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Center Compartment Latch Repair

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Old 12-16-2009, 08:48 PM   #1
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Center Compartment Latch Repair

After having this latch fail on me (button falls out along with the spring), and going to the dealer only to find out I will be required to purchase a complete console for approx $250, I resolved the problem with no more than two 4-40 x 3/8" set screws. The cause of the failure is poor design. There are two very small plastic catch tangs on the top side of the latch button, which are molded into the button. These two tangs are intended to prevent the button from popping out. The catch tangs mate to two slots in the latch outer housing. As the button moves in and out, the tangs slide with in the mating slots. When these tangs wear down, they will no longer retain the button and the button pops out. To repair, you need to replace the tangs on the top side of the button with two set screw (one per tang).

How to fix:
Remove the interior (underside) of the center compartment lid. This will allow you access to the two screws that hold the latch housing in place. Remove the latch housing from the lid. With a scribe, scribe a line from one catch tang to the other (on center) on the top side of the button. This scribe line will be used later for locating holes. Now, scribe two perpendicular lines (on center to the tangs). This should provide you with the exact location of both tangs. Place the button back into the housing and verify your scribe line locations. They should be on center with the slots in the housing. (Re-scribe if they are not in the correct location) With a very smooth file (or sharp knife), remove the two catch tangs on the top side of the button. Do not file off the three scribe lines. Once the tangs are removed. Use your three scribe lines and re-mark the original tang locations.

Now, use an all (or snap punch) and create a center for your drill bit, so the drill bit will not walk off center as you begin to drill. Use a #47 drill bit (.078") and drill through the two tang locations. (Drill through the outer portion of the top of the button only.) Be sure to drill at a very slow speed so as not to auger out any additional material. Use a 4-40 tap and tap part way through the whole. Caution, DO NOT tap all the way through. We only want proper threads about 2/3rd of the way through the whole. Not tapping all the way through will allow the 4-40 set screw to have enough wall tension to not come loose in the future. Install the two 4-40 x 3/8" set screws into the tapped hole in the button. Because the #47 drill is undersized, and also because you did not tap all the way through, there will be significant wall tension which will cause material to will bulge up around the set screw holes as the screws are installed, this is good. Now, remove the set screws and gently file the off bulge. Fit the button back into the housing (without the set screws) to check fit. It must slide freely in and out. If it does not be sure you fully removed all bulging material around the set screw holes. Place the spring back in place over the center post, slide the button into the housing and re-install the set screws through the slots and into the button. Again, the set screws should have enough wall tension so as not to freely screw in and out. Screw the set screws in only as far as necessary, so as to have the top of the set screw flush with outer edge of the housing. If it is discovered during final assembly that the screws do not properly line up with the slots in the housing, causing the button to stick, disassemble and file open the width of the slots to allow the button to move in and out smoothly (remove only a minimal amount of material in this process). A little bit of friction is OK as the screws will eventually create their own clearance post several operations of the latch.
Note: If you have lost the compression spring, most hardware stores will have a selection. The spring fits over the center post inside the button and is very soft. Almost any soft spring will work provided it will compress far enough without coil bind and fits around the center post. The spring length can be cut to fit if it is to long.

Reinstall the latch (assembled) into the armrest lid with the two original retaining screws. Caution not over tighten as the lid is made from plastic and may strip the treads very easily. Reinstall the inside cover and check latch operation prior to closing the center compartment. If the latch does not operate freely, you have something assembled improperly. Disassemble, identify the problem, fix and reinstall.

Mine has worked great since I repaired it. It has seen several hundred opening and closings with no ill effects.

Good Luck
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:58 PM   #2
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My latch works, it's just that it sticks.

I have to smack the console sometimes so it pops back out to lock.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:19 PM   #3
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Don't have any. Just thought I would post a resolution for this problem. I understand this is a common failure.
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:12 PM   #4
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Center Console Fix by proformance

Awesome instructions!!!! The parts were more difficult to find than the fix itself. Thanks so much. Ace Hardware has the bit, tap and set screws.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:17 PM   #5
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Thanks for taking the time to write this up. Just fixed mine today!
I also added plenty of grease inside the button..... and it now works as smooth as can be!
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:56 PM   #7
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That repair was too easy......
I took photos while doing it. I will post them shortly.
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:49 PM   #8
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In my situation the little tabs had worn themselves out of existence so I did not have to do any filing. So I started where the instructions said to start drilling!

The first pic is of the holes already drilled and tapped and the tiny ass set screws in place.



Next up is the photo of the two halves with the spring (this is not the original spring - mine sprung out and disappeared - - new one 60 cents at Ace.)



Now before you put the two halves and spring together permanently, you have to remove the set screws and install them last when all the pieces are put together and compressed so that the holes line up through the slots in the outer half piece.



This is the finished product. The more observant among us will notice I enlarged the slot on the right because my set screw didnt go in perfectly straight. Being a little crooked it required expanding the slot. But it works.

All the parts and tools to do this job cost me about $15 at Ace Hardware.

It took longer to drive to Ace to get the stuff then to actually do the job.

Once again TacomaWorld saved me big bucks!
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:11 AM   #9
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Glad it all worked out for you. As you attested to, the fix requires very little time and is very simple to accomplish.

-And-

Thanks for putting up the pics. I should have taken my truck back apart and added photos. But, I always seem to have something more pressing to deal with.
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:17 PM   #10
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Great fix. A simple modification - remove latch - assemble the two parts without spring - On Dave's last picture - see where screws were installed. Find where tab wore off. Drill 2 very small holes through first layer of plastic. Put in a 1/2" rigid wire through each hole. Take latch apart. Install spring. Reassemble. Install wires. Spring tension should keep wire pieces in place. Reinstall latch in center compartment. Cost $0 if you have some stiff wire.
5 minute repair job.
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:45 PM   #11
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SCORE!!!! Thank you for taking the time to post this!!! When my latch busted I figured I was up shi!t creek, then realized if I could find the spring I would only be slightly inconvenienced! Evidentally I'm not the only victim of this crappy design flaw. Thank you again for the info. Now...last thing on the list is finding info on the POS stereo that is holding three of my CDs hostage!
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:48 PM   #12
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Bless you, bless you, bless you. Fixed mine today with your fix. Better than new. $.50 is way better than $300.
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:07 PM   #13
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Rather ridiculous how they offer the hinge as a separate part, but not the latch or even the lid assembly.

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Old 09-10-2011, 08:08 AM   #14
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What an awesome forum! We purchased an 07 Tacoma Prerunner for my son a couple of months ago and his latch broke yesterday. My husband already has it fixed this morning after reading this forum. Thanks for instructions for this quick/cheap repair!
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:38 PM   #15
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Great fix everyone. Coat hanger wire worked great! Just be careful with that small drill bit.
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:10 PM   #16
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Hey my latch broke also and I was looking for your pics? Is there a reason that it is not on the post?
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:16 PM   #17
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mine just broke on the way home.. stupid latch

looks like a have a mod to do this weekend lol
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:41 AM   #18
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For pictures --- see the posting by bkrdave36.

Then:
remove latch - assemble the two parts without spring - On Dave's last picture - see where screws were installed. Find where tab wore off. Drill 2 very small holes through first layer of plastic. Put in a 1/2" rigid wire through each hole. Take latch apart. Install spring. Reassemble. Install wires. Spring tension should keep wire pieces in place. Reinstall latch in center compartment. Cost $0 if you have some stiff wire.
5 minute repair job.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:38 AM   #19
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OP (and rest) killa fix! Mine broke last weekend (thanks to my lovely wife trying to open from passenger seat).

never even knew of this site but my google fu must have been strong that day. didn't even bother calling the dealership part department after reading this as if i got quoted $200 for part i would have gone postal on them

5 mile drive to and back from the hardware store, 10 minutes in the driveway and the biatch is fixed thanks to above.

grabbed 2 set screws, 1 springs, 1 drill bit, 1 tapping tool (i think total was ~5 beans)

probably wont be too active on board but registered just to say thanks!
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:10 PM   #20
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Hey FullSquish

I didnt think I would be active either...but here I am still....

Strange how that works out.....
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