These days, buying a new vehicle that isn't already equipped with power door locks and windows can be a challenge. Power accessories are usually bundled in an option package, and most car dealers stock surprisingly few "stripper" models on their lots.
Although some truck owners prefer the simplicity and dependability of manual locks, their power-actuated counterparts offer several advantages, particularly when combined with a keyless-remote system: hands-free door unlocking, no dealing with frozen lock cylinders in the winter, faster egress when parked in bad areas, easier kid-loading, and so forth. The shaved-handle show-truck crowd is already familiar with these types of systems.
For anyone who wants to feel the power and experience the convenience of on-demand door locks, here's on overview of what it takes to power-up manual locks by yourself. Several kits are on the market, and one of the most time-tested systems is from Electric-Life. An OE power-lock and -window supplier to Ferrari, Lamborghini, and others for more than 26 years, ISO9002-certified Electric-Life only recently began selling directly to the public in addition to professional installers. The extensive product line includes universal and custom power-window kits and even power trunk systems.
Electric-Life offers a Universal Power Door Lock Kit to convert nearly any manual-locking vehicle to central power locks. Two- and four-door systems are available. The basic kit includes Swiss-made actuators (in two- and four-door configurations), the Central Locking Module, a wiring harness, mounting hardware, and instructions. Options include a keyless remote system that has two four-button transmitters with a 100-foot range; the base kit also integrates with most alarms or keyless entry systems. For a show-quality conversion, Electric-Life stocks a variety of billet and stainless wire ports, door-post conduits, pass-through trim pieces, and other accessories.
The most challenging part of this power-lock job is finding the optimal location for mounting the power actuators-this is a universal kit, so some trial-and-error will likely be necessary. The actuators must clear the door panels and all moving window parts while mating to the OE lock linkage. Once one actuator is successfully installed, the others go on quickly. Electric-Life's best installer can reportedly do a four-door power-lock conversion single-handedly in one-and-a-half hours. We spent a full day doing the job shown here on an '00 Nissan Xterra, due to photo interruptions.
Potential Tool List:
Pliers and wire cutters
Door-handle removal tool
3/8-inch ratchet set/sockets
Box and open-end wrenches
1.Electric-Life's Universal Power Door Lock Kit includes an actuator for each door (two-do
2.Carefully remove the door handles and window cranks (which might require a special tool)
3.Remove the armrest, and then carefully pry away the door panel with the appropriate tool
4.Remove any remaining armrest hardware, then carefully peel back or remove the inner wate
5.On the Xterra, the actuators installed inside the door panel, out of sight. We marked an
6.Bend the kit's lock rod to run parallel to the factory lock linkage. Then, synchronize t
7.Pick a spot for the Central Locking Module near a constant-hot circuit.
8.Route the wiring harness under the carpet and through the doorjambs to each actuator: fi
9.If the harness can't be fished through the existing doorjamb conduit, Electric-Life offe
10.Plug in all harness connections and wire the Central Locking Module to a constant-hot c
11.If using the optional keyless remote kit, wire it to the Central Locking Module per its
12.Finish the job by mounting the keyless entry receiver module, securing all wires with z