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Hello,

My driver's sided interior door handle recently stopped working. Upon inspection, it seems as though the cable to the actuator broke. The one with the green end on it. I called Lexus and they said I have to buy the complete actuator to get the cables. At $350 plus, I can's see spending this for a CABLE. I searched online and no where have I had any luck. I found a used actuator for $150 but I have to believe there is a cable supplier out there that can help. Any clues or ideas? Has anyone had any luck in this scenario? Thanks in advance.

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Ok. I figured it out myself and it took about $20 and my days off with a lot of trial and error. Some key notes that I learned the hard way:

  • Be careful of the plastic pieces around the door handle rods. Don't break them!
  • When you remove the glass, do not raise the window after glass is removed. You may have to reprogram the window settings if you do, which is a pain.
  • I tried to solder the end on the cable, that was a fail.
  • Take the cable with you to the bike shop. I didn't and I had to walk back there (2miles each way) because I purchased the wrong gauge wire.
  • Label your screws and bag them.
  • Before removing your glass, use tape or a sharpie to mark the exact placement.
  • Don't completely install the door panel to realize you have to adjust the end.I
  • I learned how to remove the door panel, acuator, and window regulator reprogram on YouTube. Do a search and you will probable find what you need. Here are the ones I used
  • door panel, window, and actuator part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VqGy7_X9MM
  • door panel, window, and actuator part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZV4xB0806M
  • window regulator reprogram https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6UvdbJ3nFk

1. unplug the battery and take off door panel

2. remove window

3. remove actuator assembly

4. take off broken cable

5. go to a bicycle repair shop or a store that specializes in bikes. Purchase a brake cable, making sure it is the same gauge and has a ball on the end. Also, purchase an adjustable ball end. (My store just happened to have 1 left. It tightens to the cable with an allen set screw. This one was hexagon shaped and I just ground it down with a dremel)

6. put the cable through the old cable jacket before measuring and cutting. Make sure the adjustable end is not attached to the actuator side, but to the door handle side. Slide the adjustable end on and tape the end of the wire. Make sure the cable is the right length and leave an extra 1/4" to be sure. Make your cut.

7. put the cable on the actuator. (the ball end on my cable was kinda small so I pinched the metal holder on the actuator to grab it better. You will see what I mean when you do this.)

8. reinstall the acuator and attach to door handle

9. reinstall the glass

10. attach door handle cable and place door panel on the car and attach the 1 screw (on the door handle) to hold the door panel in place.

11. check to make sure it works. If it does not open the door, the cable is too long. Adjust 1/8" and try until it works.

12. Once the right length is reached, loctitie the setscrew. Recut the wire and file down.

13. Reinstall door panel completely.

14. attach battery

15. go have a beer, you just saved a boatload of cash for this repair. :cheers:

I hope this helps. Any questions, you can email me or message me and I will try to answer. Warning, I'm not on here much so email might be better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Awesome write up! Congrats on taking the initiative and getting your hands dirty! Your wallet greatly thanks you. If you have any photos, I'm sure they would be helpful for other readers with similar or future problems.

Thanks for the kind words ShawnOklahoma. Problem was my phone was out of order, dog pulled leash, Note 3 went flying... I was also on a time limit to get it done so I didn't stop to take pictures with my bad blackberry $30 go phone replacement. I really wish I would have though... :geek:

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  • 5 months later...

3. remove actuator assembly

Oh, PLEASE tell me how to do step 3. I am trying to repair the small motor in the actuator (success! I'll detail that if I find a suitable spot in the forum) in my 2004 SC but I was NOT able to remove the door handle/actuator assembly. I must have tried for an hour--finally was able to twist and turn the assembly so I could reach the screws holding the actuator, got them off and the actuator out and from there pried it open and got the motor out, disassembled, repaired, reinstalled and somehow back on to the assembly and all back in place (whew). BUT, though it worked like a champ when I unlocked the door, it won't lock and now it won't even unlock by hand-which it did before my "repair" (I suspect a linkage problem-there are 2 holes where the actuator can be positioned and I may have used the wrong one). I'm going to try tomorrow again, BUT WHAT AM I MISSING? How do you get that whole assembly out of the door? I can probably go through the same thing I went through today, but there MUST be a better way.

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  • 4 weeks later...

3. remove actuator assembly

Oh, PLEASE tell me how to do step 3. I am trying to repair the small motor in the actuator (success! I'll detail that if I find a suitable spot in the forum) in my 2004 SC but I was NOT able to remove the door handle/actuator assembly. I must have tried for an hour--finally was able to twist and turn the assembly so I could reach the screws holding the actuator, got them off and the actuator out and from there pried it open and got the motor out, disassembled, repaired, reinstalled and somehow back on to the assembly and all back in place (whew). BUT, though it worked like a champ when I unlocked the door, it won't lock and now it won't even unlock by hand-which it did before my "repair" (I suspect a linkage problem-there are 2 holes where the actuator can be positioned and I may have used the wrong one). I'm going to try tomorrow again, BUT WHAT AM I MISSING? How do you get that whole assembly out of the door? I can probably go through the same thing I went through today, but there MUST be a better way.

Hey buddy, sorry I have not replied but I am not on here unless I have a problem. Did you try watching the youtube video links I provided above? They walk you through the steps to get it out. If not, do a search on removing the actuator for your vehicle on youtube. Someone or a similar lexus will be on there.

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