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2003 Tacoma door handle

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Wild Bill, May 8, 2019.

  1. May 8, 2019 at 10:43 AM
    #1
    Wild Bill

    Wild Bill [OP] New Member

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    Where is the best place to find a OEM door handle for a 2003 prerunner drivers door. Replaced it a couple years ago with a aftermarket one. I could tell it was cheap made when I installed it. Broke again, think I will go with OEM this time. Anywhere besides Toyota dealer to buy one. Dealer wants $130.
     
  2. May 8, 2019 at 11:22 AM
    #2
    Fatal_Paradox

    Fatal_Paradox Well-Known Member

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    My dads 98 Tacoma has had 5 door handle replacements. Aftermarket are cheaper, but don't last. If you want OEM you will pay for it, but you GET what you pay for. 130 bucks for 15 years probably? OR 25 bucks for it to break in a year or two. Your other option are salvage yards to get a used OEM handle. These trucks rarely go to those so it may be hard to find. Try Car part. com it searches all those yards at once.
     
  3. May 8, 2019 at 5:13 PM
    #3
    Glamisman

    Glamisman Well-Known Member

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    the latch assembly needs attention. there is so much old hard grease and dirt that the latch rod puts strain on the plastic lever it attaches to on the outside door handle. after cleaning it should open the door with just your little finger pulling up on it.
     
    Gyrkin likes this.
  4. May 9, 2019 at 7:01 AM
    #4
    Gyrkin

    Gyrkin Well-Known Member

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    Wyoming
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    A few years ago when mine broke I shelled out the bucks for an OEM replacement and it only lasted six months. The latch (the part that actually holds the door shut) gets gummed up over the years and it takes more effort to open. This puts more stress on the handle. If you clean and lube that latch real good, your new handle will last, even if it’s a cheap one. If you don’t, your new handle probably won’t last, even if it’s OEM. After replacing the handle several times in quick succession I took the latch out and gave it a thorough cleaning. Now I can open my door with my little finger, and my cheap, eight dollar Amazon door handle is holding up just fine.
     
  5. May 9, 2019 at 1:27 PM
    #5
    eon_blue

    eon_blue moist

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    Dorman is the only handle I've bought so far that has lasted...they make them with a bigger plastic lip on the back that engages the handle mechanism. The OEM ones have a smaller lip and it starts to slip over time and won't engage the handle.

    After having multiple OEM handles fail I finally compared the two side by side and I can say 100% that Dorman has a better design as far as that's concerned.

    The overall quality might not be as good as OEM but I haven't had to change it out in over a year and I was having to replace my OEM ones far more often.
     
  6. May 9, 2019 at 5:33 PM
    #6
    greengaint97

    greengaint97 ~149k and counting

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    Gyrkin and eon_blue like this.
  7. May 10, 2019 at 9:25 PM
    #7
    cruisedon66

    cruisedon66 Well-Known Member

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    Near St. Louis
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    When you install the new handle, JB weld a thin strip of metal to the area where your old one broke.
     
  8. May 10, 2019 at 9:26 PM
    #8
    eon_blue

    eon_blue moist

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    Nice, yeah I will always recommend them after my crappy experience with so many OEM handles. I'm sure that Toyota uses better quality material but the Dorman design is superior. And if the Dorman breaks you're only out ~$20, when an OEM one breaks you're out $$$
     
    greengaint97 likes this.
  9. May 10, 2019 at 10:06 PM
    #9
    Sebz13

    Sebz13 Coconut Expert

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    a dropped one and a rusty 4wd one.
    I have the 5 dollar one chocked filled with white grease, seems okay for now.
     

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