How To Convert A Rav4 Power Liftgate To Manual Operation

If the power liftgate on your Toyota RAV4 is acting up or quits working, you're probably wondering if there's an inexpensive way to repair it. The problem may be small or easy to fix, but sometimes the repair can cost thousands of dollars and include replacing your entire liftgate.

Rather than go that route, it's possible to convert your power liftgate to manual operation. In this article, we'll cover how to do that as well as how to open and close the power liftgate manually on your RAV4.

How To Open And Close Your Power Liftgate Manually

Image Credit: Cbonz77

Power liftgates like the one on the RAV4 are designed to be opened and closed manually. They have an override to disable the power operation.

  1. On newer RAV4 models, you can access the power liftgate functions from the settings screen on the instrument panel. First, open the settings menu and then scroll through the menu functions until you locate the option for the power liftgate. Then select the "off" setting.
  2. On older RAV4s, the on/off switch will be located on the dashboard or the liftgate itself.

Once you have switched off your power liftgate, you can open and close it manually.

How To Convert Your Power Liftgate To Manual Operation

To perform a manual liftgate conversion on a 2014 to 2018 Toyota RAV4, here are the parts you need. Note that lift cylinders are also sometimes called gas struts:

Part Number           Description                                            Price
68945-0E030 Right Upper Lift Cylinder Bracket  $18.10
68947-0E010 Right Lower Lift Cylinder Bracket  $16.23
68946-0E010 Left Upper Lift Cylinder Bracket  $18.10
68948-0E010 Left Lower Lift Cylinder Bracket  $16.23
68960-0E102 Left Lift Cylinder  $54.61
68950-0E102  Right Lift Cylinder  $54.61


Once you have the right parts, here are the steps to complete the manual liftgate conversion:

  1. Turn off the power to the liftgate by removing the fuse for the power liftgate. The fusebox is located on the lower left of the dashboard, near the driver's door. The one for the liftgate will be a 30 amp fuse located in the slot marked "PBD." 
  2. Raise the liftgate to its maximum height and secure it to stay open. You can use a step ladder and wood blocks to hold it open, as shown in this YouTube video on Toyota Nation for the Toyota Highlander. Make sure you have safely secured the liftgate. It is heavy enough to hurt you if it comes down unexpectedly. 
  3. Remove the access panels on both sides of the liftgate using a flat-bladed screwdriver or pry tool.
  4. Disconnect the electrical connectors and pull them out of the liftgate. Then reinstall the access panels. 
  5. Using a 10 mm socket, remove the two bolts holding the strut assembly and upper brackets on each side of the liftgate.  
  6. Remove the lower brackets on the lower sides of the liftgate. 
  7. Install the new upper and lower brackets to the liftgate and frame of the RAV4.
  8. Install the new struts, noting their location for either the left or right side of the vehicle as marked. 

Once the new struts are secured, remove the prop holding the liftgate open, and you're set to go.  

Olathe Toyota Parts Center Can Help Fix Your Liftgate Problems

liftgate supports

Whether you need parts for your liftgate, want to do a manual liftgate conversion, or need to replace the entire liftgate on your RAV4, we have the OEM Toyota parts you need with up-front wholesale pricing. Contact us if you have questions or would like to know more about the liftgate conversion.  

If you need other help, check out our free resources, including a Toyota VIN decoder and diagnostic info for common Toyota trouble codes.