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Friday, November 11, 2016

For Your Other Car #4 - 2007 Honda Odyssey Slide Door Center Assembly Replacement - SUCCESS!

If you've already read this post, scroll down to ** SUCCESS ** for the final fix.

We've owned our 2007 Honda Odyssey since new, making it rather old on the average American car ownership time frame and she has in excess of 115,000 miles on her. Though the cost of ownership remains low, things are starting to show their age and becoming annoying. I've had the alternator and the starter replaced and have done the rest of the work myself.

Lately, the driver's side sliding door has been working intermittently. In the automatic mode, the door would sometimes fail to fully close, then open back up. Not a drive-able option. The door is attached and slides at the top, center and bottom. The middle slide assembly wears out and requires periodic replacement.

I called my local Honda dealership and they quoted about $300 to fix it, about $40 to $80 of that in parts. In my research, I've found that this is a labor intensive job due to the amount of interior panels that need to be removed to get to the door motor to release the cable tension. However, as you may suspect, YouTube has several videos with people doing the job without doing that. It looked relatively easy and, as I'd rather spend that money on the Triumph, I decided to go for it.

Sourcing the slide assembly was easy as I found genuine Honda replacements sold and shipped from Amazon. Amazon also sold aftermarket parts, for about half the price, but I decided to go with the Honda ones. I got one for both sides, just like I did when I replaced the rears hubs because it will only be a matter of time before the passenger's side door needs to be fixed as well.

In the interest of full disclosure, as I write this, the driver's side slide has been replaced, but the door will not open or shut in "remote" mode. It works fine doing it manually, but not automatically. I have to do adjustments and fully expect it to eventually work, but I wanted to get that out there first. Point being, dDon't be surprised if it doesn't work right after you are done. Disappointing, of course, but there you go.

Overall, the job was easy and required minimal tools. Specifically, you need a 10mm wrench (or ratchet/socket), a 12 mm wrench, a Phillips screwdriver (preferably with a long shank), a small flat head screwdriver and a pair of needle nose pliers (you could probably get away without using these). Another thing you need is something to support the weight of the door when you remove the slide. I used a floor jack, but anything that you have that can support the doors weight will suffice.

First, the rear light assembly needs to come of to allow access to a bolt that holds the vanity cover for the external slide rail.

Behind the top two covers are the screws that hold in the tail light assembly.

Open the rear hatch and remove the two small covers with a small flat head screw drivers to gain access to the two Phillips head screws that secure the tail light. Once these are removed, pull the assembly straight out. There is a post/hole thing going on in the front that's a bit tricky, but it will eventually release.

Use the small flat head screwdriver to pry the covers off.

Once the tail light assembly is removed, twist the two bulb holders about 90 degrees towards the center of the car and remove them. This leaves the glass bulbs exposed, but you aren't really doing any work back there, so you shouldn't need to worry about it.

The grey (top) and black (bottom) bulbs get rotated (to the left in this picture) out.

Once the tail light is out, remove the rear mounting bolt for the vanity cover of the door's external slide rail.

The 10mm bolt for the vanity cover.

The front side of the vanity cover is secured with a Phillips screw. This screw is a bit deep into the door and it is NOT magnetic, so it is easy to drop when you remove it. I opened the door fully to get at the screw.

The screw. I removed it and let it rest there. Then I used a pair of long needle nose pliers to get it out.

I then put the door in "manual" mode by sliding the mode switch (to the left of the steering wheel) to the left to cover the red dot.

The switch is in ON here. Slide it to the left to hide the red dot and you're all set.

I then shut the door about 6" from fully shut. I then carefully pushed forward on the vanity cover to slide it towards the front of the car to release it. It slide-locks to the car body and the locking tabs make it easy to scratch your paint, so be careful!

The vanity cover (inside view) removed.

What removal of the vanity cover reveals.

There are only two bolts that secure the slide to the door. Support the weight of the door with your weapon of choice before continuing.

The slide does NOT come with the hinged piece that connects to the door itself. You need to re-use this and the pin and c-clip that connect the hinge and the slide. There are two options here. You can use a Sharpie and mark the location of the hinge piece as it connects to the door, which is what I did...

Showing where I marked the hinge piece before removing it.

or you can remove the c-clip and bang out the pin, leaving the hinge connected to the door. Be aware that the pin is knurled and requires some good shots with a hammer.  You need a drift punch or something to contact the top of the pin and knock it down. If you chose to leave the hinge bolted to the door, you risk damaging the car. I chose to remove the entire assembly for this reason.

Once I marked the hinge position, I removed the two 12mm bolts securing it in place. Remember the door's weight needs to be supported BEFORE you do this. With the hinge unbolted from the door, I tilted the slide up, pulled it out to remove it and gently let it rest on the car. Because I forgot, I then got the rag and tape I meant to get in the first place to protect the paint. Not so important on removal, but very important when you fight with re-installation!

Nice and protected. If you'll notice, you can see the left roller is not "right".

The cable ends are a twist-lock thing (you'll see better in replacement pictures) where you have to rotate it so the cable falls out of the slot. You'll understand when you see it. Once I got that out, it was to the bench to remove and replace the hinged piece on the new slide.

It was rather obvious when I got the old slide to the bench that it was my problem.

One wheel just pulled right off. The other was very loose and I could have probably gotten it off if I tried.

Once the slide was on the bench, it was a quick matter to remove the c-clip, knock the pin out and reinstall both on the new slide.


Back to the car, I connected the rear cable to the slide and then fought with the front cable to get it reconnected. Hard to explain, but you just have to work at it. It took me about 15 minutes.

What a cable end looks like. The slide needs to not be installed on the rail, obviously, to install the cable.

Both cables installed. Whew!

Once the cables were installed, the slide was replaced on the track, going in opposite of removal. I then reversed the rest of the process to get the slide re-attached. You can put everything back together at this point since, unless you intend to remove the slide from the rail again, any adjustments you need to make are done using the two 12mm bolts.

Of course, the door didn't work. It would close until it was about a 6 inches from shut, then re-open. If I shut it manually, it would not open at all automatically. So, in my case, marking the hinge on the door was not sufficient to replicate placement.

One thing I would highly recommend is that you do this job on a level surface. I was in the parking lot of the garage which isn't very flat. While this should not have affected marking the hinge, maybe it did impact something. The door seems to be pretty sensitive to being properly aligned and operating with no resistance. If it doesn't like it, it cancels out and reopens (or refuses to open) itself. I suppose this is good so little kids don't get their arms chopped off.

I expect that I'll be able to get it with an hour or so of trial and error. Ultimately, though, I recommend doing this job for yourself since it really is easy and, even in the worst case as I have now, the door will still operate, albeit in manual mode. Good luck!

I played with the door for about an hour tonight with the car on a level surface. I adjusted the door all over the place from small increments to large ones. Regardless, in automatic operation, the door repeated the same symptoms mentioned above. Given the wide range of adjustments I was making, this led me to conclude that they were not making a difference and, therefore, something else must be wrong.

In researching the job, I found other posts about resetting the door mechanism. They were all in context of the door not operating in automatic mode at all or that the door failure warning on the dashboard was lit.

While the procedures I found varied, they were all similar. Essentially, the ignition key is "ON" (car is not running), then the automatic door function is turned off. Then, the motor fuse for the door you are having trouble with is removed. Next, open and shut the door manually a few times and then reinstall the motor fuse. I assume this procedure resets the brain for the door so it knows its location. Since I had nothing else to lose, I decided to give it a shot.

One major difference I found between my car (a 2007 EX-L) and the procedures I found was that the motor fuses called out were incorrect. My motor fuses are in the secondary fuse box in the engine compartment vice the passenger compartment.

Secondary fuse box. The two 40A are for each door. This thing is right up under the back of the compartment and a bit painful to get the cover off.

It worked and the door operates smoothly, with no shudders and jerks. Happy me! Now I can confidently do the other side when I get the time.

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