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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The outside handle of my right-rear door was not working, seemed to be unhooked from latch mechanism inside door.

Remove door panel and check it out; 2 phillips screws in ends of inside armrest handle, 1 phillips screw in inside handle bezel. Pull the poppers from around lower perimeter of inside panel. Lift up on panel, unplug power window switch and set panel aside. Pull plastic dust-guard back from upper-right latch area. Outside door handle and latch mechanism are inside door, impossible to see/feel whats going on. So I removed the inside pull-release handle, and the pull-rods for lock and latch. Removed the relay pivot for the lock rods, and the plastic channel for the lock rod. Still no room to get inside the door and see whats not working. So I removed the three torx-30 bolts that hold the latch mechanism to the rear-inside of the door. The latch came free, and I unclipped the power-lock harness, unplugged the power-lock harness, and removed the latch mechanism from inside the door. Taking that latch mechanism out should not have been that easy, if the push-rod from the outside handle was properly connected, I would have had to reach inside and up and undo the clip holding the rod to the outside handle. That plastic clip had hardened, broken, and self-released the little rod that transferred the lift of the outside handle into a push on the rod and then to the latch to release. Removed the outside door handle, two bolts from inside the door, one of which is only accessible when the latch is removed. The outside handle still had some of the broken clip clinging in the arm.

Of to the dealer to get the clip, broken clip and door handle in-hand. Part number 6929312060 $3 for replacement clip. Put the door handle in and tightened the two bolts inside the door. Put the latch inside the door, and started the three torx-30 bolts, leaving them loose to move things around and get that handle pushrod popped in and clipped. Only room for one hand in there, and with a hand inside the door, there is no way to see. In fiddling the rod around by feel, I popped the clip out of the arm from the outside handle, and it bounced down into the abyss in the bottom of the door. I fished around. looked around, nothing... I think it fell into the crevasse between the side impact beam and the door skin. I suppose I could have taken the door off and shook it upside down, but it was easier to go back to the dealer for another clip.

My thick non-surgeon hands were not getting in there to insert the rod in the clip and then clip the clip. So my hack is to take a 2" metal-cutting hole-saw and cut a hole in the inside sheet metal of the door, to provide access for my needlenose pliers to put the rod in the clip, and rotate and fasten the clip. The hole also provides access to insert and fasten the clip for the inside pull-handle rod. Heres a pic of the inside of the door with the 2" hole cut in the sheet metal. Yes, the inside door panel covers this new hole.
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A hole cut in sheet metal with a hole-saw leaves a scalpel-edge on the inside. As much as I could, I reached in through the hole and filed the edge less-sharp. In this case, I was only reaching in with needle-nose pliers so I don't know if the edge is still scalpel-sharp. After things are hooked up, clipped before installing door panel I tested the lock, latch and it all works. I taped over my new access-hole with red Tuck-tape, and also used the Tuck-tape to fasten the edges of the plastic sheet inside the door panel. All back together, the inside door panel covers my access-hole and all the red Tuck-tape, and without taking the door panel off, no one will be the wiser.

Without cutting that access-hole, there is no way my hand could get in there to place, connect, and latch that clip. The 2" hole saw makes it a piece of cake.
 

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2000 Rav4, manual transmission, 4WD
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Removed the relay pivot for the lock rods, and the plastic channel for the lock rod.
Thank you for this write up! I am tackling this project later today. How did you go about removing the relay pivot for the lock rods? Did that allow you to remove the plastic channel the lock rods run through?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its probably the plastic rod-clip that is broken, and the rod falls out of the handle lever and then the exterior handle is ornamental. Since I did mine, I helped another Rav-er with his. I don't know what it is about the right rear door.

There is a way to do all of that without hacking the hole, but I couldn't figure it out. I think you take off the three torx bolts holding the latch mechanism, and work the latch mechanism ahead an inch. Then you can get a long-skinny nut-driver through existing holes in the door, then un-bolt the exterior handle. One of the bolts for the exterior door handle is inaccessible behind the latch mechanism, the latch mechanism has to move to unbolt/bolt the exterior handle, then you can wiggle the exterior handle out of its hole and undo the rod-clip.

I'm a hacker from wayback, I found it WAY easier to just cut the hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Boldrush, how did your door-handle fix-up go? I can't remember what the relay pivot is or how it works and attaches... I do recall some funky pivot thing that unbolts and unclips, and I don't recall that it was a pain, so it must have been easy enough for me to figure out, so a normal person will breeze right through taking it apart and getting it back together.

I specifically recall trying (cussing all the way) for a couple hours to reassemble, then cutting that hole and assembling it in a couple minutes.

Hope it went well.
 
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