch can lock and unlock. To lock use your finger to rotate the rotary striker one time clockwise, now you can lock the door with the locking pin. You should be able to fully unlock a) using the external handle b) using the internal handle c) using your physical key (from the FOB). All good? OK. If not fix the problem first or risk being locked.

Also, you now want to check whether the door closes normally. BMW have a special tool for tensioning the lock (about 200 bucks), but I think it ultimately comes down to how much you have tightened the three bolts securing the latch. So, you may need to lighten/tighten them until you get it right.

That should be all.

Sorry, for soft close doors there’s an extra step required, but I don’t have that option. Instead I’m also offering you the ISTA documents for all the good they are…

Again, it’s not a complicated job, but is exhausting – hate working on doors. Not sure how much money I saved on labour, for me it was rather a learning exercise.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf 1.pdf (1.85 MB, 80 views)
File Type: pdf 2.pdf (822.2 KB, 31 views)
File Type: pdf 3.pdf (1.71 MB, 31 views)
Appreciate 1
      01-08-2019, 08:59 AM   #2
Surly73
Major
Canada
101
Rep
1,107
Posts

Drives: 2011 535xi 8AT
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Oakville, Ontario

iTrader: (0)

Breach:

Thank you for taking the time to write all of this up and share with the community! I'm about to tackle this job on my F10 driver's door (just missed extended warranty by 6 weeks). I have also noticed that choosing the right part is not that easy. I've done jobs on E39 and E90 lock actuators before, but it was a completely different design with a separate electric actuator.
Appreciate 0
      01-08-2019, 12:17 PM   #3
cdmulders
Lieutenant
cdmulders's Avatar
Canada
71
Rep
411
Posts

Drives: 2013 535xi
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Nanoose Bay, BC

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breach View Post
Complexity: It's not a complicated job, but it's a messy one and some care is required. 1 hour minimum, expect some finger damage and sore muscles afterwards.
Thank you Breach for an excellent description of how to replace the lock actuator. I'm not necessarily afraid of DIY, but given the amount of time and effort you experienced to get it done, I dropped off my F10 today at a local independent repair shop to have them replace the lock. At least now I know what they have to do, and I suspect that once they get in there, they will probably move their repair estimate upwards.

Cheers.
__________________
2013 535xi, Carbon Black, beige interior, M Sport package, HUD, DDC & ARS
2010 Z4 35i, Crimson Red, beige interior, 6sp manual, Adapative Suspension
2000 528i, Cosmo Black, beige interior, Sport package (retired)
Appreciate 0
      01-11-2019, 02:36 PM   #4
Surly73
Major
Canada
101
Rep
1,107
Posts

Drives: 2011 535xi 8AT
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Oakville, Ontario

iTrader: (0)

LOL - I specifically just ordered the part today to full DIY. My local dealer wanted >$1000 out the door for this repair. Didn't price my indy - for some of the finnicky matters of plastic clips and electrical connectors, I'm probably just as far ahead DIY as with my indy. I'll leave things like alignments, shocks and clutches to the indy
Appreciate 0
      01-12-2019, 02:18 PM   #5
cdmulders
Lieutenant
cdmulders's Avatar
Canada
71
Rep
411
Posts

Drives: 2013 535xi
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Nanoose Bay, BC

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
My indy charged me $330 for an OEM lock actuator and $170 to install it (before tax). This makes it, including 12% tax in BC, a total of $560 CAD to repair. Surly73, if you don't mind, I'd be curious how much your DIY repair costs for comparison. I suppose I'm trying to validate my laziness.

Cheers.
__________________
2013 535xi, Carbon Black, beige interior, M Sport package, HUD, DDC & ARS
2010 Z4 35i, Crimson Red, beige interior, 6sp manual, Adapative Suspension
2000 528i, Cosmo Black, beige interior, Sport package (retired)
Appreciate 0
      01-12-2019, 02:42 PM   #6
Breach
First Lieutenant
Belgium
35
Rep
314
Posts

Drives: F10 520dA M Sport
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Brussels

iTrader: (0)

Erm, just to jump in, I paid about 80 EUR for the part (eBay) and about 5 bucks for the moisturizing hand-cream ;-)
Appreciate 0
      01-12-2019, 03:58 PM   #7
cdmulders
Lieutenant
cdmulders's Avatar
Canada
71
Rep
411
Posts

Drives: 2013 535xi
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Nanoose Bay, BC

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Cool. Assuming you got an OEM lock from eBay, then my laziness cost me at least $430 CAD. Fair enough!
__________________
2013 535xi, Carbon Black, beige interior, M Sport package, HUD, DDC & ARS
2010 Z4 35i, Crimson Red, beige interior, 6sp manual, Adapative Suspension
2000 528i, Cosmo Black, beige interior, Sport package (retired)
Appreciate 0
      01-15-2019, 10:01 AM   #8
Surly73
Major
Canada
101
Rep
1,107
Posts

Drives: 2011 535xi 8AT
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Oakville, Ontario

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmulders View Post
My indy charged me $330 for an OEM lock actuator and $170 to install it (before tax). This makes it, including 12% tax in BC, a total of $560 CAD to repair. Surly73, if you don't mind, I'd be curious how much your DIY repair costs for comparison. I suppose I'm trying to validate my laziness.

Cheers.
My dealer was going to be $360+tax for the part, $172+tax for the mandatory "diagnosis" (even though I was telling them exactly what I wanted done) plus two hours at shop rate (something like $360+tax) to do the work.

Being in Canada I have fewer options for parts. I searched everything I could find in Canada and a few well known US parts houses (like ECS) looking for the genuine part.

I found prices for parts stated as "GENUINE BMW" in new condition ranging from $70-$400. After an email exchange with an Amazon.ca vendor explicitly confirming and demanding NEW GENUINE BMW parts as described in the listing I placed an Amazon.ca order for $144. I'm awaiting delivery and my check to see if it is genuine. If it's not up to my expectations I'll be contacting Amazon for refund/return and moving on to the next vendor. To me, $70 seems too good to be true, and some seller feedback on ebay and Amazon confirm non-genuine, but $145 is believable IME compared to ~$300 at the local dealer parts counter.

I already had butyl tape on hand from taking the doors apart on my E39 so I didn't need to purchase that.

I might not care about whether the part is genuine (since clearly the genuine parts fail a lot, or at least from 2011 when my car was built) except that it connects directly to the vehicle data buses etc... The electrical and mechanical part from another manufacturer could possibly be superior to genuine, but I'm just nervous enough about getting IBS problems because the latch doesn't "sleep", or the alarm going off, or who knows what, if there's a problem with non-genuine electronics on the vehicle data bus.

I am truly curious whether some lubrication in the right place could keep my original latch working. Winter around here isn't the season to start fooling around with things like this, though, and most of my expended effort will be in disassembly, not screwing up the vapour barrier, and reassembling properly without breaking clips and other collateral damage. If I'm doing all that, maybe I might as well just put in a new part for $144.
Appreciate 1
      01-16-2019, 01:49 PM   #9
e2vincent
New Member
United_States
0
Rep
12
Posts

Drives: e90 2006 330i, e89 2012 z4 28i
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Austin TX

iTrader: (0)

It seems like a common problem for f10 and I believe this is a major safety issue.

Same situation here where defects happens when warranty just expired.

I file a vehicle safety complain to NHTSA and I encourage you all to do the same:

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/


Vincent
Appreciate 0
      02-15-2019, 03:08 PM   #10
Surly73
Major
Canada
101
Rep
1,107
Posts

Drives: 2011 535xi 8AT
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Oakville, Ontario

iTrader: (0)

OK I attempted this today - didn't go as planned. I've backed it out, but I'd like to share some stuff.

First - the part#. RealOEM told me my part# should be 51217202143 so that's what I bought. I found 51217229455 in there. RealOEM has that as an alternate part# although it has been superceded by 51217229461.

I did a whole bunch of searching and I can't find anything specific on 51217202143 vs 51217229455 or 51217229461. Just more people like me asking. The 51217229455 line of parts is harder to get and more expensive, in general.

Looking at parts houses like ECS, FCPEuro etc... they are conflicting in fitment information. Some tell me that 51217202143 won't fit but 51217229461 will. Other say the exact opposite.

I played with the part testing all of the operations - electrical, mechanical - they function identically. They seem to be the same size, shape and weight. If anything, the mounting bolt hole diameter might be slightly larger on 51217202143 but replacement parts do not have threaded holes - they get tapped by the screws. There was enough material for this tapping process to work.

I chickened out and backed it all out, shooting silicone lubricant inside the latch where the connection to the inside lock plunger goes. (On reassembly it is no longer slower than the rest in the car - interesting note).


Other notes on the job. I found broken things and I broke one thing. I think the dealer did a little damage when they were doing a warranty repair.

One point of caution. There are lots of instructions out there about removing the plastic cover behind the interior door handle - making sure to be careful not to insert a tool too far or you will damage fiber optic lighting. It's not just that. The plastic clips on the top right and bottom right (driver's door) are crazy aggressive, and the piece that fails is the DOOR PANEL, not the little plastic cover that you can easily replace. There are youtube videos out there with people saying "it's really tight, it will feel like you will break it - don't worry you won't". YOU WILL.

When doing this on the top you're trying to press a catch about one inch from the right up, reverse on the bottom. Push the little plastic cover opposite while you try to get a tool under there. Every document/video seemed to talk of prying "out" - you need to get in there and release it.

This video @4:00 talks about the problem area. He includes some shots of what you're dealing with. I didn't see this particular one before it was too late. He even says they aren't conducive to ever being removed. He isn't kidding.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omX3GZnVvJc

I worked something out to repair my catches well enough I hope.

Breach's guide is an excellent accompaniment to the other materials out there.
Appreciate 1
      02-15-2019, 03:37 PM   #11
Breach
First Lieutenant
Belgium
35
Rep
314
Posts

Drives: F10 520dA M Sport
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Brussels

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post
OK I attempted this today - didn't go as planned. I've backed it out, but I'd like to share some stuff.
Sorry to hear this man. I know, it's not exactly a risk free job. What makes it worse is that sometimes brute force is required, but apply too much and you break something. For the plastic handle holder, yes, care is required because of the fiber optic wire, and that's actually in the ISTA document I attached too.

For the P/N: Agreed. I recommend you use https://bimmercat.com/bmw/EN and your VIN. Then filter according to your options. Apparently, 51 21 7 229 455 is for comfort access cars (S322A) and 51 21 7 202 143 for vehicles with an alarm system (S302A). I have both and had 143. Do you have an OEM alarm? Anyway indeed, ETK is very unclear on this point as 455 also shows up as a valid option for me... No idea about the difference if any, but if ETK doesn't say parts are in the same family there's a good risk they aren't, maybe at electrical level, depending on ECU used who knows... So in your case you would normally need 455 or 461.

Edit: By the way, I think that sometimes the latch is fine, but when the door is reassembled the technician could pinch the internal bowden cable going from the handle to the latch. So just maybe you reassembling the door and putting some lube actually fixed it. Time will tell.

Last edited by Breach; 02-15-2019 at 03:44 PM.
Appreciate 0
      02-15-2019, 04:29 PM   #12
Surly73
Major
Canada
101
Rep
1,107
Posts

Drives: 2011 535xi 8AT
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Oakville, Ontario

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breach View Post
Sorry to hear this man. I know, it's not exactly a risk free job. What makes it worse is that sometimes brute force is required, but apply too much and you break something. For the plastic handle holder, yes, care is required because of the fiber optic wire, and that's actually in the ISTA document I attached too.
Oh yes! I was extremely careful of the fiber optics. That part is fine. Unfortunately the loops that the handle back plate clip in to broke so it doesn't hold in as securely. I know I broke one, but I think my dealer may have broken the other.

Anyways - I was just adding warnings on top of the fiber optic warnings. The fiber optic ones are still true. It would be VERY easy to totally trash the ambient lighting.


Quote:
For the P/N: Agreed. I recommend you use https://bimmercat.com/bmw/EN and your VIN. Then filter according to your options. Apparently, 51 21 7 229 455 is for comfort access cars (S322A) and 51 21 7 202 143 for vehicles with an alarm system (S302A). I have both and had 143. Do you have an OEM alarm? Anyway indeed, ETK is very unclear on this point as 455 also shows up as a valid option for me... No idea about the difference if any, but if ETK doesn't say parts are in the same family there's a good risk they aren't, maybe at electrical level, depending on ECU used who knows... So in your case you would normally need 455 or 461.

Edit: By the way, I think that sometimes the latch is fine, but when the door is reassembled the technician could pinch the internal bowden cable going from the handle to the latch. So just maybe you reassembling the door and putting some lube actually fixed it. Time will tell.
Your parts site is different, and disagrees with RealOEM, but I like it. One of the two has a typo maybe. A critical one. I like the way yours handles vehicle options better. I don't understand why when you provide the VIN it doesn't filter everything that isn't right.


My relevant options:
  • S323A Soft-Close NO
  • S322A Comfort Access YES
  • S302A Alarm YES
  • S8TGA Thiefproofing NO
  • S4URA Ambient Lighting YES

RealOEM has a whole section of latches with no option requirements, which includes 51217229455 (the part I found in the car). Then it shows 51217202143 for Alarm and NO soft close, which is me! It's also in the same option group as the right side 146 which the dealer installed.

bimmercat shows the whole first group including 455 with Comfort Access YES (which is me - and not a distinction shown in RealOEM). Then it shows the group with 143 is for Alarm and NO Soft Close (like me).

Is the Comfort Access receiver in the LATCH (this part) or elsewhere? All of my electrical/mechanical tests did not specifically test the function of comfort access. Hmmm. A quick google seems to say its in the A pillar.

Of course if you read too much into these parts systems, it looks like you cannot have Comfort access and soft-close, for instance, which we know to be false.


realOEM:


bimmercat:
Attached Images
  
Appreciate 0
      02-15-2019, 05:10 PM   #13
Breach
First Lieutenant
Belgium
35
Rep
314
Posts

Drives: F10 520dA M Sport
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Brussels

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post

Your parts site is different, and disagrees with RealOEM, but I like it. One of the two has a typo maybe. A critical one. I like the way yours handles vehicle options better. I don't understand why when you provide the VIN it doesn't filter everything that isn't right.


My relevant options:
  • S323A Soft-Close NO
  • S322A Comfort Access YES
  • S302A Alarm YES
  • S8TGA Thiefproofing NO
  • S4URA Ambient Lighting YES
Are you sure about not having S8TGA? That's the immobilizer and IMO it's standard equipment, at least in Europe (ECE). Standard options are not mentioned as extras, but are visible in your invoice (Vehicle Order). You can check with the last 7 digits of your VIN here: https://www.mdecoder.com/

For the P/N, if you want you can PM me your last 7 VIN digits, I'll run it via ETK desktop and will send you a screenshot. I checked now for my car, and unlike the web tools, it gives me the correct (and single) latch P/N for my car.
Appreciate 0
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:07 AM.




5post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST