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  #26  
Old 07-07-2009, 06:51 PM
pdbrown309 pdbrown309 is offline
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Hey, tbksponger. You're fortunate that the eye-loop was still connected; our 2005 Cooper is driven by my daughter, so I have no idea how long the door may have been "iffy" and/or completely useless -- I suspect the problem started with the plastic guide working loose and eventually the eye-loop came free (due to the extra play in the cable, no doubt).

I've seen other people comment about the plastic guide at the end of the Bowden cable being blue, but in my car it is orange (after-market?)...I said above the job took me about four hours start-to-finish, but that included several internet breaks to look up how to cross the next hurdle (including finding the "blue piece of plastic" that was actually orange in my car).
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  #27  
Old 08-23-2009, 05:30 PM
NDmini NDmini is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbksponger View Post
I had the same problem on my 2004 mini cooper, except (fortunately) the eye-loop of the bowden cable wasn't disconnected. Instead, the problem was that the blue piece of plastic (at the point in the bowden cable where the metal cable exits the rubber tube) was dislodged from its position in the lock mechanism and needed to be snapped back into place. Once you take the door panel off, you will see what I am referring to. I only wanted to add this to the thread because it took me a while to figure out what was wrong (since the cable seemed to be perfectly attached). Also, it takes a bit of force and finagling to get blue piece of plastic into place. Once it clicks, everything should work again. If anyone knows the correct term for that blue piece of plastic, feel free to add it.

Cheers,

Ben
This post was right on. It is the blue plastic cable end that gets dislodged.
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  #28  
Old 09-30-2009, 05:50 PM
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Since I too struggled with this for a while, I thought I'd take a few extra pics as I went along to help others. I won't go into minutia about how to remove obvious screws and bolts - that's been noted in previous posts.

After taking off the interior panels, I tried fitting my hand and a mirror and a light in the door to put the cable end back in the door latch. But since the cable end was already out of the latch meachanism, I had a heck of a time envisioning how it went back in, and more importantly, I didn't have 3 right arms so there was no way I could get in there with the mirror and such and fit it into place.

So I went the brute force way.

Note - if you want to try doing this with the just mirror appraoch first - check out some of the pics in the next post to see what the parts you're trying to reassemble look like.

Step 1 - Roll up the window, then look through the big opening in the door back toward the latch mechanism. Release the short cable that opens the door from the outside handle by pressing down the lever that has the white plastic piece and a black cable in it. Pull the black cable sheath out of the white plastic piece - you may need to push the white plastic part downward to release the tension on the sheath and cable. Then the cable's ball end will be easy to release from the metal holder at the end (sorry, my pic of this didn't come out - but you can see this clearly before you begin any of the remaining steps) NOTE: the end of the cable is the fixed part, it doesn't move - the metal piece attached to the white plastic moves up and down as the exterior door handle is squeezed)

Step 2 - Remove the electrical cable from the bottom of the latch mechanism. Press in the black tab below the little white dot and wiggle it loose.

Step 3 - Remove the three bolts holding the latch unit in place (from the outer door jam).

Step 4 - Pull the unit lightly to the inside-side of the door to release it from the outside door lock rod (see pic below)

Step 5 - Pull the inside door lock lever straight out of the green holder piece where it went into the latch unit (you can see it in the latch unit pic below)

Step 6 - Now go to the other side of the cable and unscrew the door handle from the inside of the door. If there is a speaker attached, remove the speaker cable from the connector.

Step 7 - Release the cable from its clamps - two you can see near the door handle - just carefully pull them away from the door. THere is another inside the door. Feel with your hand until you find it. If it is like mine, you will push the cable DOWN to free it from the clamp.

Here's the part that drove me crazy. I could NOT get the latch unit out of the door. It was blocked by the window frame rail. Finally, after much cussing and epitaphs about the designer's mother, father, and general family heritage, I realized the next step could solve the problem.

Step 8 - Mark the current position of the offending window rail base with a marker (see pics below). Then remove the bolt holding it in place from below. Gently knock the frame rail base toward the inside of the car until the rounded tab end prevents it from going further. (See pics at end).

Step 9 - You can now remove the latch unit. Push as much extra cable into the door so you don't bind, and then slide the unit out at the angle in the pic below.

Step 10 - Now you can very easily see the little black door you have to open, where the cable should go, etc. See pics that follow.

Assembly is pretty much the reverse, but I did notice that there was no metal cap protecting the end of the cable sheath on the inside handle side of my latch, and the crushing of the sheath over time meant there was about 1.5 mm of free play in the cable before it engaged when I pulled the handle. Not having a spare metal cable end on hand, I knew I needed something small and non-compressible that would fit inside the latch handle end yet still be hollow so the cable could move. I settled on wrapping some very fine wire (like they use to make flower arrnagements) around the cable at the end of the sheath before sliding it back into the latch assemble. I made sure the ends of the wire were not wrapped in with the rest of the coils so that they would not get pulled into the sheath and cause binding. Once wrapped (loosely), I pulled the latch handle to compress them. It ended up working quite well.

Re-assembly is the reverse of dis-assembly.
Don't forget to:
1) Feed as much of the cable in to the door before sliding the latch unit back in to place, and pull out the excess as you go so it doesn't bind.
2) Position the exterior latch rod into the latch and attach a single screw to hold the latch in place as you test the exterior key function with a door key.
3) Reposition the little cable for the exterior door handle into the white holder and get the ball end under the metal holder (you can pull the interior door latch now to get some slack).
4) Re-attach the power and speaker cables.
5) Return the window rail base to the original position and screw it tight.
6) Put the interior door lock rod back into place (you can turn the little green piece it fits into until the rod snaps into place.
7) Push the cable back into its clamps - especially the one that is behind the door. This clamp keeps the cable out of the window path as it goes up and down.

Do a few pulls on both the interior and exterior handles to make sure you still get good resistance.

Do a careful test of the windows making sure they go up and down without touching anything.

With the window rolled down, close the door and make sure you can open the door from the outside.

Repeat, using the inside door latch.

Bravo - you're all set and no longer have to crawl across your date to get out of the car!

Pics:

Exterior Door Lock Rod (looks sort of like a 4-toothed chuck key)
Click the image to open in full size.




Window Rail base before - notice I marked its current location with a black marker
Click the image to open in full size.





Window Rail Base after I moved it further out of the way - see marks so I know where to return it to when done
Click the image to open in full size.





The only orientation I could get the unit out via. Even with the window rail moved, I had to put some pressure on the rail to move it just a bit further out of the way as I pulled the latch unit through
Click the image to open in full size.



OK - looks like I've hit the limit for the number of pictures I can put in one post. Continued in the next...
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Last edited by tc-mini; 09-30-2009 at 11:28 PM.
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  #29  
Old 09-30-2009, 05:51 PM
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Continuation from prior post

This is what the latch looks like without the cable attached. Notice the little black door opens DOWN. I couldn't get my finger under the top edge, so I popped it open with my fingernail from the side.
NOTE: You can also see
1) the white plastic holder for the external door handle cable (at far right)
2) the green holder for the interior door lock rod here.
3) the white "socket" where the exterior door lock rod fits (upper right)
4) the electrical socket for the power lock control (lower left) You can also see the "ears" that hold the connector on. Squeezing the connector releases it from the "ears" so you can pull it off.

Click the image to open in full size.





And here it is with the cable attached. I did not try any sort of silicon or other attachment - It looked like with appropriate tension it will stay in place.

Click the image to open in full size.




I also wanted to extend and strengthen the end of the sheath on the door handle side. Loose wraps of fine wire with the ends pushed back against the sheath:

Click the image to open in full size.




And this is how it looked once compressed by pulling the handle

Click the image to open in full size.





A couple other things - tools I found useful (both are cheapos from Harbor Freight):

Plastic trim tool - NEVER use a screwdriver to pry off door panels
Click the image to open in full size.

Torx Head collection

Click the image to open in full size.

I hope this helps people out. It sure is a shame that BMW / MINI didn't spend the extra euros to put on metal cable ends and design a better hook-end retaining system. Maybe they got it right in the R56's?
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Last edited by tc-mini; 09-30-2009 at 11:35 PM.
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  #30  
Old 09-30-2009, 11:44 PM
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Looking over the pics, I just realized something that might save a lot of people some heartache:

For some people, it may be that the bulbous blue sheath end has simply wiggled out of its indentation in the latch body, and the hook is still properly connected under the little black plastic door. This is especially true if you're able to get the door to partially unlatch and open if you throw your shoulder against it as you pull the handle.

You may be able to re-seat the blue end with just your hand by feel alone without removing anything except the inside panel, once you can see what what you're trying to fit where.

See the second picture in the post above to see where the bulbous blue cable end is supposed to be pressed in to the latch mechanism body.

Now, before disconnecting ANYTHING, just trace the cable from the inside door handle, through the gromet in the door, and to latch unit. Now feel if the bulb at the end of the sheath (the blue part) is pressed into the plastic body of the latch like in the picture above. If it isn't, try to press it into place. You may be able to take some pressure off the line by squeezing the outside door handle while trying to move the blue bulb end to get it pushed into the latch body. It pops into place pretty easily, which might explain why it pops out as well.

Best of luck - TC
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  #31  
Old 11-17-2009, 08:03 AM
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great pics & updates, all!



but, what am I to look for if the driver door opens & locks fine by hand, but NOT via the power locks?
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  #32  
Old 11-17-2009, 08:54 AM
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SugarBelly,
You would need to replace the door actuator the TC-Mini has in the first two pictures found in the post above. I am currently having the same issue with my passenger door and found that they way to remedy the situation was to replace this failed part.
See the link below for instructions for replacement.
http://www.northamericanmotoring.com...roblems-6.html
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  #33  
Old 11-17-2009, 09:43 AM
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thanks, TunaMini--

was hoping it could be mechanical or a loose connection, as I hear something within the door trying when using the toggle.

I'll check your actuator link.

cheers
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  #34  
Old 02-16-2010, 03:19 AM
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I have just managed to fix my door lock by using the mirror approach mentioned above. Did it in the dark using a flashlight & a mirror & took about 35 minutes. Only had to remove door trim. Hook-eye had become unhooked so was just a case of getting hooked back on. Found that by using the outer door handle this gave the hook latch a bit more slack & was able to contort my body just enough to finally latch get the loop onto the hook. If it wasn't for the detailed posts above I would have had a clue where to start!
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  #35  
Old 04-14-2010, 07:04 AM
victor101 victor101 is offline
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thanks for the posts. My interior cable came loose where the blue plastic end popped out of the "cradle". I pulled it toward me and it snapped right back in. I'm good to go!
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  #36  
Old 04-26-2010, 08:23 PM
OregonMTB OregonMTB is offline
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Same thing happened to me--blue thing popped out of its cradle--all I had to do was push it back in.

OregonMTB
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  #37  
Old 06-24-2010, 07:43 PM
mjhanna mjhanna is offline
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2004 Cooper problem fixed!

Thanks to everyone, but especially tbksponger and the pictures from tcmini. The "blue" termination piece for the outer cable was simply popped out of it's socket. It still took some patience to figure it out, but the small mirror was the key. With the window all the way up, using the mirror you can see the cable end and the socket for it. If that's your problem, it's easy from there. Both doors on our 2004 were in the same condition, and man is it nice to get them back to normal!
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  #38  
Old 09-26-2010, 08:58 AM
presto311 presto311 is offline
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Hey everyone! I just wanted to say thank you for this thread. Especially Tc-mini for the very useful pictures. I took apart my door panel to try and fix this. I spent a couple hours trying to figure it out. Once I found this post and read up I got a mirror and flashlight and was able to pop the plastic blue piece back into place in 2 minutes. Thanks again!
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  #39  
Old 10-28-2010, 09:20 AM
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tc-mini,

Thanks for the pics -- I replaced both bowden cables on my doors and got everything working again. No more rolling down the window to let myself out of the car, lol!
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  #40  
Old 11-15-2010, 06:29 AM
Fatandre Fatandre is offline
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I am now havint this shitty problem. I took the door panel off and there is a slack on the cable. It is in its position and I am out of ideas.
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  #41  
Old 11-15-2010, 06:49 AM
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time to buy new cables (they're pretty cheap from the dealer) and replace them
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  #42  
Old 11-15-2010, 07:26 AM
Fatandre Fatandre is offline
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So its a common thing they get that way?

Whats the part nr?
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  #43  
Old 11-15-2010, 07:40 AM
mjhanna mjhanna is offline
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Fatandre. Make sure you have followed the process in this thread to secure the blue termination piece on the cable sleeve in place. It's tricky to do, but that's usually the problem. Fixed both doors on mine in June, and they are still working fine!
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  #44  
Old 11-15-2010, 09:41 AM
steve20607 steve20607 is offline
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On ours, the cable just popped out, so we 'super-glued" it in. Okay for a while now. It was an easy DYI using a small compact mirror.

The only I'd like to add is to duct tape the cable against the inside door panel to keep the cable from bouncing around and make sure it stays "rounded" as you tape so that there's no sharp bends or curves.
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  #45  
Old 12-09-2010, 08:03 PM
litalien litalien is offline
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Driver's door won't open at all!

Hi everyone,

Anyone could tell me what to do if the driver's door won't open from inside or outside. I hear the door lock and unlock but won't open at all. Is it the cold weather?? Is there a way to open the door??

any advice would be very much appreciated!!


thanks
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  #46  
Old 12-28-2010, 12:36 PM
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OK, here is another take. Both ends of the cable were attached and I found that if I took up slack in the cable by raising up the section that runs along, exposed, just aft of the handle, that it worked beautifully. I raised it up to where it arced just above the hole for the center plastic panel fixing stud and reinstalled the panel. The fixing stud holds the cable up the perfect amount for everything to function as new. It took less than 5 minutes. Thanks to all.
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  #47  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:39 AM
rose0529 rose0529 is offline
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Just wanted to say thanks to the people who have posted pictures, and service bulletin! I wouldnt have been able to complete this without your help!
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  #48  
Old 05-25-2011, 04:46 AM
alexcastillo alexcastillo is offline
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Bowden cable loose tension on mcs 05

Did you have to take the lock assembly out? Cannot locate that small door you Mentioned.
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  #49  
Old 05-25-2011, 06:43 AM
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Hey Alex... sorry to say I actually had pix of all that process and lost them to a bad hard drive.

However; I did'nt have to take the lock out completely but I do remember loosening it some.
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  #50  
Old 05-29-2011, 09:01 AM
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Bowden Cable

Hi Ben. Did you have to remove the latch assembly from the door to get to this blue thing? I have the door panel out, thanks to all the very helpful posts. and am hesitating now to remove the latch assembly :-)
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:01 AM
 
 
 
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