Campervan, DIY

How to install remote central locking on a Mazda Bongo or Ford Freda

I’ve owned my Mazda Bongo Friendee now for nearly 4 years. In this time I’ve made a few modifications to make life a little easier, improve functionality and make this vehicle a little more practical for our busy family life. My most recent modification was to install remote central locking, something that I’ve been wanting to do for some time.

Why install remote central locking?

Our Bongo already had central locking installed as standard. This is all controlled from the drive side door. So, when unlocking or locking the driver door, all the other locks would follow suit. This is handy, but I would often find myself waiting by the drivers door for everyone to get out before I could lock up. Quite frustrating when you have a 6 year old, 9 year old and a wife who struggles to take her eyes off the phone screen.

I’d also find it a little frustrating having to walk around the van constantly to lock and unlock individual doors. For example, I need to access the back door and the side door. Do I walk round to the drivers door and unlock them all, or do I unlock them individually? No major dilemma but there was a cheap and easy solution to make life a little easier.

How much does it cost to install remote central locking on your Mazda Bongo?

Very little if you have some basic DIY skills and a few basic tools. All you need is the remote central locking kit which costs about £25. It comes with all the cabling and equipment you will need to make this project a success. See below for more details.

What equipment do you need to install remote central locking on your Mazda Bongo?

Here is a quick list (including links) to the products and some of the tools I’ve used for this project.

The central locking kit – Amazon


Central locking kit Amazon


How long does it take to install?

It shouldn’t take longer than 2 hours to install this system on your Bongo or Freda. It took me about 1 1/2 hours in total. I was new to the process and did a fair bit of research before I started. With this guide it might take you even less time.

Step by step guide – How to install remote central locking on a Mazda Bongo

When you have all the equipment and tools listed above you can get started on this simple installation. Here is a detailed step by step guide to install remote central locking on your Bongo or Freda.

Step 1. Remove the door card.

There are five screws holding the door card in place. Remove each of these with a pozi screwdriver and remember where you took them from. They will need to go back in the same locations.

One of the screws (on the outer edge of the door) is covered by a small plastic cap. Use a flat head screwdriver to lever and pop this open.

Mazda Bongo door panel removal

The door card is also held on by a few poppers at the bottom. To remove the door card I find it best to pull from the bottom first. You can simply prise the card off with your fingers. If required you can use a large flat head screwdriver to assist. (Wrap a little electrical tape around the end so you don’t scratch the metal)

The card should then slide upwards. It might need a little jiggle. The top of the card has a small ledge that slides down onto the top of the door where the window is. It’s good to remember this when putting the card back on the door.

Before removing the door card completely, there are two important things to do.

  1. Twist and push the door release handle through the hole.
  2. Unplug the electrical cable that attaches to the power windows control panel. Simply push the little clips and pull apart the connector.

Now it’s time to remove the plastic sheet which is attached to the door with some horrible black sticky stuff. Gently peel this back from the top right corner and work your way round. You won’t need to remove the whole thing, just enough to access the wires. I’d recommend wearing some latex gloves for this part. Be careful not to get any on your clothes or the interior fabric.

Step 2. Fit the control unit

It’s much easier to keep the control unit inside the door, rather than running all the cables back into the cockpit. This is however up to you. You will need to remove the door wiring loom and feed the additional cable through. This is a very lengthy process. My instruction will show you how to wire everything within the door.

It fits nicely in the hole just above the speaker. If you want to mount the unit anywhere else be careful to avoid the window rails. Test by opening the window fully first.

I simply cable tied the control unit into place. You could mount it using the metal mount bars included in the kit but I thought it would be secure without.

Remote central locking control unit Mazda bongo

I used two small cable ties. One through each of the holes on the side of the unit and around a cable loom in the door.

The antenna for the unit can run up and along the cable loom above. I wrapped it around and used a little bit of electrical tape to hold it in place.

Step 3. Locate the correct power wires.

You’ll need a source of power to install the unit. A permanent 12v and a negative feed are required to power the control unit / receiver.

For the permanent 12v power supply I have used this cable which can be located near the middle of the door.

Mazda Bongo inside driver door cabling

Pull this connector apart and use a multi meter to test for the permanent 12v. it should be the cable closest to the clip.

permanent 12v mazda bongo door

Now, carefully cut back the tape and using a sharp knife strip the wire back to the metal. Try not to cut the wire completely.

stripped wire mazda bongo

I then ran the red cable (with the fuse on it) from the control unit down to this location. I cut it to length, stripped the wire and soldered it into place.

Mazda Bongo central locking install 12v per
soldered cable

Use electrical tape to cover up the join and secure the cable in place.

The negative cable is next

This cable can be located on the electric window switch loom. It’s the thick black cable in this connector.

negative cable

I put a dot next to the correct cable.

As before I stripped back the cable, ran the black wire from the control unit and soldered it into place. I then covered with electric tape to protect the naked wires.

mazda bongo drivers door wiring

Step 4. The actuator

I was lucky enough to already have a suitable actuator in my door so I don’t have detailed instruction on how to fit one yourself.

You will only need one of the two wired actuators from the set. I would hang onto the others in case you ever need to replace one in the future.

You can easily locate and drill two holes in the door to mount the actuator into place. You can see from this picture where mine has been installed.

actuator location mazda bongo

To do this yourself, simply locate and attach the rod which is located behind the metal panel. Measure the length of the metal rod and drill two holes in the metal. You can mark these out with a sharpie pen. Hold the actuator to this side of the door to find the perfect spacing. The actuator will mount on the inside with screws from this side of the door panel.

You might need some spacers to find the perfect location for the actuator. You could use washers or something similar to achieve this.

Step 5. Wire the actuator

You will require the blue and green cables from the control unit which should then be soldered into the actuator. Match the same colours for this part. I have spliced mine onto the existing cable run.

Mazda Bongo

You won’t need any of the other wires from the control unit. (Just the 4. Red, black, green and blue) The others can be cut shorter and tucked out of the way.

Step 6. Test and rebuild

We can now test the remote central locking system is working before putting everything back together. If it’s not working, check all your wiring. You can also test the unit on a direct feed from the 12v battery itself.

With everything working as expected you can now put the plastic sheet back into place. The door card will fit back into place in the same way it was removed. It can be a little stubborn sometimes but be patient and give it a little wiggle. Make sure the lock thumb is in the hole ok.

Fingers crossed everything will go back into place and you now have a working remote central locking system.

Thanks for reading. I hope this will help you install your own central locking system. Your wiring and setup may differ from mine but hopefully this guide has described enough for you to work it out.

I think for £25 this project is a no brainer. All the best. Ben

Try some of my other posts before you go: