2UZ-FE with VVTi engine rebuild in 2007 Sequoia (1 Viewer)

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Sep 18, 2019
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Mississippi Gulf Coast
This will be an engine rebuild thread for a 2UZ-FE engine with VVTi in a 2007 Sequoia, aka the 4.7 liter V8. We found very little information on the web regarding people who have actual experience rebuilding this engine. We found one person (@errryday_outdoor on Instagram) who had a few high level videos. Therefore, we decided that we would share what we learned for the next person. We thought about a video, but we are not equipped for that and it would have ended up being a soap opera anyway. We will be sharing lessons learned along the way.

If you own a 4.7, this is good news. There isn’t a lot of detail on the web because no one rebuilds these engines. No one rebuilds these engines because they are so well built. There are at least 2 documented cases of the engines making a million miles.

Before we start, a little background. This is my son’s car (@CarterB341). He’s 19, and a college student. We got him this car for college, replacing a 2004 Sequoia with 241,000 miles (aka: The Warhorse, which deserves its own thread. That truck took it like a champ). We bought the 2007 from my in-laws, who bought it new, had all the maintenance performed by a Toyota dealership, garage kept the car. Basically, it was a babied, low miles (110k) car that we knew the entire history of, and we got the family discount.

My son was rear ended about 3 months after we got the car, through no fault of his own. The insurance company was very close to totaling the car, but the adjuster worked with us and that didn’t happen. Then he puts an OME 2” lift, KO2s and Method wheels, a winch bumper from Brute Force Fabrication, a Warn VR12, and a nice sound system in it. He loves the truck and it is his baby. His friends nickname it the “Mom-quoia”.

The lifting of the truck and the addition of the bumper required him to cut away the inner fender plastic liner. This exposed the combustion air intake plenum to the open wheel well. This will play a factor in later events, and is the leading root cause of the reason for rebuilding the engine.

In January of 2020, myself, the 19 year old, and the 21 year old son (aka: The Heckler), decide to go wheeling on a local powerline track where the cops don’t bug you. This is coastal south Mississippi, there are no hills, it is very flat, and there is lots of standing water. We approached one water hazard, I’m in the lead vehicle (FJ60) and I choose a line and make it through. The 19 year old picks an entirely different line, dips the passenger fender into the water, and the truck stalls. This is what it looks like at this point

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I am unaware of the modifications to the combustion air intake. The hood of the truck never dipped under water. The risk of water ingestion never crossed my mind. We attempt to restart the truck. You guessed it, it ran for a second and stopped again. We winch the truck out of the puddle with the FJ60 and notice that dried mud is in the air filter and the Mass Airflow Sensor is wet. I now realize the situation with the air intake and realize we likely pulled water into the engine. The Heckler takes the FJ60 and to the store and buys tools to pull the plugs and a new air filter. We pull all the plugs and started the engine, with water coming out of cylinder #5 and #7. Then the engine locks up and will not turn over. We now realize we have a significant problem. Not only to we have a hydrolocked engine, we have a dead 6000 pound car, way back in the woods, and it is now dark. The FJ60 flat towed the Momquoia all the way back to the pavement, through some pretty gnarly hazards. The 60 is a beast. We called a friend with a trailer and dragged her home.

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Needless to say, the Wife was less than pleased when she realized the engine was toast and the cheapest estimate was $5000 for a junkyard engine.

We looked around for a low miles parts car to take an engine from. No Luck. We looked for a complete used engine. We found the non-VVTI engine all day long, the only VVTi engine we found was 4k and had a lot of miles. A non-Toyota rebuilt engine was $5000 plus shipping. I had rebuilt a few small block Chevy’s with a friend 30 years ago. I told him it was possible for him to rebuild the engine and I would help. He made the decision to rebuild it.



Here we go.





Lessons Learned from this installment:

  • Do not modify the wheel well liner to expose the combustion air intake plenum to the wheel well. Any rain puddle or, mud puddle, etc will through water and mud up into the plenum, at best clog your air filter, at worst hydrolock the engine.
  • If the car stalls in a water hazard, even if the hood didn’t go under, take no chances and pull the plugs and turn it over.
  • Carry these spark plug removal tools with you when you wheel.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2019
Messages
217
Location
Mississippi Gulf Coast
This post will cover the removal of the engine from the truck.

The removal of the engine from the truck took about a day and a half. We started with unplugging all the deutch connectors and labeling where they went. This ended up being largely unnecessary since the way the harness is made the connectors are right where they need to be.

The exception is the driver side upstream O2 sensor is on a bracket at the rear end of the driver’s cylinder head, and we really should have labeled that. There is also a number of grounds on a terminal lug that also mount on that bracket. We should have taken a photo of that when we disconnected it.

We think there may be a way to separate the main harness further up where you don’t need to disconnect anything off the engine itself and the whole thing comes out together. That would have been smarter. Considering the that driver side secondary charge air pipe at the back of the engine is on top of the main harness, it is likely that this is how it should be done. It was a pain to remove that pipe and weave the harness out.

The FSM says to remove the transmission with the engine but we ended up not doing that. We were able to get to the flywheel bolts from under the steering rack. The FSM says you need to pull the steering rack as well, but we did not need to do that. We worked around it with patience and trying every combination of ratchets, sockets, and universal joints. Separating the bellhousing from the engine block took hours of gently prying in various locations. Research indicated that the alignment dowels (steel) get corroded in the bellhousing (aluminum). We eventually wiggled and pried and got it off.

There is a connector that must be for the 4WD system that is under the engine. We didn’t see this nor expect it. Here is a picture. We sensed there was an issue here and eventually figured out the connector was still attached.

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We ended up leaving the driver’s side exhaust intact but pulled out the midpipe on the passenger side. This meant that the downstream O2 sensor needed to be disconnected. Liberal amounts of Kroil were used to get those exhaust bolts off without breaking a stud.

We decided that we did not want to discharge the AC refrigerant, so we left everything connected and in the truck’s engine bay. We tied off the compressor and paid special attention to the hoses to make sure they were not being pulled on.

The standard second hand engine hoist that we had will not reach the engine and lift it out cleanly without removal of the bumper. I know the bumper is aftermarket and deeper than OEM, but even with that removed, the hoist was right up against the AC condenser. So we should have just removed that from the start. Here is a picture more or less showing how close we needed to get the hoist.

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There were two bolts that were broken off. We should have made a note of this immediately and fixed them before the engine was ready to go back in the truck. We didn’t, and that was frustrating.

The rest of the stuff is typical engine removal, disconnect everything attached the truck, removal of the radiator is super simple and gives you access to the front and sides of the engine. Once she is on the hoist, go slow and look around for things still connected. Be careful with the duetch connectors, breaking one would be a problem. Bag and label everything. This was key to getting everything back together.

We made a significant mess on the driveway with the fluids. I’m not sure the best was to mitigate this. Plywood, old towels, not sure. Most of it came up with the pressure washer after.

Within about one hour of the engine clearing the truck, the boy needed to get back up to school. We stopped at about 11 AM on day two and left the engine hanging.

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Lessons learned here:

  • Take lots of photographs from the very beginning, starting with the truck in the engine
  • Make notes of what was removed and when so upon reassembly, you know what should go back on before the engine is re-installed back in the truck.
  • The main engine harness probably don’t need a whole lot of labeling since the deutch connectors end up being right where they need to go. However, the vacuum lines going to the air box and the secondary charge air behind the engine need to be labeled.
  • Try and figure out how to remove the main engine harness farther up than the back of the engine.
  • Remember the 4WD connector under the engine.
  • Remove the bumper from the beginning for better hoist access.
  • Expect a mess from the fluids leaking.
  • Make notes of any broken bolts that need to be replaced.
  • Bag and label all parts.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2019
Messages
217
Location
Mississippi Gulf Coast
A word on repair manuals

I am a believer in getting the best repair manual available. The boy has not learned that lesson yet. This was his mistake, and he was willing to pay for every bit of it. So I advised him to get a good repair manual. He looking into the TIS manual online, and decided to cheap out and get the Haynes online manual for a year. There were numerous times where we were confused and he either got a copy of the Toyota manual from the dealership where he bought his parts (out of the kindness of their hearts, thanks Allen Toyota in Gulfport, MS) or spent the $20 for the 2 day TIS subscription. We got at least 3 of those 2 day subscriptions, maybe more.

In retrospect, we should have paid the $20 one time, and sat at the computer for those two days and downloaded everything.
 
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Joined
Sep 18, 2019
Messages
217
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Mississippi Gulf Coast
Post #4

Engine teardown

This is the one phase of the project that I wish we could do over again. There were a few key things that weren’t done here that caused some headaches and slowdowns later on.

One of the things we did right here is take a video of the engine right when it came out of the truck. We did a 360 all around the engine. This turned out to be invaluable later on. We took a lot of pictures as well.

I wish we had taken a bunch of photos mid process as well, especially in the front of the engine. For example, the water pump has additional bolt holes in it for other accessories to the bolted through the water pump. When we pulled off the water pump, and bagged and tagged the bolts, we only had the ones that held the water pump on. Upon reassembly, we spend several hours trying to figure out if we were missing bolts. If we had taken off a component, then taken a picture of what was removed, then moved on to the next, it would have saved us lots of time. Another example is that the oil filter housing bracket is also a support for the AC compressor… So unless you document that, it is hard to put it back together.

The oil pan is a two part deal. There is an aluminum skirt that bolts to the steel engine block. This is a thick casting, and somewhat delicate. Then the thin stamped steel lower oil pan bolts to that. Check to make sure that ALL of the bolts are removed from the upper pan. I think that I was not careful and tried to remove it too soon. I may have cracked the upper pan in way of a bolt hole… The thin stamped steel lower oil pan is also easily deformed, take care to keep it flat and remove it carefully. There are a blue million little 10mm head, M6x1.0 bolts that hold this one. Don’t be tempted to use a small impact driver to speed up the removal of these. At least loosen them by hand first. If you replace them to keep track of the bolts, definitely be care full with the impact. They don’t bottom out and with the steel bolt and the aluminum casting, stripping out the threads in the aluminum is easy. Ask me how I know….

Once the oil pan was removed, the guilty party became evident. Ole #7.

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The cylinder wall was slightly scored below the swept volume of the piston rings, see below picture.

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We disassembled the rest of the block down to parade rest to take it to the machine shop to see if it needed to be bored out. Here is the aftermath of that

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I wish we had liberally coated all these parts in a preservative oil, maybe a 90w gear oil, when we put them up. This is south Mississippi and is gets crazy humid. We had some minor surface rust develop, nothing that should be a problem, but it didn’t sit right with me….

Take note of the cam shaft timing marks upon removal. They are different left bank to right bank. This was a point of confusion upon reassembly.

Off to the machine shop for their take…



Lessons Learned:

  • Video and photograph everything, especially as you remove parts so that you know what goes where and how something is held on to something else. You cannot have too many photos here.
  • Take extreme care in removing the oil pans.
  • Note the position of the camshaft gear timing marks.
  • Preserve all the machined parts (cams, crank, pistons that will go back in)
 
Joined
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Messages
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I also think I should have taken the valve clearances before removing the cams. It would have been good to have a baseline valve clearance to go by upon the reassembly valve clearance check.
 
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Joined
Sep 18, 2019
Messages
217
Location
Mississippi Gulf Coast
Post #5

The bloody main bearings

This is such an important topic that it deserves its own post. If we had one thing to do over again it would be how we handled the bearings. The last engine I rebuilt was 25 years ago, but I do not remember the bearings being this hard.

The 2UZ-FE has 5 bearings. Two mains at the end and the 3 in the middle. There are 6 different sizes of bearings, the part number has 6 “mk”s. 2-7. It is VITAL that you write down what number bearing goes with what journal. See the image below for where to find the number of the bearing. The same number is supposed to be on both halves of the bearing. For whatever reason, one of ours had a different bearing number or the top half and the bottom half from Toyota.

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Here is the trail of tears:

When the bearings came out, they were placed in order in a box. So good so far. When the machine shop cleaned and honed the block, they asked for the bearings. We gave them to them in order. Still good… When they came back they were all jumbled up in a box. We had no idea which one went where. Hence the problem. Not knowing this costs us about 4-5 weeks and $250 of buying different bearings in a trial and error process plasti-gauging them to see what fit and what was in spec.

We went to the local dealership (Allen Toyota, Gulfport, MS) for advice and the Big Man was smiling on down us. There was a 20 year Toyota master tech there who was also a gear head and he told us about the markings on the block and the crank that could tell you what bearings went where. Knowing those markings, there is an equation in the TIS manual that can tell you what we need. Only using this method where we able to get the bearing clearances right. The markings on the crank are for the connecting rod bearings.

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The parts guys and the service techs were invaluable at Allen. I can honestly say that we would not have been able to finish the project without them.

Lessons Learned:

  • Note the bearing locations by journal as they come out.


Also, we have extra bearings in case anyone needs them…. ;)
 
Joined
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Messages
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I failed to mention that the machine shop indicated we were good with just a hone, no boring required. This meant that we just needed a new #7 piston, connecting rod, and wrist pin. Knowing that, the massive parts order started. We used a mix of McGeorge and the local Dealership to source the parts. We went back in with all Toyota OEM parts, except for the RTV and the assembly lube.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Mississippi Gulf Coast
Post #6

Engine reassembly.



Aside from the Main Bearing Saga, re-assembly of the long block part of the engine went as expected. We did not rebuild the oil pump. We didn’t even touch it other than removal and replacement. This was a source of drama later on.

When it came to the heads, there was a fair amount of drama regarding the cams. This is the DOHC engine with VVTi. I knew it was going to be tricky when it came to putting these back in. Youtube, Haynes, and the TIS were equally confusing with respect to the timing marks. They are different side to side. We… um… had some trouble with this you can read about….

2007 Sequoia Camshaft Installation Problems

Using the right bank timing mark on the left bank resulted in snapping the left intake cam, so take care here. That was a $318 and 2 week delay mistake. Below are photos of the timing marks we used. “Left” is the drivers side (left when looking forward from the rear of the engine), Right is the passenger side. See the dots? Left side you line up the TWO dots right together (9 o’clock for intake (upper or inboard cam), 3 o’clock for exhaust (or outboard cam). Right side you offset the SINGLE dots at about a 10 degree angle upwards (like 9:30 and 2:30 –ish)

Left timing marks
left driver cam timing mark.jpg



Right Timing marks
right pax side cam timing.jpg



While we are talking about camshafts, it is a good time to talk about valve clearances. The 2UZ-FE uses a “Shim under Bucket” method. Apparently, all the UZ engines were developed in a joint Toyota-Yamaha collaboration. So was the 3UR-FE (5.7 liter V8). The “Shim under bucket” system us used in powersports engines and is a Yamaha characteristic. See below image,

shim under bucket.jpg


What does this mean to you? Well, while you check valve clearance with the cams installed, you adjust them, you need to remove the cams. If you thought installing all 4 cams is a pain one time, try doing it 4 times. Note each side has 22 bolts for both cams that must be torqued in a very specific order. And you are supposed to keep the cam bearing journal cap bolts together with their caps. And the caps are numbered and matched. Such a PITA.

To adjust the clearance, you need a new shim. This is something that is the size of a new watch battery, is incremented in something like 0.002” and costs $13 each. And it is a bear finding the size you need in the southeast. Luckily, we bought a few and had enough that came out of others to get all but one within spec, and the one was only 0.001” out. We called that good enough, and will check it at the next recommended service interval (150,000 miles?).

With that done, the engine was fully assembled, flywheel torqued on and we were ready for install. There were a few minor tribulations (broken stud in the secondary charge air tube), but nothing scintillating and worth sharing here.

Engine hanging from hoist prior to installation:

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Joined
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The next time my son had a few days off in a row, we installed the engine. It took us about 1.5 days to get it installed and everything hooked up. We had some trouble with stripped driveshaft bolts, connecting a wiring harness ground that we should have connected earlier, etc. Nothing particularly difficult nor worth mentioning. We were able to bolt up the flywheel bolts without too much difficulty around the steering rack. We did have to fiddle with universal joints.

We were getting to the point where we only had a few weeks until the truck needed to be headed with the boy back to college. So we were hammer down working. It even started to rain and we put up a canopy and kept going.

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The next day the rain stopped the following day and we kept jamming. It wasn’t without some stress as we were not getting any oil pressure with just priming the pump by turning the engine over with the starter. We went back and forth and disconnected oil lines and tried manually priming. Since we never disassembled the oil pump, and didn’t prime it before we put the engine back together, we were a little unsure. In the end, after about 3 hours of fiddling, we just started the engine and the oil pressure came right up.

First Start Video


I was confident the engine would fire. What I didn’t expect was that there was no “check engine light”. I’m quite proud of this image (no check engine light)

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We changed the oil filter after about a day or two of driving the car, then the oil and filter at 500 miles. Nothing to report there. A few metal bits but nothing unexpected.

Lessons Learned:

  • Don’t worry about the oil pressure or priming the oil pump. That pressure came right up no problem.
  • The engine actually idles much smoother now with the engine being balanced. We think that was worth the price. It was a hassle getting it done locally, but we think it was worth it.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
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I have been driving my sequoia for about a month now. The engine is technically not fully broken in until 2,000 miles and the last time I check my trip odometer it was around 1,600. After an oil change at 2,000 miles the engine will be fully broken in.
 
Joined
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Knoxville, TN
Outstanding post and really weird timing. I have a 2002 Tundra with the same engine. I also installed a Brute Force Fab bumper and just yesterday I noticed that when I trimmed the fender liner I very slightly exposed a gap that leads up to the intake hole. So now I'm trying to figure out my next steps so I don't suck water into the engine.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
5
Location
United States
Outstanding post and really weird timing. I have a 2002 Tundra with the same engine. I also installed a Brute Force Fab bumper and just yesterday I noticed that when I trimmed the fender liner I very slightly exposed a gap that leads up to the intake hole. So now I'm trying to figure out my next steps so I don't suck water into the engine.
I put a snorkel on my sequoia shortly after I got it running to fix that problem. Nobody makes a snorkel for a first gen tundra/sequoia so you have to buy the 100 series land cruiser model and make it work. I wanted a real safari snorkel but those were on a 3 week back order so I ordered an eBay knockoff and got it in two days. If you don’t want to drill a 4.5” hole in your fender, some people have made inner fender snorkels that route the intake up near the mirror with PVC pipes.
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