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Driver's side Exterior door handle...

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by SteveW504, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. Mar 8, 2020 at 11:36 AM
    #1
    SteveW504

    SteveW504 [OP] Active Member

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    Body lift by previous owner. Rear welded locker by same fool.
    I'm about to replace the left door handle again (4th time), and I ran across a thread a while back (after I replaced it last time) where suggestions were well made to also lube all the pivot points on the latch mechanism below. I don't remember if those are are all accessible without removing the latch, but I know it's a tight space. I don't want to take things apart then ask this question, so here I am. Taking the latch out isn't the problem, but introduces potential other problems (based on other threads) with it's operation on an old truck. I'd rather not take it out, but can I reach the pivot points? Again, I'd rather ask before disassembly. I've gotten way to comfortable taking the door apart and don't want to do it again. ....I got the "RockAuto" handle many have suggested. I hope it works longer than previous ebay versions. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Mar 8, 2020 at 8:11 PM
    #2
    chrslefty

    chrslefty Well-Known Member

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    My reading comprehension sucks today. are you asking if you can lube it without taking the latch off?
    I did I got a can of silicone spray and had the door card off and sprayed the springs and upper pivot points. Didn't take much.
     
  3. Mar 8, 2020 at 9:54 PM
    #3
    ryans4x4

    ryans4x4 Well-Known Member

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    Buy a brand new oem handle. I’ve had way better luck and gotten a lot more time out of a new one from Toyota than eBay and Amazon specials.
     
    SteveW504 [OP] likes this.
  4. Mar 9, 2020 at 6:22 AM
    #4
    adamdsgn

    adamdsgn Well-Known Member

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    You can find OEM handles on Amazon. They're not prime, but most have free shipping. Replaced my drivers side handle a year or so ago and just replaced my passenger handle because it snapped off in a freeze. Below is link I used. Labeled OEM part in an OEM box:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005VWRJBU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_image?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Also, shipping was estimated at a week, but showed up in 3 days. I also purchased a bag of aftermarket clips (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040CTTH4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_image?ie=UTF8&psc=1) because you will snap at least 50% of them trying to take the door panel off.
     
    REDeye jedi, ryans4x4 and chrslefty like this.
  5. Mar 9, 2020 at 4:24 PM
    #5
    SteveW504

    SteveW504 [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks guys. I have the RockAuto replacement in hand, and going to install it, but try lubing up the pivot points to have the latch move more freely (it didn't seem to be binding or resisting, but...). If this handle fails too, I'll buck up and get a Toyota one. Thanks again. ....as an old guy, I wish someone made one all metal.
     
    REDeye jedi likes this.
  6. Mar 9, 2020 at 4:56 PM
    #6
    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. 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.
     
  7. Mar 10, 2020 at 8:22 AM
    #7
    SteveW504

    SteveW504 [OP] Active Member

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    Body lift by previous owner. Rear welded locker by same fool.
    Removing the latch is what I'm going to do. Today is the repair day. All the advice is appreciated, everybody. Having the latch work easily makes sense, so that's part of the job. (I kind of knew that, but...) Thanks again.
     
    Gyrkin likes this.
  8. Mar 10, 2020 at 2:44 PM
    #8
    Gyrkin

    Gyrkin Well-Known Member

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    I ended up doing this job myself today. I had never removed and cleaned up the latch mechanism on the drivers side, only the passengers side. When I replaced the door handle on that side I sprayed some cleaner and lube in it, with it in place. It helped a little. The last door handle I replaced was the passengers side. That's when I figured out if you take it out you can do a lot better job. Well I had the door panel off the drivers side today because I was replacing the arm rest, so I decided to take the opportunity to remove and clean up that side's latch. I used brake cleaner, and I worked nicely. I held the latch upside down, with the electronic parts up so the brake cleaner wouldn't run down into the electronics. I lubed it and reinstalled it. That side was always a bit stiff to open, and I worried I would break it on cold days. Now it opens real easy with just the slightest pressure from my little finger.
     
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  9. Mar 10, 2020 at 2:45 PM
    #9
    SteveW504

    SteveW504 [OP] Active Member

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    It's all back together and working fine. I hope the extra work of taking the latch assembly out is worth it and the new handle lasts more than a year. I'd say it HAS to come out to clean and lube everything thoroughly. Door handles do operate more smoothly. I wouldn't say effortless pinky finger smoothly, but more smoothly. Since there are no you tube tutorials available for taking the latch out, here's the head's up: 1- Take the outside door handle off first, for space and light. 2- You have to remove the window channel to get to the latch assembly. It's a piece of cake. Use a 10mm socket- a nut at the top, and a bolt at the bottom, and push it up and out of the way. 3- The latch will come out pretty easily when you can get to it, but the electrical connector will be stuck. The push clip is on the back side of the gray top part of the connector, but you'll have to carefully pry the top from the bottom with that pushed in. Don't break it (I didn't). 4- Before removal of all rods, take photos inside the door with your phone. It's not that hard, but you want everything to go back together the same way. 5- Three machine screws with Phillips heads holding the assembly are on the door jamb (edge) and won't be crazy tight. If yours is like mine, the thing is going to be caked with dust and grime (I do live in the mountains on dirt/gravel roads, 7 miles to pavement, so it's a very dusty environment). Simply trying to spray lube it in place will not be enough. I cleaned it using Ballistol, because it claims to not only clean and lube, but not harm plastics, and there are plastic parts involved with the housing. After blowing it off/out, brushing pivot points with a fine but stiff paint brush and spraying everything heavily (I went through the procedure twice), I blew it out thoroughly with the compressor, then lubed main pivot points again with motorcycle chain lube I already had, because it's waterproof and drys while leaving a lubricant. I didn't use lithium grease, thinking it might collect dust/dirt more quickly. When re-installing the latch, the two rods going up to the outside handle will flop every way but where you want them. The one to the lock will try to hide behind the window channel (guess how I know?), so make sure it's clear before bolting the channel back in place. Anyway, we'll see how it holds up. Thanks again for the suggestions, and those two or three cents of mine are to help anyone doing the search for repair tips. Good luck.
     
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  10. Mar 10, 2020 at 2:54 PM
    #10
    Gyrkin

    Gyrkin Well-Known Member

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    Curious, mine were torx.
    Nice write-up by-the-way.
     
  11. Mar 10, 2020 at 2:59 PM
    #11
    SteveW504

    SteveW504 [OP] Active Member

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    Gyrkin, my truck is a '96, maybe that's the difference?? ...and thank you for your advice. It was the first time I did the latch.
     
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  12. Mar 10, 2020 at 3:11 PM
    #12
    Gyrkin

    Gyrkin Well-Known Member

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    Yea, they must have changed them some time between 96 and 2000

    Glad I could help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  13. Mar 11, 2020 at 6:03 AM
    #13
    wolfgang123

    wolfgang123 Well-Known Member

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