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2006 Toyota Sequoia SR5 2WD
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I recently replaced my rear hatch latch mechanism and the door lock actuator, but I'm having some issues getting it to function properly. I'd love any input, suggestions, or things to look at from others who have dealt with these problem areas in an otherwise great vehicle. I was hoping to avoid taking it to a dealer or shop.

Background, I have a 2006 Sequoia that I bought a few months ago. I was aware of the rear hatch handle issue when I was looking and the one I bought had it replaced by the previous owner. The door worked fine when I checked the car out and for a couple weeks. But after about a month it started to take a few squeezes on the handle to get the mechanism to unlatch. It started getting worse and eventually it wouldn't open at all. The handle was fine but after some research I learned the latch itself goes bad after a while. So I ordered up a new latch and a door lock actuator to try and take care of everything at once. I was able to get them installed and the trunk worked a couple times, but the next day I went out and it no longer opened. I tried to play around with for a few hours but couldn't get it to work right. I put everything back the way it was when I opened things up but it seems like the latch won't pull on the cable enough to open the latch (if that makes sense). When I pull the handle I can see that it won't move the latch. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Did you make sure the cable is properly connected and that it is also clipped to the door? Maybe it's loose and not getting tension?
 

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2006 Toyota Sequoia SR5 2WD
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Discussion Starter #3
Did you make sure the cable is properly connected and that it is also clipped to the door? Maybe it's loose and not getting tension?
Funny that you mention that, I actually forgot to clip it to the door the very first time. But yes I have made sure I clipped it to the door every time. I actually went back today and tried again, I made sure the cable is properly connected and everything. Now it actually won't latch shut at all. I'm going to go out tomorrow morning and try adjusting the cable some in the clip to see if that makes any difference. Otherwise I'm still stumped. It's almost like there isn't enough strength in the handle to pull the cable. Should there be slack/wiggle in the handle at all? Right now it wiggles some when the door is shut before it starts to press on the lever piece inside the trunk to pull the cable (hope I explained that well enough).
 

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From what you've told me, I gather there is some play in the door handle before you feel tension as you squeeze it. Shouldn't be much play in there at all at least on my truck it's super tight. I'm thinking either the handle you got is a dud or the cable itself is on its way out. From what you're describing it almost seems like you're not getting enough tension because the cable is too long or the mechanism is too short to pull on it properly. I don't believe there's a tensioner anywhere for that cable. I guess you could try to rig it with a spacer at the ball tip of the cable. Maybe Find a small washer and cut a notch into it so that the cable fits through the notch, but the ball does not fit through the hole. That's just my back yard engineer coming out 😅
 

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2006 Toyota Sequoia SR5 2WD
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Discussion Starter #5
Yes that's it exactly! The handle is what I am leaning toward also. I didn't think there was much or any play in it before, but I didn't really pay any attention to that before when it worked. I may try a new handle first to see if that helps, I figured I could go with one of the metal handles I've heard about and be proactive for the future. If not, I can at least cross it off the list.
 

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Oh yes, absolutely go with the metal handle don't waste time on something that will fail again.
 

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2006 Toyota Sequoia SR5 2WD
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Discussion Starter #7
So I took the current handle off today to see where the play was coming from. It seems like the metal part that's on the opposite end of the cable is bent a little bit below the cheap plastic thing. This gap seems to be what's causing the play. I tried my best to get a picture of it, but not sure if it's visible. I also noticed that when it was all connected, it seemed like there almost too much tension in the cable and the handle wouldn't be able to "handle" it (pun intended lol). Any idea what that could mean?

153521
 

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Hmm I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be looking for right now in this pic. It probably makes more sense seeing it connected. So are you saying that you took care of the play issue but now it's too tight?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wasn’t able to eliminate all of the play, but I was able to bend the piece up a little and reduce it. It does feel like the cable is too tight. I’ve ordered a new handle, but I think that’s a separate issue from the tension in the cable. Sorry if I’m not putting the whole thing together well on here.
 

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2002 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4x4
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I've replaced the handle with a metal one from Amazon and didn't have any trouble with the cable length or latch assembly (knock on head). I hose everything down with some WD every few months when I feel the latch is getting a little stiff. They may have sent you the cable dry and it may need some lube to overcome friction within it's shroud.
 

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Rear plastic handle broke on my ‘04 Sequoia Limited. Bought a metal one on eBay, attached it. Worked fine for two weeks. Latch was fine the but cable to the latch had stretched. Tightened it and that lasted another to weeks. Took it to the Sequoia dealer and bought the entire latch assembly, which was about the same cost as the cable assembly alone. Dealer installed it and gave me a lifetime warranty. As long as I own the Sequoia, if it breaks again, they replace it for free.

Another problem with my powered antenna. I bought 3 antennas online over 6 months. Easy to replace. Finally gave up with it refusing to power all the way up or down, took it to the dealer, they replaced it and gave me a lifetime warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
How much did it cost you at the dealer? I did purchase a new latch assembly that came with a cable, as well as a new lock actuator. I figured I might as well replace it all if I was going to be in there.
 

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I have a 2001 and I have addressed this issue a few times. After a few things not working, I found it was the cable length that was the main issue. Also, the cable can pop out of the metal holder it sits in. I drilled a small hole in this to allow a zip tie to go through the hole and around the cable. You have to really look at the actuation and make sure everything moves enough and yet still returns to its resting position. I also had a problem where it wouldn't lock/unlock sometimes. That was also the length of the cable. There is a small lever that moves when the lock is actuated. If the cable has not let the adjoining metal piece return to "home" exactly, it leaves a small metal piece in the way of the lock mechanism and it will absolutely not work. You just have to have things connected enough so you can watch what is happening and get a feel for it. Since I did all of that, I'm going on over a year without issues. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Also, the cable can pop out of the metal holder it sits in. I drilled a small hole in this to allow a zip tie to go through the hole and around the cable.
Do you have any photos of where you drilled the hole? This is part of my problem, every time I get things set to test it out the cable pops out at the bottom where the plastic part seats in. I’m also having issues with either the cable length or the latch mechanism. I get it all set up but when I pull on the handle, it feels like there’s too much tension and the handle will barely move the latch. This is becoming a huge pain to try and nail down what the exact issue is.
 

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No, I don't, but it doesn't need to be exact. It's a silver metal arm with a circular cutout that holds the cable. Just a small hole near there so you can run a thin zip tie through and then around the cable for security. I just used a thin 4" cable tie.
 
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