Power Door Lock Install on a Jeep Wrangler YJ

How to Install Power Door LocksIf you read my previous Jeep article you will know that I recently installed a Viper 5701 Remote Start Alarm into my newly acquired 1992 Jeep Wrangler YJ.  During that alarm install, I was also able to add door actuators into my Jeep which provided me the luxury of power door locks. This gave me a very simple Keyless Entry system that is a must have on any daily driven vehicle. The process for the power door lock install on a Jeep was pretty painless, so I decided to show you how to do it yourself.


1x – Installed alarm (tutorial)
2x – Door Lock Actuators (Buy from eBay) or (Here on Amazon)
2x – 12v  Automotive Relay (may or may not need depending on your alarm)

In addition to these parts, you will also need access to basic tools and some 18 gauge stranded wire.

STEP ONE (Remove Door Panel)

First thing to do is remove the door panels so that you have access to the door lock mechanism.  The panels are very easy to take off and only require the removal of a few screws. These photos should give you an idea of what is involved. The door handle is held on by two screws, which we will remove.

doorhandle removal

Next you need to remove the window knob to gain access to a torx screw hidden underneath. Simply pop off the cover with a screwdriver to reveal the screw. Once the screw is removed, the window knob easily slides off.

windowknob removal

The door panel is held in place by cheap plastic retainers. After removing the door handle and window knob, you simply use your fingers to pop out the retainers on the panel.

With the door panel off, you are left with one last cover that protects the locking mechanism.

Remove these 5 screws to gain access to the locking mechanism.  You may notice the clear plastic liner on my doors. If your door has this liner (which it probably does), simply pull and remove it. Try to keep this plastic liner in good shape so that you can re-apply when you are done.

This is what you are left with.



STEP TWO (Mount the Actuators)

Play around with the door locks to understand how it works. The lock mechanism is simple to figure out . Use your fingers to pull up and down on the locking rod.  You will notice that the doors will either lock or unlock depending on which direction it moves.  This is where the door actuator comes into play.  The actuators will act as your fingers and connect to the locking rod, given signals to either move up or down thus locking or unlocking.


The above picture shows where I mounted my actuators in each door.  This location left plenty of room for the actuator to move and it did not interfere with my windows.  I would assume this location will also work for Jeeps with half-doors.  Be sure to notice how I bent the actuator rod that connects to the locking rod.  Use your best judgment when deciding on what angles to bend the actuator rod.

STEP THREE (Complete Wiring)

Now that everything is mounted in place, the next objective is getting the electrical wires out the door.  What I decided to do was to drill a 3/8″ hole into the side of my doors.  I ran the 2 actuator wires through this door and protected it with a rubber grommet and then covered it with wire loom.


You will then run these wires back to the alarm brain, which should have been installed in the cabin of the Jeep. Depending on your alarm, you may or may not need to wire in some relays. On my Viper 5701 Alarm I was required to add two additional relays to provide 12 volt power to each actuator whenever you arm or disarm the alarm. This is how I wired the relays but please refer to your alarm’s install guide.


Notice the Blue (alarm lock output) and Green (alarm unlock output), these wires will match up to the Blue and Green wires from your alarm. Test out your new power door locks by pressing the lock/unlock buttons on your key fob. If everything works as planned, reverse the process to replace the panels on your doors.

Congratulations! You have just completed the power door lock install on a Jeep!

BONUS (For all those doorless drivers…)

I was able to use quick disconnects on the actuator wires coming out of my doors to allow easy removal of the doors when I felt like going doorless.  This is a very nice addition to the power door lock install on a Jeep so that you can simply pull the connectors apart and enjoy the open air.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions. Good luck on your install!


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