XJ XJ8 / XJR ( X308 ) 1997 - 2003

Door Locking Problem and Actuator Guts

Old 02-10-2019, 09:58 AM
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Default Door Locking Problem and Actuator Guts

Having done much reading here about this topic, I thought I'd share my experience and post some photos which I do not believe have been previously posted on the topic.

My 03 XJR has the intermittent locking/unlocking problems others have posted about over the years. Mine functions about 10% of the time. I thought I had it licked at one point so I put it all back together only to have the dreaded condition of having the door closed and hot able to open. I ended up removing the interior door card/panel to get access to the lock mechanism to get the door open. Doing so caused some damage to the inside of the panel and some of the clips, but it's repairable.

Having read many forum posts on this issue, I'm focused on the problem being either the actuator or the micro switch connected to the exterior key mechanism. All of the components are part of the overall lock assembly, which in my case is part GNA1081BJ.

I read a handful of posts about the lock actuator and it not being able to be repaired. The way I see it, there is a very strong likely hood I'll end up either needing a new replacement part, or a used ebay version. Current pricing seems to be $400 or $100 depending on which route I go. I'm okay with that given the chance that my part could be repairable if I get into it. Given taht my curiosity gets the better of me, I was forced to look inside - it's a minor task to get it open. The lid of the unit is not put on with any adhesive, but it is on very well. Getting it off involved some prying - therefore there doesn't seem to be any likelihood that it get back to it's original state, so I'm not going to even try.

After opening it, I reconnected it to the door to do my best attempt at bench testing. From what I can tell, it was functioning fine. Initially I thought that since the "plunger" was loose (it could be easily moved up and down), it was broken. Now having seen how it functions, that is just the way it is designed.

With my belief that the actuator was okay, my focus is now on the key lock switch. It seems to be the other item which other forum members have diagnosed and had success with. However to be honest, I cannot see how that part would even get out of that steel housing of the assembly. If that doesn't end up being the issue, I'll be really stuck!

I'm gonna order a replacement GNA1081BJ and hope that that resolves the issue I've been having. Luckily this car is a summer only vehicle which is stored in the garage - I've got time.

If anyone has feedback on this condition, I'd very much appreciate to hear other peoples experiences.

Thanks and I'm very grateful for all the shared knowledge here.
The following 2 users liked this post by joedee:
Carnival Kid (02-10-2019), Highhorse (02-10-2019)
Old 02-11-2019, 08:14 AM
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I have the same problem with my xj8. I wonder if you was able to fixed yours.
Old 02-16-2019, 06:26 PM
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Got it fixed. I wish I knew specifically what it was - I don't.

I ordered a good used version of the same part number from a vendor on Ebay (GNA1081BJ). Part was $105.

All I know is that it all works now.

Good luck.


Apparently I spoke too soon.
My preliminary tests of the locks/latch mechanism was without the door panel on. After re-installing the panel and doing the connections for the speaker, puddle light and the larger yellow connector for the window/side mirror controls, it's actually not working.

I've yet to do more diagnosing, but the dash display reads passenger door open when the driver's door is open, and the only window which operates is the driver's window, but by using the right rear button on the driver door. None of the other windows function. Gonna have to get back into it sadly.

If anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.


Last edited by joedee; 02-17-2019 at 04:01 PM.
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