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You own a 1999 Toyota Sienna and the rear hatchback door handle is jammed you can't open the rear door how do you get to the hardware to replace the door handle so you can open the rear door?
August 13, 2005 3:39PM
Remove the Rear Panel You need to remove the bottom panel (the panel below the rear window). To do this, get into the van (it helps to remove the rear seats), pop the plastic cover over the pull-down strap (this cover actually slides up), and the covers on both sides of the handle (these covers will pop from the front; use a flat-head screwdriver, insert it from the top). Once you get the covers off, remove the bolts using a 10mm socket. Remove the panel. I found out that it's easiest to remove the panel by pulling out from the bottom. Don't worry about pulling it. It's held only by pull-out pins. Removing the Latch (from Findonefindall.com/toyota-sienna) Remove the internal (3) 10mm nuts holding the lock/handle cover plate on. A deep 10 mm socket works best. Squeeze the white clip in the end position. Pull this away from the door a little. The backup light wires are still attached, so you cannot pull far. Remove the 2 screws that hold the handle to this plate, and remove the latch cable (it just pulls off). You can now see where the handle has broken. Repairing the Break The handle and lever WAS made of a single hard plastic material. After removing the handle, I drilled through the Plastic lever and handle using a 1/9-inch drill bit. I then used a 3/4-inch long, No. 40 machine screw and inserted it form the handle all the way through the lever. It's a tight fit. I twisted the screw to get it in. I then replaced the handle, reattached the thingamajig over the license plate and re-connected the cable. Test the handle before re-installing the panel. It cost me 17 cents at the corner hardware store for the machine screw. Total time it took was 45 minutes (including the trip to the store). I saved $300 over what the dealer would have charged me. Nando