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Old 02-23-2021, 01:29 PM #1
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Rear tailgate not opening

Hi everyone,
I am having trouble with the tailgate. The actuator will not respond when using the key fob or driver's side unlock/lock button. All other locks work correctly. I have tested the actuator by itself by running external power to it and it seems to be functioning. I have so far done the following
- removed the ECU B Fuse and replaced then tested
- unplugged the blue harness from the ECU for a while then re-plugged it
- removed negative battery terminal for a while then re-plugged it.
Nothing changed after doing the above.
The wiper, defrost and power window are working properly. I was able to secure the tailgate closed by putting power into the actuator. The manual levers on the actuator are functioning properly as well and they are moving with ease.

Anyone have any other ideas of what can be done in this situation?

Thanks,
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:51 PM #2
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So when you close the tailgate - do you hear it engage and click to fully close it or nothing when you try to close it?
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Old 02-23-2021, 02:19 PM #3
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When I closed the tailgate, the actuator did not engage, so the tailgate was loose but still connected. I temporarily rectified this by putting external power into the actuator and it engaged. At this moment the tailgate is closed securely but the actuator will not engage.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:10 PM #4
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Ok so when you get it to latch it still wont open, even with power to the actuator?

My best guess is that the latch is itself is gummed up. Youve proven the actuator works and the manual levers seem to work. Some have found that they can zip tie the levers together to give it more leverage and that works for them. Otherwise, I would try to take out the latch itself and clean it up or take a look at it
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:37 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chocker View Post
Hi everyone,
I am having trouble with the tailgate. The actuator will not respond when using the key fob or driver's side unlock/lock button. All other locks work correctly. I have tested the actuator by itself by running external power to it and it seems to be functioning. I have so far done the following
- removed the ECU B Fuse and replaced then tested
- unplugged the blue harness from the ECU for a while then re-plugged it
- removed negative battery terminal for a while then re-plugged it.
Nothing changed after doing the above.
The wiper, defrost and power window are working properly. I was able to secure the tailgate closed by putting power into the actuator. The manual levers on the actuator are functioning properly as well and they are moving with ease.

Anyone have any other ideas of what can be done in this situation?

Thanks,
They can be pretty quirky, I had the same problem a while back and wouldn’t pull itself closed and nothing happened when I hit my open button. It was half closed only since the actuator wouldn’t pull it closed. On the driver side, hit the lock then unlock buttons 3 times. I’ve had to do that to reset it. If that doesn’t work then unhook the negative terminal for a few minutes and try the lock/unlock sequence again.

I’ve also rolled the rear window down, then up, once up keep holding the up for 3 seconds. That usually just re-instates the auto function for said particular window.

Off topic but I’ll have to do the same for the other windows too, and the sunroof to regain auto functions as well.
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Last edited by cwilliams563; 02-23-2021 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:52 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syr4RinNC View Post
Ok so when you get it to latch it still wont open, even with power to the actuator?

My best guess is that the latch is itself is gummed up. Youve proven the actuator works and the manual levers seem to work. Some have found that they can zip tie the levers together to give it more leverage and that works for them. Otherwise, I would try to take out the latch itself and clean it up or take a look at it
Even if the latch were gummed up, wouldn't the actuator still make a sound when unlocking or locking the system? Mine does not make any sound.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:20 PM #7
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This happens to mine occasionally. I disconnect both connectors from the taillgate ECU for a few minutes and it resets itself. But, that latch assy is known for being defective. There are a lot of threads on here where many people have had to replace it.
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:00 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by importman View Post
This happens to mine occasionally. I disconnect both connectors from the taillgate ECU for a few minutes and it resets itself. But, that latch assy is known for being defective. There are a lot of threads on here where many people have had to replace it.
Tomorrow I'm going to remove it and clean it and relube it as best as I can. I'll then test it again.
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Old 02-24-2021, 01:49 PM #9
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I removed the latch, cleaned and re-lubed it. It still will not activate. I tried to activate it with an external power source and nothing this time. I noticed a ticking sound when applying the power but no motor sound. Surprisingly enough, if I close thr tailgate a little harder, it will latch completely shut and the motor is not used. At least it is secured properly. I guess I'll need to buy another one.
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Old 03-01-2021, 02:35 PM #10
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looks like the motor is completely shut. that happened to me once and fortunately, it opened and i sprayed it with grease, a bunch of it and tried a few times to exercise it and is still good up to now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chocker View Post
I removed the latch, cleaned and re-lubed it. It still will not activate. I tried to activate it with an external power source and nothing this time. I noticed a ticking sound when applying the power but no motor sound. Surprisingly enough, if I close thr tailgate a little harder, it will latch completely shut and the motor is not used. At least it is secured properly. I guess I'll need to buy another one.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:55 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chocker View Post
I removed the latch, cleaned and re-lubed it.
Hey there, struggling with the same issue... but I'm stuck on the cleaning part. I have removed the actuator with its plastic cover but I can't seem to get the actual mechanism out from the plastic housing. Any tips on how to take it out safely?
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:46 PM #12
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Thereís a few YouTube videos on it - I canít quickly find the one I used before. It just look up 4runner tailgate latch
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Old 03-03-2021, 03:02 AM #13
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Quote:
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Thereís a few YouTube videos on it - I canít quickly find the one I used before. It just look up 4runner tailgate latch
I watched just about every video I could find on the matter. Everyone shows how to remove the actuator from the tailgate but most people seem to put a new part in, as opposed to disassemble and service the original mechanism. The most helpful video I could find was this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsXnrD7XEls

He mentions there's a little indentation in the casing where a part of the mechanism plugs into. And he also says that it's kind of tricky to get it out. But my question now is how exactly do I pop that part out without having any access to it.
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:08 AM #14
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Yea I believe that is one of the more helpful ones. Some people have found that by zip tying the levers together it works better

I think to actually completely take apart the entire thing youíd be in uncharted territory and likely have a hard time getting it back together
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Old 03-03-2021, 01:07 PM #15
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I received the replacement actuator. I installed our and closed the tailgate. It activated and pulled in the door but did nothing afterwards. I can't open it not except by manually doing it. I normalized the windows and everything else works. Now it won't even pull in the door. Does anyone know of the way to test the ECU on the tailgate?
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