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How to replace a gummy/melted rear hatch handle

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by spencermarkd, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Jun 8, 2021 at 9:00 PM
    #1
    spencermarkd

    spencermarkd [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2021
    Member:
    #21754
    Messages:
    49
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Spencer
    Pullman, WA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Driftwood Pearl SR5
    So I bought my 4Runner last week and almost immediately got annoyed by the gross gummy hatch button/handle thing. It seems like it melted into a weird rubbery tarred up mess.

    Quick Amazon search led me to a $9 aftermarket replacement part, there were a couple dozen different options. Mine came with a mostly useless “s” shaped screwdriver, too.

    So to start:

    1) put a piece or two of painters tape above your license plate to protect your paint as you unscrew the two screws

    2) unscrew the two screws. I used a 1/4” #2 phillips bit in a 1/4” box wrench. this is where the tape comes in, you’ll scratch your paint with the base of whatever you use to unscrew those screws. They’re in there at a very unfortunate angle.

    F422B43A-BB19-4F66-AC8E-A9163888F998.jpg

    3) One you have the two screws out, you need to pry out the button assembly. There are two clips where the screws came out that are wedging it in there. Be firm but careful not to break anything.


    0B584516-E75B-45EF-9773-106F18F031F4.jpg

    4) once you have the assembly out, use an angled pic, flat edge, screwdriver, whatever to scrape off all the old crap. There is a ridge in the center of the button you need to clean out as well as some locating bumps on the back that need to get cleaned off for the new piece to fit correctly.

    5) once it’s clean (ish), slip your new piece over the whole thing, aligning it in the center of the button and onto the bumps in the back

    6) assemble in reverse.


    That gummy crap is gross and sticky, highly recommend gloves for this. I didn’t wear any, but got most of it off with some orange goop hand cleaner.

    Overall it was a two beer job, mainly because scraping off the old crap took so long.

    Hope this helps someone :cheers:
     
    LMCjr and Mohoman like this.
  2. Jun 9, 2021 at 1:17 PM
    #2
    BullDogDan

    BullDogDan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2021
    Member:
    #20381
    Messages:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dan
    Vehicle:
    2007 4Runner Limited V8
    When I purchased my ‘07 6 months ago I discovered the previous owner covered the gooey stuff with a really good electrical type tape. Has worked so far.
     
  3. Jun 9, 2021 at 1:21 PM
    #3
    spencermarkd

    spencermarkd [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2021
    Member:
    #21754
    Messages:
    49
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Spencer
    Pullman, WA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Driftwood Pearl SR5
    I had seen folks doing that on other forums, but had also seen that depending on the gooey level, it had a chance of freezing up in the winter. We get sub freezing and occasionally sub-zero temps and I figured a $9 part was worth avoiding that chance.
     
  4. Jun 9, 2021 at 1:31 PM
    #4
    BullDogDan

    BullDogDan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2021
    Member:
    #20381
    Messages:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dan
    Vehicle:
    2007 4Runner Limited V8
    Can you give us the link for the aftermarket part you bought?
     
  5. Jun 9, 2021 at 1:52 PM
    #5
    spencermarkd

    spencermarkd [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2021
    Member:
    #21754
    Messages:
    49
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Spencer
    Pullman, WA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Driftwood Pearl SR5
    BullDogDan likes this.
  6. Jun 9, 2021 at 3:45 PM
    #6
    BullDogDan

    BullDogDan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2021
    Member:
    #20381
    Messages:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dan
    Vehicle:
    2007 4Runner Limited V8
    THANKS!
     

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