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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've had a number of minivans, some auto doors are mediocre, some (like Honda) are just generally cruddy. I've tried to put up with auto doors, but I just plain hate them (what I really mean is that I HATE them). My under 150K Honda Odyssey sure has required door maintenance over its span, 6 center roller replacements, micro switches, etc during its life. This combined with balky operations in wind, nearly impossible to close on inclines, balky manual operation when the switch is turned off, and its failure at the most inopportune times has turned me against EVER having auto doors on anything. Don't bother trying to convince me how good auto doors are, they never were very good to begin with, just a unnecessary gimmick with more stuff to break and more money to be spent at the dealership. And wow at the maintenance requirements vs manual doors, my 200K Chrysler T&C has never had door maintenance of any sort and it works wonderfully.

Now my doors work (95% of the time, even if they can be balky), when they don't work (typically on inclines) they are insanely frustrating. I get no codes (got a Honda coded NT530 reader), no parasitic drains, but I just plain HATE them (this is all auto car doors). I don't even like them when they work perfectly. So what I want is to convert to manual doors, in the best way possible. I'm not interested in cutting cables or electrical wires. I would like to maintain functionality should I want to return to auto (not particularly likely) or sell it (probably a bit more likely but that may be years from now). I want to avoid any parasitic drain. I'd like to avoid dash lights, but if the choice is a constant dash light vs auto doors, I will GLADLY take the dash light and be super happy about the trade. I've fiddled with an LX manual door setup and wow is it superior to the auto doors!

So I have seen the video about just pulling the cables from the center rollers, turning the car on and having the cables retract and then pulling the fuses for the doors. Is this the generally accepted 'best' practice for moving to manual doors and making them operate more like the LX? What are the downsides for doing this? How difficult is it to reverse and reset everything back to what it was before? Is there a better solution to get to manual doors? I'm sure that there is a discussion somewhere on this very topic, but I guess I've not specified the right verbiage in the search so a link to other discussions would be good.

Any help to get to a great manual door setup would be appreciated!
 

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You can try some conversion setup if you'd like. It's not something I often suggest (especially not cutting the cables) because of how interconnected the whole system is with the computer system. Who knows what the computer sees when you try to convert your door to manual?

And converting your door to manual doesn't prevent any issues with the rear latch, which is technically completely separate from the power sliding door mechanism. The power latch will still be used every time the door closes, similar to how it is still used when the door switch is turned off. So the microswitches can still fail and you can still get a parasitic draw in the future.

Sounds like you've just has a bad experience with yours. In the nearly 16 years and 100k+ miles I've had my Odyssey for, I've had to do one center roller replacement (and it was still technically fine, just did it a little early since I was working on the door at the time anyway) and one lube of the power release actuator. Whole system still works great.
 

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Just turn the dash button off to make it manual mode and keep it that way. as far as I know, that is ONLY way to keep it manual AND still "reasonably" easy to go back to auto.

All other methods pretty much makes it very difficult to go back.
Also, like WiiMaster mentioned, pulling out the cables does not turn any of the "electronic" things out of the power sliding door since latches are also powered and it also does not mean that you won't need to change/repair the center rollers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Turning off the dash button is not a good solution. That does not make the door operate at all like an LX or any other manual door minivan. Auto doors are just plain cruddy, period. Even my teens hate them so much they actively want to ride in my ratty 200K 2005 base model T&C vs the EX-L Odyssey. This goes for my in-laws 3 Ody minivans as well (ranging from 2005 to 2015), auto doors are just plain unnecessary.

So pulling the cables from the center rollers and having them retract isn't reversible? Why isn't it reversible? How about removing the entire cable assembly from the door? The latch isn't resolvable, but the cables are and they are a major factor as to the poor manual operation of the door.

I'm looking for solutions (not a replace everything for a lot of $$$ just to go back to cruddy auto) to get to smooth manual operating doors like on an LX. And do it with the least downsides and know exactly what downsides there are. I want manual doors and am willing to do most anything short of buying an LX to get there. There is no purpose in saying that your auto doors are fine, I hate them even when they were new. I know the failure prone center rollers will still need replacing. I know the latch and microswitches are still maintenance heavy and poor performing items.

Let's get to the best solution to manual doors without having cables attached to the center rollers. Then give me the specific downsides to the best solution based upon experience. So surely many have made the conversion, let's hear from those that have done it.
 

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If your goal is JUST to get the cable out of the way, then you have 2 choices, cut the wire or pull out the wire spool from the motor and maybe just pull the motor fuse out.

Then, you just will have to deal with latch getting stuck/switch going bad and middle rollers.

Now, to go back more easily, I say pull the cable spool out of the motor though it is a bit more trickier I believe for passenger door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So what is different about the the latch, switch, and middle rollers with having the cable attached vs unattached? These issues, at least to me since I have not done it, seem unrelated to cable removal and smooth operation of the door in manual mode.
 

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So what is different about the the latch, switch, and middle rollers with having the cable attached vs unattached? These issues, at least to me since I have not done it, seem unrelated to cable removal and smooth operation of the door in manual mode.
Nothing is different really.
If you do not want to or see any need to go BACK to power sliding door, then by all means do this. However, if as you mentioned, if you may want to go back, the effort to return back IMHO isn't worth it to me.
Especially considering that power sliding part is LEAST issue causing part of the power sliding door mechanism.
Now, I wonder whether one can just replace the power latch with regular manual latch as well after disconnecting the cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I am not understanding why removal of the cable would cause such difficulties. I am not understanding why simply unclipping the cables and letting them retract would cause any issues. I'm not seeing why this would not be relatively simple to reverse.

Would anyone that has actually done this contribute?
 

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I just plain HATE them (this is all auto car doors). I don't even like them when they work perfectly.
I hear you man!

@123zorn, thank you for sharing this. Back when we were ordering our '02, I had images of repair issues going through my head, and none of the four in our family (youngest was 15) had the patience to wait and watch the door do to itself what we could do easier and faster. I was able to order the roof rack, CD changer and RKE that we did want as heavily discounted accessories, and install them quickly and easily.

The number of posts here with issues related to automatic doors just makes me happier with that decision.
 
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Letting the cables retract in is technically reversible, but it would require getting inside the panel on the inside as the cables will not simply come out again once they have been retracted, they have to be manually fed back through from the inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So the cables can retract to their ferrules, but even though they can be pulled manually when attached to the door, you cannot manually pull them when they have retracted to the stops? Really? Are you sure about that?

it would seem to me that you let the cables retract to a place where you can still grab the end connectors with a set of needle nose, pull power from the motor, and there it’s perfectly reversible. Now why isn’t this possible?

Surely someone has done it or actually attempted it in person.
 

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Letting the cables retract in is technically reversible, but it would require getting inside the panel on the inside as the cables will not simply come out again once they have been retracted, they have to be manually fed back through from the inside.
Not only that, unless you take the spool out, there is a good chance that uncontrolled cable retraction will cause the spool damage. If spool gets damaged, then whole motor has to be replaced since there is no separate part just for spool. (or need to get broken motor so that you can take the spool out and replace it).

I say if removal of the cable is really desired with possibility of re-enabling it later on, then open the motor and remove the spool, unspool the cable and take it out then remove the sliding motor fuse.
 

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So the cables can retract to their ferrules, but even though they can be pulled manually when attached to the door, you cannot manually pull them when they have retracted to the stops? Really? Are you sure about that?

it would seem to me that you let the cables retract to a place where you can still grab the end connectors with a set of needle nose, pull power from the motor, and there it’s perfectly reversible. Now why isn’t this possible?

Surely someone has done it or actually attempted it in person.
Sounds like you get to be the first!!

Shoot a video, put it behind a paywall, and I'll give $2 to watch you do and then undo the process.
 

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So the cables can retract to their ferrules, but even though they can be pulled manually when attached to the door, you cannot manually pull them when they have retracted to the stops? Really? Are you sure about that?

it would seem to me that you let the cables retract to a place where you can still grab the end connectors with a set of needle nose, pull power from the motor, and there it’s perfectly reversible. Now why isn’t this possible?

Surely someone has done it or actually attempted it in person.
The way "retraction" is done, is done by rolling the SINGLE cable spool back and forth which means while one side retracts, the other side will be fed out. there is a single spool in the middle which rotates either clock or counter clockwise to simultaneously pull one cable while pushing out the other cable.
So, if you let's say you "undo" the cable from your middle roller, while 1 side will retract, the other side will pull out. so, you have to "CUT" one side if you don't want the cable just hanging. Also, you NEVER want any side of the cable to lose tension because if you lose tension, the cable will jump the grooves in the spool and can damage the grooves.
This is why I say pull out the spool, UNDO the cable from the spool and manually pull out the cable INTACT so that you can RESPOOL it back and re-install the spool into the motor when and IF you want to restore the functionality BUT this is a bit tricky re-routing cables and re-installing the spool with correct tension. Don't forget that forward and reverse cable length is not the same AND as far as I know passenger and driver's side cables are not same length either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So everyone that does this, and it is done VERY frequently, does this permanently and the method really doesn’t matter as there is no best method (although it is done very frequently).

I want to hear from someone that did it. I want to hear if they’d do it again. I want to hear positives and negatives. i want to hear what you would do differently and not
 

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So everyone that does this, and it is done VERY frequently, does this permanently and the method really doesn’t matter as there is no best method (although it is done very frequently).

I want to hear from someone that did it. I want to hear if they’d do it again. I want to hear positives and negatives. i want to hear what you would do differently and not
MANY people who does this generally do NOT have intention of restoring the functionality back so they do not care about the fact that by cutting the cable, it may mess up the spool end/motor and mess it up since they have no real intention of "restoring" later on.

If you do not have desire to ever restoring the feature, I say just cut the cable and let it "retract back" and just pull the motor fuse and be done with it. IF it did not damage the spool by chance, then maybe later you can buy the cable and re-spool it and maybe able to restore the functionality BUT you have to make sure you cut the cable the correct length (depending on where you buy the cable, it may come in correct length) since front and back length differs as well as passenger and driver's side differs as well.

All these "precautionary" advices are coming to you IMHO BECAUSE you mentioned "restoring functionality back later".
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
So, let's assume that restoring functionality is low on my priority list and getting completely rid of the auto door functionality is high. I want no battery drain. I want auto lock and unlock. I want windows. I want the door to close and open like an LX with as little effort as possible and not require any special effort or knowledge on the part of any user.

Now what is the best method?
 

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So, let's assume that restoring functionality is low on my priority list and getting completely rid of the auto door functionality is high. I want no battery drain. I want auto unlock. I want windows. I want the door to close and open like an LX with as little effort as possible and not require any special effort or knowledge on the part of any user.

Now what is the best method?
Buy an LX?

Otherwise, you WILL need/do special effort or knowledge. How else?
Or are you speaking from "passenger" perspective only?

I would think this DOES depend on whether LX rear latch will fit the EXL sliding door. If NOT, then you are still stuck with potential battery drain.

I JUST thought of possibly easier method to return back if needed, I say take whole power sliding door motor out including the cables. I believe it is easier to do that than trying to take the spool out and do re-spooling, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I'm game for removing the power sliding door motor including the cables. I'd probably do the passenger side first since that one is my balkyist door (ie it really has trouble with inclines and drives my teens crazy for school dropoff), is there a good link to the best method to do this?
 
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