Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld? - Toyota Sienna Forum - siennachat.com
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

I've got the dreaded door check strap weld that broke after the warranty for it expired. I'm not paying ~$1k for a repair that might fail again or $2k to get the entire door replaced with the new bolt style plate.

So I'm wondering if any of you have tried some alternative method of fixing it that doesn't require taking the entire door apart. In my particular situation, only the bottom weld broke, so the cup flops around making banging sounds each time the door check strap decides to pop in or out. I'm thinking maybe a strong epoxy or even superglue might be able to grip that bottom piece of metal well enough to make a good fix. Since the only pressure pulling apart the glue would be the door check strap pressing in, maybe the glue is enough.

Has anyone tried this as a fix? Any reason you think this would not work?

I've gotten so used to and annoyed with the sound of the drivers door pop, that when I enter the passenger side the rare times I do, it feels so good to open a door and hear nothing and feel no ridiculous resistance. I really want to get the drivers side fixed, I wish toyota wouldn't have set such a low time limit on this warranty. These things don't break on any other car I've ever seen.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 11:23 AM
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

I didn't try any bonding agent (glue, JB weld, etc), but did do the drill and bolt it method. I only had the bottom broken at the time as well. I went ahead and bolted both the top and bottom. It lasted about 6 months or so and then the metal of the cup itself started to tear and break loose. I don't think the bond method will work as it does appear to take a fair amount of stress as the bolts and flange of the cup were still tight.

Now the door doesn't make any noise and the stop itself works in that it stops the door at the end of its travel, but it doesn't provide any friction to keep the door open in any position short of the full travel and it won't hold it open at full travel if facing up an incline. We have just decided to live with it at this point or until at least until the door falls off.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

Wow, if the cup itself is breaking, maybe the problem is the check strap is putting way too much pressure going into the hole. Maybe the strap needs to be lubed to reduce the pressure being placed on the cup.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 07:48 PM
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcwang
...Maybe the strap needs to be lubed to reduce the pressure being placed on the cup.
The moment I heard that this was fairly wide-spread thing, I started lubing our's with some silicone spray once a week...and have been for the last 4 years or so. She turned 6 years old in May. So far, so good.

*fingers crossed*
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 11:00 PM
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

I routinely lubed ours. Unfortunately, we weren't the first owners, so I don't know if it was lubed prior to us. Regardless, lubing only quieted it down for a while, didn't seem to stop the damage (unless the damage was done prior to us).
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

Anyone got a photo of the back of the cup inside the door? I'm sure someone who took things apart to fix it must have snapped some pics. I'm wondering how the cup is designed and what the strap pushes into. If it's a sealed system, maybe lube on the strap isn't enough, but the entire inside of the unit needs lube to keep it working smoothly.

How much time did it take to get the door apart and back together? If it's relatively fast, I might give give it a try.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 07:41 AM
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

For reference, the MAIN door check problem topic/thread may be found here (has some pics too):
TSB: NV003-07 DOOR Check Popping NOISE
http://siennachat.com/forum/index.php/topic,48.0.html

There are also a few other topics/threads which might be found with a [search] on [door check], [driver front door], or something like that.

YMMV.
Good Luck!! 8)

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 12:30 PM
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

Because of the internal bracing in the door and the window channel, pictures of the back of the cup would be difficult. I tried to take some when I was doing the repair, but they didn't come out well.

Removing the door panel is easy. There are instructions one here somewhere, but basically, remove the mirror trim cover (just pops off), remove the arm rest pocket. There is a screw if I recall, that holds it on and a screw in the door pull. It slides towards the back of the door before you can lift it out. The front of the pocket has a tab that slips into the door panel. Once it is free, you can unplug the harness going to the window controls. There is a large screw in the center of the panel under the door pull and a plastic "screw" on the panel at the back edge of the door panel. It is actually a fastener that has a plastic screw center. The door panel itself is held in place by a number of panel clips that press into holes in the door. A panel puller works best to remove these to insure the least likelyhood of breaking one, but it can be done with a screwdriver (as wide of a blade as possible). Once you have all of the panel clips loose, the door panel needs to be lifted straight up towards the top of the van to remove it from the window track. Once you have it completely loose, you have to reach around and release the two door lock/latch cables and the panel should be free. You will also need to remove the speaker to get good access to the front of the door where the cup is. The speaker just has 4 screws holding it in.

I've done it so many times between replacing speakers, doing sound deadening and repairing the door check, it took longer to write out this description than it does for me to remove the panel now. It doesn't take much pressure at any point, so if something isn't budging, stop and see what you may have missed.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

Quote:
Originally Posted by p220sigman
Because of the internal bracing in the door and the window channel, pictures of the back of the cup would be difficult. I tried to take some when I was doing the repair, but they didn't come out well.

Removing the door panel is easy. There are instructions one here somewhere, but basically, remove the mirror trim cover (just pops off), remove the arm rest pocket. There is a screw if I recall, that holds it on and a screw in the door pull. It slides towards the back of the door before you can lift it out. The front of the pocket has a tab that slips into the door panel. Once it is free, you can unplug the harness going to the window controls. There is a large screw in the center of the panel under the door pull and a plastic "screw" on the panel at the back edge of the door panel. It is actually a fastener that has a plastic screw center. The door panel itself is held in place by a number of panel clips that press into holes in the door. A panel puller works best to remove these to insure the least likelyhood of breaking one, but it can be done with a screwdriver (as wide of a blade as possible). Once you have all of the panel clips loose, the door panel needs to be lifted straight up towards the top of the van to remove it from the window track. Once you have it completely loose, you have to reach around and release the two door lock/latch cables and the panel should be free. You will also need to remove the speaker to get good access to the front of the door where the cup is. The speaker just has 4 screws holding it in.

I've done it so many times between replacing speakers, doing sound deadening and repairing the door check, it took longer to write out this description than it does for me to remove the panel now. It doesn't take much pressure at any point, so if something isn't budging, stop and see what you may have missed.
Can you give a realistic estimate of the time it will take to take apart and put back together? From your description it sounds like 2 minutes, but I know that is way too optimistic. I have to plan the time carefully as I have to take care of my kids myself. So if I can find a free block of time, I have to make sure the entire process fits inside that time or I'll be driving around with the door panel popped off and in my lap! Thanks!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 03:33 PM
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

First time, probably about 30 minutes disassembly and probably 20 assembly. The biggest issue to watch for is breaking the clips on the door panel. Once you see how everything fits together, subsequent times will be much faster. It probably takes me about 5 minutes now. In another life, I used to install car audio, so I did have the advantage of being more familiar with interior panel removal.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 11:48 PM
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

Today I took the door panel off to repair a door check that was torn from the bottom 2 spot welds and starting to develop a crack in the upper corner of the cup that the door check bolts to. Drilled 5 holes around the circumference of the cup that the door check bolts to, all near existing spot welds since there is adequate flange to bolt to and 2 additional holes were drilled on the door panel face where I could feel a flange that I could bolt to. All holes were drilled through the same material where the spot welds are. 6-32 screws with washers and locking nuts were placed in these 7 holes. Some were difficult to get access to but using a magnet and other means all nuts were applied to each of the screws. The 6-32 screws were chosen since they were the largest size where the washer and nut would fit on the existing flange material on the cup. I do not think #8 screws would work and #4 are quite small.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 12:12 AM
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

Today I took the door panel off to repair the door check on a 2005 Sienna. The bottom two spot welds had failed and the cup that the door check attaches to had begun to develop a crack in the upper corners, probably from the flexing it was undergoing since the bottom of the cup had already torn from the spot welds. I drilled 5 9/32 holes in the same face of the door that the 4 spot welds are on. This is face that is in the door jam when the door is closed. I drilled 2 additional holes on the face of the door that the door panel connects to. This is the face that is facing the interior of the van when the door is closed. I drilled holes near each of the 4 spot welds since I could feel a flange behind each of them and the spot welds would need this flange to weld to. Getting washers and nuts on each of the screws was not too bad with the exception of the screw in the lower position. A magnet and some luck were necessary to hold the nut and then a screwdriver was needed to wedge the nut while turning the screw since the space inside the door is inadequate to get a socket or wrench on the nut.

I don't believe that adhesive would be sufficient to hold this cup in place. Time will tell if these 7 screws located around the perimeter of the cup that the door check bolts to is sufficient.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 10:53 AM
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

Why hasn't anyone just welded the cup back on? It would seem that a few spot welds around the circumference of the cup would be sufficient. I have not had to do the repair yet and it does seem tight but possible.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 09:05 PM
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

I did have mine welded. The cup was too far gone to try to bolt together and there was not enough material to bolt through. As for gluing, no type of adhesive would ever hold the cup, none are strong enough.
I took the door panel off, then removed the entire door & took it to my favorite body shop, since I'm too cheap to pay them to R&I the door. It's really not a bad job. They replaced the spot welds with plug welds, then spot-painted the welded area. Looks better than new. Cost me about $175. No question, this was the best repair option.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 04:22 PM
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Re: Any alternative fixes for broken door check strap weld?

See attached PDF file.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 2004 Sienna Limited.pdf (1.02 MB, 156 views)
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