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
Founding Member
Dec 28, 2016
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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.
 
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SequoiaSurveyor

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
34
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Great post Rubert313.
I replaced the broken plastic handle once, then the next time it was the cable that stretched. I tried something that didn't work. If I would have found this forum earlier I would have seen this post with your washer fix and Joes stop bolt comment and I wouldn't have given up and brought it to the shop. I think the rear hatch handle is like the right of passage for the Sequoia owner.
 

SequoiaSurveyor

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
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Wouldn't you know it, handle wouldn't open this weekend from what I guessed was a stretched cable, but it was in a high altitude colder weather situation. I would think that would make the cable contract, but I guess there is more to it than that, the cold making things not work well. Going to have to try some spacer of sorts, or JoeSlicks stop bolts.
 

Boba Fett

New Member
Jul 4, 2019
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I have had trouble with this one in the past. I even replaced not only the handle but also the latching mechanism after (watching the you tube video below). I first thought I fixed it but no short time a month or so and it was back. I also thought it was the cable that was stretching. I took the cable and lack mechanism back to Toyota they gave me a new replacement that one lasted a few weeks and then the dreaded issue was back again AAARGGGHH!!
What I did was I put the handle in a vise and gently bent the part that the cable ball rests in up to create more tension. Problem solved finally :) It has been fixed now for months never have had an issue with it anymore. Works like new hope this helps someone out!!

 
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SequoiaSurveyor

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
34
3
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57
Wouldn't you know it, handle wouldn't open this weekend from what I guessed was a stretched cable, but it was in a high altitude colder weather situation. I would think that would make the cable contract, but I guess there is more to it than that, the cold making things not work well. Going to have to try some spacer of sorts, or JoeSlicks stop bolts.
Update - it wasn't the cable, or the handle, it was the latch, caked with nasty and sticking. I blew it out with garage door lube. Works fine. Until the next time
 

mowstrong

New Member
May 22, 2018
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Have you guys come across or thought about creating another way to open the rear hatch from the inside?
I’ve had the same issue a few times and have become pretty good at taking the door apart from the inside. I found that actually cleaning and lubing the actual actuator where the cable comes out has fixed my problem for quite a while now.
However, my first thought was attaching a string to the cable and fishing it out next to the window. It works ok but not great.
I wish there was an inside handle. What do you guys think? Any ideas on how to rig up an internal handle?
 

Boba Fett

New Member
Jul 4, 2019
14
5
3
50
Hi just wanted to send an update on a recent item I purchased back in sept to fix the rear hatch and so far a couple months now I love it so much. Good by cable!! I will try and update in six months on how they are still working.

Below is a link to a small company I think they are just doing this on the side to make a little extra cash. Their was an issue they sent me the wrong wiring harness by accident 01-04 wiring is different then 05-07. So I did have to move some jumpers around to get the correct configuration but no big deal. They were super nice and answered the phone every time I called for support.
Here is the link to there website.

I purchased the two button basic kit. This kit comes with actuator, wiring harness, one push button mounted to handle and another button separate with a long length of wire so you could have a lot of options on were you want the second button mounted. So I now have a button on the handle on the outside and I put a another button on the inside by the divers rear post of the rear hatch up hi so I don't accidently push it. I will try to post some pics later.

After I purchased this product I did find the actuators on amazon for very cheap so you could buy them and try and rig up your own wire harness but for me it was worth paying the extra cash to help a family out and save me a lot of time.
The missing parts are the wiring harness, push buttons, and the wire arm is bent in a unique way not straight.

But if your actuator breaks you can order another for really cheap. Here is a link below for the actuators they are the same my wife accidently touch the bare wire (she thought it was dirt)I talk about below and fried the actuator so I order these and worked no problem now I have a backup if this one ever goes.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CZBQCR2?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

Another item I might mention is the large wire cluster that my window goes next to was actually being rubbed by the window making a small cut in one of the wires I fixed and moved the wiring harness further out of the way so now it does not even come close to rubbing the wires just fyi you might check yours out to make sure you dont have a future issues.
 

Anthony81

New Member
Dec 12, 2022
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I just replaced the handle and cable. It worked twice. Now the new handle is bent. Cheap parts! Aggravating
 

Boba Fett

New Member
Jul 4, 2019
14
5
3
50
Hi just wanted to send an update on a recent item I purchased back in sept to fix the rear hatch and so far a couple months now I love it so much. Good by cable!! I will try and update in six months on how they are still working.

Below is a link to a small company I think they are just doing this on the side to make a little extra cash. Their was an issue they sent me the wrong wiring harness by accident 01-04 wiring is different then 05-07. So I did have to move some jumpers around to get the correct configuration but no big deal. They were super nice and answered the phone every time I called for support.
Here is the link to there website.

I purchased the two button basic kit. This kit comes with actuator, wiring harness, one push button mounted to handle and another button separate with a long length of wire so you could have a lot of options on were you want the second button mounted. So I now have a button on the handle on the outside and I put a another button on the inside by the divers rear post of the rear hatch up hi so I don't accidently push it. I will try to post some pics later.

After I purchased this product I did find the actuators on amazon for very cheap so you could buy them and try and rig up your own wire harness but for me it was worth paying the extra cash to help a family out and save me a lot of time.
The missing parts are the wiring harness, push buttons, and the wire arm is bent in a unique way not straight.

But if your actuator breaks you can order another for really cheap. Here is a link below for the actuators they are the same my wife accidently touch the bare wire (she thought it was dirt)I talk about below and fried the actuator so I order these and worked no problem now I have a backup if this one ever goes.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CZBQCR2?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

Another item I might mention is the large wire cluster that my window goes next to was actually being rubbed by the window making a small cut in one of the wires I fixed and moved the wiring harness further out of the way so now it does not even come close to rubbing the wires just fyi you might check yours out to make sure you dont have a future issues.
I just wanted to update this actuator is still going strong. I purchased this kit from York Solutions on 11/23/21 had 149,559 on the tree now 7/28/23 with 162,448 on the tree still works great I have not had to do anything since the day I installed. I just wanted to give an update since the purchase works great.
 

ThatHighGuy11

New Member
Sep 1, 2023
1
0
1
29
Has anyone ever had issues with the trunk not opening at all even after removing the liftgate panel and manually unlocking and actuating the latch by hand.