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 From breaking tailgate handles to shearing wheel nuts!

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Voonster
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Number of posts : 8
Age : 46
Home City : Wellington
Model and year : 1997 Super Custom G
3L TD
Registration date : 2007-09-09

PostSubject: From breaking tailgate handles to shearing wheel nuts!   Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:47 am

OK...it's been a long time since my last post. But sometimes "stuff" happens & I would be remiss to not share such a wealth of information that stemmed from these misfortunes with my beloved 1997 3lTD SC.
Firstly....recently during our Christmas/New Year holiday I loaded my family along with enough camping paraphernalia to completely obscure the view from my rear vision mirror. It was during this camping holiday...or rather our premature departure from the campground due to crap weather (anyone who lives in NZ will know what I'm talking about) that I experienced the joy of the breaking tailgate handle. Has anyone else ever experienced the euphoria that comes with unloading a fully laden Supercustom (including bikes) through the side door cause you can't open the tailgate?!
I was then left with the dilemma of how to fix this problem...My research to find a fixit answer in this forum was not really successful so I am posting a brief summary of what I ended up doing.
1) TEMP REPAIR: Because I still had some traveling to do and no spare part I pulled the interior trim off along with the clear plastic dust cover. You can see the vertical rod that triggers the release when pushed down in the centre. Just behind the lever that this attaches to (at the top of the rod) is another lever which is the one that the handle makes contact with via it's evil pathetic plastic finger (the thing that breaks all the time). I got some strong but thin string and threaded it through the small hole in the lever. I then coaxed the string down through the panel and out so that when the tailgate closed there was enough string protruding to grab. Give this a decent tug and...access is granted!!!
2) FULL REPAIR: I looked on Trademe initially and the cheapest "aftermarket" handle was $45. There was some ambiguity about whether this would actually fit a SC though so I ended up blowing $150 on a genuine Toyota part (which was actually apparently discounted from the RRP of $256) which I got through a dealer here in Wellington.
To summarise this repair be prepared to remove a lot of nuts and trims from both exterior and interior of the tailgate including the number plate + surround. It is actually the top of the surround for the number plate to which the handle is screwed with 2 screws either side. There are also 2 bolts which penetrate the door panel which need removing from the inside. The righthand one is obscured by the wiper assembly & you need to remove 3 nuts to move the wiper assembly enough to access this nut.
Remember, unlike me...please be patient, this repair is not super hard...just fiddly.

Finally...I'm going to skip the weird oily leak I've discovered on my rear left wheel rims...that mystery has yet to be solved. The really fun part happened this morning....
MY BROKEN NUTS: Again I had the whole family in the van, we had just bought 2 heavy industrial sewing machines and loaded them into the back. During the drive home (in Lower Hutt for those Wellingtonians I see lurking in some of these forums) I did a U-turn & felt an almightly bang. It felt as if I'd hit the kerb...but the steering wheel continued to shudder so I pulled over fearing the worst.
I pulled the plastic cover from my 17" Advanti rims & 3 wheel nuts fell into my hand..complete with about 1cm of thread from the top of the wheel studs they were once attached to! My wife & kids were sent to the nearest bus station while I waited for the tow truck.

I'm not 100% sure why this happened but I have a pretty strong feeling it was to do with the 3mm WHEEL SPACERS that were put on by Mag & Turbo in Lower Hutt when I first purchased my rims. I didn't want to use the spacers (they are illegal here unless certified) but I went through such drama trying to find rims to fit (seriously...Tony's Tyre service wasted hours of my time ordering the wrong rims TWICE, then I turned to Mag & Turbo who declared they knew everything there was to know about SC mags only to order 17" rims that then rubbed when at full lock. They then sheepishly offered to either order some 18" rims and make me wait another day (& pay megabucks more), or fit the spacers saying it was "perfectly safe"...they even sprayed them black to avoid detection during WOF! That was a couple of years ago & today I think I paid the real price for my decision....thankfully during a U-turn and not on the motorway! To conclude, take a good look at your nuts...wheel nuts that is. And just make sure you can see plenty of wheel stud filling those nuts.

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