Last post on Dec 22, 2009 at 6:07 AM
You are in the Lexus RX 300/330/350
What is this discussion about?
Lexus RX 300, Auto Body, Hatchback
#1 of 3 Lift Gate Problem
Jan 25, 2009 (11:53 am)
The lift gate handle on my RX300 broke and I can't find a way to open it. Is there any emergency release or other way to get to the latching mechanism to open the gate?
#2 of 3 Re: Lift Gate Problem [bigjumpus]
Jan 25, 2009 (12:40 pm)
I think by 2001 or 02 and later models did have an emergency cable release. But earlier models did not.
I had the same problem with my '99. I'm a DIYer. I thought I posted how I did it a few years ago. You might find something in "search" in the RX300 forums.
If you're familiar with car door latches, it's not too unusual. It was awkward, but not difficult to replace. As I remember, I got the hatch open first. In the cargo area with the back seats folded down, carefully remove the interior panel to access the latch mechanism. They have typical automotive upholstery clips. There's probably also a plastic membrane, but I can't remember if thats on the hatch of not. Don't tear the plastic membrane if there is one, just peel it back.
Using a focused-beam flashlight, find the lever that pops the latch, and you can push open the unlocked hatch door. Then carefully remove any interior panels in the way. Once removed, I took the opportunity to clean the panels thoroughly, and set them aside (even if you're going to have the handle replaced by a mechanic they are safer at home than in the car, and easy to put back on yourself).
If you're game to want to try to replace the handle with the broken doohicky yourself, open the door part way so you can see inside at a good angle. Just be careful not to damage the panels or cut yourself on the edges of the steel door.
Then I got the old handle out. I don't remember exactly, but I remember I had to remove the handle mechanism and remember where each lock-rod and cable end connected to. There are swivel connectors that secure each lock rod in the right place. Using a small mirror and a tiny focused-beam flashlight, you may want to draw yourself a diagram before or as you you remove each one. I'm not sure whether swearing at it helped (there was some frustration involved). There are some awkward angles to get tools inside that hatch near the reinforcements, and it was difficult to see in at the same time as your hands were in there. I remember removing some stuff inside the door that was in the way, which I later had to reinstall in the reverse sequence. It might have been the lock solenoid, but I don't remember now.
There is a little doohicky on the end of the handle that pushes the rod which pulls the latch open. That little doohicky knob was broken, and I'll bet that's what you will find. Don't bother trying to glue it back on. Just get a brand-new handle. Cheap part for a Lexus, I thought. I shopped the price and found the cheapo handle part was expensive. And I was getting misquoted on the price because some parts folks didn't take the time to listen to what I needed. But I didn't want to wait around and get the wrong part, so I bought it at the counter. I think they offered a small discount to try to be accommodating.
All in all it didn't take too long, and none of it was rocket science. But it was awkward and holding back on the swearing was making it more difficult.
#3 of 3 Re: Lift Gate Problem [la4mead]
Dec 22, 2009 (6:07 am)
you are the fist person who is actually talking about what happened to my liftgate "doohicky", I have yet to find the name of it, and yes, glue does not work! where can i find this handle piece, and do you know what its actual part name is???
thank you, thank you