Front door inner workings

So, my newly aquired XJ6 S2 has had many hands inside the passengers side door by looks of it… all not caring what they’re doing.
The lever on back of the key barrel looks totally different to what I can see is standard shape, interior lock doesn’t work, I think there’s no solenoid in it, key does nothing and looks like they removed the rear window channel, most likely to get to the door latch mechanism and promptly left it out.

Luckily I have a spare (more complete) door. Before I go dismantling things, does anybody have a schematic or layout or tips on removing the door latch mechanism?

And, has anyone fitted an after market central locking system to their S2 and have any recommendations? I’m not going for a original resto, just a sound street cruiser.

Thanks in advance.

Two central locking systems were used, David; the solenoid set-up and the later, Kiekert, with motors - you likely have the former. Aftermarket set-ups generally use motors - which is not directly compatible with solenoids…

Crudely, when you turn the key a rod unlatches the lock - releasing the door. Two other rods operates simultaneously; one connects to the interior latch - and one operates the control unit that, in turn, powers the other doors’ solenoids/motors. Ie, operating the internal latch, which also unlatches the door - and move the control unit; again operating the other solenoids/motors. This is the same for both systems…

Also, for both systems; there is no solenoid/motor in the driver’s door - only the control unit. If the control unit is removed; the central locking will not work, but the internal latch should - if the connecting rod is connected…

Going aftermarket requires either sourcing the control unit for the solenoid set-up - or converting the system to motor operation. Which is perfectly feasible, but somewhat complicated - all solenoids must be replaced with motors, but aftermarket kits are delivered with the appropriate control unit.

You can of course convert by using the original Kiekert parts - a direct replacement for the solenoids. It just cost an arm and a leg…:slight_smile:

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

The door latch removal is very straight forward, unhook all rods, four screws and it’s done.
You could easily install an aftermarket remote locking system.
They are dirt cheap, work very well, and with the added bonus of remote control.
You can even keep the original wiring.

Two relative threads:

Kiekert system


Aristides kindly linked another thread I started some years ago and - to avoid confusion - described the designed function of power locks first.

Indeed, on SII cars you do not open all locks by operating the driver’s door, let alone the passenger’s door. There is no “in line” provided to trigger the power locks. The power locks are only operated from and by the button on the central console. From there the “out lines” are fed to the operating mechanisms in the doors. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature, as they say …

Maybe, someone was annoyed with that and installed the SIII mechanism, allowing operation in a more modern fashion from the driver’s and passenger’s door, into your car - I was annoyed as well, but fitted a remote control system as described in another thread which has been working perfectly ever since each press of the button until today, knock on wood …

It sounds as if you have the door apart: You write that the “key does nothing”. That rather sounds to me that someone by purpose or neglect broke the lock cylinder which is purely mechanic. The correct key inserted should pull in the locking tabs, allow the lock cylinder to rotate inside the barrel and the lever fixed to it and activating the door latch mechanism. Which part exactly doesn’t work? The lock cylinder is easily replaced. The link mechanism is a bit more tricky.

Good luck


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

Ah great thanks for clearing that up.
Looking at the wiring diaram I couldn’t see anywhere that the key did anything.
So I’m pretty much okay with the electrics side and can nut out how to make a generic aftermarket system fit with the existing wiring/switches. Ideally I’d also swap out the orig. solenoids (if indeed they’re there) and use the more modern ones that come with a kit.
Might even delete all key entry altogether with a remote system… still evaluating that risk :slight_smile:

It’s the mechanical operation I’m in the dark about. The interior lock tabs are all a bit odd and have to hold the lock lever forward to open the door with the inside door pull lever. I’m unsure it this is a problem with the lever mechanism itself or the door latch mechanism. I intend to just swap the latch mechanism on the LH door amd go from there.

Just looked at the photos and see they’ve got the thing totally screwed up. I’m assuming the spare door is correct?

Thanks for your help.



with a functional SII setup the solution is really easy and comes at only approx. US$ 30.

Yet, please don’t even think about generic after market systems. There is definitely no need to swap out the solenoids. Don’t forget you’ve got four doors to supply. Nothing will really come easy, as the the makers of these after market kits promise in their descriptions that seem to only have one short red line … BTW, if the mechanicals don’t work, no electrical kit in the world will make the locks work.

However … there is a very simple way to achieve the same modern result with a simple change that comes at low cost, doesn’t take much time and - if you or any future buyer of your car likes the original setup better, can be removed without any changes of the original setup within the same two hours.

The SII locks are operated by the rocker switch on the central console. Power comes from the battery and is fed through thermal breakers (located front of the rear seat bench), said rocker switch, the door lock solenoid relay and through to the door lock solenoids. Press the button, and - plonk! - all four doors (not the tank filler lid locks nor the trunk) will open.

Assuming you succeed in revitalizing the central power locking switch it is a one-star (out of five) job to install an aftermarket radio control system to trigger the central locking from your key fob. No need to open up even one door or pull apart the interior.

The procedure is described in the thread While the post may appear long and technical, most of the job is reading and crimping together a handful of wires.

So maybe you first just get back to restoring function of your setup.

  1. How about the mechanical function of the locks? Can you open and lock driver’s and passenger’s door with a key? Can you open and lock all doors with the inside paddles?

Your picture indicates that the lever is installed incorrect. Open and close come at 90°, while the two pics indicate 180°. I’d guess something’s amiss here. Obviously, one operating rod, the one coming up from the solenoid, is missing. You’d have to reinstall this from your donor door. - Maybe the original was bent. The Owner’s manual states: “Attempting to operate the locks when the door is open may damage the door mechanism.” Your PO may have failed to read the instructions:-)

  1. How about the electrical function of the central locking? Do you hear ‘plonk’ upon operation of the central locking button? If so, what happens at the door locks?
  2. If all door locks are opening/locking, you’re a happy man. If not, there may be individual interruptions. You mentioned that one rear door has lost its wire. Restore them. Sometimes the padding of the door cards gets into the way of the moving paddles.
  3. If everything has been restored, get into the thread mentioned above and fit the R/C module

Good luck


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

Yes, the spare door is the correct configuration.

No no no…!
Think dead battery for one.
These things are reliable (I have mine for six years now), but ya never know.

You could, and by some quirk of faith, the aftermarket solenoids have the same mounting holes as the originals.

On my Kiekert system I had to change them as the control unit had a very short pulse and was not able to drive the original solenoids. I could have added delay relays but it was getting very complicated.

But as Jochen said, with the SII system you have a door lock solenoid relay already and its a matter of connecting the control unit directly to the relay. Simple and elegant.
If you don’t have a solenoid at the drivers door just add that one.
The kits have a master solenoid that when it unlocks with the key it gives a signal to the control unit and unlocks all the rest.
The aftermarket solenoids have a longer stroke, so I had to slightly modify the lock mechanism to make it work.

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The solenoids require two relays, Aristides - one for ‘lock’ and one for ‘unlock’, activating one or the other relay…

The Kiekert and other motor systems have no relays - the control unit switches polarity to turn motor direction for locking unlocking.

I haven’t seen any aftermarket solenoid systems, but I assume they exist? Using a ‘motor’ control unit for operating solenoid relays is not straight forward…

xj6 85 sov Europe (UK/NZ)

Not very familiar with the SII set-up, but indeed it makes sense to have two relays (I just followed Jochen’s post where he mentioned the door lock solenoid relay).

The aftermarket systems work with just two cables and they reverse the pulse polarity for lock and unlock. .
Very easy to hook the remote system, just connect both relays in parallel but with corresponding diodes so one works with one polarity and the other with the reverse polarity.

I haven’t seen any either.
Both work on the same principle of reverse polarity though and it all comes to pulse duration.

Nah, it’s two relays - located front of the rear bench, one for opening, one for closing. Of course, power is always fed only through one of them … But still, I think the same logic applies: leave the original system intact (or restore it) and add on an r/c trigger basically doing the same thing as the “central” door lock switch.

Replacing all solenoid operated door openers - even with original or drop-in - motor control system is an awful lot of work compared to a relaxed hour and a half sitting in the driver’s sit and just replugging wires in the center console.

Good luck


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

To elaborate, Aristides; the solenoid has two coils, alternatively powered (lock/unlock) with a common ground. Solenoids are also very robust, so the switch could be held for some time without solenoid damage.

On later models a control unit was introduced in the driver’s door (externally identical to the solenoid) - operated by the door key. The control unit used capacitor discharge to control the relays, discharging to the appropriate relay as the door key was moved to lock/unlock. Turning the key, levers connected to the control unit, moved its ‘insides’ in the appropriate direction…

Capacitors being discharged (a second or two?), they were recharged automatically with the control unit in the new position - ready for the next sequence…

When motors were introduced (Kiekert), they require polarity reversal - which the control unit delivers, polarity as appropriate, directly to the motors. However, motors have no end-stop power cut-out, so to avoid motor burnout, the control unit delivers a 2 second burst of power. Enough for motor full travel, to lock and unlock. A failed control unit may deliver longer pulses, which in principle should blow the fuse as the motors bottom and current increases…

Again, rods operate the control unit as the door key is turned. But when remote ‘lock/unlock’ was introduced (option with the xj40), the control unit were combined, internally, with a motor. The control unit in either case is externally identical to the plain motors - except for more wires. Also, the mounting of both solenoids and motors (Kiekert) are directly compatible. With remote; the driver’s door motor is activated by the signal - and move the control unit internals to operate the door locks…

All aftermarket systems operate the same way (more or less…), but the mounting requirements may differ - and may or may not include the boot locking motor. And they usually have the option of remote or ‘local’, the latter somewhat cheaper - but the ‘remote’ set-up may be used for ‘local’ operation, leaving the control unit motor unconnected…:slight_smile:

In short; the original set-up had no control unit (or solenoid) in the driver’s door - but the mounting and wiring were likely present and correct. So to go key operated central locking; a control unit, and the relevant rods, must be installed, or verified present. I reserve my opinion on the use of motor ‘control unit’ for solenoid relay operation - though your suggestion of using diodes seems feasible…

However, for remote operation both a ‘control unit’ and a motor is required for the driver’s door.

As a couple of asides; swapping the solenoids for motors will be eased by using the (very expensive) Kiekert set-up, including the xj40 control units as direct swaps. I swapped to aftermarket motors - and as Jochen aptly says; both ways is an awful lot of work. Particularly since the the aftermarket motors had different mounting holes…:slight_smile:

So Jochens proposal of restoring the original is good advice - unless time and inclination strongly leans another way

xj6 85 Soc Europe (UK/NZ)

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