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Best OEM Driver Door Handle?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by jnutter97, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Jan 13, 2021 at 10:05 AM
    #1
    jnutter97

    jnutter97 [OP] Member

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    I have a 99 taco and I replaced the driver side, interior door handle last summer and I suppose it was just cheap and has already broken again. Any recommendations on where to get a new one?
     
  2. Jan 13, 2021 at 10:40 AM
    #2
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    Any Yards close to where you live??

    Car Part.com
     
  3. Jan 13, 2021 at 11:01 AM
    #3
    Gyrkin

    Gyrkin Well-Known Member

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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, especially when it's cold outside. 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. It wasn't really that hard to get out, and was filthy. You just have to disconnect the bottom of the window track on that side to give you room, and it will come out. I had tried just lubing it in the past, but that didn't make much difference. Now I can open my door with my little finger, and my cheap, eight dollar Amazon door handle is holding up just fine.
     
    Wyoming09 likes this.
  4. Jan 13, 2021 at 12:29 PM
    #4
    se7enine

    se7enine MCMLXXIX

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    Buy the cheap depo versions and keep a spare in the glovebox or under the rear seats. After one you'll be good enough to change them out in under 10mins.
     
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  5. Jan 13, 2021 at 12:33 PM
    #5
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    I've had worse luck with OEM handles than the cheaper aftermarket ones. The T1A ones I got off Amazon awhile ago have been holding up well.
     
  6. Jan 13, 2021 at 1:58 PM
    #6
    Gyrkin

    Gyrkin Well-Known Member

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  7. Jan 13, 2021 at 4:17 PM
    #7
    se7enine

    se7enine MCMLXXIX

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  8. Jan 13, 2021 at 7:55 PM
    #8
    jaytrd02

    jaytrd02 Well-Known Member

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    I've had the best luck with toyota oem handles.
     
  9. Jan 23, 2021 at 5:26 PM
    #9
    Ramrod24

    Ramrod24 New Member

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    My door handle has recently broken. Mine is a 03 Tacoma with factory (4 door) red handles. All I find for sell are black ones???
     
  10. Jan 23, 2021 at 5:38 PM
    #10
    Gyrkin

    Gyrkin Well-Known Member

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    You are not likely going to find color matched handles. All I have ever seen for sale are black or chrome.
     
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  11. Jan 23, 2021 at 5:39 PM
    #11
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    I didn't realize color matched handles are offered on 1st gens? I've done a lot of looking for handles and have only ever seen black ones or occasionally the chrome ones for the Limited trim. Never seen color matched ones

    Best bet is probably to get the black ones and paint them yourself
     
  12. Mar 4, 2021 at 3:08 PM
    #12
    jadesride

    jadesride New Member

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    Door Handle Diagnosis -

    My drivers side door handle is getting hard to open. I have to pull all the way up to the limit before it will unlatch.
    Nothing appears to be actually broken - just seems to be worn out.
    Is this the handle mechanism that is worn out? Or some other part of the whole latching system?
    I don't want to spend $100 on a new handle if the problem is somewhere else.

    Thanks for the thoughts.
     
  13. Mar 4, 2021 at 5:14 PM
    #13
    cobascis

    cobascis Active Member

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    Im having the same issue. I have to pull the handle all the way up and it doesn’t really click or return to a downward position immediately, like it is gunked up. Are there any threads on cleaning and lubricating the mechanism?
     
  14. Mar 4, 2021 at 5:38 PM
    #14
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    Use dry lubricant spray, stick the hose inside the handle and spray away. Don't use anything other than dry lubricant though, anything else will gunk it up more and attract dirt.

    They also make a lubricant spray for locks that works well, basically the same thing as dry lube.
     
  15. Mar 4, 2021 at 5:50 PM
    #15
    Gyrkin

    Gyrkin Well-Known Member

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    It's not too hard to do. To clean it good you really need to remove it. Just remove the inside door panel. Remove the three torx bolts on the outside edge of the door. Disconnect the rods and anything connected to it inside the door. If you take the bottom bolt out of the window track it will give you room to remove it. I liberally sprayed brake cleaner on it to clean it, flushed it pretty good. Put some dry lube on it. Reinstalled and called it good.
     
  16. Mar 4, 2021 at 5:55 PM
    #16
    GMcGee

    GMcGee Active Member

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    The same thing happened to me on my passenger side, so I just opted to replace them both. The problem with mine was worn/brittle plastics which are necessary for the metal rods to utilize in order to open the doors. As you can see from the comments, experiences with (insert vendor) door handles vary. I replaced mine with whatever brand you find on eBay and they have held up just fine for the last two years. They are not difficult to replace and, thanks to YouTube, there are plenty of videos out there that can assist you. In my opinion, I don’t think this gripe warrants a $100 price tag (or whatever OEM prices are). Just get some decent cheapies and your problems should subside.
     
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  17. Mar 4, 2021 at 6:00 PM
    #17
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    Agreed. I've broken too many expensive OEM handles to waste money on more. The cheap T1A handles off Amazon last just as long and it's such an easy job to do, I wouldn't waste the money on OEM ones
     
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  18. Mar 4, 2021 at 6:27 PM
    #18
    OpeCity

    OpeCity Well-Known Member

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    I had this issue and found the actuating rod bent at the bottom connection. Straightened it with a set of pliers and it works great now. Will replace when/if it fails again
     
  19. Mar 4, 2021 at 8:26 PM
    #19
    Billnis

    Billnis Active Member

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    Could you explain? I just ordered their passenger side door handle, it was still available on Amazon.
    I read your comment again, I think I figured it out. You are saying they would rather sell the plastic ones that break. The company did post on amazon in response to the question on if they will be back in stock and they responded saying yes they will.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  20. Mar 6, 2021 at 11:16 AM
    #20
    Vicious Beaner!

    Vicious Beaner! New Member

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    Hopefully they do . I'm looking to buy some as well .mine are color keyed silver so that sucks I couldn't find silver ones anymore. Anyone know where I can find the rears for a DB cab. Only fund the fronts
     

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