1999 Sienna rear hatch broken! Can't open!


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Chuck Paskovics
03-19-2004, 01:07 PM
I went to open my hatch one day and 'snap' the handle just caved in and never looked back. Now i'm unable to open the hatch at all!

Can anyone tell me if there is another way to open the rear hatch on a 1999 Sienna? I've looked all over the inside for any kind of release but there doesn't seem to be one. I find it odd that Toyota would not make the hatch able to open from the inside!

I took it to the dealer and they want to charge me almost $400 to replace the hatch mechanism!! I guess they make those things out of gold these days!

Cyber Kahuna
07-29-2004, 06:52 PM
I went to open my hatch one day and 'snap' the handle just caved in and never looked back. Now i'm unable to open the hatch at all!

Can anyone tell me if there is another way to open the rear hatch on a 1999 Sienna? I've looked all over the inside for any kind of release but there doesn't seem to be one. I find it odd that Toyota would not make the hatch able to open from the inside!

I took it to the dealer and they want to charge me almost $400 to replace the hatch mechanism!! I guess they make those things out of gold these days!

The same thing happened to us. We have a 2000. The fix is easy, sort of. From the inside of the van, remove the bolts holding the handle and the pull strap on the hatch (inside). Then, starting from the top of the window, remove the plastic molding. It just snaps off. After you remove the top window plastic, then remove the molding on either side of the window, and finally, the large piece covering the inside of the hatch. Once you remove all the plastic, you will see a cable leading to the hatch clasp at the bottom of the door. Just pull the cable and the hatch will open.

The new handle was $64.00 at the dealer. We were quoted over $300.00 to have them do it.

It took me 2 hours, which 45 minutes was spent going to the dealer for the part. It is really easy to do.

briskey
09-14-2004, 04:35 PM
Cyber, thanks for the reply on how to access the rear liftgate latch. This is the THIRD door latch I've had to replace on my Sienna. I think that Toyota should have door handle replacement as part of the regular maintenance! I have been very pleased with this car for over 150,000 miles with the exception of the door latches. I was an expert on front and sliding door handle replacements and am now an expert on real liftgate latch as well.

gerakela
10-11-2004, 03:20 PM
Thanks for the post Cyber Kahuna. I had the same thing happen to my wife's Sienna a few weeks ago. Just now getting around to fixin it. Boy has she been unhappy!!! Every time she gets groceries, or needs to get in the back .... well you know the rest of the story. The worst part was, I'm the one that it broke on. Anyway, it's time to get my hands dirty.

Have a great day.

gerakela
10-11-2004, 11:19 PM
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.

Best thing is my wife is happy!!! :-) and that makes me happy.

mrbubl
10-20-2004, 10:11 PM
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.

Best thing is my wife is happy!!! :-) and that makes me happy.

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.

SomeInsight
11-07-2004, 10:11 AM
This was exactly what I needed. With the information you shared I was able to get in there in 5 minutes and then I was able to repair the broken part by drilling through the core and putting a 6-32 x 2 bolt through the center. I used epoxy to strengthen it. It appears better than the original part.

SomeInsight
The same thing happened to us. We have a 2000. The fix is easy, sort of. From the inside of the van, remove the bolts holding the handle and the pull strap on the hatch (inside). Then, starting from the top of the window, remove the plastic molding. It just snaps off. After you remove the top window plastic, then remove the molding on either side of the window, and finally, the large piece covering the inside of the hatch. Once you remove all the plastic, you will see a cable leading to the hatch clasp at the bottom of the door. Just pull the cable and the hatch will open.

The new handle was $64.00 at the dealer. We were quoted over $300.00 to have them do it.

It took me 2 hours, which 45 minutes was spent going to the dealer for the part. It is really easy to do.

ozzie32
03-16-2005, 08:32 AM
Thanks for the info guys. I have 1 98 with the sane problem.
Isn't the internet great.

ozzie32
03-17-2005, 12:42 PM
Turns out nothing was broken. Just needed a bit of lube on the spring on the inside right behind the handle.

When the door was locked and you pulled the handle and let go, the lever at the bottom was not moving all the way back to the original position. This prevented the door from becoming unlocked.

Ozzie

praniw
04-29-2005, 10:56 AM
I want to add to the other good advice listed here. We didn't have to remove any panel but the large one on the inside of the van under the window (after removing both handles). Also, there is no need to take the lights apart outside the van near the handle. When you try to re-hook the ball cable back into the new $70 handle you purchased, it is much easier to do if you have someone lift the latch at the base of the door. This frees up some slack on the cable. Test everything before putting panels back on. Took one hour, saved $300.

dallasweb
06-10-2005, 01:32 PM
Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread. Mine broke today...$72.00(ouch) at the closest Toyo dealer. I can't believe the want to charge over $300 bucks to replace it there. Three nuts and 4 screws....That's $42 per connector to dismantle/reassemble. They must have a a great pension plan :rolleyes:

Total time: 30 minutes to repair, 45 min to get to/from Toyo dealer.

wmkc17lm
06-16-2005, 01:44 PM
This is awesome. Thanks for the post it is the only reason I logged on the wed today. My 2001 has the same problem and I have lived with it for a month it was a real pain in the A$$. I'm glad the fix was soo easy.

kallie67
07-04-2005, 12:13 PM
thank you for all the help..(this coming from a lady who fixed it!).. I couldnt afford even the 70 dollars right at this moment, with new baby..and lots of dr. bills and it was irritating not being able to get stroller out, so i followed everyones advice.. took out the broken handle drilled a small hole, used a screw and put both pcs back together.. stronger then ever, and will hold until later date, when i order new one.. and it only took me about 2 hours..hehe
again thank you for all your help! saved me the hassle until i can get my new handle ordered!

tfret
08-15-2005, 12:00 PM
Well, the rear latch broke over the weekend on my wifes 98 Sienna. I think it's the first thing that has ever broken on the car in 8 years and 116K miles, so I guess I can't complain. Anyway, the dealer says 2 or 3 hundred dolloars just depending on how difficult it is. Luckily I found this thread and printed the directions so you know what I'll be doing after work tonight. Thanks for the info, I'll let you know how it goes.

tfret
08-16-2005, 06:39 AM
Well I fixed the latch last night and it went just as easy as everyone said. It took me 5 minutes tops to have the hatch open, and maybe an hour to get it all fixed and back together. I drilled straight through the flat handle and straight through the lever (which had separated from the handle). Then I put the two back together with two part expoxy and ran a sheet metal screw all the way through both peices. I think it is stronger now than ever before, and it didn't cost me a penny! Thanks for all the good info.

rvdzaag
11-03-2005, 07:30 PM
Well I fixed the latch last night and it went just as easy as everyone said. It took me 5 minutes tops to have the hatch open, and maybe an hour to get it all fixed and back together. I drilled straight through the flat handle and straight through the lever (which had separated from the handle). Then I put the two back together with two part expoxy and ran a sheet metal screw all the way through both peices. I think it is stronger now than ever before, and it didn't cost me a penny! Thanks for all the good info.

Hello, all. I just had my '98 Sienna at the dealer today to have the rear latch fixed, and decided to do a quick web-search to see if I could find similar problems. Clearly this is a design flaw/weakness, as there are lots of posts on this problem.
Just a word for those not inclined to do the fix themselves. The dealer service rep first quoted 2.5 hours of labour to fix it. But even without any protestations on my part, during a mid-morning call to report on what exactly it was going to cost me (and say my front brake pads needed replacing), they volunteered to reduce the labour rate to a flat $99.50. The part was around $90 (all figures $CDN.) Their mechanics are probably getting fast at making this repair!!
So the moral is, make sure to let the dealer know that you know this is a common problem, and dicker on the price.

gorawe
12-11-2005, 10:12 PM
I have to thank all you guys in this forum for your information.
I was able to fix the the broken latch based on the information in this forum. I bought metric nut driver, #4 screw and 5 minutes epoxy. That is it. I saved hundreds of dollars. I would suggest to drill and drive a #4 screw between the two broken pieces in addition to gluing the two pieces. This solution will provide a stronger part than buying a new replacement. I think the original design is flawed strengthwise, and stiffening the broken pieces would be a better alternative rather than replacing the same part that will break apart any time.

Thanks for your help.

jellyman2006
01-11-2006, 10:35 AM
Follow this link:

http://www.findonefindall.com/toyota%2Dsienna/

It explains how to replace the handle

toyomom
02-09-2006, 09:09 AM
For anyone strapped for cash but not for time, you could do as I did and go to your local junk yard or in my case it's a "pick-your-own farmer's market for auto parts" establishment and get a handle off of another Sienna. It's an opportunity to practice what you will be doing to your vehicle, so you reduce the risk of damaging your car, and it's an opportunity to stick it to the dealer for gouging our pockets for a piece of plastic ineptly designed for the job it needs to do!

JPandLee
05-31-2006, 12:38 AM
Thanks all for the post above. I got the back door apart as advertised above but I was unable to drill the correct hole at the correct angle. I also tried to counter sink for the screw head but the hard plastic pulled the drill into the part thus increasing the diameter size. No matter I recovered from this only to find that the nut backing the bolt would catch on the inside of the lever when working the pull.

Hereís to all the machinist out there, looks like Iím out $90 bucks for the handle but net ahead $300 for service.

siennasc98
05-31-2006, 01:33 AM
Thanks all for the post above. I got the back door apart as advertised above but I was unable to drill the correct hole at the correct angle. I also tried to counter sink for the screw head but the hard plastic pulled the drill into the part thus increasing the diameter size. No matter I recovered from this only to find that the nut backing the bolt would catch on the inside of the lever when working the pull.

Hereís to all the machinist out there, looks like Iím out $90 bucks for the handle but net ahead $300 for service.


Sorry to hear your troubles. I did not use the bolt & nut technique. I put just the handle on a vise, I drilled the hole using 9/64 bit and counter sunk it. Then fasten it with an 8x1-1/4" metal screw.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/SiennaSC98/Liftgate%20Door%20Handle/DSC05824.jpg

gmsander
06-22-2006, 10:39 AM
Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread. I followed the directions give and it took me about 45 minutes to install a new latch. The new latch appears to be much stronger than the original from my 1998 Sienna. I think Toyota understands they have a problem. The hatch item is in stock and my wife met two people at the dealer getting the service done while she picked up he part. I am going to follow up with the service manager as they are quoting 2 hours labor to fix the hatch. This is ridiculous!!! A complete novice like myself can complete the fix in 45 minutes, their certified technicians should be able to do it in less time than I did! It makes me wonder about the labor charges for other items.

Gdurham
08-06-2006, 08:19 PM
Mine broke yesterday while we are on vaction so it is a real problem not having quick access to the rear hatch. I am going to get the part tomorrow from the dealership and will follow the direction above to try and fix this problem.

Gdurham
08-07-2006, 04:17 PM
Mine broke yesterday while we are on vaction so it is a real problem not having quick access to the rear hatch. I am going to get the part tomorrow from the dealership and will follow the direction above to try and fix this problem.
I got the part this morning $67 and in about 35 mins everything was back in working condition. Thanks so much for the directions on how to fix this problem.

KBPdC
08-20-2006, 11:31 AM
Happened to me in November 2004 on a long distance family trip; Arizona to Pennsylvania. I fix most things and envisioned much of what people have done here. The wife was not willing to wait, so I simply went into a dealer and told them the price of the part was excessive considering Toyota's use of plastic in this precise location for this precise mechanical task, I also said that it was certainly a planned design "flaw" aimed at generating repair and part revenue.

Of course they service manager told me take it or leave it, and I said I'll take it installed for no more than one-hour of labor, and will only pay a pro rated cost based on actual minutes used. He replied that the repair could take up to two or three hours.

I replied as a Toyota dealer he was obligated to serve a Toyota customer, and that logically the moulding and trip removal / replacement should not take a "certified" Toyota service person more than one hour - and to get on with it because I was watching the repair through the service bay windows.

He did it; I was out for about $145.00 - and I am still complaing to my wife that we wasted that money. But he did it for what was (I consider) a reasonable amount of labor charge.

I have been told to walk before in such situations. But then again too - I do not back down and I'll gladly spend hours and hours of time complaining to corporate customer service reps. It is surprising how often they actually do respond and back you up.

After reading this topic, I suspect the dealer I encountered had gone through this process numerous times on this repair. He tried to gouge me - but backed right down at the first challenge I thew to him.

smkfam
10-11-2006, 09:54 PM
YOU guys and girls RULE out here!!!!
Hi Folks!

Steve here and I am so thankful to have found you! The internet is a wonderful thing! \

I have gone for over a year and a half with the hatch broken on my 2000 Sienna van and I had no idea what I did or what I could have ever done to cause it! I have been to every place I can think of from Mom and Pop type repair places to the actual (Grr) dealership itself. THEY wanted to charge me over 600 dollars to replace the ENTIRE door on the hatch, telling me in their "opinion" it was the only way to repair it. I just thought no way. I even waited on some guy that was "highly" recommended by a bunch of folks and he kept putting me off for weeks. Now, I am not mechanically inclined in the slightest, never have been never want to be. In my opinion, God created people who are gifted in this area and that is their talent. It's not mine.

So, how did I find you? Good 'ol Google! I was sitting here and I originally was hoping to find a manual online that I could refer to in an effort to see if there was something updated I missed along the way. Finally, after getting to all the sites who want you to pay for their manual, I said, you know there has to be SOMEone in the nation who has had this problem and I will bet they posted it somewhere on some forum. Sure enough, here you are! To Kahuna and the rest THANK YOU for helping me to see I'm not alone..I thought I was crazy for not wanting to shell out the money to Toyota. Kinda like that smiley banging his head against the wall over there.

I'm so excited..if it wasn't 10:00 at night, I'd be out there right now fixing the darn thing!! Of course, getting the part at this time of night would be tough too!!

Thanks again!

Steve in FL

Al-Sienna
10-23-2006, 10:50 AM
I want to thank all of you for helping me out with fixing my 1998 Sienna liftgate lock. I took the inside door cover apart in 5 min, but taking the handle out was a bummer. I thought I could repair it without removing the handle, but that proved impossible. Finally, after getting up the nerve to remove the handle, I used a 1" screw with glue & it is holding. Cost nothing, just my time.:)

The best part was not paying anything to Toyota Repair Dept. The last time something went bad (under extended warranty) my wife's son determined the solution. She took it in and told them what to do. They said they had to verify it and charged her for confirming that was the problem. The charge equalled the cost of the part. When I complained both the dealer and the company blew me off. Their extended warranty is a useless waste of money.
Thanks again, Al

donster
03-24-2007, 04:24 PM
Mine was broken beyond drilling.

Dealer price quote, $82 plus tax. Hell with you.

http://www.toyota-parts.com $42, no tax + normal shipping

Hope this helps.

pbarnrob
04-09-2007, 01:24 AM
After finding this thread on 8-30-06, I was able to fix the Boss' handle with a bolt and some RTV to keep weather out. Of course, a couple weeks ago, it broke just past the bolt, and my thanks for the toyota-parts.com link. We'll see what the local dealer says tomorrow during the day, but this really needs a re-design! TNX & 73, Phil

kkframe
07-14-2007, 03:05 PM
I found some additional detailed info on the process to fix the handle. I've edited it to reflect what I did with my 2000 Sienna.

You'll need to start by taking off the large piece of plastic moulding on the inside of the rear hatch. There are three bolts holding the plastic molding in place. Two in the handle and one in the strap. Both have plastic pieces covering them. The strap plastic piece pulls off. The handle plastic piece folds down from the top. Then using a 10mm hex wrench, I took the bolts off. (Alternatively you could use a phillips head screwdriver to remove the bolts.) Then I unsnapped the large piece of plastic moulding off. I was then able to get at the cable which connects the handle to the latch. Pulling on the end of the cable opened the rear hatch, which made it much easier to work on. There are three more 10mm nuts holding the handle/light cover which I took off. Be careful taking off the handle/light cover. There's a plastic piece that the handle/light cover snaps into on the driver's side, which I accidentally broke. I think you need to pull out the passenger side first. I don't think it's a big deal--the small plastic piece doesn't seem critical--but the handle/light cover is not as tight a fit as before. Then I was able to get to the handle assembly. I removed the cable that connects the handle to the latch and removed two small phillips head screws, which were holding the latch onto the door. I didn't bother trying to repair the handle, I just bought a new one from the Toyota dealer for $70. Then I put the new handle assembly in, replaced the phillips head screws, and tested it. After surprising myself that it worked the first time doing it, I replaced everything I took apart. Took me less than an hour to make the entire repair (not including travel time to the dealer).

pbarnrob
07-16-2007, 09:53 PM
After having the first bolt-fix break (above), now ToyotaPasadena.com wants to sell us a new Sienna (they _don't_ get it!) Toyota-parts.com in Dallas finally charged me $58.01 on-line, including shipping for new plastic, and with that in hand, and re-reading the machinist's tale, I went out in the garage and found a bracket about the right size for the handle part, bent it around a 20d nail for the handle part. Got out a leftover piece of mild steel from the junk box, hacksawed and filed the approximate shape for the 'hook', drilled and tapped it (thank God for cheap Chinese drill presses) and screwed it together. One more pass with the hacksaw to clear the bracket, and a couple slabs of old credit card plastic and glue to seal out weather (yeah, I know; SoCal - _what_ weather?) and in a couple hours of puttering, it's in. Should outlast the car! Keeping the plastic part for a pattern, or for an example to whomever...

Thanks again, gang! 73, Phil WA6DZS

blueoct71
08-06-2007, 10:26 AM
I want to thank everyone for their valuable input on fixing the rear hatch handle. This is the second time the rear hatch handle broke and I was determined not to pay the dealer to fix it, quote was $120 for labor, service rep said she would give us a break since this is the 4th handle to break on our 2000 Sienna (right sliding door twice - strong three year old). I bought the handle from the dealer and by using all of your post...I had the panels off, handle replaced, and the panels reinstalled in less than 35 minutes. 25 of the 35 minutes were for removing and replacing the panels. (I wanted to be careful not to break the plastic snaps.) Even with the "break" on labor that's a Toyota rate of $420/hour. A HUGE Thank you!

nordev
09-05-2007, 05:54 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you... worked like a charm. all done within 20 minutes and that includes finding this info online. Once the cover inside the hatch is off, if pulling the wire doesn't open the door, try lifting the silvery metal rod that unlocks the hatch first. Thanks.

caple
09-07-2007, 06:25 PM
I am so glad I found your site as I have seen that this handle problem is apparently, a constant problem.
With your tips and advice I was able to complete the work and fix the broken handle myself and saved myself a few hundred dollars in labor from a Toyota dealership. Mine is a 2000 Sienna LE.
Thanks again, you guys are great!!

Sienna1998-2
09-27-2007, 05:02 PM
We have had exactly the same problem with our 1998 Sienna, I replaced the hatch assembly less about one year ago and it is broken AGAIN. We called Toyota and checked for any recalls or technical servcie bulletins because I found MANY others were having the same problem. Their response was that they did not have enough complaints to file a TSB. Apparently most people are repairing their own without reporting this to the factory; IT IS A FLAWED DESIGN and it will keep breaking on yours like it did on ours.

Here is their response:
Discussion Thread

09/26/2007 08:48 AM
Thank you for contacting Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Ms. ****, we apologize for your continuous concerns with the hatch handle for your 1998 Sienna.
Currently we do not show the condition mentioned as a common concern with the 1998 Sienna and there are no recalls or Special Service Campaign (SSC) on the hatch handles for the 1998 Sienna.
A case has been generated in reference to the concerns you've had with your vehicle. The feedback we receive from our customers is reviewed by various departments within Toyota, Engineering, Marketing, etc.
At this time we can not determine if a recall or SSC will be released regarding the concern mentioned.
We appreciate you taking the time to contact us with your feedback and suggestions and again we apologize for the situation and any expense you may have incurred.
Your email has been documented at our National Headquarters under file #******. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/%20http:/toyota.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/toyota.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=4164).
Toyota Customer Experience
Customer Complaint
09/24/2007 04:42 PM
We have had to replaced the hatch handle on our Sienna twice and have found out that many other owners have the same problem. It breaks from normal use. It is a weak handle and should have been recalled. We shouldn't have to keep buying something for $80 + $500 Labor that will break easily. The new handle only lasted a year. How do we pursue further action with your company to have a better handle made?


Here is a link to the Toyota contact page - good luck to you all:
http://toyota.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/toyota.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=4164

yanstep
11-03-2007, 03:52 PM
If the plastic piece is broken off, you can open the hatch using a screw driver through the square hole where the latch leaver goes into the hatch. Basically, the handle consists of a lever which pushes down on another lever inside the door. Angle the screw driver up and over the inside lever (angle the screwdriver as vertical as possible to make sure that you are above the inside latch.) Then, push down the inside lever, which pulls a cable to release the door latch. You don't have to worry about damaging the finish with the screwdriver, because the square hole is part of the replaceable door handle.

z969307
01-20-2008, 10:58 PM
Thanks for the Forum. I just bought a 2000 Sienna XLE with a broken power door and broken rear latch, i got the latch and yes it was $180 for labor to get it replaced. this forum helped me.

You have to remove the 2 bolts on the handle, the cover prys off, the cover for the pull handle SLIDES up, slide it up and it will come off, I tried prying it and BROKE It. there are 3 nuts you got to remove, 2 for the handle itself and one all the way to the far right, (left if you are facing it) for the key. once it is off, you have 2 more screws you got to get off with a philips screw driver, also there is a plastic holder, they should just have had a screw also, but it'll break when you try to take it off....any ways this form helped me i was able to do this in 1/2 hour.

flavioishihara
04-24-2008, 08:32 PM
I would like to thanks to everyone who left a nice advice. But can you imagine how many has the same problem? We should complain or send a Letter to Toyota. They should know about this problem, and they may do not want to reimburse the owners, because it will cost a lot $. The way it is now, it is just very profitable for the Toyota dealears.
Iím mechanical engineer I have checked the problem in detail and it is design or manufacturer problem. Toyota is the responsible for this problem.

youngr69
07-19-2008, 08:53 PM
This solution fixed my 1999 Sienna. Things I wish I had known up front:

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.
7. Once the back trim is off, open the door as described elsewhere.
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 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 in 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.

As of July 17, 2008, the handle now costs $90 USD.

Thanks to everyone for their posts, it took me about 45 minutes to get the job done start to finish.

YEARWOOD
07-22-2008, 09:42 PM
Gents: Can't thank you enough for the info. I took the short cut, drilled a hole, and installed a screw.

Cost: $0
Time: under five minutes
Wife: held light and is now very happy!!

sbondale
05-24-2009, 12:23 AM
Thank you all for detailed instructions on this site to replace the handle. Just replaced it today, May 23rd 2009. The new handle cost about $90 and little over an hour to replace it.

I would like to add one thing to already great information. When I removed the door panel, some of the white plastic tabs were still stuck in the door. I am sure there are fancy tools to pull them out. But I didn't have one. I took a 7 mm socket and pushed the tabs from inside. They popped right out without breaking.

Thank you again for all the help.

sbondale

jandmjones
07-03-2009, 09:57 AM
Hello all, just had the rear handle break on our '02 Sienna. Fortunately, or unfortunately it broke as we were leaving Disney and were already packed and ready to go. After some searching I found that Parts Pro has a replacement for $30 or an improved, all metal one for $60. With what I save from staying away from the stealership I think I'll get the improved one. Thanks for all the advice and how to's.

familyvan8
07-09-2009, 03:10 PM
Thanks to this thread, I was able to have this broken handle replaced by my teenaged son. Bought the part from Parts Pro for @ $30, took my son @ 45 minutes! Saved us @ $300! Yeay!

jandmjones
07-11-2009, 02:04 PM
O.K. Just fixed the handle. This can be done with just a #10 deep well socket, rachet and a #2 phillips screwdriver. The two handles on the inside have #10 bolts. Take 'em out and remove the handles. I started from the bottom and popped out all the plastic panel holders. Some stayed in the metal door but are easy to remove. Next I familiarized myself with what was what inside the door, it's pretty minimal compared to some. At this point pull the cable and open the door because it will be much easier to work on while it is open. The handle itself will have two #10 nuts on it, remove those and the cable itself from the handle. Then on the left hand side (from the inside) there is another #10 nut but the threaded bolt is a little longer hence the deep well socket. Remove that nut which willl allow the license plate light bar to swing out and away. Gently pull it straight out from the vehicle. It's held on the other side by a plastic holder that just pushes in. Once the light bar is out flip it over and the handle is held in by two #2 phillip screws, once you remove those assembly is just the opposite of removal. When putting the handle/light bar assembly back in it takes some finess because the handle needs to be in just right but it will go. This whole process took me 30 minutes or less but I had everything right there and I'm somewhat mechanically inclined but I believe anyone can do it. Oh, and by the way, I found the all metal, improved handle on e-bay for $45 shipped. I compared the two after removal and they are identical except for the handle which of course is all metal and hopefully much sturdier.

pdelrio
07-17-2009, 08:39 AM
Tried this fix last night. Worked like a charm. I got the handle out and drilled from the outside of the handle and was having trouble lining up the two broken parts for the drill hole. So I just drilled them separately. I figured since the screw was going to be doing the work it didn't matter much how perfectly the pieces matched up. I got the screw in carefully, and it's smooth like butter. I can't tell you how freakin' psyched I am that this fix cost me $0 an saved about $300. That kicks butt! Thanks all for posting! BTW- The wife is most impressed.

slimey
08-19-2009, 08:48 AM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/98-99-2000-01-02-03-Toyota-Sienna-Rear-Tailgate-Handle_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14Q QhashZitem2a004cbfc4QQitemZ180393656260QQptZMotors Q5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

This Ebay store sells new metal door handles with a lifetime warranty for $45 including shipping - what a bargain. No more crap from the Toyota Stealership!

I have had a broken handle 3 times now. First time I took it to the dealership and they charged me $500 parts and labor (they must have seen me comming a mile off).
2 years later SNAP again, this time I am seething and not giving Toyota another dime, found this and it worked great http://www.findonefindall.com/toyota-sienna/siennareardoor.htm

Lo and behold 2 months later SNAP again, this time it was not repairable. I have attached a paperclip to some wire and pull it to open the door. Now I want to get rid of the sienna and update it to a newer model, before selling I want to repair the handle and I came across this forum and have ordered the metal part from Ebay as sugguested by a previous poster!

vtouba
08-23-2009, 11:13 AM
Ughh! I just saw this 10 minutes after ordering an OEM replacement liftgate handle for about the same price. Not sure if I can cancel without penalty, though. The problems started after we were rear-ended and the tailgate latch got pushed in about 1/4". Oh well, when it breaks again, I know where to get a permanent replacement. Guess I should always check Automotive Forums first! Thanks to all who've contributed to this string.

ajkmaryland
09-04-2009, 08:58 AM
My biggest concern with repairs: removing things in order to access the repair, and them retracing my steps backward to get all of that stuff back on again.

This particular repair for my 2000 Sienna was VERY easy and cost $65. One trip to the dealership and one hour removing and reinstalling.

This is a GREAT forum!!!

jbmay
10-24-2009, 06:35 PM
I had to replace the handle on my 2001 Toyota Sienna Van and ordered the replacement from ebaymotors.com instead of buying from the local dealer because it was $60.00 cheaper. Just a word or two of warning. The part fit and works but I had to find different nuts because the screws used a 1/4x28 thread (not sure what the thread is on the original screw). Also, the slot that the cable fits in had to be widened (used a round file to do that).

Holysmoke
12-07-2009, 10:30 AM
call 888-820-3393 or 888-844-3393 and order a metal handle for under $50 shipped Part Number: 1ABTH00049

Product Details

Vehicle Fit
Product Details

Vehicle Fit

1998-03 Toyota Sienna Liftgate Handle Metal

This replacement liftgate handle is just what you need to get your Toyota Sienna and Sequoia in good working form again!

Unlike the original handle that is made from plastic, this handle has been redesigned and made in metal form to provide a stronger, more durable handle!

Specifications:

* Metal construction
* Black textured finish
* Replaces dealer part numbers: 69090-08010, 6909008010
* Direct replacement for original plastic version
* Built to strict quality control standards
* Replaces a broken or damaged lift gate handle

This part is a direct bolt on part built to strict quality control standards. It is a great replacement and has good cost savings over a dealer unit.

sayoungblood
03-02-2010, 03:22 PM
I, too, have a 2000 Toyota Sienna van driven by my wife with a broken rear latch handle. While I admire the inventiveness of those who have repaired their broken plastic handles with a bolt, I chose instead to order a replacement metal handle for about $21. It came by overnight UPS from Oregon to Texas, Davis Auto Parts,

http://store.jkdautoparts.com/autoparts/type/autokey/8020158

The metal handle is not likely to break. By the way, this same handle is available from Amazon but for twice the price. Go to the source and receive the best price and overnight delivery.

My time is worth something, so I feel this was an excellent solution. It's a better designed part that you simply bolt in, and you are done.

By the way, I tried both epoxy and gorilla glue on my broken handle and can confirm, that neither will withstand the spring pressure of the latch, once reassembled and tested. If you are going to stick with your broken handle, you must put a bolt in it or fashion a bolted rod bent to the same angle as the plastic tab that trips the cable lever.

Amateur Mike
03-18-2010, 08:09 PM
Update on Toyota: Same thing happened to my 2002 Sienna with 116,000 miles. The price for the plastic latch from Toyota is now $120. It is going back, and I will order a metal one. Thanks for the information on its availability. This is a great site.

Amateur Mike
03-21-2010, 09:28 PM
Update to my last post: There is a group called the Aftermarket Parts Association in San Antonio that was very helpful in locating a local store that carries their products. I found an all metal rear hatch handle imported by Dorfman Products of Colmar, Pennsylvania, product #79600, titled a "Liftgate Handle." Cost in California from a local dealer that got it from a local warehouse within two hours of my request was $48.00 plus tax. With my son's help, it took an hour to install. It was very easy to do. Tips on opening the hatch: if the handle lever is broken off and you can insert a stiff coat hanger or heavy wire through the lever hole on the handle toward the passenger side, you might be able to tip the lever, releasing the latch. If not, you have to open it by removing the interior panel as others have described. Hope this helps. Completed this 3-19-2010.

cityboy
03-28-2010, 05:49 PM
I agree! I have replaced all 5 door handles and now refuse to buy anymore!
My rear door broke again and now I took the cover off and use a rope mechanism and my kids help to open the door when needed.

wiswind
03-29-2010, 01:02 AM
I found that I could not open the rear hatch on my 2003 Sienna.
I took the panel off the inside of the rear hatch from the inside.
First, pop the covers over the bolts on each end of the handle at the bottom of the door.
Second, remove the 2 10mm bolts that hold the handle and remove handle.
Third, SLIDE UP the cover over the metal bracket that holds the pull down strap.......it slides up to remove.
Forth, remove the 10mm bold that holds the pull down strap and bracket.
Fifth.....grasp the plastic panel at the BOTTOM and pull it away from the door......working the clips up to the top of the panel.....

I got really lucky.......all I needed to do was lubricate things and it all works just great.
It seems that there is a metal plate on the outside.....behind the plastic handle........mine is SUPER rusty.......and I wonder if the rusting causes the rotating part to become frozen in place....causing the handle to break when you pull it to open the door.
After lubrication.....takes very little effort to pull the handle to release the door latch.

This picture shows the rear hatch handle unit and trim off of the vehicle....I removed it to paint it with "Eastwood Rust Encapsulator"....shows the rusty steel plate.....arrow shows where the handle tab passes through the plate.
http://inlinethumb27.webshots.com/30362/2355586660011220610S600x600Q85.jpg (http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2355586660011220610ePtWcd)

This picture shows the rotating part that the cable connects to at the top.......the rotating part is mounted to the metal part that is rusty on the outside on mine.....and once that pivot point got a bit of lubrication.......the door worked very well.
Arrow shows where the handle tab comes through the steel plate....and contacts the rotating metal part.....pushes the left side down......and the right side moves up....pulling the cable that releases the latch at the bottom of the hatch.
http://inlinethumb33.webshots.com/25184/2641869000011220610S600x600Q85.jpg (http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2641869000011220610cdUBfC)

jspiro
05-16-2010, 04:02 PM
Thanks to all before who have posted excellent instructions on how to fix this problem.

I ordered a new metal handle from David Auto Sales. It was $29 with shipping.

The installation was very straightforward given tips from previous postings.

Unfortunately, however, when I had it all finished I realized that there was a secondary problem as well. The car locking mechanism wasn't working smoothly. A small plastic peg that is involved in the locking system was sticking given some play in the system-- so even though the new handle worked perfectly when the car was unlocked-- often the tailgate was not fully unlocked and then the handle didn't work. I took the locking mechanism off and lubricated it-- but it still stuck occasionally. I managed to bend it in such a way that it seems to be working consistently now-- but I'm still concerned that this won't last.....

wiswind
05-19-2010, 09:55 PM
I recommend that you spray some lubricant into the latch mechanism.

tgsmil
07-03-2010, 11:29 AM
I have the panels off and am ready to repair the handle but I can't get the liftgate latch to release. The cable moves the lever mechanism but nothing is releasing the latch. Anyone know how to get it open?

wiswind
07-05-2010, 09:25 PM
Try working the LOCKING mechanism.
Just a couple weeks ago, mine stuck exactly as you mention......I sprayed lubricant into all the spots that I could for the lock.....including the cable ends where the cable goes into the cable cover.......
That is what cleared it up for me.
I suspect that one of the times it was closed.....the lock was not fully in the lock position....and kind of jammed it......as it worked really well once I got it freed up.

msmucha
07-11-2010, 11:23 PM
I, too, have a 2000 Toyota Sienna van driven by my wife with a broken rear latch handle. While I admire the inventiveness of those who have repaired their broken plastic handles with a bolt, I chose instead to order a replacement metal handle for about $21. It came by overnight UPS from Oregon to Texas, Davis Auto Parts,

http://store.jkdautoparts.com/autoparts/type/autokey/8020158

The metal handle is not likely to break. By the way, this same handle is available from Amazon but for twice the price. Go to the source and receive the best price and overnight delivery.

My time is worth something, so I feel this was an excellent solution. It's a better designed part that you simply bolt in, and you are done.

By the way, I tried both epoxy and gorilla glue on my broken handle and can confirm, that neither will withstand the spring pressure of the latch, once reassembled and tested. If you are going to stick with your broken handle, you must put a bolt in it or fashion a bolted rod bent to the same angle as the plastic tab that trips the cable lever.
Sayoungblood had great advice. I had the same broken latch problem with my 2000 Sienna and purchased the metal replacement latch from http://www.jkdautoparts.com/ for $30 including shipping. It was a perfect fit replacement and is well constructed. Other posts on this problem were also very helpful. I took me about 45 minutes to complete the entire repair. You do not have to remove the top or side trim pieces on the back panel to complete the repair. It just takes a little more care on getting the panel back in place.

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