Toyota Sienna Van, 1999, six cylinder, 120,000 miiles
The back lift-up door opens manually. You lift a latch to release the door. The plastic connector broke so the door won't open.
I can't disassemble the panel from the inside, and I can't get the door open to reach the panel connectors.
Anyone know how to get the back door open with a broken latch?
Well I didn't get a response, but I did figure it out the hard way.
The only way to get access is to remove the inner door panel. It at first appears to be impossible, but it will pull right off. There are two door pulls on the panel that need to be removed. Use a screwdriver to pry off the decorative caps and you will get access to the 10mm bolt heads. There are two upper panels that are attached with three metal cliips, these have to be popped off first.
Once all is clear, the panel will pop off. There are 10 plastic pins holding the panel to the door frame. Three on each side, three along the top and one at the bottom.
Once the panel is removed, a cable that runs to the lock can be manually pulled. Don't forget to unlock the door.
I had that handle break (1999 Sienna, 120,000 miles) too. Once I bought the new one ($60 at the Toyota dealer: " Yeah, we sell a lot of these.&Quot; ) I could see how it worked inside.
Then I used a pair of pliers to pull out the little piece that broke off the handle; just yank it straight out, it's only plastic. After that, it's quick and easy to stick a screwdriver in the hole and pop the hatch open.
And yes, you have to go around the interior and pop the trim clips to fix the thing (after you remove the screws, like the strap and handle). I didn't try it with the hatch closed; I'd think it would be a lot easier with it open.
I'm not very mechanically inclined, but the fix only took about 15 minutes.