When I find a pair of door handles at a good price, I too am going to attempt to replace them on my 98 Avalon. My son was in a bad ice storm this winter that covered the car with ice and he broke the handles trying to get in. We can still make them work, but the plastic edges are cracked badly enough that rain can get inside the door and cause rust.
I recently had the door panel off to fix the power window and if your 96 is like my 98, I think you will have to remove the power window regulator and motor along with the window to get good access. To do this, first position the window about halfway down and remove the door panel. Then remove the 2 bolts attaching the window to the regulator and push the window up into the frame to get it out of the way (you can use tape to keep it from falling). Then remove 3 nuts from the motor studs and 2 nuts from the studs on the regulator track and pull the regulator/motor assembly out of the door panel. Now you can carefully remove the tape and let the window down where you can pivot it out of the track and remove it from the door. Now you should have the best access to the handle. There are two nuts on each side of the handle and there are access holes in the steel panel that is covering them (one was covered with a plastic adhesive disc). That's as far as I have gotten. Hopefully, once you unbolt the handle and pull it out of the door, you will see how the handle attaches to the latch mechanism. Hope this helps a bit.
Sunday, March 9th, 2008 AT 10:02 PM