When we were at Porsche Park at Road America last year, my son unlocked the passenger door by hand. This shouldn't be a problem, but after he did that, the power lock on that side would not work with the button on the center console or when you locked or unlocked the driver's door. Oddly enough, if you locked or unlocked the passenger door with the key, it would still lock or unlock the driver's door.
Searching for this problem on Rennlist, it was suggested that a plastic operating rod (944 537 511 00) was broken. I ordered a replacement (two actually for when the drivers door eventually goes) and Jake and I went to work.
We followed the excellent instructions from Clark's Garage for removing door panels. Once we got the door panel and plastic off, I found the operating rod (arrow below), and it was clear that the end that hooks to the lock button was loose. The operating rod has a socket that hooks onto a metal ball on the lock pin. You can see from the picture below that a plastic clip that holds the socket shut has broken off. We could have hooked the old connector onto the ball of the lock mechanism, but without the plastic clip to secure it, it would have fallen off again right away.
It took some patience and small fingers to get the actuator rod clipped on correctly, but when it was done, everything seemed to be working properly.
This was a pretty easy repair and was a fun little father-son project with immediate results. It took about an hour and I told Jake we saved $100 or so in shop time. Our cost was minimal, less than $5 for the operating rod and $8 for a door panel removal tool.
I also took a picture of the back of the door panel itself. I thought it was neat that they had stamped the manufacture date on the panel, 3-9-85 for a 1986 car which was probably assembled in late 1985.
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This page was last updated 6/30/2007.