Another Rear Hatch Handle...

Rubert313

New Member
Dec 29, 2016
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Hey guys this is my first post! If you have any comments/suggestions/questions please feel free to ask!

I know there are a few videos on YouTube on how to replace the handle and fix the handle but i wanted to post a few pictures and tricks i've learned from doing this job too many times.

If you are locked out of the truck and cant open the tailgate, you can do it from inside.
Start by removing the trim pieces on the rear hatch and then the ones on the side. These should come off fairly easily.
20170206_143336.jpg
20170206_143358.jpg
Next the larger plastic. This can be a bit of a pain and will require some tugging. First, remove the pull strap (10mm). I started on the sides at the top where I could put a finger or two behind it to yank. This requires force back and up.

20170206_143422.jpg
Once the strap and plastic is removed, take the large black metal cover off. I usually swing this out of the way and gently let it hang by the wires.
20170206_143726.jpg
Next, removed the two rubber grommets in the middle of the door along with the 4 nuts holding the window motor in place. This will give easy access to the back of the handle. Push the motor assembly in and down just a few inches to make some room.

20170206_144731.jpg
Now, removed the two nuts on the back of the handle and your licence plate. Once those are out, you can CAREFULLY remove the plastic around the licence plate by squeezing the small tabs in the door and gently pressing out. This is the finished product.
20170206_145005.jpg
20170206_145011.jpg
There are two small screws that hold the handle in place, remove these and the handle should fall right out.
20170206_145026.jpg
Old vs New
20170206_145735.jpg
Reassembly is very simple and the opposite of what you just did! I always put some sort of lube on the cable and handle.
The Fix: I recently saw a video of a man who thought of a way to make these handle live a little linger. Over time the cable is stretched so each time the hatch is opened, you have to pull a little harder each time. Replacing the cable is a job but this fix gave the gentleman almost two years of trouble free use. Use some sort of spacer to take up the slack in the cable. I used small lock washers. I bent them open, put them on the cable and then closed them again. 3 washers seemed to do the trick and the handle feels better than ever. Feels like a brand new car! As soon as I apply pressure to the handle, the hatch opens! Just be careful, too many washers will result in the latch staying open and you wont be able to close it!
20170206_151236.jpg
Hope this was helpful. If you have any question please feel free to ask!
 

Jim Smola

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 28, 2016
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157
43
Inman SC
Hey guys this is my first post! If you have any comments/suggestions/questions please feel free to ask!

I know there are a few videos on YouTube on how to replace the handle and fix the handle but i wanted to post a few pictures and tricks i've learned from doing this job too many times.

If you are locked out of the truck and cant open the tailgate, you can do it from inside.
Start by removing the trim pieces on the rear hatch and then the ones on the side. These should come off fairly easily.
View attachment 257
View attachment 256
Next the larger plastic. This can be a bit of a pain and will require some tugging. First, remove the pull strap (10mm). I started on the sides at the top where I could put a finger or two behind it to yank. This requires force back and up.

View attachment 259
Once the strap and plastic is removed, take the large black metal cover off. I usually swing this out of the way and gently let it hang by the wires.
View attachment 260
Next, removed the two rubber grommets in the middle of the door along with the 4 nuts holding the window motor in place. This will give easy access to the back of the handle. Push the motor assembly in and down just a few inches to make some room.

View attachment 261
Now, removed the two nuts on the back of the handle and your licence plate. Once those are out, you can CAREFULLY remove the plastic around the licence plate by squeezing the small tabs in the door and gently pressing out. This is the finished product.
View attachment 262
View attachment 263
There are two small screws that hold the handle in place, remove these and the handle should fall right out.
View attachment 264
Old vs New
View attachment 265
Reassembly is very simple and the opposite of what you just did! I always put some sort of lube on the cable and handle.
The Fix: I recently saw a video of a man who thought of a way to make these handle live a little linger. Over time the cable is stretched so each time the hatch is opened, you have to pull a little harder each time. Replacing the cable is a job but this fix gave the gentleman almost two years of trouble free use. Use some sort of spacer to take up the slack in the cable. I used small lock washers. I bent them open, put them on the cable and then closed them again. 3 washers seemed to do the trick and the handle feels better than ever. Feels like a brand new car! As soon as I apply pressure to the handle, the hatch opens! Just be careful, too many washers will result in the latch staying open and you wont be able to close it!
View attachment 266
Hope this was helpful. If you have any question please feel free to ask!
Welcome and that is one killer first post.
 
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Kim

New Member
Jun 25, 2018
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Rear back door handle fix. I feel for the people who have taken the entire door apart.
What if I told you the rear latch handle can be fix without tearing the door apart. This is how to fix it. Buy the new handle, now take it apart, that is slide the hinge pin out, now open the door by using a bent screwdriver so it looks like the part of the handle that goes through the little hole the handle goes through, and pop the door open. It may take a few tries. now take the screws out of the licence plate lights pull to the side just enough so you can see the ends of the hinge pin. reach in with a needle nose and rip the clip on the end of the pin off. now work the hing pin out of the handle.(this is the one in the door) The pin will not drop into the door if you slide it all the off the handle, try to slide it so it stays on the handle, with the pin out the broken handle falls out. now put the new handle, that you took apart of the new unit, set it in place and slip the old pin back through the handle, using the needle nose nic the end of the pin instead of putting the clip back on, so the pin does not fall out. once the pin is slipped back in it will stay in place without the clip. now put the licence plate lights back together and your done. Tip you do not have to open the door, but you will have to contort yourself so you can see up past the licence plate lights. iiit takes less than an hour. you have to use the old pin the new one won't slide through, the pin is bigger, at least on the one I had.
 
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PhillySpecial

New Member
Sep 15, 2018
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Is it wise to replace the door handle before it breaks? How do you know when its about to go? I'm a new owner and I would rather do preventative maintenance.
 
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JoeSick

New Member
Feb 9, 2019
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I've done this 3 times in six years, but the last fix has worked since 2015. Go on ebay and buy one of the more expensive hatch latches. They have ones that use metal instead of plastic for the part of the latch that always breaks. I also used stop bolts to keep the cable tight. Feels just about as good as it did when I installed it. (It will probably break next week since I'm jinxing it.) Might as well pick up some of those plastic clips things, as they get brittle and break. Might as well replace them while you got the whole liftgate apart. Last big of advice is to check the recall notice from Toyota about the rear window. They tell you to take out a spring and throw it away(!) if the window only goes down halfway. Other recurring issue I have is radiator. Had to replace that 3 times, but only did the timing belt twice. I tried to put in a backup camera when I had the whole back open, but it was too complicated for me.