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1st generation Tacoma door will not unlock- *SOLVED*

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Markcal, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Mar 3, 2020 at 11:30 AM
    #41
    2Runner

    2Runner Well-Known Member

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    Scott
    So Cal
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    2002 Regular Cab 2.4L MT 2WD
    So how many years before this actually broke then, was that an original?
     
  2. Aug 10, 2020 at 9:40 AM
    #42
    CrustyTaco

    CrustyTaco Well-Known Member

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    Todd
    Louisville, KY
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    04 Ext Cab V6 5MT 4X4 170k
    881/5100/Dakars 4R wheels / TBU / New frame
    I had to replace my driver's side door lock spring this weekend. I could not open my driver's door from the outside, inside, or using the key. Had to remove both seats and the center console for easier access. Hardest part is figuring out what to part of the lock component to lift to initially open the door.

    I found a working replacement at Harbor Freight in their Storehouse 200pc Spring Assortment. This spring is listed as a 13/16"L x 13/64"W. It has thinner gauge wire than OE and has more coils (17 v 10). It is working but I don't feel great about the thinner wire gauge and weaker spring strength. Ace Hardware was already closed by the time I went spring shopping, unfortunately.

    Home Depot has a spring assortment that looks like it has a spring that might work. Looks similar in gauge to the Harbor Freight
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-Spring-Assortment-Kit-84-Pack-13554/203133714

    Today I went to my local Ace Hardware and looked through their spring selection. The closest match is the #119 extension spring ($0.90/ea). This is listed as a 3/4"L x 1/4"W spring, and Hillman gives it a weight rating of 10.18lbs. It has thinner wire and one fewer coil compared to the OE, but it is a better match than the Harbor Freight spring.

    Door_Lock_Springs.jpg
    I reconstructed the OE spring in photoshop for reference purposes. Actual length may be slightly different.
     
    QMEDJoe and jnossoff like this.
  3. Sep 12, 2020 at 4:27 PM
    #43
    deckeda

    deckeda Well-Known Member

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    Several unrelated door issues mentioned in this thread but interesting nonetheless. Thank you CrustyTaco for the update on the spring. Presumably the one from Ace works OK? I need to do this fix to my 2004 soon. I can get it unlocked after a bit of effort and luck, but we live in an area where locking the doors isn't often necessary.
     
  4. Sep 20, 2020 at 8:54 AM
    #44
    bldegle2

    bldegle2 OldPhart

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    San Francisco, Ca.
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    2009 Prerunner TRD AccessCab
    New Navigation DVD/CD/TV/AV/Bluetooth Stereo and seat mod spacers, 1" hubcentric spacers, seat heaters....
    Just replaced my driver side door lock actuator and the door handle itself. 20 years it lasted. Did the whole repair for about $175, all new parts. The problem was getting the door open one last time. If it is locked and the button will not pull up by hand, your phucked cause you need the door open to get the door panel off. Mine would only come up about halfway. occasionally all the way if I played with the handles inside and out. I sweated for two weeks until the parts arrived, and, fortunately was able to 'jimmy' the lock open one last time to do the replacement. works like a charm. getting one of the clips back on was a pain. It actually works better than it ever did. Found a brand new actuator at a blowout price of $149 on Ebay, add the $14 handle, door working again on the cheap...
     
  5. Dec 14, 2020 at 4:38 PM
    #45
    Thamada808

    Thamada808 Member

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    Seems like this lock problem is a common thing. I have a 2000 tacoma like everyone the power lock will lock but unlocking it is 50/50. I have never taken the door panel off so I really don't know how it looks. What I'm reading from other people is that it could be many different reasons. Let's say I get a alarm system with its own auto lock actuators would that work? I kinda want to know what I need to buy before taking it all apart
     
  6. Jan 2, 2021 at 8:57 AM
    #46
    deckeda

    deckeda Well-Known Member

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    I'm confused. Some folks are saying this issue with the spring doesn't apply if you have power locks, and yet in the video the truck has power locks.
     
    AviateGW likes this.
  7. Jan 2, 2021 at 2:29 PM
    #47
    deckeda

    deckeda Well-Known Member

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    Well now. Got mine taken apart. The infamous spring (yes it's supposed to be there on power door/power window trucks) on mine looks fantastic, and yet I was having trouble opening the door, if someone had just locked it: it couldn't be unlocked except with some persistence + luck.

    What's really "clever" about this bullshit design is that there are multiple ways for similar or at least related symptoms to fail. In my case, some plastic on the door handle had worn away where it presses down on the metal horizontal lever (go figure ... ) causing me to have to "pull up harder" on the door handle. Sound familiar to anyone? This is in the area of the left arrow in my picture.

    Even worse, the plastic securing main pivot point (right arrow in my picture) snapped, allowing the horizontal lever to pivot and move in interesting ways not intended by Toyota engineers.

    04-tacoma door handle.jpg


    And yet it still mostly worked ... but for how long? O'Reilly's sells replacements from Dorman. You'll pay more than Amazon, but then again they might stock it and get your door working again on a weekend. Suck it up buttercup.

    They aren't probably made as well as Toyota's (all of the plastic looks thinner) but the action of the mechanism feels smooth and high quality, and far better than a broken OEM part. Toyota wants about $100 for this handle, O'Reilly's currently wants $35 for the regular all-black version, or $27 for one with a "chrome" puller. That's what my store had in stock and so I "upgraded" to chrome, because I am an old fart, and my Tacoma already had chrome bumpers yada yada, so with a touch more faux-chrome on the truck now I am just more fully embracing my old age. (On one side of the truck, for now.)

    The main slide point (middle of horizontal bar) already has some lube on it, but mine now has more, courtesy of some GM Lubriplate. (Lubriplate is thick white grease made to lubricate, um metal plates ... ) I also added some to other friction areas to hopefully stanch the tide of inevitability.

    Ran outta daylight and parked in the garage for the night. The bar that comes down and attaches to the catch mechanism needs to have its slotted end straightened out, which I'm hoping is the reason why when locked it would not unlock. That slotted end is thin metal; I can see why they usually become bent after all the lube everywhere turns to sludge. At the moment I don't how clean/corrosion-free I can get the catch mechanism but tomorrow's another day.
     

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  8. May 29, 2021 at 1:23 AM
    #48
    Visegripmech

    Visegripmech Member

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    Riverside, CA
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    04 Prerunner TRD
    The tang on my exterior door handle broke off, so the only way to open it was by using the interior latch. Then she proceeds to roll the window all the way up and lock the doors. The exterior passenger handle broke some time ago so we were locked out. I got in with a 1 1/2" x 16" piece of 16 gauge sheet metal. Slide it down just a bit to the rear of where the key goes. You are trying to find the rod that attaches to the exterior latch assembly. It attaches very near the lock cylinder, then runs horizontally to the latch mechanism.. Normally when you pull up on the handle this rod is pushed down. I worked my slim-jim up and down at various points between the key lock and the door latch and <boink> it opened right up. I would definitely try this before removing the seats
     
  9. Jul 15, 2021 at 10:06 PM
    #49
    glwood6

    glwood6 Well-Known Member

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    Bilstein 4600 shocks.
    It seems that if that worked, a stop at a locksmith shop (or call to AAA if you have it) would get the door open. You could then remove the interior door panel and drive home to finish the job...
     
  10. Jan 1, 2022 at 3:02 PM
    #50
    tenover

    tenover New Member

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    Guys-
    I'm having a similar issue with my 1999 Tacoma PreRunner, and was hoping you could tell me if you think it's the spring or not. My issue is:

    - Driver side door only(Manual locks only, no power on my truck)
    - When the door is locked, and I'm outside, if I insert the key and turn to unlock the door, the lock/tab(on the inside) only opens halfway and the door does not unlock.
    - If I LEAN into the door, *or* apply pressure to the exterior handle WHILE turning the key, it unlatches all the way.

    Suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  11. Mar 22, 2022 at 5:18 AM
    #51
    QMEDJoe

    QMEDJoe Proverbs 3:5-6

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    Fleetwood NC
    Vehicle:
    2003 black DLX Tacoma,5VZ-FE,5 speed,4x4.
    Fox 2.0 Coilovers in the front and Fox 2.0’s in the rear, Total Chaos UCA’s, Al-lpro expo leafs, K&N cold air intake, TRD headers,Magnaflow catback exhaust,URD short throw shifter, switched out my 60/40 bench seat for some Tacoma Limited seats, Replaced the vinyl shift boot for a leather one, completely soundproofed the cab w/ Frost King. Replaced stock radio with a Pioneer AVH series head unit. Focal component system w/a 10" sub powered by 2 Alpine amps. Weathertech floor mats. Line-X'd the bed. SCS Ray 10’s, Installed an A.R.E. MX series camper shell. All-Pro Apex front bumper w/ All-Pro skid plates all the way back to the Trans. Low Range fuel skid plate.
    Does anyone have any OEM part numbers for the spring?
     

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