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Sequoia rear hatch cable stretched (non-functional)
There are at least three issues with the Sequoia latch mechanism. The plastic latch pull breaking, lack of lubrication on the lower latching mechanism and the “latch handle ok but the cable won’t pull far enough” issue. The plastic latch replacement is well known. Lubing the lower latch mechanism prevents issues. But the “cable stretched” is another thing.
Resolution to THAT problem. Remove the handle. Just before removal have someone pull the handle while you are inside the vehicle staring at the solder ball that catches on the handle. You will see that it is, likely, not pulling on the ball far enough. The handle is ok but the cable has been stretched. You can verify this is the problem by pulling on the cable itself and the lower latch should release. You can replace the entire lower latch and cable assembly, costly and very labor intensive. Or….the fix I found on-line. Remove the handle, buy a set collar ($2.50)… it looks like a ¼ inch thick washer with an allen screw for retention, internal diameter of the hole just a bit bigger than the cable. Cut off the existing solder ball on the latch cable, slide on the set collar and move it down the cable about ¾ inch. Tighten allen screw. Insert back into the handle and temporarily push the handle back into the handle hole. Try closing the rear hatch. It should latch shut. If so, you are good to go. If it doesn’t, move the set collar “out” (closer to where the solder ball was, about 1/8 inch). Retry if necessary. If ok, do NOT trim off the wire strands that extend beyond the set collar. Apply epoxy to the area at the end side of the set collar and the cable end strands (cheap insurance). Let it cure. Reinstall all. Hint on working with the cable… if putting the cable back on the latch handle is a pain as it appears too short, unhook the cable mount inside the door with a small flat blade screw driver. This cable mount just holds the cable against the hatch sheet metal. Unlatch and you will have plenty of working room. Re-attach as part of the reassembly process.
Also… should have noted this earlier… if you can’t open the rear hatch and are wondering how to get all the trim pieces off a closed hatch, invest $4 in a pry bar, thin. Pry the trip pieces off one by one, starting at the top. Ugly but it works.
Hope this helps someone.