DISABLING THE DOOR BUZZER on a 99 4RUNNER
By: Bob_98SR5
Application: 99 4Runner V6 4x4
Updated: 1/20/15 (original 1/04)



Parts

Nothing

Tools & Supplies
Philips head screwdriver
Rachet wrench with 10mm and 12mm sockets
Silicone sealant
Bath towel


Disclaimer

I am providing this write up for illustrative purposes only. Perform at your own risk. Any mods (including this one) you perform on your vehicle is your responsibility. Commercial use of this write up will result in legal action as well as the undying scorn from members of the online Toyota 4Runner community. You've been warned.


Summary
This writeup shows you how to mute the piezo door bell on your 1999 4Runner. I did this on my first 99 4Runner because I like to open all my doors and listen to the stereo. Of course, the factory piezo bell will constantly ring. But this mod takes care of the problem :)

Please note the following: if you mute or disable the piezo bell and you leave your lights on, you may no longer hear any warning bing-ing from the piezo bell. That means all sounds generated by any actions (door open, lights on, etc) by it, so keep that in mind before proceeding. But for 99 - 02, I don't think is such a big problem because the lights automatically shut off after a period of time.


Step 1: Removing Your Gauge Cluster
Unhook the negative battery terminal on the battery. Also, move the seat way back or just unbolt the four bolts and remove the seat. You’ll need some room to work here.

Remove the following four 10mm bolts as shown in the picture below. Carefully detach the lower plastic panel and move to the side. You will notice that there are two cables in the lower left hand corner which prevent you from entirely removing it out of your 4runner. Those cables attach to the fuel door and hood levers and are held by two philips head screws each. If you want the extra room, then remove them.


Remove these 4 bolts as shown above


Step 2: Removing the Black Instrument Panel Trim Pieces
There are a total of four screws that hold the black plastic trim pieces onto the instrument cluster (aka "combination meter").
To remove these plastic pieces, first pop off the ignition key trim panel, and then remove the the two screws as shown below:

     
Pop this off   Remove this screw   and then remove this screw

Remove the two screws that covers the instrument cluster. Use a short handled philips head screwdriver for these screws. Now you are ready to remove the gauge illumination dial and the alarm LED and glass breakage sensor. See the picture below as reference:

  
Remove these two screws   Unplug gauge illumination dial (A) and
unscrew the fastening nut. Reach
behind the trim panel and unfasten the
LED (B) and glass breakage sensor (C)

On the gauge illumination dial, remove the plastic dial by pulling towards you. Take your 8mm socket wrench head and unscrew the nut. Set aside in a plastic bag. If you have the factory alarm system installed, reach under the back of the alarm LED light and give it a gentle twist. The catch mechanism will release, allowing you to pull out the LED. Do the same with the glass breakage sensor.


Step 3: Removing the Cluster
There are four screws holding the Instrument Cluster. Remove those screws and set them aside. Now you are ready to unplug the connections and pull out the Instrument Cluster.

Gently wriggle the combination out. There are a total of 5 bundled clips of wires that are attached to the combination meter. Now is a good time to put on that headlamp or other source of light so you can see well and unplug them. To remove, press down on the clips and pull straight out.

 
Remove the 4 screws shown above   Unplug the five plug connectors here. Push down on the plug clip and pull out. It's a tight fit!

You can now pull out the Instrument Cluster.


Step 4: Removing the Protective Cover and Disabling the Bell
Take the instrument cluster out and place it face down on your bath towel. Unscrew the four (?) screws that hold the white plastic cover to the instrument cluster. From this point, you need to decide whether you want to permanently disable it or mute it.

     
Remove the cover (C). I believe there are 3 or 4 screws to remove     

Step 5: Muting the Bell
Originally in 2004, I wrote to:

"Take your cordless drill and *carefully* pierce the two membranes with your drill bit. Use the smallest drill bit you can. As for the "feel" of the membrane, it is *very* tight so if you feel like you're not making progress, that is why. Have some patience and let the drill bit do its work."

While this worked for me on my original 1999 4Runner (which my brother totalled), I would recommend a less invasive method which I recommended as optional. Thus, I recommend that you squeeze in some silicone sealant in the bell housing.


Fill the bell housing (M) with silicone sealant

 

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