• Removing the passenger side engine access panel

    Removing the passenger side access panel

    It seems intimidating if you haven't done it ... and after you've done it once, it's no sweat (and you wonder what ever made you hesitate so long).

    Just remember ... it's sooooo simple that even an ADULT can do it!

    Tools required:
    Socket wrench
    6" socket extension
    14mm deep socket
    12mm socket
    12 mm combination wrench (ideally a ratcheting wrench)
    Phillips screwdriver, #2

    Trustyvan, who was the model for these photos, is a 1985 5-speed 2WD van, and representative of "1st generation vans" or those made in 1984 and 1985.
    "2nd generation vans" are the 1986-1989 models. (I will edit this and add a few 2nd-generation specific pics later, A/T pics if I can, and also 4WD pics; I'm including some written comments about differences I know of until I get around to taking the pics.)



    1st gen van — tilt the seat back all the way forward. 2nd gen van — slide the seat forward!

    This is the right (passenger) front wheel well ...


    On the 2nd generation vans, the nut comes off a stud that is welded to the seat frame. On the 1st generation vans, that stud is screwed into the seat frame, so you might get the nut … you might get the stud AND the nut. It’s fine either way, but can be a bit of a surprise (and if you get the stud with the nut, it DOES take more patience to put back on):


    I don't have to take off the passenger side seat belt receptacle because Trusty's carpet has been torn, but I do it anyway to avoid more damage. Hopefully your van's carpet is in better shape and you'll have to remove the seat belt receptacle.


    Here's the removed seat belt receiver with the hardware shown (in case YOURS falls off and you want to put it back together!):


    Looking from the passenger side, carpet lifted (5-speed 4WD vans will have TWO shift knobs to remove).

    If you are having trouble turning the shift knob(s), try turning the WRONG way first and then the correct direction.

    From the driver's side. Then just lift off the console box (be careful of the parking brake lever gasket thingy ... the attachments are very fragile; on most vans it's already broken off, and if yours isn't, you'll want to keep it that way).



    View from the passenger side, sorta (I took the pic standing on a bucket)


    The front of the shift lever bracket, showing bolts 1, 2, and 3 ... and the brake light ("my parking brake is ON, dummy" light) connector. My '89 4WD has a much smaller brake light connector that just pushes onto a male connector mounted right on the lower part of the parking brake. I don't know what year Toyota switched to this.

    NOTE: If you have a 2nd generation van with a fuel door lever, you'll want to detach the cable also to prevent damage ... photos coming later ... but first pull the stop on the cable end out of it's bracket, then rotate the cable until it comes out the slot on the lever).

    A cordless drill or screwdriver speeds the process up considerably for MOST of the bolts.





    Questions or comments on this stuff? Want to read about others' experiences? CLICK HERE to go to the companion forum thread !!!