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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 04-18-2008, 04:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Need HELP! Tailgate won't open

I have a 96 4Runner Limited, just had the dealer fix the passenger side door lock and the tailgate lock. Well we went out yesterday, put my dog in the back, rolled the window down and we went to the park. Opened the tailgate up and let her out, closed it back. When I came back the tailgate handle moves but I guess the linkage has come disconnected. I'd like to NOT take it back to the morons that did the work if at all possible. Does anybody know how to get the tailgate open when the handle won't work?

My neighbor just started at Toyota of Louisville as a service writer and he said he could help me out fixing the locks. I was like GREAT! Well he decided that since he had it he'd take it out on runs around town and also didn't inform me that he was going to stay late and hang out with a friend while they put a lift on his WJ. Good guy but that irritated me. Then I get in it the next day and he's messed with my stereo, WTF!!!! I can't stand when people mess with my stuff I swear! Needless to say I'm highly hesitant to let him take it to work with him again to fix the tailgate, so does anybody know how to get it open?

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jason
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if the inner plastic panel can be removed when tailgate is closed. But try removing the pull strap bolt and pop off the 9 plastic clips securing panel. This would allow you plenty access to the link rod and the lock mechanisim itself.
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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im with blarchitect, if you can get the inside panel off you will have open access to the linkage and you would then be able to open the door and reconnect the handle at the same time. As for your neighbour using your rig to joyride is so not cool.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah I wasn't too pleased about that. I work my butt off to afford things and usually wait for good deals which is why I own 3 vehicles. His fiance was in an accident and instead of them waiting for contact from the insurance company they went out and got a rental. They used all of their money on that and then figured that since I have 3 cars that I can obviously let them use one for their leisure. My 4Runner is driven on Fridays and maybe weekends b/c it's a project and gas it rediculous. My wife drives her 01 XJ and I drive a 93 Accord wagon 50 miles round trip daily for work for gas reasons. I REFUSE to let them take the XJ or 4Runner, especially after this and I'm not going to throw $ away in gas so they can save $ on a rental or not ask their family members.
They're nice people but the girl has no respect for personal space and will just walk into our apt. The guy is nice but after rolling around in my ride he's not trustworthy in that aspect now. Get this, last night we locked our door, had our slider open halfway with the screen door shut and the shades were drawn. It was nice so I wanted the door open. My wife showers, baths our son then I hit the shower. As I get finished shaving, I start the shower and undress and proceed to walk into our apt. and there is the neighbor girl folding our towels. She just walked in the walkout since the door was locked, we were like WTF!!! I am about fed up with that, my wife already has had enough of her.

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im with blarchitect, if you can get the inside panel off you will have open access to the linkage and you would then be able to open the door and reconnect the handle at the same time. As for your neighbour using your rig to joyride is so not cool.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm having the same problem with my latch all this week. I think it's due to my dog, so my latch sees alot of opening and closing. I've been unlocking the car again even though it's unlocked and it's been opening up (short term solution). But I will try to take a look at it this weekend and will post any results.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've had this same problem in the past, you should be able to pry the panel off gently from the trunk area. Usually the problem is that the linkage arm has become disconnected somewhere. Make sure the rear window is up so its not in the way (seems obvious, but I didn't think about it when I took mine apart). Once you get past the interior panel, you will find where it became disconnected and the nut is usually at the bottom of the door somewhere. It can be tricky to work around the window motor, but that's pretty much the only way to do it without pulling the whole window motor out. Just make sure to pull the strap/ bolt and be gentle when removing the plastic.
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you can't get the panel off, you can separate the the part with the rubber seal that touches the window from the plastic panel by carefully prying it off the panel. It has little foldable tabs that keep it in place. Once that is off, the panel will come of a little easier. When you get the door open and eventually replace the nut, use some loctite on the nut as it will eventually come loose again. From experience!
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:24 PM
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1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 4runner, accord, handle, hatch, open, rear, tailgate, toyota, tundra, wagon, wont

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