Audio Retailer | In-Car Magazine
WOLF Electronic Services are the undisputed experts when it comes to central door locking kits for cars and commercial vehicles. Everyone is familiar with M.E.S. central locking actuators Wolf is the exclusive distributors for M.E.S., supplying the actuators world wide, even as far as Taiwan and the United States.
Consequently they are called upon to design CDL systems for a diverse range of vehicles, including classics such as MGBs and TR7s. But the purpose of this text is to illustrate their latest solution to an otherwise extremely difficult and time consuming CDL conversion that of the new Ford Fiesta, and others.
The thing that makes the new Fiesta a bit of a pig to convert is the fact that the mechanism, which has three positions locked, unlocked and open is operated by a single sheathed cable. To operate this mechanism with an aftermarket actuator calls for a combination of precise solenoid movement and free play which is not available from the standard M.E.S. door actuator. Secondly, the entire lock mechanism is shrouded internally with a heavy metal cover held in place with oodles of that nasty Ford sealant gunge, and it's not meant to come off. Thirdly, side impact door beams are now right where you might have mounted an aftermarket actuator. It is possible to remove the lock and with a lot of fiddling get a bicycle spoke to operate directly on the lock, but, would you spend 2 days on a central locking conversion? More to the point, would your customer pay for the labour?
"Until now, the problem has been getting an aftermarket specialist to agree to tackle the job Half of them will say 'no' can't do it, the other half will say 'do I have to? it's going to cost you!" said Bob Blyth, director of Wolf.
With this in mind the Wolf designers commissioned a special M.E.S. actuator to give the correct stroke and free play to operate directly on the O.E. cable. This, combined with a carefully made kit of parts enables a fast and reliable conversion for the new Fiesta. It took Wolf over a year of development and testing to satisfy themselves that this conversion would work reliably in the long term.
The new Ford Escort and Transit have a similar cable operated mechanism and kits are available for these vehicles too.
In this conversion we are also going to install a Politecnica power window kit, so the manual winding mechanism was simply removed by drilling out the rivets that held it to the inner door skin.
The winder kit uses an O.E. Bosch motor and gearbox and the mechanism is as near to the factory original equipment as you can get. It even uses the same mounting holes and can be a direct replacement for a defunct O.E. winder at a fraction of the main dealer cost.
The Politecnica winder mechanism is wiggled into the door cavity, having wedged the door glass at it's uppermost position, and fixes through the original holes in the door skin with three nuts on studs and three bolts into threaded holes. It takes literally a few minutes to remove the old manual mechanism and install the new electric one. (There are some 250 bespoke kits in the Politecnica range.)
The glass is lowered into position and another pair of bolts fix the lifter to the original glass track. Job done, barring running the wiring which you all know how to do, so we won't bore you with that.
This kit is supplied with colour coded switch pods which fix neatly over the hole left by the manual winder.
Repeat this for the remaining door or doors.
1. The Politecnica mechanism replaces the OE mechanical winder bolt-for-bolt.
2. Three studs and three bolts to fix.
3. Two bolts pick up the OE window rail to lift the glass.
4. Smart switch pod fixes over original manual winder hole.
WOLF/M.E.S. Power Locking Upgrade
At this point it's worth mentioning that if a specialist dealer doesn't sell the central door locking upgrade at the same time as the window kit, he wants certifying!
There are a few holes to drill for the central door locking upgrade and templates are provided to make this foolproof. Next a steel plate is screwed to the door skin, adjacent to the door-lock operating cable, using the template-drilled holes. Two spring steel clips fit into slots in this plate which grip the cable outer. The cable is temporarily gripped and marked with a sharp knife. It is then released and about 4cm of the plastic outer cable removed with a Stanley knife, without detaching either end from the handle or lock. The cable is then re-gripped with the spring steel clips adjacent to the stripped portion of the cable. From this point it's much like fitting any other central locking kit, you have given yourself a rod to work on. The door handle locks and unlocks just as it came from the factory, other than you have gained access to the inner cable. Unlike some central locking systems, the vehicle is still secure, it is impossible to get any entry tool to the mechanism to trip the lock on the inside of the glass.
The steel rods are all pre-shaped and the steel mounting strap, after screwing to the door actuator, is screwed into the pre-drilled holes made with the template. A traditional clamp plus a small gripper shim (supplied) clamps the operating rod to the inner cable. It is a simple matter to position the clamp to allow full and correct movement for locking, unlocking and door opening.
The Bosch-driven window mechanism can directly replace broken OE system.
Neat switch pod looks just like an OE item.
It is necessary, as with any CDL installation to check the operation of the handle and key to ensure that the five-wire motor in the drivers' door is correctly switching the other slave motors.
The M.E.S. actuators are specifically made for the job in this kit.
It is worth remembering that the O.E. cable and mechanism do tend to stretch over a period of a few months and anyone tempted to use a standard door actuator will be haunted by returning customers. The special M.E.S. actuator takes account of the longer throw needed for this job. On the rear doors the job is the same but bespoke rods, mounting straps and templates are used. Wiring is simple, all the Wolf connectors are colour to colour and the harness is sleeved for the entire length. Before the door panels are replaced, the power window switches are mounted, again using templates. A double switch for the drivers' door and a single for the passenger are provided. Wolf will spray the pod to match the interior, in Ford grey or blue if appropriate. This series of CDL kits is available, ready to fit the new 3 and 5 door Fiesta, Escort and the Ford Transit with a brand new model to upgrade the Mercedes Veto van which is also cable operated. (Remember the Fiesta is also sold as the Mazda 121 and the kit fits as the Fiesta).
System relies upon operating on the original cable with correct throw.
Bob Blyth said "We have an increasingly large number of designed power door lock kits."
"Since the new tax situation which is related to the value of the company car, there are far more basic vehicles available. This is particularly so in the Escort, Fiesta and Polo size cars which don't come with power door locks. The Rover 200 is another example. This means there is an increasing opportunity to install power door locks and windows in the aftermarket again business which dried up 2 or 3 years ago. The universal kits which fitted most older vehicles quite easily are now increasingly difficult or impossible to fit to new cars".
This sends a clear message to the installing trade there is business to be had to replace the fall off in some sectors of the security market. So go and get it.
1. The extra couple of holes necessary are pre-drilled using a template.
2. Part of outer cable stripped and held in steel clips.
3. Conventional aftermarket fixings plus special shim.
4. Electrical plugs are colour to colour. Check that 5-wire actuator is switching slaves.