木 2009 Toyota Sequoia Build Thread 木

Recently, when cold, the blower motor in the Sequioa had begun screeching like a cat that had been stepped on. After warming up a bit it would quiet down until the vehicle hit a bump, or turned, or came to a stop. This would not do. Time to rip it out and see what's going on.

Step one is to pull the blower assembly out. There's a couple ways to do this. Most folks just pull the bottom panel under the glove box. This only requires popping 4 clips with a flat head screw driver and the panel drops away. This exposes the bottom of the blower assembly. Unfortunately to then lay on your back and get to the screws holding the blower you have to be much smaller than I am. I chose to pull the lower glove box, kick panel and side cover. This exposes the entire assembly and only requires taking out a few screws and one bolt.

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Here you can see the three screws on the bottom that hold the blower in. They're on the small white arms that stick out from the central housing.

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After unplugging the electrical connector and removing these three screws the assembly gets hung up in the surrounding wiring harnesses. By removing the lower glove box and the surrounding trim you can easily move these harnesses out of the way and allow the assembly to drop free.

Once removed I took the assembly down to the shop and began diving into it.
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Hmmmm....a little rust here...that's probably not good. Probably from the humidity that gets pulled in from the outside, the cabin air filter has never shown signs of a leak here...

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Flipping the unit upside down reveals 4 screws that hold the cover on over the circuit board that controls the motor.

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Pulling those and lifting the cover away reveals the control board and the one screw holding it in place. It's also held down by the three connectors going to the motor and a sticky sealant around the top of the control board where the capacitors are. I pulled the one screw, used a plastic pick to disconnect the electrical connectors and pulled the control board away.

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Now you can get a look at the top of the circuit board. Some microcontrollers, power distribution circuits and a few large capacitors. Don't put your tongue to those. You can see the sealant around what I believe is either a heatsink or static eliminator of some sort.

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Back on the squirrel cage the coil housing is held on by three screws and a round clip around the rotating shaft. There's a couple of seals under that round clip as well that you need to be careful not to lose as you remove the clip. You can see the rest of the sealant here as well. This was pliable and very sticky so I was able to pull it from the heat sink and replace it here on the plastic housing to seal it up again good as new. Pretty impressive for a gasket material that's been in service for 10 years now.

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I pulled the coil assembly out, and inspected it. At first I thought there were bearings pressed in to the top and bottom that allowed the shaft to spin. I suspected that maybe those bearings were going out and that was what was causing the screeching. Upon closer inspection though they're not bearings at all but just a fixed cylinder that the shaft slides into with a very tight clearance. Inside this cylinder there were score marks where the shaft had begun to scrape and cause metal on metal contact. That has to be where the screeching was coming from.

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Inspecting the shaft the fan was mounted to showed the same score marks and a small amount of residual grease from when it was assembled so I broke out some new lithium grease and went to work.

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I reused the gasket material and reformed it around the opening in the housing.

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While I had everything apart I cleaned all the dust up, cleaned the electrical contacts and used some compressed air to clean out all the hard to reach spots.

I then reassembled it and reinstalled it in the Sequoia. I let it sit in the cold for a couple hours and then took it for a test drive. Not only did it not screech, it's normal operation was quieter than ever. Never realized it was making noise before, but even at full blast the A/C system is much quieter now. Hoping this fix lasts for quite a while, but if it doesn't it's fairly easy to redo, probably 30 minutes total now that I've done it once. If this doesn't work long term, or I have to repeatedly do this fix, the genuine Toyota part seems to run about $130 and I'll just have to replace it.
 
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Nice fix.

It looks like pulling the lower dash out made access to the blower significantly easier. Probably saved time in the long run.

I'd guess Toyota didn't use bearings there due to cost and size issues. Your lithium grease should last for many years. Probably long enough that when you need to do this again, you will have forgotten how! :p
 
Nice fix.

It looks like pulling the lower dash out made access to the blower significantly easier. Probably saved time in the long run.

I'd guess Toyota didn't use bearings there due to cost and size issues. Your lithium grease should last for many years. Probably long enough that when you need to do this again, you will have forgotten how! :p
Forgetting things is become more and more common as I inch closer to my next birthday...it's amazing how much useless information I can retain though.

I wish lithium grease would fix my squeaky idler pulleys...that's next on my list and the OEM parts are expensive. I'm also not thrilled to replace them now as they're part of the kit for the water pump / timing belt replacement that'll be happening in another 40,000 miles.
 
As part of my maintenance, on my Ranger I planned to change the water pump at 100K miles. But, I got busy. Next thing you know, 324,000 miles on the engine when I pulled it, and the water pump still worked just fine - and did not leak.

I did change coolant every 15,000 miles.

Something to think about...
 
As part of my maintenance, on my Ranger I planned to change the water pump at 100K miles. But, I got busy. Next thing you know, 324,000 miles on the engine when I pulled it, and the water pump still worked just fine - and did not leak.

I did change coolant every 15,000 miles.

Something to think about...
But if I'm doing the belt anyway the water pump is right there and only a few dollars more. I doubt the water pump will fail anytime soon...If I had a timing chain I wouldn't even be considering changing the water pump. So I guess it's just a question of convenience since I'm going in there anyway. I also don't know if it was changed at 100,000 miles...I only know the belt was.
 

TangoBlue

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
But if I'm doing the belt anyway the water pump is right there and only a few dollars more. I doubt the water pump will fail anytime soon...If I had a timing chain I wouldn't even be considering changing the water pump. So I guess it's just a question of convenience since I'm going in there anyway. I also don't know if it was changed at 100,000 miles...I only know the belt was.
Cheap insurance. Any Toyota mechanic worth a damn would recommend you perform that service at the same time as the TB. I actually have seen cases where owners cheaped-out and didn't do the water pump, believing it was hype to bilk them of their money. "Murphy" laughed and kicked their asses a short time later. Worse still, I got to say, "I told you so".
 
So while I was in the mood to take care of annoying noises I decided to go after an exhaust issue I've been having. Back when the new cats and muffler were put on I think I mentioned that the high flow cats weren't an exact plug and play fit. The drivers side cat was making contact with the transfer case. At the time the installer heated the mounting bracket and bent it a bit to pull the cat away from the Tcase. I guess through the wonders of thermal expansion and contraction the cat has loved up against the Tcase again. Until the exhaust system warms up a bit there's a quite audible metallic "clacking" that can be heard inside the cabin. If you're standing outside it's just downright embarrassing sounding. I went up under the vehicle to see what I could do. Here's what we're dealing with:

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You can see that the flange of the cat has actually started to eat into the housing of the tcase. Not good at all!

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A bit more zoomed out here and you get an idea of the tight clearance we're dealing with. I explored a couple of options. This first would be to modify the factory hanger to pull the cat away from the Tcase. It can be seen here on the left:

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Unfortunately I don't have the means to do this while laying on my back in the driveway. Plan B involved dropping the cat out of the vehicle and modifying the flange where it was making contact with the tcase....ie, cutting it off. This would involve unplugging the O2 sensors:

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and pulling three nuts off the flange that mates to the header:


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The problem with this plan is those nuts. Apparently the shop that put the cat on called in Zeus himself to tighten those things. Laying on my back under the vehicle presented limited space for a breaker bar or other means of persuasion. Wonder if my HOA would mind me installing a car lift in the driveway?

Plan C involved a dremel with a titanium cut off bit. I loosened the connection that goes from the output of the cat to the muffler:

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and was able to get enough clearance between the cat and the tcase to go to town on the flange. I ended up with a face full of metal shavings and this:

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Hopefully that's enough to keep these two separated from one another.

Now another exhaust question. Perhaps someone ( @Scott B. , @TangoBlue , @bob91yj ) can educate me here.

Under heavy throttle (which happens only occasionally :rolleyes: ), there's a "ticking" that comes from right under my feet. I've determined it's because that connection from the cat to the pipe that leads to the muffler isn't sealed completely and there's a small exhaust leak here. There's a small gap that the bracket can't close up. Is this intentional for some reason? Like a weep hole in a stock muffler only this blows moisture out under load? You can see the gap here:

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I really want to take some Permatex muffler sealer and seal this up...but I'm not sure if I should. Until I figure it out I'll just play my music louder to drown out the tick...my hearing is going anyway. :D
 
That hole you see is actually the end of a slot. There is one on the other side as well.

As your exhaust is bolt-on, the slots allow the tubing to squeeze down on the inner tubing, making a more or less solid joint.

My aftermarket exhaust is also bolt-on, and I have black carbon buildup at end of the slots - exhaust leaking. I thought about welding the joints, but most everyone I talk to about it says not to worry. As is, I can easily remove the exhaust if necessary.

You must have a leak as well - I am surprised you don't have any carbon buildup. I don't have any ticking sound in mine.

I don't think that muffler sealer would be a problem.

If you do seal up the exhaust, let me know how it works. Perhaps that is the solution I need.
 

TangoBlue

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
That hole you see is actually the end of a slot. There is one on the other side as well.

As your exhaust is bolt-on, the slots allow the tubing to squeeze down on the inner tubing, making a more or less solid joint.

My aftermarket exhaust is also bolt-on, and I have black carbon buildup at end of the slots - exhaust leaking. I thought about welding the joints, but most everyone I talk to about it says not to worry. As is, I can easily remove the exhaust if necessary.

You must have a leak as well - I am surprised you don't have any carbon buildup. I don't have any ticking sound in mine.

I don't think that muffler sealer would be a problem.

If you do seal up the exhaust, let me know how it works. Perhaps that is the solution I need.
Concur.
 
So back to hating that chrome grill. This is purely a personal thing and obviously the grill in no way affects the vehicle's performance or usefulness. It's my truck though and I hated that chrome grill. Found an aftermarket "oem quality" replacement on ebay and ordered it up. It arrived from the midwest three days later...broken. It was packaged poorly and UPS had ever so gently cracked the black surround and broken several of the ribs of the inner grill. A quick email to the seller and they had another on one it's way to me.

The second grill arrived today...broken. This time it was just the outer shell that was cracked and in an area that would be very difficult to find. I worked out a deal with the seller and kept the grill. I lined up the cracked portion of the grill and added some reinforcement to the back in the form of epoxy. I'm not keen on the color as it's more of a very very very dark grey instead of actual black but I got it for an excellent price so I'll see if it grows on me. Added a black emblem and this is what I got:

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and the before:

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TangoBlue

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
So back to hating that chrome grill. This is purely a personal thing and obviously the grill in no way affects the vehicle's performance or usefulness. It's my truck though and I hated that chrome grill. Found an aftermarket "oem quality" replacement on ebay and ordered it up. It arrived from the midwest three days later...broken. It was packaged poorly and UPS had ever so gently cracked the black surround and broken several of the ribs of the inner grill. A quick email to the seller and they had another on one it's way to me.

The second grill arrived today...broken. This time it was just the outer shell that was cracked and in an area that would be very difficult to find. I worked out a deal with the seller and kept the grill. I lined up the cracked portion of the grill and added some reinforcement to the back in the form of epoxy. I'm not keen on the color as it's more of a very very very dark grey instead of actual black but I got it for an excellent price so I'll see if it grows on me. Added a black emblem and this is what I got:

View attachment 43200

and the before:

View attachment 43201
I like it. It's a subtle contrast that makes it really "pop" in an understated way. You done good. :thumbsup
 
I had a local shop take care of the squeak I was getting from under the hood as I keep having to get on airplanes every week for work and just didn't have the time. I came back from a whirlwind tour of the midwest and Greer Automotive in Woodstock GA had replaced a pulley, my failing tensioner and the belt. Nice and quiet once again.

While I was there we discussed suspension and how worn out the stock components are after 160,000+ miles. The oil leak from prior to the valve cover gaskets getting replaced has caused the bushings on the passenger side UCA to fail, and all around the suspension is just worn out. This has caused endless nights of searching the internet for replacement options. Here's where my part collecting begins:

Lift Kit
Dobinsons 1.75" Sequoia Lift Kit

This kit supplies custom coil springs and heavy duty shocks designed to lift the Sequoia 1.75" both front and rear. It comes with all the proper bits to lower the front differential to maintain CV axle angles and keeps the factory suspension rake to maintain stock towing and cargo carrying characteristics.

Dobinsons-2.png

I decided on this kit over the Toytec Suspension for 2 reasons, the first being cost as it's 1/2 the price of the Toytec. The other is durability. From everything I can find Dobinsons has a great reputation in Australia and many owners have put 100,000 plus miles on their suspension components with little to no problems. Warranty service seems to be handled quickly and efficiently and overall they seem to have a great reputation. Now if I can just get past the color of those springs...

Suspension Components
Detroit Axle Refresh Kit

s-l1600.jpg

Lower Control Arms, Tierods, Swaybars, Dust boots...the gang's all here! I've used Detroit Axle stuff in the past on some F150's and it worked well. By the time I added up the cost of all new bushings and the labor fees it's easier and almost cheaper just to replace everything with new parts.

Upper Control Arms
Blitz Auto Upper Control Arms

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I'm using these because I already have them. Good reviews across the web and they didn't come with the inflated price the major industry players charge.

@TangoBlue or @Scott B. anything else I should be replacing while I'm in there?
 
Got around to doing one of those modifications that's been sitting on the back burner. My Sequoia is an SR5 and as such didn't come with the fancy instrument cluster that shows MPG and such. However this is easy enough to add by swapping the 4 blank buttons in the dash for this:

IMG_20190317_182619.jpg

That is a Tundra Drive Info Switch part # 84977-0C020. These are stupid expensive considering it's nothing more than 4 leds and 4 momentary switches in this OEM housing. What equates to about $2 in parts is usually sold by Toyota parts dealers for over $100. Thanks to an automated ebay search and a convenient coupon I picked this switch up for less than 1/2 of that. Installation should have been straight forward...

Tundra guys on many of the forums have been retrofitting these into trim levels that weren't equipped with them for years now. What they've found is that for some reason Toyota had 4 different wire harness variations in this part of the dash. No one is really sure why. The number of wires that are present on the connector that plugs into those switches determines how much work you have to do. Worst case scenario you have to add several wires and run them to other connectors behind the drivers kick panel and behind the instrument panel along with swapping out the actual information panel above the radio. Best case scenario everything is there and you just plug in the switches. I fell somewhere in the middle.

I'm not going to rehash all of the removal instructions and connector pin outs here; they're well documented all over the place already. I will note that I had 6 of the 8 wires needed in the connector that goes to the info buttons. This means I needed to add two wires, one for pin 2 and one for pin 3 and run them to the J28 connector that plugs in to the back of the instrument panel. This requires pulling the top dash piece off and removing the instrument cluster. That process requires a 10mm socket and looks like this:

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OMG WHAT IS THAT?! At some point in the vehicle's past someone dropped a large wad of....I don't know what onto the instrument cluster. Since it was all coming out anyway I disassembled the cluster and cleaned the clear plastic overlay using very hot water and dish soap in the kitchen sink. It was a huge improvement but I couldn't get all of whatever that is off the plastic. It sits behind the actual outer bezel so at least I don't have to look at it. Yuck.

Pulling the instrument panel reveals the J28 connector:

IMG_20190317_184444.jpg

I ran wires to pins 28 and 30 on this connector. Most Tundra guys report that when they have the configuration I did these two positions are open on the connector. I however had a red wire in one and blue wire in another yet the connector at the switches was empty. Weird. Can't imagine why Toyota would have so many harness configurations here. I failed to take pictures of any of this as i was loosing day light. Buttoned everything back up, and the switches work. Keeping your foot off the gas pedal now gives you this:

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I can cycle through temperature, instant MPG, average MPG and having the display off. Pushing the Setup US/M button allows me to see all of the same using those silly metric units. This button also changes the climate control screen in the center stack to Celsius. Neat.

The fourth blank button space is for a "Sonar" button. The 2009 Sequoias were just starting to come with front facing sensors for collision detection. I have no plans for adding this so I'm going to modify this momentary switch to activate my garage door opener instead.
 
I had a local shop take care of the squeak I was getting from under the hood as I keep having to get on airplanes every week for work and just didn't have the time. I came back from a whirlwind tour of the midwest and Greer Automotive in Woodstock GA had replaced a pulley, my failing tensioner and the belt. Nice and quiet once again.

While I was there we discussed suspension and how worn out the stock components are after 160,000+ miles. The oil leak from prior to the valve cover gaskets getting replaced has caused the bushings on the passenger side UCA to fail, and all around the suspension is just worn out. This has caused endless nights of searching the internet for replacement options. Here's where my part collecting begins:

Lift Kit
Dobinsons 1.75" Sequoia Lift Kit

This kit supplies custom coil springs and heavy duty shocks designed to lift the Sequoia 1.75" both front and rear. It comes with all the proper bits to lower the front differential to maintain CV axle angles and keeps the factory suspension rake to maintain stock towing and cargo carrying characteristics.

View attachment 44132

I decided on this kit over the Toytec Suspension for 2 reasons, the first being cost as it's 1/2 the price of the Toytec. The other is durability. From everything I can find Dobinsons has a great reputation in Australia and many owners have put 100,000 plus miles on their suspension components with little to no problems. Warranty service seems to be handled quickly and efficiently and overall they seem to have a great reputation. Now if I can just get past the color of those springs...

Suspension Components
Detroit Axle Refresh Kit

View attachment 44133

Lower Control Arms, Tierods, Swaybars, Dust boots...the gang's all here! I've used Detroit Axle stuff in the past on some F150's and it worked well. By the time I added up the cost of all new bushings and the labor fees it's easier and almost cheaper just to replace everything with new parts.

Upper Control Arms
Blitz Auto Upper Control Arms

View attachment 44134

I'm using these because I already have them. Good reviews across the web and they didn't come with the inflated price the major industry players charge.

@TangoBlue or @Scott B. anything else I should be replacing while I'm in there?
Be careful lowering your front diff. Someone makes a kit for the Tacoma, and mostly people do not have good things to say about it. Apparently, it saves the CV joints at the expense of the u-joints.

Otherwise, your list looks good.

And, you can always powder coat your springs a more "manly" color. :p
 
Upper Control Arms
Blitz Auto Upper Control Arms

View attachment 44134

I'm using these because I already have them. Good reviews across the web and they didn't come with the inflated price the major industry players charge.

@TangoBlue or @Scott B. anything else I should be replacing while I'm in there?
Are you sure you want uni-ball UCRs?

Yes, uni-balls give you a tad more articulation (droop travel). But, they are high maintenance items, especially living in the South were we have rain and mud (like our last several trips...)

Uni-balls need to be cleaned and rebuilt, and will squeak a lot. They are a great piece, but be aware of their limitations.
 
Are you sure you want uni-ball UCRs?

Yes, uni-balls give you a tad more articulation (droop travel). But, they are high maintenance items, especially living in the South were we have rain and mud (like our last several trips...)

Uni-balls need to be cleaned and rebuilt, and will squeak a lot. They are a great piece, but be aware of their limitations.
Having uniball ucas will give me the opportunity to create an auto cleaning and lubricating system and become rich! Like this snake oil: https://www.motobriiz.com/ only for Uniballs.

These have some nice dust caps to keep the junk out, but I hear what you're saying, junk is going to get in there no matter what and uniballs make noise. I'm going to turn up the radio and hope for the best.


Be careful lowering your front diff. Someone makes a kit for the Tacoma, and mostly people do not have good things to say about it. Apparently, it saves the CV joints at the expense of the u-joints.

Otherwise, your list looks good.

And, you can always powder coat your springs a more "manly" color. :p
Hey now! That love child of Aquamarine and Baby Blue identifies as "manly". I went down a rabbit hole of powdercoating springs last night and what a deep dark hole it is. I think I'll just live with the color.
 
Having uniball ucas will give me the opportunity to create an auto cleaning and lubricating system and become rich! Like this snake oil: https://www.motobriiz.com/ only for Uniballs.
Good luck with that!

I have some ideas for names for your snake oil, but this is a family forum.........

Hey now! That love child of Aquamarine and Baby Blue identifies as "manly". I went down a rabbit hole of powdercoating springs last night and what a deep dark hole it is. I think I'll just live with the color.
I always wondered if the heating when powder coating changed the temper of the spring. I think PC only needs about 400*, so I guess not. But I still wonder....

Cover the underside of your truck in mud - then we can't see the spring color! ;)
 
I always wondered if the heating when powder coating changed the temper of the spring. I think PC only needs about 400*, so I guess not. But I still wonder....
That seems to be the basis of shade tree engineer debates on the ol' interwebs. Apparently some manufacturers temper and PC at the same time and tell users that if they powder coat again it will affect the temper of the spring. Other folks say that PC done at 400* or 350* (only certain colors/finishes apparently) couldn't possibly affect the temper.

I'm no engineer, so I'll learn to live with the color....maybe...Dobinson's has a backorder right now on the rear springs....
 
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