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Finally got the sticky messy Liftgate handle out. You do not have to replace with a new one. One thing to note the melted rubber make the actuall plastic switch part harder to move in and out. Once cleaned its much smoother.
I used a L shaped screw driver as there is not much due to the angle the screw is in. Once the screws are out you can pull the switch out. The rubber cover as you can in the pic is all melted and hardened. You can use a small blade and scrap all the melted rubber out. Try to get as much as possible with the blade.
Then use a rag and rubbing alcohol to get the rest out. Be gentle as you don't want to break the switch assembly as its made out of plastic.
I used two pieces of duct tape and stuck them together just to add another layer. I would have liked to used something better but thats all I had. May be Gorilla Tape. I then attached the duct tape to switch and trimmed so that it can be wrapped around the assembly and seal it. It doesn't seem like water would get into it.
The duct tape setup is definitely a lot better than the cheap rubber cover. Time will tell.

Not sure why but the pics got out order.....

Hope this help.
 

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Nice job! Thanks....
 

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Thanks for the pictures. I did the same thing today and everything went well. The hardest part was getting the screws out. I used the same screwdriver as you but still had a tough time. The switch operates much smoother now. I noticed this winter that the rubber got so cold a few days that I couldn't get the switch to operate. It works great now.
 

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Thanks to mp333 today I got my Gooey sticky back door switch problem fixed with his great idea. I used a darker color duck tape and used two layers to give it a bit of extra material. I did scrape off as much of the old gooey material with a putty knife and be careful not to let it get inside the contact area of the actual plastic switch underneath. Keep plenty of degreaser or hand cleaner to clean your fingers later. FYI: I did buy a new switch from the 'Stealership' today and for the price you would think they would have could not see spending $75 and living with it turning Gooey by our next Texas summer. Toyota should have improved the black rubber material that wraps the outside. Also shame on Toyota for not selling just the rubber sleeve for $4.95 instead of having to replace a perfectly good switch part for $75. The new switch is going back first thing. I I love how my "NEW" switch feels since I have cursed everytime my fingers smeared on the goop. Great idea MP333.... I owe you a treat. :0
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to mp333 today I got my Gooey sticky back door switch problem fixed with his great idea. I used a darker color duck tape and used two layers to give it a bit of extra material. I did scrape off as much of the old gooey material with a putty knife and be careful not to let it get inside the contact area of the actual plastic switch underneath. Keep plenty of degreaser or hand cleaner to clean your fingers later.
FYI: I did buy a new switch from the 'Stealership' today and for the price you would think they would have could not see spending $75 and living with it turning Gooey by our next Texas summer. Toyota should have improved the black rubber material that wraps the outside. Also shame on Toyota for not selling just the rubber sleeve for $4.95 instead of having to replace a perfectly good switch part for $75. The new switch is going back first thing. I I love how my "NEW" switch feels since I have cursed everytime my fingers smeared on the goop. Great idea MP333.... I owe you a treat
. :0
You are most welcome Mr Toyota.... Its been a year with no issues. I like the easy depress of the switch. It will last quite a while.
May be when I come to Texas you can buy a drink :)
 

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You are most welcome Mr Toyota.... Its been a year with no issues. I like the easy depress of the switch. It will last quite a while.
May be when I come to Texas you can buy a drink :)
Would love to do that mp333. Sounds great.

I just wanted to share what I used in a pinch to get the short screws out as the toyota has them in at almost a backward angle above the license plate. I used a short Phillips bit in a 1/4" bit holder but it was too long also so I used the short bit in a small ratchet tool I had. Picture below.
The screws are coarse thread and only require 3 or 4 turns to come out so it is relatively simple once you loosen them.
From reading another Toyota blog it seems that Toyota has used this same gooey switch on the 4Runner also.
This fix that mp333 came up with is so simple and does not cost anything and can be done in 15 minutes. short Phillips.JPG
 

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I just had the switch replaced on my 2008 under warranty. The dealer mentioned the switch was shorting out which melted the rubber. I'm glad I pushed for it to be covered instead of using the tape repair.
 

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I just had the switch replaced on my 2008 under warranty. The dealer mentioned the switch was shorting out which melted the rubber. I'm glad I pushed for it to be covered instead of using the tape repair.
That's bunch bull crap the switch shorted... Glad you got it replaced. You are good for couple years before this one also shorts.;););)
 

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Just place a 4-inch piece of black duck tape over the melted handle

Great tips everyone! To avoid the risk of breaking any of the plastic parts on the handle assembly, I just left the melted rubber piece on the handle and placed a 4-inch piece of black-colored duck tape over the melted rubber handle. Once in place, it's hard to tell the difference.

I could have used black-colored Gorilla duck tape, but my wife used it on her bike handles and in no time, it got all black and gooey.

Allan

photo 1.JPG photo 2.JPG
 

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In my case, I bought the parts from stealership for $58 (not bad compared to $75 above) and swapped the handle part only. The new part definitely fixed the gooey rubber problem.
 

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my 2006 le started to leak black tart stuff last hot summer, I cut a small piece of clear 3m packaging tape, and taped over the leaking rubber, during cold winter, had a little hard time activating the latch switch, need to push a little harder, but other than that, held up well for 1 year so far, hands clean hiee.
 

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I just did this last week myself. I got the part from Rockauto.com for $33.79, Dorman # 901715. Took about 15 minutes to install. So nice not having that black goo on my hands everytime I open the tailgate.
I can appreciate everyones no-cost fixes listed above but its my wifes van and she wanted a new switch rather than tape covering the original switch.
 

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@08siennaguy99 Thanks for the tip on rockauto, I just purchased the Dorman version for $38 shipped (used the 5% online discount). I'm in the same boat as you, wife wants a new switch, does not care for a duct tape fix. Let's hope the Dorman version has a "non-melting" material as a long term bonus.
 

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07 LE here.
I did the tape trick. It has been 2 months and everything seem to be working fine.
Thanks guys!
 

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I went the other way. I waited to fix it and started just using the remote to open the door, and the rubber has hardened up and is no longer gooey. I almost always use the remote, so it will probably just stay that way.
 

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I was able to source a replacement rubber cover from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BMMXOMU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1and fixed it this weekend. Cleaning the rubber goo off with the biggest pain. Seems to fit well and hopefully it won't get soft like the original. I did take the rear panel off and remove the switch to repair it. I needed to replace a bulb anyway so it was easier to just remove the trim panel with the switch and then take the switch out so I didn't have to contend with the angle screwdriver. Wife wasn't going for the tape fix.
 
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