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Toyota 4runner rear tailgate won't close - Cars & Trucks

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 1987 toyota 4runner tailgate window stopped working

If you haven't already done so check fuses and all the obvious stuff first :P

The switch inside the truck and the key switch on the tailgate work from a ground source. That ground can be interrupted by 2 safety switches relating to the tailgate window operation. 1 safety switch is the top removal switch which is depressed when a specific bold that holds the fiberglass top is installed. It is located behind the drivers side trim panel in the cargo area about half way back from the rear seat. When you take that bolt out and take the top off you cant roll the window up. This is however most likely not the problem.

The second switch is actually inside the drivers side tailgate latch. This was the culprit when I had the same problem and seems to be a likely point of failure. First off, remove the switch for the window from the center consol and check the connector for ground on the common contact (usually center but check them all). If there is no continuity to ground then this is a sure sign that one of those safety switches is faulty (assuming no broken wires). You can check the first switch but is most likely a waste of time.

To remove the tailgate latch you first need to get the tailgate open and if your window doesn't work it needs to be rolled down first. Using any small gauge wire attach one end to a ground source and touch the other end to the connector contacts for the window switch you removed. One of the contacts to ground will roll the window down, the other up, and the third will do nothing that you will notice.

After the window is down, lower the tailgate and remove trim panel and everything else necessary to get to the drivers tailgate latch and remove it. It has a 2 wire connector attached to it. After it is removed place a jumper in the 2 wire connector and test your console switch for ground, if it has a ground then that was your problem.

I cant remember if the glass was in the way but if it is you can roll it up with the tailgate down with the jumper method above just have a friend lift the glass as it comes out so it doesn't damage or scratch it and have it braced with a table or something. Don't let the glass out with the tailgate down without helping it, it isn't designed to do so and could damage stuff.

When I pulled the latch and took it apart it was full of mud, I even removed the very tiny switch from it and took the switch apart to clean it. That part was very difficult because the parts were very small and not meant to be pulled apart very easily. The little contact was no larger in daimeter then a #2 pencil lead and only a 1/4" long and spring loaded when you open the switch. I cleaned everything, put it back together and it worked great.

That is until now, 2 years later it started doing the same thing again. I took great lengths in sealing everything to keep mud out and everthing and it only lasted 2 years, oh well. In short, it may be expensive but a new latch assembly might be a good idea. I have to do this job soon myself... again.

I would check for this problem before looking at the relay control because the relay control is a little more difficult to get to.

Posted on Sep 07, 2009

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