DIY: Center Console Broken Latch Fix - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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Old 09-20-2011, 11:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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DIY: Center Console Broken Latch Fix

This is for those of us who have had the center console latch button break and will not stay in. I found this on Tacoma World so I am posting it here so all of us can you it as well. I did this myself and it took around 30 minutes total and it solid as a rock.

Remember that these are done at your own risk and neither myself or Toyota Nation can be held responsible for any issues you encounter.


After having this latch fail on me (button falls out along with the spring), and going to the dealer only to find out I will be required to purchase a complete console for approx $250, I resolved the problem with no more than two 4-40 x 3/8" set screws. The cause of the failure is poor design. There are two very small plastic catch tangs on the top side of the latch button, which are molded into the button. These two tangs are intended to prevent the button from popping out. The catch tangs mate to two slots in the latch outer housing. As the button moves in and out, the tangs slide with in the mating slots. When these tangs wear down, they will no longer retain the button and the button pops out. To repair, you need to replace the tangs on the top side of the button with two set screw (one per tang).

How to fix:
Remove the interior (underside) of the center compartment lid. This will allow you access to the two screws that hold the latch housing in place. Remove the latch housing from the lid. With a scribe, scribe a line from one catch tang to the other (on center) on the top side of the button. This scribe line will be used later for locating holes. Now, scribe two perpendicular lines (on center to the tangs). This should provide you with the exact location of both tangs. Place the button back into the housing and verify your scribe line locations. They should be on center with the slots in the housing. (Re-scribe if they are not in the correct location) With a very smooth file (or sharp knife), remove the two catch tangs on the top side of the button. Do not file off the three scribe lines. Once the tangs are removed. Use your three scribe lines and re-mark the original tang locations.

Now, use an all (or snap punch) and create a center for your drill bit, so the drill bit will not walk off center as you begin to drill. Use a #47 drill bit (.078") and drill through the two tang locations. (Drill through the outer portion of the top of the button only.) Be sure to drill at a very slow speed so as not to auger out any additional material. Use a 4-40 tap and tap part way through the whole. Caution, DO NOT tap all the way through. We only want proper threads about 2/3rd of the way through the whole. Not tapping all the way through will allow the 4-40 set screw to have enough wall tension to not come loose in the future. Install the two 4-40 x 3/8" set screws into the tapped hole in the button. Because the #47 drill is undersized, and also because you did not tap all the way through, there will be significant wall tension which will cause material to will bulge up around the set screw holes as the screws are installed, this is good. Now, remove the set screws and gently file the off bulge. Fit the button back into the housing (without the set screws) to check fit. It must slide freely in and out. If it does not be sure you fully removed all bulging material around the set screw holes. Place the spring back in place over the center post, slide the button into the housing and re-install the set screws through the slots and into the button. Again, the set screws should have enough wall tension so as not to freely screw in and out. Screw the set screws in only as far as necessary, so as to have the top of the set screw flush with outer edge of the housing. If it is discovered during final assembly that the screws do not properly line up with the slots in the housing, causing the button to stick, disassemble and file open the width of the slots to allow the button to move in and out smoothly (remove only a minimal amount of material in this process). A little bit of friction is OK as the screws will eventually create their own clearance post several operations of the latch.
Note: If you have lost the compression spring, most hardware stores will have a selection. The spring fits over the center post inside the button and is very soft. Almost any soft spring will work provided it will compress far enough without coil bind and fits around the center post. The spring length can be cut to fit if it is to long.

Reinstall the latch (assembled) into the armrest lid with the two original retaining screws. Caution not over tighten as the lid is made from plastic and may strip the treads very easily. Reinstall the inside cover and check latch operation prior to closing the center compartment. If the latch does not operate freely, you have something assembled improperly. Disassemble, identify the problem, fix and reinstall.

Mine has worked great since I repaired it. It has seen several hundred opening and closings with no ill effects.




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Last edited by Jamfred774; 09-20-2011 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Much appreciated. Mine broke a few months ago and I have it jury rigged with an elastic band now...
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mine broke years ago and all i did was glue in the spring and keep my hand on the latch when opening the center console.
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I just put a selftapping screw in mine when it broke but good write up Jamfred774
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