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Well about two months ago I bought groceries, loaded them in the rear, came home and the rear gate wouldn't open, handle was broken. I had read about this happening, so lets say it wasn't a complete surprise. Too much going on to deal with it immediately.
I considered the $1.38 repair detailed at:
http://www.findonefindall.com/toyota-sienna/siennareardoor.htm
which also details the interior handles and trim removal (easy, but awkward from inside) but I didn't have ready access to a drill press. I looked on eBay and there were two sellers of replacement models (one touted to be in metal) but he wouldn't ship to me. I ended up looking at www.partspros.com and calling them. The listed a replacement (http://www.partspros.com/4002162.html) but on phone inquiry the guy told me theirs was plastic and the Dorman model was the metal one. They arranged a purchase of the Dorman model and had it shipped to me. Think this was less than $50 w. shipping. I installed it a few days back. Wandering on the web it appeared that the Dorman part might be available "directly" through www.rockauto.com -but I didn't verify that; just saw it.

As noted elsewhere, the new one didn't come with nuts or phillips screws so I was happy to have retained the old. I did have to remove the license plate lite assembly to remove the handle, but that was just one more nut on the inside and a squeeze on the snap in fastener on the right side. Since the plastic widgets that hold the big trim panel on are kind of fragile I hope not to do this too many more times. If these widgets stay in the door when you remove the panel, I use a pair of dikes (sm. wire cutters) to pop them off - carefully. I find that distorts the shape less then a pair of pliers.

copying from posts elsewhere the details on handle and trim removal:

1. You'll need a 10mm socket and a 10mm wrench
2. When in the van facing the back hatch, the plastic cover on the strap slides up. The covers over the handle bolts (lower left hand corner) open from the top down.
3. Remove all three before attempting to remove the back cover
4. The window trim is in three pieces. You must remove the top center part first, then the sides.
5. Pry evenly on the top center piece. There are about 6 or 7 plastic tabs holding it in place. It will sound like gunshots and/or you broke it when it comes free.
6. The side trim has metal clips holding it in place, and is hard to remove. Pull hard and evenly.
Remove the large trim piece starting at the top, working evenly down both sides.
7. Once the back trim is off, open the door .(Pull the cable that opens the latch.)
8. There are three 10 mm bolts in the middle center of the door, two on the handle, one to the left holding the license plate lights. All must come off, ideally with the door open.
9. There is a plastic tab to the right that holds the license plate lights. Try to squeeze it & push that through from the back, it breaks if you try to pry it from the front.
10. Be sure to unhook the cable (used to open the door) from the broken handle before trying to remove the handle
11. There are two small phillips screws holding the broken handle in place. Unscrew them (with everything else done) and the broken handle falls off.
12. Reverse the steps, it all goes back togethe pretty easily.
14. Line up the plastic tabs with the holes near the bottom of the door, peaking in with a flash light. Get two or three in, the door will be lined up, go around the open door pushing the tabs back into the holes.
15. In my opinion it was easier to put the side and top window trim back on with the door open.
 

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Sorry about the broken handle, but glad you shared the info on how to DIY for the future benefit of others.
Perhaps the next person to follow the steps here could post a few pics to assist in illustrating the pieces and steps involved...

I understand the side-handles are also prone to breakage on the 1stGen Sienna.
 

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akphoneguy said:
Well about two months ago I bought groceries, loaded them in the rear, came home and the rear gate wouldn't open, handle was broken. I had read about this happening, so lets say it wasn't a complete surprise. Too much going on to deal with it immediately.
I considered the $1.38 repair detailed at:
http://www.findonefindall.com/toyota-sienna/siennareardoor.htm
which also details the interior handles and trim removal (easy, but awkward from inside) but I didn't have ready access to a drill press. I looked on eBay and there were two sellers of replacement models (one touted to be in metal) but he wouldn't ship to me. I ended up looking at www.partspros.com and calling them. The listed a replacement (http://www.partspros.com/4002162.html) but on phone inquiry the guy told me theirs was plastic and the Dorman model was the metal one. They arranged a purchase of the Dorman model and had it shipped to me. Think this was less than $50 w. shipping. I installed it a few days back. Wandering on the web it appeared that the Dorman part might be available "directly" through www.rockauto.com -but I didn't verify that; just saw it.

As noted elsewhere, the new one didn't come with nuts or phillips screws so I was happy to have retained the old. I did have to remove the license plate lite assembly to remove the handle, but that was just one more nut on the inside and a squeeze on the snap in fastener on the right side. Since the plastic widgets that hold the big trim panel on are kind of fragile I hope not to do this too many more times. If these widgets stay in the door when you remove the panel, I use a pair of dikes (sm. wire cutters) to pop them off - carefully. I find that distorts the shape less then a pair of pliers.

copying from posts elsewhere the details on handle and trim removal:

1. You'll need a 10mm socket and a 10mm wrench
2. When in the van facing the back hatch, the plastic cover on the strap slides up. The covers over the handle bolts (lower left hand corner) open from the top down.
3. Remove all three before attempting to remove the back cover
4. The window trim is in three pieces. You must remove the top center part first, then the sides.
5. Pry evenly on the top center piece. There are about 6 or 7 plastic tabs holding it in place. It will sound like gunshots and/or you broke it when it comes free.
6. The side trim has metal clips holding it in place, and is hard to remove. Pull hard and evenly.
Remove the large trim piece starting at the top, working evenly down both sides.
7. Once the back trim is off, open the door .(Pull the cable that opens the latch.)
8. There are three 10 mm bolts in the middle center of the door, two on the handle, one to the left holding the license plate lights. All must come off, ideally with the door open.
9. There is a plastic tab to the right that holds the license plate lights. Try to squeeze it & push that through from the back, it breaks if you try to pry it from the front.
10. Be sure to unhook the cable (used to open the door) from the broken handle before trying to remove the handle
11. There are two small phillips screws holding the broken handle in place. Unscrew them (with everything else done) and the broken handle falls off.
12. Reverse the steps, it all goes back togethe pretty easily.
14. Line up the plastic tabs with the holes near the bottom of the door, peaking in with a flash light. Get two or three in, the door will be lined up, go around the open door pushing the tabs back into the holes.
15. In my opinion it was easier to put the side and top window trim back on with the door open.
thank you. hope I can get this done
 

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Good day. This is great. I'm from the old Sienna chat forum (sienna.org). My back lift gate just broke and this will help .
Thanks again. MR.TT
 

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Hi Everyone,

I found this other posting on http://www.automotivehelper.com/topic203428.htm
which details on how to fix the handle with a screw and epoxy.


Job done. With the help posted above, I was able to have the door open in 5 minutes. I spent more time tryin to figure out a way to repair the broken plastic than the time to take it apart and put it back together. The dealer parts dept said yep we've got "a lot of um" and they are $68.10 apeice. I said, why would I want to spend that much on something plastic that will probably break again. So I spent some time at the hardware store getting some screws and a small hardened drill bit (1/16th). Drilled a hole through the 2 plastic parts and then the sorry drill bit broke off in the hard plastic.... arrrrg :-( so my son said jokingly, why don't you just leave the bit in there to hold it together. And I said, humm, not a bad idea. I tugged on it a bunch to try to get it apart...unsuccessfully, so I just left it in there since it was so tight. Put it back together and I really think it will last a long long time. Total cost of the job was $2.89 for a very strong although very small drill bit.

For those interested, the part number for the replacement part is:
69090-08010 from your friendly toyo dealer and is a stocked item. I paid $59 and some change.




Regards, Jason.
 

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akphoneguy said:
I looked on eBay and there were two sellers of replacement models (one touted to be in metal) but he wouldn't ship to me. I ended up looking at www.partspros.com and calling them. The listed a replacement (http://www.partspros.com/4002162.html) but on phone inquiry the guy told me theirs was plastic and the Dorman model was the metal one. They arranged a purchase of the Dorman model and had it shipped to me. Think this was less than $50 w. shipping. I installed it a few days back. Wandering on the web it appeared that the Dorman part might be available "directly" through www.rockauto.com -but I didn't verify that; just saw it.
Hi AKPHONEGUY...

Mine broke too! :mad:

Anyway, I couldn't quite follow what you were saying here. There is an all-metal replacement handle for the hatchback handle? Why on Earth wouldn't the guy on eBay ship it to you?

Also, you mention the "Dorman" model--is that the one you tried to buy on eBay? And then you were eventually able to buy it through partspros?
 

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Lee280,

Did your handle break in two? I would try the repair. No sense paying good money for something easily fixable.

Has anyone had the repaired handle re-break after the repair?

Regards, Jason.
 

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JC said:
Lee280,

Did your handle break in two? I would try the repair. No sense paying good money for something easily fixable.

Has anyone had the repaired handle re-break after the repair?

Regards, Jason.
I'm considering the repair. But, if there is a metal replacement, I could see going that route, too.
 

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Mine broke last winter after an ice storm. Below freezing plastic and ice on the lift gate equaled broken latch. I bought the replacement from the dealership, but had I known about a metal replacement, I would have bought that. Mine opened easily form the outside with a pair of needle nose pliers. Change out took less than 30 minutes. Definitely a design flaw, in my opinion.
 

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My rear hatch wouldn't open... took off the plastic panel and found the latch not broken, but jammed.... freed it up and put back on theplastic panel... took about 15 minutes.... figure it saved me a few hundred bucks.... was a piece of cake... wish all the repairs were that simple.....

BTW, I took the lower (large panel below the window) off without taking off the center and side plastic panels.... doesn't seem to be necessary to remove them..... just be careful.
 

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I removed my rear handle and wanted to apply some JB Weld to it to make it stonger. I applied some brake cleaner to it and some of the plastic started crumbling. I had to remove the old screw and put in a longer screw. Then I added the JB weld after masking off part of the mechanism where I didn't want epoxy to go.

Waited over night and then added some more JB weld. I will be adding a bit more to toughen it up even more. I don't want to do this repair ever again. I also had to use my dremel with a cutoff wheel to cut some of the screw off.

Regards, Jason.
 

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KMahren said:
My rear hatch wouldn't open... took off the plastic panel and found the latch not broken, but jammed.... freed it up and put back on theplastic panel... took about 15 minutes.... figure it saved me a few hundred bucks.... was a piece of cake... wish all the repairs were that simple.....

BTW, I took the lower (large panel below the window) off without taking off the center and side plastic panels.... doesn't seem to be necessary to remove them..... just be careful.
I had a similar issue... rear hatch would not open.. pull handle just flopped around... thought I had the classic broken handle..

climed inside, took off rear door handle and pull down, removed the rear panel (none of this was particularly hard).. found the handle to be unbroken but the LATCH WAS STUCK.
 

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Well, it finally happened.... rain, then big freeze, rear door frozen and broke the handle when trying to open it....

went online and found a replacement handle on ebay for $18.90 SHIPPING INCLUDED... received the handle in 4 days and took 20 minutes to install... i'm not a big fan of ebay, but this is a great ebay store... his store name is "johnnyutah14", and no I have NO relation to him at all except for this order....

the replacment handle is fine.... as good quality as the original.... and the dealer wanted $70 bucks just for the part...

happy camper...
 

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Plastic one broke a couple years ago. I bought the Dorman metal replacement - now it is broken. Not the outside handle, but the lever inside that it pivots. The lever is okay, but its pin is rusting and pulling out of the handle "frame".

Just ordered a new one - and I'll see what I can do to beef it up before it goes in.
 

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Dave,

It's funny my repaired handle just broke today. I Drilled a hole in the plastic inner panel to open the hatch without having to remove the plastic entirely. I found that the screw I used to repair it had broken. It was 6/32 2 inch long machine screw.

I was able to remove the screw and put a new one in. Now I'm back in business. I was worried at first that I had to go and buy a new one. Luckily the JB weld looks like it's holding up.

Regards, JC.
 

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Hey Guys,

I went use the rear hatch and it won't open again!! :mad:

I left the back panel off and tried to tug on the wire to release the lock, but it's stuck. Tried to press the buttons for the remote to unlock the rear hatch and no luck as well. Any idea of what is happening with this thing? The microswitch seems to be working.

Regards, JC.
 

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Well I figured it out. I had to remove the cable from the door handle and then wiggle it a bit to unlock the door. It appears that the cable didn't have enough play and therefore it didn't take the tension off the cable.

I also had to bend the machine screw up a bit that I put it to fix the handle. I took some pics, I will have to edit and post them soon.

Regards, JC.
 

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There is a great video tutorial on replacing the hatch handle on youtube titled-
How To Install Replace Tailgate or Rear Hatch Handle Toyota Sienna 98-03 1AAuto.com
 

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the liftgate handle on my 2002 Sienna broke three months ago. I watched the video from
[h=3]Scottykilmer.com about repairing it. it was a great video![/h]I removed the handle, but recognized that it can be repaired. I glued the broken parts together with crazy glue, but realized it can't possibly hold against the bending. So I drilled two 1/8 holes perpendicular through the broken surface and used two long metal screws to reinforce the glue. I also dropped a few drops of the glue into the hold before driving in the screws.

I reinstalled the device, it has been perfect ever since. I think the screws is stronger than the whole plastic profile.
 

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The rear tailgate handle (OEM P/N 69090-08010) is plastic. You can replace it with a die-cast metal handle from Dorman Products (Item No. 79600). This part is available through your local auto parts store or various online suppliers (visit your favorite search engine and search the phrase Dorman 79600).

Here is a video of how-to install the Dorman rear tailgate handle:
 
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