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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys! As of two days ago I'm the proud owner of a very clean 1996 RAV4 2 door. Unfortunately, it came with one fault - the drivers side door lock assembly is broken. I have manual locks. I've found a junkyard near me that has a 1999 four door with manual locks that I'm going to go check out tomorrow, but before I do - will the lock assembly from that vehicle be compatible with mine? I've done some googling and it seems like they use the same part, but I wanted to be sure. Thanks!

Edit: I can't post links yet, but the compatibility list for the front left hand door lock assembly on Village Toyota Parts leads me to think that the four door assembly will fit my vehicle.
 

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Congratulations on your new-to-you Rav!

Yes, I think that will be the same part. Don't forget to bring a Torx 25 screwdriver and a Phillips to the junkyard. You'll need the Torx to remove the door latch once you get in there.

You'll figure this out at the junkyard, but to remove the door panel, remove the two Phillips screws on the long handle part, then pop off the plastic cover by the door hinge and there's a screw behind it, and then there is another screw hidden down towards the center of the door, in between the trim of the door pocket. Once those are out, you can just pry the panel off, starting at the bottom, then lifting it up off the top. You'll want to bring a plastic pry tool or something that can slide behind the panel. The door clips are the cone shaped snap clips.

Take some of the little clips from the Rav at the junkyard in case you break some of yours while removing your panel (you probably won't -- they are pretty sturdy, but just in case). When you reinstall the panel, start by aligning it at the top first.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks demoder, that was really helpful!

I have some updates. It turns out that the small pink clip that holds the rod on the door lock assembly to the external door handle had also broken. I was able to get a scrap door lock assembly that fit correctly from the junkyard (they actually had one from a 1996 2 door, like mine!), but I had to use a different clip from a four door model instead of a two door (it's yellow instead of pink) that is of slightly different dimensions. It seems to work well enough to function, but the handle feels gross and tends to stick, leading me to think that the new clip won't last very long and might be causing some problems with other parts of the assembly.

Second, I think I significantly weakened the plastic piece that holds the linkage connecting the interior lock switch to the door lock assembly. It's a small plastic disc that just press fits into the side of the door and rotates when the interior lock is switched, pushing/pulling another rod that connects to the door lock assembly to manipulate the lock. Right now it seems to want to wiggle in place instead of actuating the lock mechanism in the assembly. I ended up zip tying it to the door to get it to at least a functional state, but it's definitely not ideal.

Finally, there's an issue that I've been unable to solve further where pulling on the interior door handle prevents the interior lock from working again until the outside latch is used, which seems to reset everything. I think this has something to do with the two above problems, but I'm not sure how else to problem solve it, short of removing the entire door lock assembly again which would probably mean me destroying that precious clip for the external handle.

Phew, I hope that made sense! I wish I had been thinking about taking pictures, but I put the door back together as I needed to use the the rav for stuff this week. Right now I don't think I need to buy a whole new assembly because this one seems to work, I just think I have some mismatched/worn out parts that need to be replaced. Any idea where I can get a new clip for the assembly/external handle and a new linkage for the interior lock? Anything else I might be missing or put back together incorrectly?

Thanks again for all the help!
 
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