Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
If I have time this weekend, I'd like to finally crack open my passenger-side door and try to figure out why I can no longer unlock it from the outside with the key. It will lock fine (pointless), but it just stops short of unlocking. It almost feels like the key will bend or break outright before going far enough. I have even tried with the original key I use as a template for duplicates, but with no luck. I suspect I will have to remove the entire door latch assembly for cleaning, but is there anything else to suspect or look our for? I do have a bag of rod clips (if I can find them); I just hope they work for all the rods I'll be messing with.
 

·
Registered
96 camry 2.2
Joined
·
468 Posts
Definitely keep us up to date. I have the exact same problem on my 96.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Definitely keep us up to date. I have the exact same problem on my 96.
The failure seems to lie in the door actuator assembly itself; not the handle assembly, and not the lock barrel mechanism. I mean the actual assembly that latches and un-latches to the loop on the door pillar and actually keeps the door closed.

Having removed the door handle and key lock assembly from the door, I can only move the key lock rod in one direction: lock. I can push very hard (as hard as I dare) down on the lock rod and NOTHING happens, not even engaging the unlock electrical function, though that works fine in the lock direction (pulling up) as experienced using the key. Given the amount of force that does nothing, no wonder it felt like I was going to break the key (I seemingly did manage to slightly bend the operating lever on the key barrel)!

I guess the next step is learning how to remove the door actuator assembly, as so far, I've only found the Gen4 DIY, and given the Gen3 doesn't have that big sheet metal access plate, I suspect it won't be easy, (nor a cheap part).

I am left with the feeling that both door actuators need to be replaced, as several folks seemed to have them fail in the locked position, meaning you daren't lock the car making quite a few places no-go areas.

If some one has done a Gen3 actuator job, please let us know how (and how bad it was).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Unexpected

Well, that was an unexpected root cause.

After 4 hours of work, I finally got the latch assembly disconnected and out of the car. And as in the Gen 4 example on here, I did un-bolt the bottom window track and loosen BUT NOT REMOVE the upper nut to allow the track to pivot out of the way during this repair.

By the way, I did cheat somewhat by drilling a 3/8" hole thru the inner door sheet metal right on top of where the interior door operating link ends (but still within the border of the door panel). With that, I was able to pass thru a small screw driver and easily unlatch the plastic rod clip. Be very careful if you do this: slowly sneak up on finally breaking thru as there is a wiring harness quite nearby that could get nipped or snatched by the bit. Plus, I don't know how other people did it, but I had to remove the outer door handle again. With this out of the way, it was far easier to unlatch the lock linkage clip (while holding the plastic anti-theft shield out of the way.

Once I got the latch assembly out I realized I had purchased the wrong door lock actuators (they have three terminals for one plug, whereas mine has two separate connectors). What's crazy is that Amazon does list them (Dorman 746-655 & 746-654) fitting my car but they do not. It is a US built car and I think the passenger door is original, so I have no idea. Not impossible Amazon is wrong, I suppose.

Fortunately, it wasn't an electrical issue; it was a broken plastic linkage clip - an EXTRA broken plastic linkage clip! I think the only explanation is that it was from a prior outer door handle R&R (which I did about 4 years ago) that resulted in the clip for the operating rod falling out and eventually (about two years ago, IIRC) working its way down to the latch assembly via the anti-theft shielding and finally falling into place to block the cylinder lock linkage from moving to the unlock position. I honestly don't remember losing that clip out of the old door handle, but it really is the only explanation, given how long I've owned the car.

Anyway, thrilled that I can again unlock and open the passenger car door for my girl, as a gentleman should.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
cool a 5c part! I wonder if a similar clip is responsible for my right rear door not unlocking/locking with power locks...
 

·
Registered
96 camry 2.2
Joined
·
468 Posts
Thanks for keeping us up to date. I'm going to give this a try a soon as I have the time.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top