New member with a blank slate Sequoia

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Mar 9, 2022
First post and new member, though I've read plenty of threads on the forums in the past. All my friends are jeep guys and I usually tag along as a passenger and photographer. We do a lot of wheeling out west. Mostly rock crawling type stuff I've done the Rubicon, Johnson Valley, played in Sand Hollow, Moab, etc. I've been fine just tagging along as a passenger. One of the trips out west a few years ago we stopped at Canyonlands and from one of the overlooks I learned about the White Rim road. That planted the seed for me to make my own overland vehicle and just drive out into the wilderness towards the horizon and go camping off the beaten path.


Since then I've been looking on and off for possible expedition/overland/camping vehicles. I have a 4WD 2Dr Tahoe it didn't really have the interior space I wanted. I wanted something I could camp in first and foremost. My son races mountain bikes and being able to camp in the vehicle would make life easier/cheaper going to the races. I looked at vans, various trucks, land cruisers, LX's, GX's. I'd troll FB marketplace and craigslist but nothing every jumped out at me that I had to buy it. I've been shopping half heartedly the last 2 years but was always indecisive what I wanted. For some reason the Sequoia never crossed my sights until King of Hammer's this year. I saw a mildly lifted one on 35's and I thought it looked damned good. It had the large interior space I wanted. It had a good dependable drivetrain that I would trust to go 400k miles with a little upkeep and maintenance. Then I realized it didn't have the Toyota tax that the Tundra/LC/LX/GX's had and I could get one cheap enough to pay cash. Once I got back from California I started seriously shopping for a Sequoia.

After several weeks of searching I finally found one I wanted at the price I wanted. An '05 SR5 4WD. Was a former Arizona truck that spent it's last 3 years in TN and the undercarriage was about as clean as I've ever seen a Sequoia. 151k miles had the timing belt done at 138k and ball joints done at 124k. You could tell it was a mom-mobile with magic marker marks on the ceiling and the back seats worn just as much as the front seats. $9.6k out the door after the dealer fees.


I've had her home for 12 days now. Dealer replaced the front struts, polished the head light assemblies, installed new wiper blades, and change the oil as part of the incoming inspection and detailing. Bought a center cap for the one missing center cap. The battery was showing signs of sulfating so I went ahead and replace that. Lift gate handle stopped working the 2nd day I had it and I replaced both the handle and the latch. The hood safety catch lever "rod" popped out when I went to change the battery so it's being held on with a zip tie now. I bought 8 Denso plugs but when I went to change them all the plugs looked nearly new so I just left the original plug in. Two of the coils had hairline cracks in them and I replaced those. I kept the two working ones with cracks and filled in the cracks with high temp epoxy to use as spares. Bought LED lights for the interior lights. The truck came with 265/70/17 Michelin Defender LTX with about 90% of the tread on them. I originally had plans to lift it and throw on some KO2s but I might stick with the 32" tires and stock ride height at least until I kill the Michelins. I really like the ride at stock height with the Defenders since I'm currently using it as a daily driver and I don't feel the need to stress the drivetrain right now. For traversing the White Rim trail I don't think I need anything other than the 32's that are on it. And it looks like a 32" will fit in the spare holder so I don't need to add a tire carrier which is a big plus.

Right now my future plans will be to start replacing any old rubber and plastic bits that could leave me stranded or kill the truck and refresh all the fluids. I've read about the heater hose T's so those are on the next to do session. I'll probably start systematically replacing hoses and eventually the radiator. Anything I might need to take a look at? Valve cover gaskets look OK right now.

The immediate future plans will be to add a hidden winch and remove the running boards for step sliders and add an awning. Then build a sleeping platform for camping out of the back. I don't want to add a ton of unnecessary weight to the truck as I want to be able to tow a 4-4.5k dry weight camper with it. But the goal is to eventually run the White Rim trail with it and maybe find similar type trail systems to tackle.

Did have my first road trip last weekend. Threw an old unused Yakima roof rack on the truck so I could carry 6 bikes for a road trip. Comfortably carried 6 bikes and 6 riders with all of our gear and cooler full of drinks.

Nice, I hope I can buy my Sequoia before our planned vacation to the Moab area later this year. It would suck to go there in a Honda Accord. :(
Baby steps. 1st was mounting a RAM mount to hold my phone. Not a fan of the phone mounted high up on the dash in the sun as that tends to overheat a phone during the summer. Found a place lower on the console out of the way that doesn't block any of the controls or displays. It's still within easy reach if I need it as I can manipulate the phone without taking my elbow off the arm rest. Ground down a small relief on the ram mount with my belt sander so it fits perfectly flat where I wanted it to mount. Nuts and bolts to hold it on.

Congrats on the new rig. Sequoias are definitely the best bang for buck in the Toyota 4x4 world.

My first tip would be stop using the word “Overlanding”. It’s called “car camping”. As soon as I hear someone say they are going “Overlanding” I’m out. That term has come to be a total joke as most “Overlanders” are people who spend $25,000 installing MatTrax and RTTs on their car so they can survive the arduous journey to Costco.

I’ve been “car camping” in my 60 series diesels in Central America since before there was an Internet (WAY before) so don’t mind my curmudgeon-like attitude. Oh crap, there’s kids on my lawn... gotta run!
Congratulations; also a new member. You will find this place and its members very helpful. I was in the same boat, searching ... searching ... the guys on here were invaluable in the hunt and in suggesting what works and what doesn't.

That is the cleanest underside I have ever seen. You got a bargain in that vehicle.
Holy Bright. Which LEDs did you go with? I have some 6000Ks but man they don't look anything like that.

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