1997 RAV4L - Passenger Front Door Won't Open - Page 2 - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#11 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 11:24 AM
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Wow. Thanks for the replies and photos!

djarmag - the photos help me remember the details of the interior a lot! Thanks. Reminds me of what I saw when I had the driver's door apart. Since the passenger door doesn't open, I can't get the interior off to expose the workings without damaging the interior. Do you think I'd be able to nudge (leverage?) the tab forward by using a bent coat hangar? I'd be working from the top (window sill) between the window and the door. So I'd have to snake behind the plastic and try to pull the tab forward to the unlocked position.

The "crisp" key works good on the rear hatch. It also works as good as my other keys for the driver's door -- though that key cylinder I think definitely needs replacing since I can feel the cylinder catch like it has rough edges or something. That actuator probably also needs replacement since it takes several minutes of turning the key back and forth to unlock the door.

Another detail since I checked again the other day:
The passenger side key only turns toward the front of the car (referring to top of key when looking down at it). It will not turn toward the rear of the car. So based on earlier post it only moves CW (toward locking) and not CCW (unlocking). Not sure if this is due to a frozen actuator -- i.e. the bar is frozen in place so doesn't allow the cylinder to move CCW -- or if it's a lock cylinder issue on that door (in addition to an actuator problem).

I'm wary of replacing parts from a wrecking yard (if they were available) since they'd likely be pretty worn since the car is getting up there in years. So, am looking at parts and to see if there's anyone local locksmithwise who has any ideas (and works on car locks).

Thanks again for all the help!
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#12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 11:33 AM
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Any comments about these?

A set of locks and keys...

https://www.tnaautoparts.com/1997-to...FQtxQgodch8ACQ

vs. a left and a right lock from the list here?


RockAuto Parts Catalog

It looks like the one is OEM vs. aftermarket. But any reason I shouldn't go with the 2 lock set??

Thanks all.
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#13 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 03:10 PM
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Just some thoughts... I have taken lock cylinders apart before, but not Toyota.

I might squirt WD-40 through the straw into the key hole on the driver's side. Then I would try to work the key.

Did you clean and lube the lock mechanism as djarmag suggested?

I wonder if removing the passenger seat would let you access the passenger door panel.

2009 V6 4wd Base
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#14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 08:52 PM
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I think you have the same exact problem as mine where the door handle rod is stuck in the down position ( pulling the door handle forces the rod to push downward) .my best guess to prevent damage to the interior is to raise/lower the window, find a way to grab hold of the "door handle" rod and pull that upwards. (fifth picture with the white plastic tab) I would undo a coat hanger, make a hook at the end and try to catch the rod to pull it. Then you should be able to move the lock mechanism to the "unlocked" position by using either the outside key or the lock/unlock switch on the interior.

NOTE: try to focus on grabbing the metal piece with the "R" stamped on it (third picture). That's what you have to pull up on, the door handle rod has a loop that won't properly free the machanism.

as for the replacement tumblers, it looks like you'll save $50 if you go the tna route, rock auto is $50 for just one side only (unless you want 4 keys for your rav =P ) and the reference numbers match.
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#15 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 01:45 PM
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Thanks again for the ideas.

I've tried graphite in the drivers lock cylinder and did lube it when I had that door disassembled.

Looking at the tna autoparts 2 lock set. I'm a little wary of purchasing the set since it seemed that the other numbers I've seen for the RH and LH lock cylinders were something like 69051-42050 and 69052-42050 (note the 1 vs 2 before the dash). So I'm thinking I'd better check before ordering to make sure it's not just 2 cylinders for the same door.

Checked with TNA (in So. Calif.) and they are supposed to be RH & LH. So, went ahead and ordered -- hopefully they're as advertised. Not bad at less than 1/2 price ($44 for both). Too bad they don't carry actuators too.

Anyone have any good sources for actuators?

The work will have to wait for a day without liquid sunshine.

Thanks again for all the great inputs!
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#16 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 07:01 PM
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Well, stage 1 fix complete. Installed the new lock cylinder today for the driver's side. Took about 1.5 hrs to pull the old one and replace it. Lubed the new lock cylinder with lithium grease as well as the latch on the side of the door.

Initially I was having trouble getting the new one's bolt tab to match up with the door handle and the bolt hole. Swapped the position of the lock to between the handle and the door and it set into place better. At first I had it on the inside of the plastic handle and the lock cylinder didn't seem to seat in quite right.

From the tests I've done so far, it works nicely -- the door locks and unlocks with one turn (versus repeatedly turning the key hoping it would unlock).

Passenger side will wait til I get a nice day to go fishing with the coat hangar.

The old lock cylinder looks a bit corroded on the end that links to the rod. The inside cylinder parts look somewhat dark, but that's likely the graphite which I'd tried earlier. Later I'll see whether this cylinder still has a "hitch" in it after cleaning it and lubing it well. My sense though is that it is quite worn after 12+ years of use.

By the way, TNA auto parts in S. Cal. had a great buy on the lock cylinders and keys -- both front door cylinders + 2 keys at $44. Compare that to having a different key for both front doors plus a $40+ price tag for each cylinder. So, kudos to them for a reasonable solution.

I'll post back after I reattack the passenger door. My suspicion is that the actuator is frozen due to rust from moisture since the car sat for 6 months. Hopefully I'll be able to leverage it open with the coat hangar. Then I plan to pull, clean, and lube the actuator and possibly replace the lock cylinder depending on how it responds after the actuator is unfrozen.

Thanks for all the help here.

If anyone has any additional suggestions on unfreezing the actuator or on a good source for actuators for a '97 4-door RAV4 I'm all ears.

Cheers!
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#17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 05:26 PM
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The new lock worked well until we reached the wet & cold part of Seattle winters.

Before installing them I coated the lock with lithium grease as well as the lock mechanism (not actuator). I also greased the inside of the lock cylinder (where the key is inserted) in hopes this would eliminate moisture issues.

Unfortunately the drivers door is starting to behave like its wanting to be like the front passenger door -- closed for business.

I'm thinking I should see if I can get some actuators for the front doors once I get to opening things up since it seems like they're a big part of the culprit. It's like there isn't sufficient power in the driver's door mechanism to fully open the door and that it has to thaw before the power door lock will unlock. When its cold (below 30F) I wonder if the tiny actuator motor just can't break any ice formed from moisture on the moving parts. The plastic shield is in place to limit the moisture, but I doubt its 100% successful at that.

Anyone have any favorite places for getting 1997 RAV4L 4-door door actuators for the front doors?

Pretty soon I'm thinking someone will turn me in for the "new" way I get into my car on cold mornings -- open the back door, crawl in to reach the drivers side passenger door & unlock it, crawl in the passenger door, shut that door behind me, crawl over the seats & stick shift to get to the driver's seat! The car has to warm up at least 30 minutes before I can open the drivers door from the inside (interior heaters blowing at the door at 100%). What a saga!

Thanks for any inputs on the actuator sources!

Cheers!
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#18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 10:09 PM
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1997 RAV4 driver door actuator

Thanks to this post. My wife's RAV4 had the exact problem on the driver side. Thanks to the picture, I managed to use a coat hanger to unlock the actuator. It turned out the return spring was broken due to rust.

I removed the outer window trim to allow me to see inside the window. After removing the door actuator, I noticed there were rust on it; probably due to water before they put the plastic shield on it. Toyota doesn't carry the spring by itself so I bought a spring at a local hardware store with similar spring rate and cut it to length. I greased up all the moving parts and pivot points before putting everything back together.

By the way, before discovering this post, I tried to remove the door trim so I could get to the door panel; but to no avail because of that one bolt concealed at the dash area. I had a feeling Toyota put a bolt there to prevent it to rattle on the dash.
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