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'04 rear hatch won't close

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by RomaniGypsy, May 12, 2019.

  1. May 12, 2019 at 9:11 AM
    #1
    RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy [OP] New Member

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    I knew that stupid electric motor closing mechanism was going to conk out at some point... way to go, Toyota, when you could have just used a regular physical mechanism without putting in something fancy that will just break.

    So now it won't close. I push it closed and the motor does its thing, but it isn't latching shut. After the motor finishes its cycle, I can still pull the hatch open with one finger. No secondary detent, no nothing. While driving, it triggers the "door open" sensor and the interior lights stay on.

    Any idea how easy this would be to diagnose and fix?
     
  2. May 12, 2019 at 10:07 AM
    #2
    chassis

    chassis New Member

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    Sold: 2005 4Runner SR5 V6 4WD
    https://youtu.be/sSNMyV9ZOfE

    The video suggests that cleaning and lubricating may solve the problem, but it may not.

    Part 6911035090, $282.40 from my local Toyota dealer. Looks easy to remove and replace, if you are moderately mechanically inclined.
     
  3. May 15, 2019 at 4:31 AM
    #3
    RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy [OP] New Member

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    I appreciate it. My local dealer quoted like $650 for parts and labor. They said that they couldn't get it to duplicate the problem (which makes sense as it unexpectedly started working again, mostly, the morning before we took it in), and that the only issue they could see was that it looked significantly corroded.
     
    captsolo likes this.
  4. May 18, 2019 at 8:43 PM
    #4
    RedTigerGSU

    RedTigerGSU New Member

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    none so far
    i recently replaced mine. I lubricated it but it had other defects besides the rust so I thew out the old one and the new one works well.
     
    chassis likes this.
  5. Jun 27, 2019 at 6:56 PM
    #5
    RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy [OP] New Member

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    For you and for anyone else who is reading this -

    I determined that the problem is that there is at least one locking pin, perhaps two, that were not engaging. When the hasp is pushed back, it should lock into place and the locking mechanism wasn't holding it back. Penetrating lubricant didn't do the job, so I ordered a new one from the Toyota dealership. (Far be it from auto parts stores to be able to get something like that.)

    Installing it was straightforward, except for how it didn't work.

    To elaborate: Prior to removing the old one, the motor worked. I could tell it had a heartbeat, essentially. When I put the new one in, no heartbeat at all. I could move the hasp manually and get it to lock, but the motor wasn't running even though it was connected up. I removed it and connected the old one up again - no heartbeat from the old one. Checked the fuses - they seemed good. Couldn't find loose connections anywhere else.

    Is there anything fancy that has to be done to "program" this unit to work with my car? Am I missing anything?
     
    jester243 likes this.
  6. Jun 30, 2019 at 2:29 AM
    #6
    captsolo

    captsolo New Member

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  7. Aug 21, 2019 at 1:33 PM
    #7
    r32

    r32 New Member

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    I had this exact same problem and the solution really surprised the heck out of me.

    ---

    I don't know why I never considered this before, but recently realized the rubber cover for the latch mechanism (that opens the rear hatch) is completely melted into a soft gummy goo. Big mess of black coming off on my hands when I go to open the rear door. It's melted so much that the material caused the lock switch to be permanently pressed down at times, causing the hatch lock problem.

    Did a search and saw that the latch cover melting in hot climates is a well known issue on the 4th gen.

    Ordered this replacement kit from Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071DVJ6ZD/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Note: I did not have to take apart the hatch door to remove the body panel which holds the latch cover, although if you can do this, it would be easier to get the screws out.

    Pro tip: Before starting, take a wide piece of painters tape and cover up the area directly above the latch, to avoid getting black goo on your paint. Also tape off the area directly below the screws. As you remove them, the distance between these screws and your paint job gets tight and you will start scraping the paint with the 'L' screwdriver as you struggle to get the screws out, and as you put them back in.

    Pro tip: Wear gloves and a crappy shirt. The melted black rubber can easily get all over you. Be careful touching your vehicle, or door handles, etc. when cleaning off the black goo.

    Steps

    Used the 'L' shaped screwdriver tool that came with the kit. Slow and steady, remove the two screws on the existing cover.

    Take a small flat head screw driver and gently pop out plastic casing that holds the switch. It was a huge mess with black goo all over the place.

    There is a plastic piece, along with thin metal bar (similar gauge to a paper clip) that is easily removed from the main plastic casing the switch is located. Be careful when removing these two parts as there is a small spring underneath that will shoot off if you're not careful. Then you'll be on the ground looking for it.

    I left the main plastic casing attached the vehicle and scraped the heck out it with a flat head screw driver trying get all the thick gobs of goo off. Also cleaned the plastic piece and metal bar separately. I used goo-gone and a lot of qtips to get everything really clean before reassembly.

    Then I put everything back together, and slipped the new rubber cover on which wraps perfectly over the edges of the plastic casing. Then I pushed the plastic casing unit back into the door and then put the screws back in. It works fantastic and looks new again. Door now stays shut as it should.

    Whole thing took me an hour because cleaning off the melted goo of OEM rubber latch cover was a pain.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  8. Nov 23, 2019 at 3:50 PM
    #8
    ravenride

    ravenride New Member

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    Rough Country Leveling Lift with shocks.
    The hatch on my 2003 stopped locking. The motor would work and the door would get sucked in but the door wouldn’t stay locked closed. I ended up removing the motor and lock mechanism after popping off the hatch panel and the cover from around the latching mechanism on the bottom of the hatch. There are three bolts on the bottom and one from behind that hold the mechanism onto the hatch. I removed the white cover off of the lock assembly to get the workings. There are two levers and one moves a small sliding tab. My tab was sticking so it wasn’t returning to the locked position. Cleaned and lubed this piece by moving it with a small screwdriver then using the lever to move it the other way. I also ran the mechanism under hot water to clean out the dirt and rust a bit. Final cleaning and lube with PB Blaster. Once the tab slid freely i reassembled everything. After unplugging the wiring harness i found that i needed to unplug the blue connector on the hatch computer for a few minutes to get it to reset and enable the lock motor. I also had to push the unlock button for the doors.

    Happily the door closed and locked as normal
     
  9. Nov 24, 2019 at 6:04 PM
    #9
    rufus.k

    rufus.k New Member

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    The reset procedure is EXACTLY what I just needed. Worked for me! Thanks @ravenride!
     
    ravenride likes this.
  10. Nov 25, 2019 at 9:58 AM
    #10
    ravenride

    ravenride New Member

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    ONE MORE THING!....if your rear defrost and wiper aren't working anymore after disconnecting harnesses on the back hatch roll the hatch window down and back up. It resets the defrost and wiper. I thought I blew a fuse but this is all I needed to do.
     
  11. Nov 25, 2019 at 10:07 AM
    #11
    PennSilverTaco

    PennSilverTaco I have Ass Burgers...

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    Please see signature!
    My parents used to have a 2000 GMC Safari with Dutch doors, and the lock refused to disengage; We couldn't get the damn thing to open....

    Unfortunately, this happened on the same weekend we had a bunch of family over and thus needed to haul a lot of luggage; It was not easy getting the luggage in the back!
     
  12. Nov 25, 2019 at 10:40 AM
    #12
    ravenride

    ravenride New Member

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    I can imagine! The 4Runner also has a manual release from the inside. If you can get the back access panel off the white protective cover on the hatch mechanism is actually 2 pieces. The small side piece is removable that covers the release levers. I'd think most rear doors/hatches would have a manual release :)
     

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