Belated welcome ExTrumpet!
I may be late with this, but when I had mine at the dealer I mentioned this same problem and asked if they had seen it before/what the solution was/what the cost would be for them to fix it. $40 or $45 and they handled it by lubing the sealed mechanism. When I asked about having to drill a hole, the service advisor said that there was an existing hole to spray the lube in through and that this was a relatively easy fix. It's a work vehicle for me, so the repair is a business expense - the value of having them responsible for any cracked plastic, etc - it was worth $45 to not have to handle it myself. It's been well over a year and I've not had a bit of trouble with it. I'm in an out of my read hatch multiple times per day, almost every day. It sees a good bit of use. Having had to lube the mechanism once in 8 years seems pretty reasonable now that I think about it.My 2005 Armada is having some age issues as well. Turning around 96,000-97,000 miles currently.
For approximately the last 6 months or so, I've been pulling the glass latch, to help the rear hatch open. Now I see what's the problem after reading all your write-ups. Since pulling the passenger door panel off didn't scare me, I'll tackle the rear hatch panel tonight, and lube both the latch mechanism, and then the actuator. I'll take picture as I do this, and post up afterwards.
It seems, only one post in this thread had a Nissan Tech recommend lubing the mechanism first (which fixed the problem), so I'll assume it's just the weather/rust environment of the "Great White North" that plagues this latch.
I'll drill a hole in the actuator and fill it with some "Fluid Film", as I have some in the garage, but only after I verify lubing the latch parts fixes the rear hatch problem first.
(Of course, if it doesn't fix it alone, I'll lube the actuator, and post up my findings. )
Thanks for all the great commentary.
That unit is only available as whole lock assembly. Cheapest price I've seen is around $167. The part number is 905027S400. You have to be careful when ordering because there is another part number with a "0" in place of the 4 and it is a lock assembly but is not powered. Description of the item you need will can be listed as Armada truck lock actuator motor, or lock Assy-Back Door or liftgate lock assembly.Over a year later and I'm still looking for a part number for the actuator. I've been to several dealerships and even pulled the back apart and showed guys the part... Nobody has been able to help me. If anyone can get me the part number I will be forever in their debt. Thanks!