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SeattleGS400 09-28-10 12:49 AM

Lexus GS300 GS400 Rear Door Disassembly (Door Lock actuator Replacement Repair DIY)
2 Attachment(s)
My right rear door electronic actuator was malfunctioning.

Symptoms: rear door sometimes wouldn’t fully lock when pushing on the keyless remote (door tries to close, but after 3 seconds all doors unlock as the malfunctioning is preventing the full locked state), but would always unlock using my keyless remote (note: you could get reverse symptoms, depending on the defect on the motor contacts). I could manually lock and unlock the door using the inside lock switch so I knew the door lock motor (actuator) was malfunctioning and not the actual door lock gear mechanism.

Although you can buy the whole door lock assembly (about $240 online—comes with locking mechanism and cables), most likely it’s just the motor that’s malfunctioning, so save your money and just buy the actuator assembly (~$90 online). Some folks here on CL state that you can replace just the motor (involves cracking the plastic actuator casing apart and regluing), but to me, it was more work than I was willing to put into it, and I couldn't trust the structural integrity of this process (although I'm sure it would hold up just fine if done properly).

Parts (buy which actuator you need):

Right rear door actuator (Part #: 69130-30110) [$90]
Left rear door actuator (Part #: 69140-30110) [$90]

Tools used:

Large #2 Phillips screwdriver
T30 Torx screwdriver
10mm small crescent wrench (about 4" long)
10mm socket and ¼” handle
Wide, flat head screwdriver
Duct tape (to cover flat head screwdriver, so it doesn’t scratch the door cover)
Loctite red thread lock

Schematics used (see next 2 Lexus attachments as a reference):
-Rear door components
-Rear door disassembly (use only as a reference, do not follow every step on the sheet)

Sorry for not posting any pictures—this is just my thoughts of the process after finising up the door lock actuator replacement. My descriptions should be relatively helpful, along with the 2 Lexus PDFs (reference my parts name with the Lexus PDF components page to figure out what it is that I'm describing to remove). The other thread on CL for the rear door lock disassembly was 29 pages and I really didn't have time to read all of the pages, as most was irrelevant to what I need to do--hence why this was created.


Prep. Leave your rear window in the fully closed (up) position before starting. This gives you maximum access to the door. Also, make sure the child door lock switch is in the “up” position (i.e. you CAN open up the door from the inside).

Step 1. Inside door unlock handle bezel cover. Remove the plastic bezel cover that’s just inside the door unlock pull handle using a small flathead screwdriver to ease it out. I find that it’s easiest to pull the door handle as if you were to open the back door, it gives you better access to pop that bezel cover off. Once the cover is off, it will expose one of the 5 bolts to get the door trim off.
Step 2. Rear door courtesy light. Remove the rear door courtesy light by taking a flathead screwdriver and popping the light out towards you. Disconnect the wiring harness.
Step 3. Power window switch panel (aka “Armrest base panel”). Take out the accessory trash tray in the door by lifting it up and out. Now, using a flathead screwdriver, pop upwards the power window switch assembly. Inside the recess, you’ll see the large screw (2nd of 5 that you will need to remove). Disconnect the power harness to the window switch panel and you will need to remove a tiny Phillips screw that’s holding the light cover that lights up the accessory trash tray.
Step. 4. Removing the door trim. Check out the schematic. Remove the 5 screws holding the door trim to the door (1 by the inside door handle (step 1), 1 just inside the recess after removing the power window assembly (step 3), 2 on the lower parts of the door, and 1 towards the back of the car). Once all screws are removed, pull the door trim towards you at the 5 triangles (door clips) on the schematic. You will feel the clips popping loose from the metal door frame. Start with the lower clips, then pull on the topmost clips last. Once all clips are loose, lift up the whole door trim panel towards the roof and it will come out once you clear the minimal lip.
5. Door cables (2). Remove the 2 cables (one with a white retaining cap, and one with a black threaded retaining cap) to the door lock by rotating the plastic cables in a 90 degree fashion, away from the metal retaining clips on the door trim. Note where the black threaded cap is placed at in the metal retaining clip before removing. Once the cables are pointed perpendicular from the door trim, you can remove the ball ends from the lock mechanisms on the door trim. Put the now fully disconnected door trim aside.
6. Peel back the revealed clear plastic sheeting covering the inside metal door to give you access to the rear door lock (you only need to peel off about ½ of the plastic sheeting away from the weatherstrip glue). Be careful to not tear the plastic sheeting. I gently pulled the plastic away from the weatherstrip sealant so I can access the door lock mechanism. (Note: once you are all done, you will restick the plastic sheeting to the weatherstrip glue again—or you can use any weatherstrip glue to hold the plastic sheeting in place.).
7. Remove the rear outside door handle. Using a very small crescent 10mm wrench, take off the 2 inner bolts that hold the outside door handle. The closer 10mm bolt is pretty easy to see and take off (you could use a socket and handle for this one). The other 10mm bolt (near the rear of the car) is very hard to take off (let alone see)—be forewarned, you will need LOTS of patience with this step (and you can only use a small 10mm crescent wrench). Once you loosen the 2nd inner bolt, you can take a 10mm socket (socket only, as the clearance is very tight) and manually twist it so it comes off faster. The clearance is very tight, so be forewarned if you have fat fingers. Once the 2 bolts are off, you can remove the outside door handle. Note: Some folks have commented that they can remove the inner door lock mechanism (next step) without having to remove the outside door handle by lifting up the door handle while wiggling the door lock mechanism—I couldn’t make it work after fiddling with it for 15 minutes, so I ended up removing the outside door handle. EDIT: PLEASE READ THROUGH THE OTHER FORUM POSTS IN THIS THREAD, AS YOU DO NOT NEED TO REMOVE THE DOOR HANDLES AS I DID IN THIS STEP, IT'S MUCH SIMPLER THAN THAT. 10/02/2014.
8. Remove the door lock mechanism assembly. Using a T30 Torx screwdriver, remove the 4 bolts securing the door lock mechanism. You can now easily take out the whole mechanism from the door frame.
9. Disconnect the power connector the old actuator.
10. Take off the large protective plastic shroud to the door lock mechanism by removing 1 small screw, then lift off the whole white plastic shroud cover.
12. Remove the 2 screws that hold the old actuator to the main door lock assembly. The cable that mounts to the white handle that does the locking/unlocking on the old actuator has a “Z” bend to it. Pull the cable up, perpendicular, and gently free the “Z” bent end from the white handle of the old actuator.


1. Put the new lock actuator in place of the old one. Secure the “Z” end wire in the white handle of the new actuator. Secure actuator to the main door lock assembly with the 2 screws. Replace the white plastic shroud over the whole assembly and secure using the 1 small screw. Do NOT place the whole door lock mechanism in the door just yet.
2. Outside door handle. Replace the outside door handle and secure the 2 bolts fully.
3. Replace the door lock mechanism assembly back into the metal door frame. The door lock mechanism assembly will reseat itself with the outside door handle. Before replacing the (4) T30 Torx screws, place a bit of Loctite Red on the threads to lock them in place. Screw the (3) rear facing screws partway, then put in the 4th screw partway. Once they are all securable, tighten all 4 screws. Check the operation of the outside door handle. It should open the door when you lift up on it.
4. Connect the power harness to the new door actuator.
5. Pull the 2 cables through the plastic sheeting and reseat the plastic sheeting onto the door. Use new weatherstrip sealant if needed to secure the plastic sheeting.
6. Replace the 2 cables back onto the inside door lock and inside door pull handle. The cable with the white plastic end cap should be towards the floor of the car (it goes to the inside door pull handle)—put the cable ball end into the hold point of the door handle mechanism and secure it onto the lower metal hold clip (the white end clip has a notch for this). The cable with the dark threaded cap should be secured onto the upper metal hold clip, after you put the ball end into the hold point in the door lock switch mechanism.
7. Replace the door trim. Make sure your 2 wiring harnesses are easily accessible (lower door light and power connectors to the power window switch) before securing the door trim. Put the door trim vertical to the metal door frame, then drop into the uppermost part of the metal door frame lip. The door trim should be flush with the metal frame (the top of the door trim should be flush with the glass window)—once you achieve this, push in the door trim in to secure the 5 door clips. Replace the 5 screws hold the door trim in place. Replace the inside door handle bezel cover trim—it just snaps back in place (again, just pull on the unlock handle to get access to put the trim back in place).
8. Reconnect up the 2 harnesses to the power window switch assembly (including the 1 screw that holds the light cover to the accessory ash tray). Snap the power window assembly back in place.
9. Reconnect up the power harness to the rear door courtesy light. Snap the rear door courtesy light in place.
10. Close the rear door and test out the new power door actuator. It should open and close flawlessly using your keyless remote. Test the outside door handle operation once the door is unlocked—you should be able to open the door with ease as well.

Note: You do NOT need to remove the door glass, window regulator, speaker assembly, glass division bar, nor the rear quarter window glass to replace the door actuator.

Mr Jokster 09-28-10 01:04 AM

I too will contest that it can be removed by holding up the door handle. If you look at how the rear handle works, lifting it moves the 'arm' that triggers the door mechanism moves out of the way. But will also agree with you strongly about the patience thing UGH! There is a quick way to remove the rears though, but only during my frustration does it happen to where I forget instantly and never remember or write it up :sad:

Nice write up :thumbup: Would be nice with lots of pictures :D

Frankdorn 09-28-10 01:10 AM

Nice! My front passenger door is doing this, and although I have the little motor for it, I'd much rather just replace the whole thing vs. screwing it up worse. Thanks for the DIY!!

Mr Jokster 09-28-10 01:16 AM


Originally Posted by Frankdorn (Post 5821673)
Nice! My front passenger door is doing this, and although I have the little motor for it, I'd much rather just replace the whole thing vs. screwing it up worse. Thanks for the DIY!!

Fronts are MUCH easier! and when I say much I mean EXTREMELY easier! :D

348he 09-28-10 02:04 AM

WOW, guess that means mine will stay they way it is....broke.:D
Good write up though!

GSteg 10-03-10 06:29 PM

The rears are MUCH easier than the fronts! No need to remove door handle or anything like that. Once you've taken off all the necessary screws, pull the door handle cable and you'll be able to pull out the actuator easily. I can pull a rear actuator out in 3-4 minutes including the door panel :p

Mark 11-01-10 02:02 PM

Originally Posted by Mark

I am having difficulties removing my rear door actuator. Please help on how to release the door handle cable.


Pull on the cable as you try to pull the actuator out. It's the cable with the white ball on the end I believe. Make sure the other cable (w/black ball) is in the unlocked position. If one position doesn't work, then try the other.



Thank you very much. Got it our in 30 seconds. I think you might want to post this.
I think I posted it a while ago, but it's probably buried in a huge thread.


Glad you got it out though. Some people were talking about removing the door handle.


ksultan78 03-16-11 08:05 PM

rear lock actuator
how exactly do you remove the rear lock actuator by lifting the handle. i much like the creator of this post spent the better part of an hour trying to get that actuator out of my rear door. Sun was setting so i had to put the panel back together without actually changing out the motor. Sorry for the repetitive question, but i feel as i need some clarification on this. Thanks in advance

Philthy29 03-16-11 08:59 PM

Both of mine are trashed in the rear, let's get some
pictures of the '3-4 min disassymbly'

GSteg 03-16-11 09:49 PM

Pull on the cable that originally attached to the door panel's door handle. Pull it simultaneously as you try to remove the actuator out.

Mark 03-17-11 05:57 AM

Yes--pull the cable ie--not the wire but the cable that extends out of the wire. It will release the lock and the actuator will slide out. Try them one at a time.

ksultan78 03-17-11 07:19 AM

I will try it again tonight. Thanks Mark and GSteg. I'll let you know how it goes.

Mark 03-17-11 03:07 PM


You are welcome. Don't fail us.

ksultan78 03-17-11 08:18 PM

wow do i feel like a dumbass... you guys were 100% right. Getting that actuator was the easiest part of the diy... haha. Thanks again. Getting the solenoid apart was a ***** though. Thanks again Mark and GSteg!

GS4_Fiend 03-17-11 09:59 PM

Alot of trials and errors for me also. lol

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