Join Date: Feb 2005
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I just did these, on both rear sides. Some hints:
If you have rear mud flaps, they must come off. If you have fender flares, at least the back half have to be unscrewed. Due to age/rust, expect some screws to snap and thus make big headaches extracting them, etc.
The inner trim panel (inside rear hatch area) does not need to come off, just the lower exterior plastic trim panel. There's two bolts/screws that do need to be removed from that exterior panel via having the hatch door open. There's another similar bolt/screw that goes up from underneath the panel, toward the front/near the wheel well.
Also remove the screws from inside the well through the panel. There's a big one at the top, inside the wheel well, that goes straight up.
The panel is also held on by two weird, large white plastic clips that attach over two white knobs. Pull the panel to the back and out to release. However the marker light's cord is still attached, so don't pull the panel too hard/far.
After getting the harness loose from the panel, to unclip the white coupling that's holding the two ends together depress the little tab while also using a tiny flat screw driver in the little slot to pry the two plugs apart. More soon on the new parts. Dinner time! :-)
2000 RAV4.1 L, rare Special Edition w/ Leather, AWD
All stock except stereo system, subwoofer, dash cam,
turbo exhaust, outdoor air temp gauge, louder horns, extra ground wire