Question about 1994 Toyota Previa

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Outside sliding door handle?

The oustside sliding door handle latch is broken i think. it just seems like nothing is clinging to it on the inside. I took the door of and the inside covers off but to get to the latch seems like i have to take the whole door locking mechanism off so that it will drop down? any easier way?

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  • Anonymous Nov 20, 2008

    Sliding door handle broke off. Need to find replacement.

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Yes. It is a difficult job, but not impossible. The hardest part is actually removing the interior door handle. Here are the steps.

  1. remove the interior door handle by pressing the door panel in and prying out the C-ring retainer clip
  2. remove the lock slide switch bezel with 1 screw, then insert a blade on the bottom left of the slider between the slider and bezel, and release the clip, the slide the bezel toward the rear of the vehicle and pull out
  3. carefully unclip the door panel around the lower edge and sides and lift the door panel UP and off
  4. remove the interior lock slide switch with 2 screws
  5. pull back the plastic vapor shield part way to expose the mechanism
  6. there is a cable that runs from the mechanism to the exterior handle, unclip it from the door frame
  7. there is a rod that drops down from the door handle to the mechanism, release the rod from the plastic clip
  8. locate a large (likely black phillips) screw next to the door handle on the EDGE of the door, remove it
  9. locate a 10mm screw on the inside behind the door handle, remove it
  10. locate the final 10mm screw behind the handle through an access hole, remove it (careful not to let it fall inside the door)
  11. the door handle will push out through the door part way- there is another C-clip securing the lock cylinder that will need to be removed, and the lock cylinder can be pushed into the door cavity
  12. pull the door handle through the outside of the door skin- the door handle assembly is still attached inside the door by the latch cable- the cable can be easily removed from the handle assembly to remove it completely
  13. you will likely find that the end of the door handle itself is broken off- don’t buy a new handle! Email me and I will show you my free and possibly better solution that will likely last the life of the vehicle dbonnell1972 at yahoo dot com
re-assembly is the reverse of the removal

Posted on Sep 01, 2008

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Dbonnell1972 provided the best "how to" that I could find. Permit me to share some "tweaks" that I had to deal with:

1. Removing the inside handle takes about 10 seconds once you figure out the technique. I had absolutely no luck with the metal pick idea. Here is what I did. First, remove the door lock bezel. Then pull the door panel off - you cannot remove it until the door handle is off. Then use a sturdy towel (warning: it will be destroyed in the process) slipped into the crack between the door panel and the handle. With the towel in the crack, and both ends of the towel pointed in the direction of the windshield, work the towel back and forth in a sawing motion until the clip pops off. Think in terms of flossing a tooth except both ends of the floss come out the same side of the tooth. Don't lose the clip. Here is the IMPORTANT DETAIL -- there is a nylon ring behind the handle. You have to get the towel between the handle and the nylon ring.

2. The Phillips screws that hold on the outside handle are VERY tight. Expect to destroy the head getting them out. Get replacements in anticipation. I used vice grips to get 2 of them out. For the 3rd, I used a dremel tool to cut off the old handle and used vice grips from the outside to remove it. You will see why when you get to that stage. In the process, I destroyed the gasket between the outside handle and the van door. Get a replacement in anticipation.

3. While you have the door ripped apart, I recommend replacing the rear sliding hinge (that roller that is located chest-high on the back of the door). If your slider has not started making that scraping sound yet, it will soon.

4. For me, half of the plastic door clips broke. Get replacements in anticipation.

5. Heads up on a re-assembly mistake I made. I forgot to screw the lock slide on before installing the door panel. So I had to disassemble everything again. It is impossible to screw on the lock slide with the door panel installed.

Posted on Jan 11, 2009

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