2004 Sequoia

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Feb 11, 2020
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34
Location
Aurora, IL
2004 Sequoia

My cousin sold her 2004 Sequoia SR5 4WD to me last month for $1000.00. Yes that's a one followed by three zeroes. It had just over 153K easy miles on it and garage kept. It has a few dings here and there but runs very well. I've poured a bit of money in to it over the past month and will try to share what I've done in some semblance of the order in which I did them. NOTE: I am NOT a mechanic but I enjoy doing what I can do which is mess around w fluids, make basic repairs and tinkering. Anyways, I picked up quite a bit of inspiration from these forums and hoping someone might be able to benefit from the work I'm doing with my Sequoia. Thanks!

Minor issues: interior very dirty / rear window would not roll down / power antenna broken / interior very dirty / rear wiper assembly doesn't make contact w the glass / very dirty interior / burned out bulbs in instrument cluster / driver side left seat panel broken / overhead DVD screen broken and partially removed / interior very dirty / driver side mirror wobbly / headlight assemblies weathered-foggy / couple of wheels are pretty weathered and not holding air / interior dirty :) As mentioned, the body has a few dings and at some point before those are repaired, I will capture some pictures.

Here are some exterior pics I took back around 2/1 when I took ownership. It needed a bath!

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Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
34
Location
Aurora, IL
First of all, I renamed my thread and removed the word "Build". I feel like using that word insinuates that I actually did anything significant other than pay to have a local shop do the things I wanted LOL. I did minor work but all the suspension work / lift / wheels and tires were done by professionals.

Anyways, just a couple notes while I'm WFH while the country is going on coronavirus lockdown:

One of the first things I did was repair the rear power window which would not go down when engaged. This is apparently a common issue w first gen Sequoias. Seemingly, there are two common rear window failures related to these Sequoias - the issue I had and also the issue that is apparently related to an electonics issue and connected with rear window defogger and rear wiper failure. Anyways, I learned two key things early on: youtube is amazing and also 90% of everything I want to do on the Sequoia can be accomplished with a 10MM socket 😂.

Anyways, what I ended up doing was removing what I believe I heard was referred to as a service brake that prevents the window from going down while being worked on. No idea if this is correct - but it worked. Another suggestion was just to loosen it, which also worked. I decided to remove it completely. A couple thoughts on removing the interior trim, 1. panel remover tools (get them); I bought a cheap set of nylon tools from HF (I think like $7) 2. I wish I would have bought replacement clips before starting this to replace the ones I broke / someone else broke / were missing and 3. videos I saw showed people inside the truck trying to remove the large panel by pulling it UP and away from the liftgate - totally the hardest way to do this! It was way easier to have the gate up and punch the bottom of the panel forward w the heel of your hand.

This is an image of the power window assembly once you get beyond the interior panel and the metal cover that sits on top of this. The red circle is the "brake" that I ended up removing (2 x 10MM bolts / bracket / spring).

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Image from inside the back of the truck. One video I saw showed the guy grabbing on here and the opposite side and lift up and out to remove. Totally easier to lift the gate up and gently punch the bottom of the panel with the heel of your hand.

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I probably shouldn't have done this but it seemed to be fine. Once I removed all of the bolts keeping the cover over the power window assembly, I let the cover hanging by these wires. I had no concerns doing this - it was that strong.

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Joined
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Also - the rear window rolls almost all the way down except for the last 6" of glass. From what I can tell by looking at the power window assembly, it's as far as it will go. Does anyone know? I called my cousin who said yes, that's as far as it ever went. I'm guessing that is the case. Service manual said nothing and a half-hearted google search did not give me any answers. Also - it's a little clunky rolling down in spots so I DO NOT plan on rolling it down very often for fear it won't come back up LOL.
 
Joined
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This was taken a few days after taking ownership. I gave it a decent wash and spent probably 90 minutes on the interior - just throwing out trash / vacuuming and wiping everything down. I removed the 3rd row seats and they are now sitting in the garage. The truck looks great here because its in the dark, at a cool angle and I've avoided the dings / dents around the bumpers LOL.

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Joined
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One week in, I replaced the headlight assemblies. The old ones were original and yellowed / fogged. Nothing special here, I replaced with inexpensive lights. It was here that I started really trying to determine what I'm going to do w this thing and how far I want to go. My thought here was, it's a dinged up 15 year old vehicle so just go with some basic halogen headlight assemblies. A month later now, and I'm not sure I feel the same way. Anyways, I replaced with a pair of TYC replacement headlights from Amazon. I paid just under $37 each for both lights and swapped them out myself. The side markers are separate and have to be removed first to take out the headlights. Nothing real complicated here except again, I ended up damaging a couple of plastic clips and wish I had replacements! After replacing, I noticed passenger side marker up front was damaged from where my cousin must have ran it into her garage.

Part # on those headlights: TYC 20-6178-00 and TYC 20-6177-00.

ALSO - literally cannot figure out how to adjust them vertically. A concerted google effort shows me that no one else knows either LMAO.

Before:

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After:

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Joined
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Messages
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Good score here when cleaning up the Sequoia, two beer chips to a social club I belong to in Aurora, IL. For those not in the know, a social club is a club you pay dues to belong to and they have events for members like dinners / kids parties etc. They also have cheap drinks! This truck is paying for itself!

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A few days after the headlights were replaced I took on the broken power antenna. Apparently this is not an uncommon issue either. The antenna either stops working completely or works sporadically. I can tell by the service records that the antenna had already been replaced once before (looks like the part was $199.00 😬). I knew I DID NOT want a power antenna so I picked up a replacement OEM mast antenna: TOYOTA Genuine 86300-AF020 Antenna Assembly with Holder ($65.00). I think maybe this is a stock 1st Gen Tundra antenna? I think it was at this point that I started to understand how similar Tundras and Sequoias are from the firewall forward.

Couple notes on this replacement:

1. youtube great again
2. there were recommendations to remove the front passenger side wheel, i was able to do my work without any issues
3. glad i have that stubby 3/4" socket wrench that I rarely use
4. curiously, no one mentioned in their videos the need or steps to remove the power cable lol

Here's the original power antenna. Initially it kind of worked for me but after a couple weeks, it stopped??? Weird. I was going to replace anyways. The plastic nut and antenna housing get replaced here as well. Both came with the replacement antenna. Wondering if there's some genius way to remove/install the plastic nut without marring it?

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Turning the wheel hard to the right gave me enough room to work in the fender well. A bunch of 10MM bolts here securing the fender liner. Again, I ran in to another plastic clip that I wish I would have had a replacement for at the time. I also removed the mud flap here as all the mud flaps are coming off today. Stubby socket wrench was def a thing here as I used it to remove the antenna holder bolt.

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Amazing how simple it was to remove front bezel and the factory head unit. Here I found the old power antenna cable that the mechanic left behind on the first repair. I was also tempted to remove all the wiring for the DVD player but decided to mess with that later. I removed the antenna cable but looking back, I might as well have just clipped the cable wherever I needed to remove it. NBD. Need to also pull the glove box here as the antenna cable runs behind it. Again - real simple.

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The old power antenna. Yes, that is a yoga mat that I <surprise> don't use anymore. The yoga mat worked great! Also, this was mid-February in Chicagoland - the gloves are not to keep my hands clean but to keep them only half frozen.

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Here is the replacement mast antenna.

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Antenna continued...

Here is the power cable that connects from the original power antenna down to the passenger side kick panel. A couple strategic snips here with the diagonal cutters got the job done. So yeah, door sill plate and kick panel on the passenger side get removed here. Note - also yes, battery disconnected.


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So I think the move here by most people would have been to go with a stubby 6" rubber bendable mast. I thought heck nah - 31" mast for me! Picked one up made by The Antenna Source of whom I've read good things: AntennaMastsRus - 31 Inch Black Antenna Mast ($27.00).

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Joined
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So being a newbie I did A LOT of reading regarding lifts - probably too much? I read forum post after forum post, looked at tons of pictures, scoured youtube and more. I learned enough to know I wanted some ground clearance (even though I will be on pavement 99.98 % of the time). I wanted overall tire size to be at or around 33" and I wanted 17" wheels because I like seeing sidewall. More on the tires later.

I was at my tire place for one of my other cars, and the guy referred me to a place in Naperville, IL for the lift. I'm not sure what I should and shouldn't post about links and recommendations so I will refrain from sharing that information. DM me if you would like more details.

Anyways, I ended up with Toytec Boss 700LB coilovers, SPC adjustable upper control arms, front diff drop kit and Toytec Boss rear shocks and coils. While we were at it, we did new front lower control arms, lower ball joints and new C/V axles up front. That's all I could afford at this time LOL.

More about the rust later.

Also I attached a good read from Toyota regarding lifts.

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Attachments

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Joined
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As I was looking at pictures, it occurred to me that I must have done the lift before replacing the power antenna since I removed the mud flaps the same day as the antenna repair. Anyways, here are some before and afters.........

Before the lift (with the stock rims and tires):

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Joined
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Messages
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I'm kind of surprised i didn't take many pics but around the same time the lift and the antenna replacement was taking place, I removed the old DVD player. I think this was an aftermarket unit as I don't believe it was stock on the SR5 plus, I found the original dome light in the middle console. The screen was unattached and presumably broken. So the only thing mounted on the ceiling was the housing for the screen. After removing the housing, it was a matter of cutting out the old wiring and wiring in the original domelight the best I could with the wire that was left available to me.

The old DVD housing removed to reveal the original cutout for the domelight.

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The domelight and what was left of the wiring. I cut out all molex connectors left and spliced everything back together. Light works great!

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Two weeks in to the Sequoia and I swapped out the interior lights. Thanks @Jgrauman for the Super Bright LED tips!

I replaced 8 interior bulbs with 194-CWHP5: Cool White LEDs ($4.95 each): (4) in each door, (2) front map lights, (2) middle console lights.
I also replaced the rear dome light with 3110-CW18-CB ($3.95) Cool White.
I then realized I was a bulb short - the middle console - so I ran to the local NAPA and picked up whatever they had in Cool White that replaced what I had (maybe $3-$4??).

One tip, the easiest way for me to remove the map lightbulbs up front and the personal lightbulbs in the middle console was to use a 90 degree mini-pick to pull the bulbs down and out of the socket so I could get my fat fingers around them. These are wedge bulbs.

Before:

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Joined
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Well I've owned this beast for 6 weeks now and I basically can't stop messing with it. I went to the junkyard today hoping to find a 1st Gen Tundra or Sequoia to peel off some interior trim / battery tray components / various plastic clips etc., but no luck. In 5 acres of cars I saw maybe three 4runners, no Tundras / Sequoias / Tacomas :(. I guess that says something about these vehicles.

Maybe a week to ten days back, the Sequoia wouldn't start when leaving work. Took about 30 seconds to find it was a loose battery cable. Anyways - as I was getting it tightened up I noticed quite a bit of corrosion around the terminals / terminal connecters etc. The battery hold down frame needs to be replaced as well. Since it snowed today, I spent some time cleaning up the terminal connectors and the battery. Had some old stainless hardware laying around for terminal connections but prob should get rid of the phillips heads. Battery test revealed that's it's almost time for a replacement. Maybe this summer.

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About 3 weeks back (after the lift), I finally got off the seat and made a decision regarding wheels and tires. I honestly have very little original thought so I ended up following the lead of another forum member here. Thanks again @Jgrauman for the inspiration. I hate to be a copy cat but would rather not make a bunch of costly mistakes by guessing at what might or might not work for my truck.

For wheels, I chose to keep it Toyota: PTR20-35110-BK / Genuine Toyota 17-Inch TRD PRO Wheels in Matte Black. I picked these up at a local dealer same day for $175.00 each. I wanted to keep it Toyota and I wanted 17" rims and at a 6 on 5.5" bolt pattern, there aren't a great many options but I LOVE THESE. Almost went w the gun-metal but black is beautiful. The silver body on black is a little bit of a tired look for me, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. These wheels are 7" wide with only a 4MM offset so I picked up some 1.25" Spidertrax wheel spacers to push 'em out. The spacers were just over $200 total if I remember right.

As for tires, I wanted something that looked aggressive but wanted an AT tire as again, I'm on asphalt. On my old 92' YJ and my old 2000 rodeo, I had BFG All-Terrain T/As and I loved them BUT they were loud as heck fire. So I went w Nitto Ridge Grapplers 285/70/17 at $200 each and honestly couldn't be happier with my decision. Again @Jgrauman !

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Joined
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Light snow today in Chicagoland, passed some time away wiping down the engine compartment. I'm looking forward to some warmer weather so I can really get after it.

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