木 2009 Toyota Sequoia Build Thread 木

So, the brakes were done. Ordered a complete setup from Powerstop. I've used them previously on Ford vehicles and been very happy. I can say thus far their quality appears to hold up on their Toyota applicable products as well. I had a local shop do the work since its run by a former Toyota technician and they charged me next to nothing. Swapped all four rotors, calipers, pads and flushed the brake fluid.

While perusing eBay I came across a k&n air intake being sold for a crazy low price. I figured I'd take a chance since it was listed for 1/3 of what it normally cost. A week later a new, sealed in the box air intake arrived at my door. I took the time today to install it.

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While I was in there I pulled the throttle body and cleaned off what I assume was 9 years worth of build up and crud.

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A short test drive later and there's a bit more get up and go according to my seat of the pants dyno. The rumble it added under heavy throttle was well worth the money by itself.

While I was in the engine bay I found that the passenger side valve cover is weeping oil. I've ordered the parts to replace the gaskets on both sides along with the plug seals.

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The low efficiency catalyst CEL has also returned and my previous cleaning fix doesn't seem to be getting rid of it so I bit the bullet and ordered all new high flow cats from magnaflow along with all new denso o2 sensors. That should take care of it for another 150,000 miles.

There were signs of a coolant leak above what I assume is the thermostat housing so I took a brush to the dried coolant and cleaned it all up. I'll keep an eye on things and see if this leaks in the future. The drops of coolant in the picture are from removing the throttle body.

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TangoBlue

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
Just a recommendation, although it's highly contested by the manufacturer. Lose the K&N filter. We've found on numerous vehicles that experienced fouling of the MAF and intake that the oil solution applied to the filter is often the cause of poor run conditions.

The solution is cleaning the intake system as you just did and changing the filter cartridge to a similar operator serviceable filter with plain soap and water. Under more austere conditions, e.g., high dust conditions, merely shaking and slapping the cartridge, rinsing with water, or blasting with compresses air from your on-board compressor will restore optimal function.

This may continue to be contested on this thread but it's my opinion based on servicing a number of vehicles, including my own (I bought into their snake oil, too).
 
Just a recommendation, although it's highly contested by the manufacturer. Lose the K&N filter. We've found on numerous vehicles that experienced fouling of the MAF and intake that the oil solution applied to the filter is often the cause of poor run conditions.

The solution is cleaning the intake system as you just did and changing the filter cartridge to a similar operator serviceable filter with plain soap and water. Under more austere conditions, e.g., high dust conditions, merely shaking and slapping the cartridge, rinsing with water, or blasting with compresses air from your on-board compressor will restore optimal function.

This may continue to be contested on this thread but it's my opinion based on servicing a number of vehicles, including my own (I bought into their snake oil, too).
I partially agree with you...if that makes sense.

I've seen many a person over oil k&n filters and subsequently coat their MAF sensor in sticky oily goo. I've even had the good pleasure of cleaning the goo out of a throttle body on a friends F150. He admitted to oiling the filter monthly without ever actually cleaning it.

I know cold air intakes are often found on that list with throttle body spacers, electric turbo chargers and deer whistles. I've always had positive experiences with them however. I've run k&n drop in filters in 14 vehicles I can remember, and I've had their CAI setups on 3 others. Adhering to their instructions and carefully servicing the filter once a year has yielded zero problems for me over the years.
 
Just a recommendation, although it's highly contested by the manufacturer. Lose the K&N filter. We've found on numerous vehicles that experienced fouling of the MAF and intake that the oil solution applied to the filter is often the cause of poor run conditions.

The solution is cleaning the intake system as you just did and changing the filter cartridge to a similar operator serviceable filter with plain soap and water. Under more austere conditions, e.g., high dust conditions, merely shaking and slapping the cartridge, rinsing with water, or blasting with compresses air from your on-board compressor will restore optimal function.

This may continue to be contested on this thread but it's my opinion based on servicing a number of vehicles, including my own (I bought into their snake oil, too).
I often wonder if it is "snake oil". K&N was big in the carburetor days - pre MAF. That being said, I also run a K&N.

I was talking to a friend of mine in Cali about this - between the 2 of us, we have almost 2 million miles on several vehicles, all running K&N filters, none of them having any filter related problems.

I think it has to do with the maintenance of the filter - by the user - rather than the filter or oil itself.
 

TangoBlue

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
I agree with you both... it has to do with proper operator maintenance. That said, you 2 are among the few who perform scrupulous preventive maintenance, checks, and services. Most users of this product are not so disciplined, and I know you also recognize this to be true. Even something as routine among us to change the oil in our vehicles is often neglected by the majority of operators. Don't even get me started on such routine things like changing the blinker fluid, or exchanging the winter or summer air in your tires, or worse - reversing the battery cables in the summer for proper AC function! o_O

For those with K&N filters on vehicles we've serviced (about 95%), when asked about maintaining the filter, they either shrug their shoulders, claim they oil it every month, or forgot it was even there. :eek:
 

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
As a service advisor now and even before then I say lose the K&N as well. Take the filter off and look through the filter media...see all of those pin holes of light coming through...how much silt type dust do you suppose comes through them. I get the biggest kick out of the folks that put the outer bags on the K&N style filter. If you're going to restrict the intake with a vacuum cleaner bag why not just stick with a paper style filter that is stupid simple to begin with. If you continue to run the K&N, hit a dusty road and then wipe a clean white rag on the inside of the intake tube when you get home.

If you're running a race engine at 6,000 RPM all the time, regular tear downs and rebuilds, a high flow air filter may be the answer...for your average low RPM daily driver, not so much IMO.
 
All of the heavy dirt moving machines I have serviced back in my city equipment mechanic days have had paper air filters in them.These things live there whole working lives in a cloud of dust. Have seen the pre filter completely filled and the filter canister so full of dirt you needed a shovel and wheelbarrow to pick up the mess.
Inside of the filter element would be clean as could be. A lot of thought went into the design of Earth moving equipment so I would think the paper filter replaced regularly would keep more dirt out of the engine.
 
First world problems strike again. With the size of the dash and the position of the stereo it's difficult to reach the "next" button on the screen. Yeah I know, big deal right? I see it as a constant reminder that the sequoia didn't come with steering wheel controls.

After investigating swapping the steering wheel and adding the module for integrating steering wheel controls with the aftermarket radio I decided to save my money and look for another solution. Amazon provided an answer in the form of a Bluetooth remote designed to control music on a smart phone. Supposedly the little lithium battery will last up to 2 years and at $15 it was a cheap way to get steering wheel controls.

I opted to match the ergonomics found in Dodge and Jeep vehicles and mounted it on the back of the steering wheel.

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That's normally where paddle shifters go.... :p
Race inspired this vehicle is not. :D

I'm amazed more manufactures haven't adopted the radio control buttons on the rear of the steering wheel like Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge. Volume up and down is on the right and changing presets or tracks is on the left. Very intuitive vs. the space shuttle control panels mounted on other manufacturers steering wheels.

Ford isn't too bad as they group the stereo controls together in one cluster:

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But nothing else is very intuitive. Even though I rent F150s quite a bit I'm constantly looking away from the road to find the cruise control buttons.

The Camaro is currently my favorite sports car to rent but I hate their steering wheel controls. Their little spring loaded dial thing reminds me of those awful pencil eraser mouse abominations that IBM used to put on their ThinkPad laptops.

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And why does Toyota mount the radio controls on the opposite side of the steering wheel from the radio? This always seemed wrong in my 2016 Tacoma, I was always hitting the buttons on the right side of the steering wheel. I guess it's on the correct side in Japan.

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In the unending quest to throw more lumens down range I added fog lights to the Sequoia today. Fog lights on the SR5 were an option and not one I had. My ditch lights are great at lighting up the trail at night and spotting suicidal deer, but their elevated position makes them useless in foggy situations since most of the light bounces back. Time to add some lighting down low.

There's a few ways to go here. Order all the oem Toyota parts, spend over $500 and have to hack apart the factory wire harness or, order an aftermarket kit for $50 and go to town. I chose the second option.

The kit I selected is from Winjet, a lighting and performance parts manufacturer out of California. It's designed to match the oem parts exactly and came well packaged. Here's what you get:

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The parts all seem well made and the wiring harness was well thought out and of good quality. Two switches were included in the standard Toyota sizes. The only problem I had was one of the actual bulbs had a broken connector.

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No big deal as I had some spares kicking around.

Step one was to pull the old fog light housings. Grasp them on the side closest to the center of the bumper and pull toward the outside of the vehicle and away from the bumper.

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Step two, clean out the crud.

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I then hacked up the harness. The provided harness is designed to power the lights on and off using the provided switches. I wanted the oem function of having the fog lights come on with the low beams.

I ran the connectors for the lights from the openings and attached them across the lower radiator support well away from anything hot.

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Next up is installing the clips that the light housing bolts to.

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Then bolting in the housing.

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And attaching the surround.

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I finished up by triggering a relay off the low beam 12v wire to send power to the fog lights so they power on/off with the headlights. Looks and operates like oem.
 
So an update on the CEL and my catalytic converter issues. After several months with no problems the CEL had begun showing up again, and more often, indicating a problem with the bank 1 cats. The Toyota Tech Stream software wasn't helping to identify if it was the cats themselves or the 02 sensors and with a possible move coming up to areas that require emission inspections it was time to deal with this permanently. Rather than changing out one part at a time to track down the problem I opted to replace the entire exhaust system. After researching OEM vs aftermarket and new vs a junkyard pull I opted to go with new Magnaflow high flow catalytic converters. Magnaflow part numbers 49625 and 49626 were ordered along with 4 new Denso O2 sensors with part numbers matching the OEM sensors.

A local shop swapped the 02 sensors, cats and did the valve cover gaskets, plug seals and new plugs all for less than $200. Beats me laying in the driveway all weekend cursing rusted bolts! I have a small exhaust leak at the moment as the stock muffler is temporarily bolted in place while I await a replacement later this week. I figure I'm keeping this vehicle for quite some time (a new thing for me) so why not upgrade everything. I've gone with a flowmaster Super 50 SUV muffler for a little better flow than the OEM unit.

Thus far between cleaning the throttle body, the CAI, the high flow cats and the new 02 sensors the truck has gained a little pep and my fuel economy has improved quite a bit. I'm awaiting installation of the muffler before I start seriously tracking it again but from what I can tell thus far I've gained about 2 mpg which equals out to another 52 miles of range. Not too shabby.

I have to say this Sequoia is as close to perfect as a vehicle has come for my family and I so far. It's comfortable on long interstate runs, it's as capable as we need it to be off road for the places we visit and for runs to the hardware store it's cavernous interior swallows all the building supplies I can throw at it. So what's next? With an impending house sale and move vehicle upgrades are on the back burner for the moment but a storage system and a roof rack are on the horizon. I do occasionally miss having a truck bed but the pros of having an SUV outweigh the cons so far.
 

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
. Wrangler guys with their angry grills will probably disagree...
No kidding...when did the frown face on Wranglers trend happen, and why?:confused:

I've somewhat lost track of the "Jeep thing" after the JK came out. I've always felt that the Wrangler lost it heritage with the JK, I currently have an '05 LJ Rubicon, which for me is the best of the 4.0L versions of the Wrangler. While I'd love to have a 4 door Jeep just for the extra seats/doors when needed, (we have 4 grandkids) I think there are other more comfortable options for what we'd use the vehicle for. I'm over the rock crawling thing, I used to run the original Hammer's trails on a monthly basis (depending on repair time and $$$ after a Hammer's trip). For the Adventure travel agenda there are far better options IMO opinion. <I can't believe I just said that...in writing...>
 
No kidding...when did the frown face on Wranglers trend happen, and why?:confused:

I've somewhat lost track of the "Jeep thing" after the JK came out. I've always felt that the Wrangler lost it heritage with the JK, I currently have an '05 LJ Rubicon, which for me is the best of the 4.0L versions of the Wrangler. While I'd love to have a 4 door Jeep just for the extra seats/doors when needed, (we have 4 grandkids) I think there are other more comfortable options for what we'd use the vehicle for. I'm over the rock crawling thing, I used to run the original Hammer's trails on a monthly basis (depending on repair time and $$$ after a Hammer's trip). For the Adventure travel agenda there are far better options IMO opinion. <I can't believe I just said that...in writing...>
My 13 year old has been narrowing down her first car selections and at the top of the list is a Jeep. Considering finding a YJ and starting to rebuild it with her starting on her 14th birthday. Second choice on her list is a mid 90's Ford F150...she's got interesting taste.
 

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
If you go with a YJ, get a '91 or newer with a 4.0L. 87-90 had the older carbed 258, they were so emissions choked that it was ridiculous, not that the 4.0L was a powerhouse, but it was reliable as the sun coming up.

TJ's 97-06 are pretty reliable, coil springs and links makes them more expensive to lift, but they have real AC rather than the "dealer installed" units in the YJ. I forget what year the TJ's went to a 4 speed automatic trans but its obviously more desirable for a daily driver.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a YJ guy at heart. I made my old YJ my SIL's problem. I beat the snot of that Jeep on a regular basis. The door to the glove box didn't have body damage but most everything else did.

D30 front axle with Cr-Mo shafts and CTM u-joints, and a high pinion Currie D44 rear axle, the rest of it was stock YJ driveline stuff (tcase had a Rubicon Express "hack and tap" slip yoke eliminator. The interweb experts always told me that my build would never work.



The fluid leak under the Jeep isn't mine, pic is from Wrecking Ball, Hammers, Johnson Valley, CA.
 
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@TangoBlue to make up for not putting the halo lights on, installing neon under body lighting and skipping out on doing the Ford Raptor Orange Lights in the Grill mod, today I had a noisy aftermarket muffler welded in.

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I went with a Flowmaster Super 50 SUV muffler that's basically the same size as the stock muffler but flows at a better rate. This is in the middle of Flowmasters range of mufflers that vary from "Listen to me roar I'm 16 and can stomp on my gas pedal!" up to OEM replacements. There's now a little bit of a V8 rumble on start up but I've maintained the polite manners and quiet sound of a refined luxury SUV from Japan...until you hit the gas and then it sounds a little more American. This maintains my standard of keeping things operating at OEM standards or above and makes my inner child happy.

While under there we discovered that the drivers side Magnaflow cats were rubbing on the transfer case. So much for being a "direct bolt in requiring no modifications". A quick adjustment to the mounting arm and I gained the clearance needed to prevent this. My most recent fill up shows a gain of 2.5 mpg...we'll see if the trend continues as things heat cycle and break in.
 
Since having the muffler put in and buttoning up the exhaust everything was great, until about a week ago. There are sources on the internet that say a muffler has to "break in" by heat cycling and that the sound will change. There are others who claim this is a load of garbage and that your ears adjust, the exhaust tone doesn't change. I can tell you that mine changed.

At 1800 to 2000 RPM I developed a "drone" inside the cabin of the vehicle. It was slightly annoying at first and developed into being headache inducing. Doing some research this is apparently quite common and there's a myriad of solutions on the internet. Some require engineering degrees to execute and others involve duct tape. I set out to narrow down the problem.

What I found was that the remaining stock section of pipe from the muffler to the factory resonator and out to the tip was resonating at a very annoying frequency when the RPMs were in the aforementioned range. This resonance carried into the cab and was causing the cabin to act like the inside off a bass drum. I tried a coupe things to solve it, the first of which was adding mass to the pipe in the form of some scrap angle iron I had kicking around. I strapped it tight to the pipe in various locations and played around with the lengths and positions. I was able to reduce the resonance but not eliminate it.

I explored Helmholtz Resonators and learned about sound engineering and some fabrication techniques. This was outside the range of what I wanted to do. Today I opted for trying to resolve the problem by removing the culprit. After 30 minutes I had removed the factory clamp and rear section of factory pipe including the resonator.

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After a bit of test driving I can report that the drone is gone and I like the sound even better. I'm going to hit up my exhaust guy again tomorrow to redo the pipe and dump the exhaust right after the muffler. The way it is now it seems like a bit of a water collector.

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