door handle monkey business
I installed the two sliding door handles (see pic in previous post) I got for $28. Compared to the originals, they look a bit rough - some of the edges are a bit sharp, not quite as nice as the factory ones but overall they're fine. The paint is not bad, doesn't match the car exactly (they're brighter) but I'm comparing it to 17 year old paint so I wouldn't expect it to match exactly.
They came with new gaskets. In the first attached pic, the closer gasket is the new one. Compared to the original (farther away in pic), the new one is like floppy rubber. The original is stiffer, more like thin ABS, although I don't know how much time has changed it. They both have small holes that go on small posts on the inside of the handle. The new one was awkward - I got one hole over a post and when I got the second one on the first one fell off. It felt like it would be a pain to get on correctly... so I used the old gaskets.
My 2000 Sienna has 140k mi and no doubt the cable had stretched some, so I put an electrical tie (see red tie in second pic) as shown and it causes the cable to engage the mechanism "sooner". The pic is of the passenger's side and I did the driver's side like this too. That's a quick and dirty solution that I'm sure could be improved upon but has some obvious advantages over buying a new one from the dealer. There's probably a slicker way of doing that with something that stayed in place better or would wear less but it could also be that it's actually ok. The door handle requires less force to operate now.
Another thing: yes, of course Toyota wasn't having a good day when they decided to make the door handles out of plastic. But another factor is that the door handle doesn't operate intuitively. That is, when someone looks at it would be easy to think that you pull it straight out, or that the whole thing lifts up. To make it even odder, each side operates oppositely - the passenger side hinges on the left and the front tilts out, whereas the driver's side hinges on the right and tilts out on the front. So each side requires a different muscular motion. That, combined with a cable that on most cars is a metal rod and the plastic handle are likely the causes for all this door handle monkey business.
Last edited by iRt; 07-16-2016 at 10:08 PM.