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The infamous Tacoma Door Handles

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Lmarkovitz, Mar 29, 2022.

  1. Mar 29, 2022 at 10:59 AM
    #1
    Lmarkovitz

    Lmarkovitz [OP] New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I have some issues with the exterior door handles of my Toyota Tacoma.

    My first issue is that I accidentally bought a lock for my exterior door handle that is different then the other locks in my car. Should I return this lock and find a lock that fits the original lock? The lock broke off from the door handle when I tried to replace my door handle and so this issue persists. I just found a lock on parts geek that states it is "original equipment." Would this part replicate the key that I use on my other door handle as well as to start my engine or is it impossible to find a key cylinder that would replicate my other two door handles? Sorry if this is a noobie question I just don't like having to use two keys to use my car.

    My other issue is that is that the plastic piece from the exterior door handle that fits into the wired mechanism that opens and closes the door will not fit into this wired mechanism. While the metal line extending from the car fits into the circular attachment, it does not fit snuggly into the plastic piece contained in the handle itself. Should I order another part or continue to try to wiggle the plastic piece to fit into the metal line extending from the car (which opens and closes the handle from the outside). Problem is that I cannot open the door from the outside because the plastic piece is not fitting into the metal attachment. I hope this makes sense and the issue can be resolved. I would like to get into my car. Should I order another door handle or try to make it work? I ordered the part from rock auto and i'm pretty sure it was the right handle. It's chrome and doesn't match my other door handles so i'm considering just ordering another part.

    From one tacoma owner to another, thank you.

    Best,
    Louie
     
  2. Mar 29, 2022 at 12:24 PM
    #2
    tacojim02

    tacojim02 Well-Known Member

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    hell go to autozone, oriellys, or some where like that they have them get you one. take it to a body shop or someone you know better mechanically inclined and get it done. it cost me 50.00 bucks all together 25.00 for handle and 25.00 to have a guy put it on. mine were black though.
     
  3. Mar 29, 2022 at 12:26 PM
    #3
    Lmarkovitz

    Lmarkovitz [OP] New Member

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    Yeah it was a mistake to try to do it all on my own. I might call O Reilly's to see if they can order a lock cylinder similar to the one I use for the other parts of my car.
     
  4. Mar 29, 2022 at 12:43 PM
    #4
    Andy01DblCabTacoma

    Andy01DblCabTacoma Well-Known Member

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    A parts shop isn't going to help you to rekey a cylinder. If you ended up with a after market handle and need to match the cylinder inside it to an existing key / cylinder then start looking for a lock smith with automotive knowledge.
     
    Lmarkovitz [OP] likes this.
  5. Mar 30, 2022 at 10:32 AM
    #5
    alexh

    alexh Well-Known Member

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    I had locksmiths fix or rekey cylinders a few times if they are removed from the vehicle. Always got really good service.

    With somewhat unusual Tacoma parts I always check Toyota parts site online first, if only to get the exact Toyota part number and then if you still want to order a non OEM replacement part at least order one that says "replacement for Toyota XXXXX". I search Amazon or Ebay using this OEM part number.

    I just use those chain stores for spark plugs and supplies, seems like everything else they inevitably get the wrong part half the time. I think their parts catalog is a mess and I can kind of understand why, they are dealing with millions of parts.

    I have a friend with a somewhat older Chevy truck, you would think he could usually get the correct part since its a high volume domestic, but he gets the wrong part all the time on Ebay etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
    Lmarkovitz [OP] likes this.
  6. Mar 30, 2022 at 10:42 AM
    #6
    Lmarkovitz

    Lmarkovitz [OP] New Member

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    Yes. I think I’ll be more specific on the parts that I buy for my truck.

    i think my plan will be to order new parts, return the old ones and find a locksmith and mechanic to put in the parts. Too much hassle for not a lot of reward. It has become a tricky maneuver.

    Thanks for your alls help!
     
  7. Mar 30, 2022 at 3:18 PM
    #7
    alexh

    alexh Well-Known Member

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    You have to learn the tricks for getting OEM quality parts, does not always have to have a Toyota label on it. For example Aisin is a Toyota OEM supplier and when it gets put in a Toyota box the price probably goes up 50% - they have to do this to cover inventory costs etc. But you can get Aisin branded parts for much less on Amazon and Ebay. Same with Denso parts, another electrical OEM part supplier.

    Probably Toyota tries to limit these OEM non Toyota labelled parts getting into the supply chain but they can't completely stop it.
     
    treyus30 likes this.
  8. Mar 30, 2022 at 3:41 PM
    #8
    eon_blue

    eon_blue woke up and chose naproxen

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    I would add to this...be very wary of Denso/Aisin labeled parts on Amazon and especially ebay. Tons of fakes out there particularly with sensors, injectors, spark plugs etc. Make sure the seller is well-reviewed and not based out of the country. If the price is too good to be true then it probably is
     
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  9. Mar 30, 2022 at 9:49 PM
    #9
    Andy01DblCabTacoma

    Andy01DblCabTacoma Well-Known Member

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    ^ This.

    It's so easy to get genuine OEM parts. I don't understand why people roll the dice on eBay or Amazon. I understand price is a huge consideration, but.. time is a factor. It's not worth my time to screw around with potentially fake parts to rationalize a few bucks difference on a fleabay special. By the time you have things torn apart, I'd rather spend a few bucks more to not worry about fake junk.
     
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  10. Mar 30, 2022 at 10:03 PM
    #10
    jnossoff

    jnossoff 2000 EC Pre-Runnerwith Leer 122 Camper shell

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    Please, let us know year and model of your Tacoma; it helps with answering questions.
    Mine is a 2000 Extracab PreRunner SR5 V6 AT. The exterior door handles have "chrome" inserts; there is a variation that is all black. No but you one will notice if passenger side and driver's side are different.

    I have had good fortune with Dorman 769MX Front Passenger Side Exterior Door Handle Compatible with Select Toyota Models, Chrome from Amazon, and same for the driver's side door handle.
    I have had good luck with Dorman replacement body parts.

    I bought a salvaged 4 Runner Glove Box latch with lock at TW/BST, took the lock cylinder to my regular locksmith, and they re-keyed it to match my ignition/door lock key. You are unlikely to find a replacement lock that fits your key, except from a Dealer. The cylinders have code numbers on them; give the dealer your code and they may be able to replace your cylinder. Be prepared to leave without an arm and/or a leg. Locksmith is the best bet, I think.

    Regarding "...the plastic piece from the exterior door handle that fits into the wired mechanism...": I encountered that with a new Dorman Door Handle and a new Dorman Door Lock Actuator. You can remove the plastic piece from your old door handle and put it on the new rod on the new door handle, which is what I did. And, if I recall correctly, Dorman sells replacements for the plastic pieces, there are several varieties.

    There's several YouTube videos for replacing the Exterior Door Handles. Find those from "ChrisFix" and "Timmy the Toolman".
     
  11. Mar 31, 2022 at 2:11 AM
    #11
    chrslefty

    chrslefty Well-Known Member

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    May I suggest Getting the metal door handles .
    I just put these in and they work great and will hopefully last a lot longer than the plastic ones. And have everything needed except for the lock cylinder
    T1A Metal Upgrade Left Driver and Right Passenger Side Black Exterior Door Handle Pair Replacement for 1995-2004 Tacoma 69220-35020 69210-35020 Metal https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YQBPHS9?_encoding=UTF8
     
  12. Apr 2, 2022 at 4:34 PM
    #12
    jnossoff

    jnossoff 2000 EC Pre-Runnerwith Leer 122 Camper shell

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    For replacements for the plastic clips at Amazon or Google search on "Door Lock Rod Clips". You will have to narrow it down to your particular vehicle. There's hundreds of choices. Good Luck.
     
  13. Apr 3, 2022 at 7:01 PM
    #13
    96BlueTacos

    96BlueTacos トヨダ

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    Sold out
     
  14. Apr 3, 2022 at 7:03 PM
    #14
    JKO1998

    JKO1998 Well-Known Member

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    Worth the wait if you can do it, e-mail the company and ask for eta
     
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  15. Apr 3, 2022 at 7:11 PM
    #15
    96BlueTacos

    96BlueTacos トヨダ

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    Rock auto, im pretty sure I’ve received clones from there. And I’ve order parts where there were multiples and each came from different warehouses across the country and were even different colors. And quality was clearly variable between each item. Best to not buy from there IMHO.
    But door handles……. Yep. Buy the factory. Everyone says they are horrible, but mine lasted for 280,000 miles so, ya better than the napa ones that last for 280 openings. SMH
     
  16. Apr 3, 2022 at 9:18 PM
    #16
    chrslefty

    chrslefty Well-Known Member

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    Sorry.

    I didn't expect them to be all that great but I'm not gonna lie my door opens way easier now. Supper impressed with them.
    My doors were always a pain to open and Ive replaced the stupid handels at least 3 times.
    I think I'm gonna get some longevity out of these. All the bits that break are metal.
     
  17. Apr 3, 2022 at 9:24 PM
    #17
    JKO1998

    JKO1998 Well-Known Member

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    I don’t understand why people are so hesitant About them.

    The whole handle is METAL and they’re cheap, or were
     
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  18. Apr 3, 2022 at 11:05 PM
    #18
    chrslefty

    chrslefty Well-Known Member

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    I ordered mine last may and they were $41. I remember them being out of stock for a bit and once they were back I ordered them up. Apparently they have or are planning on making a tailgate handle too.
     
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  19. Apr 4, 2022 at 5:40 AM
    #19
    96BlueTacos

    96BlueTacos トヨダ

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    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hesitant about these t1A metal replacements I would trust these waaay more than any other aftermarket replacement, but I’ve never been lucky enough to catch them in stock.

    fwiw; My only point before was that the Toyota handle, while flawed, is still far superior to the rock auto, napa, autozone, O’Reilly, replacements. IMO.

    My 96 OEM driver handle broke at about 280k, replaced with Napa handle, it broke before 290k
    Replaced again with rock auto version, broke the 3rd f’in time I opened it.
    Went with napa again, lasted to about 315k.

    same issue on passenger side but I tried oriellys, rock auto, autozone and napa handles. None which lasted more than 10k

    Finally dropped the $150 at Toyota and I’m now at 383k and my driver handle still works perfectly but the last napa handle i replaced my passenger door with is still broken.

    I would actually like to put this metal one on my passenger door as some kind of a “test” to see if it could outlast the factory handle that i have on my driver side. Albeit the driverside gets way more use.




    But ya, all i know is dont buy any other after market ones because I have basically

    edit, sorry, it’s early and I’m already rambling:anonymous:
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2022
  20. Apr 4, 2022 at 6:03 AM
    #20
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    Yep quit dealing with Amazon just for that reason a year ago you never know what you'll get.
     

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