2002 Limited 4WD

Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
San Diego



My goal for this wonderful daily driver is centered around exploring/camping trips. Because of her size, tucked and low slung were a requirement. I did not want to unnecessarily add width and height unless it served a real purpose.

  • Front: 1.125" Lift
    • ICON Extended Travel Coilovers 2.5 with 700 lbs springs
    • Total Chaos Uniball Upper Control Arms with 5/8" Bolt Upgrade
    • Total Chaos Polyurethane Steering Rack Bushings
    • Solo Motorsports Spindle
    • Solo Motorsports Lower Uniball Conversion with Modified OEM Lower Control Arm
    • Solo Motorsports Heim Steering
    • WabFab swaybar quick disconnects
    • Wheelers Superbump bumpstops
  • Rear: 1" Lift
    • Dobinson Rear Coils C59-345
    • Dobinson Rear Shocks GS59-685
    • Firestone Coil-Rite Airbag Kit 4124
    • Califabrication Upper and Lower control arms
    • DJS 10" Limit Straps w/ Clevis Mounts
  • Toytec Differential Drop
  • 4.56 Nitro Gears
  • ARB F/R Air Locker
  • ARB CKMA12 Air Compressor
  • Rear Differential Breather
Wheels & Tires
  • Level 8 Trackers 18x9, 0mm offset, 5.0" Backspace (Tubbed Firewall)
  • 295/70R18 Cooper STT Pro (34s)
  • 4th Gen T4R 338mm Big Brakes
  • Crown Performance F/R sleeved and stainless steel brakelines
  • J.T. Brooks Pro Tire Deflators
  • Custom Drop In Roof Rack with Yakima Universal Wind Fairing
  • Custom Rear Hatch ladder
  • Rigid Industries 10" SR2 Driving/Hyperspot Combo Light Bar
  • Rigid Industries D2 Amber Driving Light
  • Rigid Industries Dually Flood Light
  • Rigid Industries D-Series SAE Fog Lights
  • nilight LED rear flood lights
  • Stubbs Welding Ultimate SKO rock sliders
  • Custom F/R High Clearance Tube Bumpers
  • Plano All Weather Tactical Gin Case - 36"
  • NATIKA 720P Front & Rear Night Vision Camera
  • Pioneer SPH-DA120 HU
  • Alpine MRX-V70 4 +1 Amp
  • Polk Fronts
  • Infinity Rears
  • 10" Kicker Sub with Custom Enclosure
  • Remote Rear/Hatch Window Switch
  • Custom Cargo Box
  • RAM Mount
  • Attic Cargo Net
  • Custom Rear Hatch MOLLE Panel
  • Custom Window Cover/Storage Panel
  • 6mm Red LED Ambient Interior Driving Light
  • 20" White LED Light Strip Cargo Light
  • Maxtrax II Recovery Traction Boards
  • Motronic 3"x30' Tow Strap 10k lbf work/30k lbf break
  • Bubba Rope Kinetic Rope 7/8"x20' 19k lbf break
  • Bubba Rope 7/16", 6"-Soft Shackle 32k lbf break
  • 3/4" D-Ring Shackle x2
  • ComeUp Winch Seal Gen2 12.5RS with synthetic line
  • Factor55 Flatlink
  • Hi-Lift 48" X-Treme Jack with Daystar Jack Handle Keeper
Safety & Comms
  • Custom In-Cab Barrier Net
  • Superwinch Line Damper (qty. 2)
  • Uniden Pro 520XL
  • FireStik II - 5ft.
  • Waterport mounted with QuickFist clamps
  • Uniden DCAM Dash Cam on iSaddle Adhesive Windshield Mount
  • Trasharoo
  • Derale 13212 Power Steering Cooler
  • Headers
  • Exhaust
  • Skids
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
San Diego
MODIFICATION: Firewall Tubbing


Maximize clearance with minimal lift, run the biggest tires w/out have to modify the fender (since I wanted to keep the fender trim pieces), and keep the car streetable.

After installing, then Icon Coilovers, and Total Chaos UCAs, I debated for a long time regarding 35s. Ultimately, I just didn't want the added weight of the tire size, the cost, the modifications to the fender, and sacrifice overall driveability. When I saw the spec sheet for the Cooper STT Pros and having great experiences w/ the ATPs, I was sold. Together w/ the Level 8 Trackers, average unsprung weight was 92 lbs.

I chose the Trackers because, eventually, I'm going to install 13WH brakes (338mm rotor), as opposed to the 13WL tundra kit that's commonly used. Since most 17" wheels have too much offset and results in too much tire poke for my liking, the 18s were it. It had the right specs, and personally, it looks more aesthetically pleasing for the big sequoia. The downside is that this tire size no longer fits in the OEM spare location. Right now, I'm not too fond of the idea of a rear swing out because 1) it adds length, 2) the tire weighs 92 lbs, and 3) I'm only 5' 9".

To do this right, I wanted the tires to clear everything. In order to truly prepare this cow for the trails, I had to tub the firewall to stuff the 295/70R18's.

DURATION: A weekend DIY'ing by myself.

Scrap Firewall Metal

COST: <$10

I pulled the shock assembly, bottomed her out, turned the steering wheel lock to lock, checked clearances, and marked where I need to cut.

Stuffed and bottomed out:

Clearance between tire and spindle:

Smack! Hits the washer resovoir. Need to relocate and/or replace:

Once I determined where I need to trim, I went to town. Below is how much of the firewall I removed with 0.5" of clearance at full stuff:

I, then, weld patched the hole with some scrap firewall material I picked up from my local MAACO for free, provided I cut the metal myself, sealed the seams with Dynatron 550 seam sealer, then sprayed 3m 03584 Rubberized Undercoating. In addition to the firewall, I used some shears to trim interfering pieces of the fender liner. I'll patch ABS weld those closed too, eventually...

The end result is a 34" tire (measured actual) that fully clears the inner fender more than the suspension can cycle, realistically. Based off my OEM height measurements compared against my current height measurements (not taking account wheel diameter), this setup puts my front end ~1.125 over OEM ride height.

Mission acccomplished!

However, I miss calculated. Because the tire is so tall, the fender and trim pieces needed clearance, as well. I thought I was going to be able to get away w/o having to work the fender, but that wasn't the case. The fender opening is more oval, than round. I was not ready to do that, so, my solution was to extend the bumpstops using a stack of appropriately sized washers to limit the suspension uptravel. With a 0.5" extension, I lost approximately 1" of uptravel. This brought my total wheel travel 7.5" inches. Minus the 1" forced limit, this wheel travel is consistent w/ everything I found on the web regarding Kings vs Icon Extended Travel COs. Icon Extended Travel COs full travel was about 9.5", measured actual.

Eventually, I'll probably replace them with Wheeler's Bumpstops, but it's hard to justify $50/stop for a something that just sits there most of the time...

It was during this time that I noticed that the Total Chaos UCA's I had installed was hitting the coil buckets when the suspension cycled upward, which thoroughly pissed me off. For $800, I figured it would be direct bolt-on. I mean seriously? wtf? In any case, I took an angle grinder to the coil buckets where there were interference. Afterwards, I sprayed on some 3M to keep the rust at bay. All clear.
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
San Diego
MODIFICATION: Audio Overhaul

Replace the failing JBL 10-speaker system.

When I purchased the car, the front speakers were blown and the rears weren't working. I decided to overhaul the system rather than try to fix it. To be honest, the HU was looking dated and needed a face-lift. I had never done an audio overhaul before, but once I laid it all out, it went pretty seamlessly. the12Volt.com is a great resource when I was doing research for this modification.

DURATION: <4 hours

Pioneer SPH-DA120 Headunit
Alpine MRX-V70 4 +1 Amp
Metra Wire Harness Kit 70-8113
Amp Wiring Kit
Speaker Wire
Polk component speaks up front
Infinity Kappa 6-3/4 speakers for rear
10" Kicker Sub
DP Audio Rearview camera
Metra AX-USB 3.5mm/USB extension cable - 27"
6ft Monster HDMI
6ft MicroUSB cable

COST: ~$1.1k

This is a fairly extensive install with a lot of trim pieces being removed, so I'll give an overview and stay on the highlights (and I'm pic limited).

My approach for this install was to remove all JBL-related equipment (HU, front & rear amps, speakers) and re-use existing wiring for power, ignition, remote turn-on, and speaker hookups.

  • HU wire harness > Metra wire harness > OEM connector (Ignition, Power, Ground, Amp Remote Turn-On)
  • HU RCA Out -> Amp RCA In
  • Amp Audio Wire Out > OEM Audio Wire Out > F/R Speakers
  • Amp Audio Sub Out > Sub
The OEM front amp location in the dash (already removed), as well as, connector I tapped:
2017-04-13 09_22_33.jpg

The OEM rear amp location under center console (already removed), as well as, connector I tapped:
2017-04-14 16_48_312.jpg

To re-use the OEM speaker wire inputs, I had to know which OEM wire outputs from F/R amps drives the F/R L/R speakers. Searching around, I came across this:

The wires highlighted in the red box are the wires I tapped to output the signal from the new amplifier. With this information in hand, I could move forward with the actual install.

Wire routing schema for audio:

Wire routing schema for amplifier and remote turn-on:

Wire routing schema for sub and rear view camera:

I mounted my new amp in the cubby below the 2nd row seat:

Tapped wire for reverse signal:
Under the driver's side kick panel, just next to foot rest, there's a plethora of wiring. Pictured below is a red wire w/ black stripe and silver bands.

Rearview camera mounted on rear bumper face for maximum visibility:
If you mount a rear view camera like this, be advised to pick your spot carefully. Mount too low and you'll hit the steel rear reinforcement bar.
2017-04-13 12_03_03.jpg

There is a rubber grommet next to the Sub that allows the pass-through of the camera video cable to the outside/underside, as well as, power and ground to power the camera. I tapped the 12V socket next to the sub for power.
2017-04-13 12_04_16.jpg

For illumination, i tapped the green wire behind the dimmer knob.

Other misc mounting HU connections (USB x2, 3.5mm Aux, HDMI, etc.) are all routed down the center to inside the center console cubby to keep the cab clean and unspoiled. The removal of the rear amp created lots of room for clearance for such things. As a general rule, I generally cut into trim pieces that are easy/cheap to replace.
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
San Diego
MODIFICATION: Custom Cargo Box

Efficiently utilize a cargo system to neatly organize gear constantly in the car and implement a modular sleeping platform/cargo bed.

I tend to carry a fair amount of gear ranging from tools to hiking boots at all times and keeping them totes was less than ideal. Also, the cargo floor was not level and it was not very comfortable to sleep on, even w/ an inflatable sleeping pad. Instead of spending money on a weathertech mat, I decided to build a lined cargo box.

  • Minimum height
  • Modular
  • Removeable
I did not want to diminish the car's function to haul big things, so keeping it low was a priority. Also, I wanted to be able to sit up and not smack my head on the roofline. Evaluating the gear I carry, the resulting estimated max height of the cargo box ended up being 6.5".

Because I prioritized minimum height for the cargo box, I opted to build a extending platform when the 2nd row seats were in the up position. I could have built it w/ the seats folded down, but to keep it level, the box height would have been 9.25" and that was more than I wanted to sacrifice. Sure the additional space would be nice, but just not for me.

DURATION: 6-8hrs

Plywood panels 72"x48" (Qty. 4)
1x6 (Qty. 8)
26" Ball bearing drawer slides (Qty. 4)
Carpeting (as required)
Aluminum trim (Qty. 2)
Piano Hinge (Qty. 2)
Lid Support Hinge (Qty. 2)
T-nut Leg Level (Qty. 8)
Turnbuckles (Qty. 2)

COST: <$180

I'm not going into the nitty-gritty details since this is a pretty straighforward construction. My choice of design utilizes two columns of slideout drawers and top-loading cubbys. I chose a completely rectangular design so it makes removing the box easy (unbolt and slide out), as opposed to a shape that contours the interior. The box is bolted down in place using the factory tie downs.

Basic frame in place w/ cubbly lids loosely mocked up:
2016-03-12 17_37_16.jpg

Drawers installed:
2016-03-15 15_06_58.jpg

And finished:


Turnbuckles and shelf support:

I used the tie downs used for baby car seats in the box rear and steel tabs bolted thru the cargo rings for front securing it to body.

In addtion to the cargo box, I built extending pieces to convert the rear into a hauler/sleeping platform. It utilizes two pieces so it's modular and works w/ the 2nd row 60/40 split depending on the need.

Not to waste a square inch of space, the space under the platform can also be used for storage on trips.

The resulting sleeping platform ended up being 70"x48"x 6.25".
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
San Diego
MODIFICATION: Custom Roof Rack


A more usable, modular roof rack system.

I always hated that to use the roof rack, you constantly had to move those silly crossbars around to the proper spacing. And it was ALWAYS a PITA, especially if you forget to grease them regularly. Not to mention, there's not enough cross bars to hold multiple pieces of equipment, luggage, etc. if there were different lengths. And I was never comfortable with things resting on my roof.

I considered RhinoRack, FrontRunner, and Gobi systems, but in the end, they all added height, too expensive for what they were, and, personally, not too pleasing to the eye. I love the lines of the 1st gen.

Inspired by fellow tree hugger jimsmola, and T4R wheeler, the.skid.kid, I opted to fabricate a drop in rack that was low profile, cheap (relatively speaking), modular, and cheap (double for emphasis).

DURATION: 8-10 hours

1/4" thick aluminum bar stock 96" length (Qty. 2)
1"x2" 80/20 T-slotted aluminum extrusions 48" long (Qty. 13)
ABS Sheet (ASTM D4673, 1/2" Thickness, 12" Width, 12" Length) (Qty. 2)
Misc bolts

COST: <$450

The process is pretty simple. The 1/4" thick aluminum bar would serve as the rails for the 80/20 T-slotted aluminum extrusions. The rails would, then, mount to the OEM roof rack to transfer the load to the roof supports.


For my design, I wanted the maximum cross bar count to transfer the load front to back of the OEM roof rack. The end result was 13 cross bars, spaced 3" apart. That is 5" on center. This yielded a flat rack 62" long, 47" wide.


The attachment holes on the 80/20 extrusions are 1" on center and are not pre-tapped. I used an M6x1.0 tap to properly thread the extrusion.

Because I wanted the rack to sit within the lines of the OEM rack, I discovered thru measurement that the lowest part of rack would interfere w/ the roofline outer mold line. Two solutions available; 1) mount the drop-in roof rack outside the OEM roof rack lines, or 2) raise the OEM roof rack.

I opted to raise the roof rack using custom made 1/2" thick ABS spacers.


  1. Cut rack rails to desired length (i.e. 62" long)
  2. Measure out cross bar locations (i.e. 3" apart)
  3. Mark crossbar mounting holes on rail 1" apart
  4. Drill and countersink cross bar mounting holes (so the rails can sit flush with OEM rails)
  5. Tap the 80/20 extrusions mounting holes (for 13 cross bars, that's 52 holes)
  6. Assemble drop in roof rack
  7. Line up drop-in rack to OEM rails
  8. Mark mounting holes and drill
  9. Mount to OEM roof rack
  10. Trace/transfer OEM roof rack feet to ABS sheet
  11. Cut ABS sheet
  12. Drill pass thru holes on ABS sheet
  13. Assemble all together and mount (Will need longer OEM roof rack mounting bolts. Home Depot has them)



Because of the square nature of the cross bar, it generated a lot of wind noise. I used an old Yakima wind fairing to solve that problem.

Also, I knowingly sacrificed the pop up ability of the sunroof for maximum roof rack length.

I chose a T-slotted extrusion because I wanted to be able to use these drop-in T-nuts:


Using these little (pricey) fasteners, I can have a modular system depending on the season and gear I'm planning to carry. The result is that I'll have a lot of custom fabbed brackets mounted to the rack using these T-nuts.

The minimum clearance of this rack to the roofline OML is ~3/8" at it's lowest point. Analysis has shown that a 200lb point load dead smack on the center will cause that one bar to deflect no more than 1/8". Based on that, I'm good to go.

So far, 1) I've slept on my roof at my heaviest (190lbs), 2) carried about 300lbs of lumber, 3) carried 2 full size mattresses plus associated box springs.

Not too shabby, me thinks.
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
San Diego
MODIFICATION: Rear Window/Hatch Switch


Add functionality to the rear window independent of key in the ignition.

I've spent quite a bit of time sleeping in the back of my Sequoia. Whether it was to get away, or for work, the back has been a home away from home. Depending on the season, it can get pretty stuffy or cold at times and it was ALWAYS a pain to grab your keys, crawl over into the cockpit, insert key, roll up/down windows. Especially so when you want to get some rest.

DPDT Switch
16-22ga Wire

DURATION: 2-3 hours

COST: <$15

I created a write-up here.

I used this switch, just because it was a very nice switch. In reality, you could use any cheapy DPDT switch.

I opted to route my switch in the rear cargo area and mounted easily accessible from my sleeping platform location or outside the vehicle, for convenience. It is located on the trim piece forward of the driver's side rear wheel well. It's just behind the 2nd row passenger seat. That way, it's accessible, but out of the way so that it can't get bumped when I have to haul a ton of...whatever.


The switch I ordered came in pairs and I had thought to mount one on the passenger side, but that area is taken up by some ECS plumbing.
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
San Diego
I really liked the idea of keeping lightweight gear up above the headline and out of the way (blankets, jackets, pillows, kids toys, etc.) It freed room in the cab and made use of a space that's often wasted. It features a double flap w/ hook to keep things sandwiched and secure. The second cord helps support my fishing rods.

It's outside the view of the rear view mirror and does not obstruct my view, even when loaded.



COST: <$10


I had an old cargo net from my old Audi A4 lying around that was the perfect size when stretched taught. Couple that with some bungee cord (purchased by the inch) and hooks from ACE Hardware, this was a bang for the buck storage mod. Use the cord to create a tight frame for the cargo net and use the hooks to mount to the grab handles. Beats paying big $$$ for attic storage found on BlueRidge or similar.
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
San Diego
When it comes to Kings vs. Icon extended travel Coilovers, I love the ride on the King CO over the Icon COs. However, the Icons were MUCH easier to adjust, ride height-wise. Didn't have to pull anything apart to set the Icons. Jack up and adjust. To set the Kings, I had to remove the wheel, and unbolt the Total Choas UCAs to be able to turn the adjustment collar on the Kings. One and done, I guess...

Sitting pretty again.

Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
San Diego
About 20k miles ago, I overhauled the suspension. SDHQ CV boots and regreased axle, new LBJs, inner and outer tierods, swaybar links. About that time, I noticed I've been getting popping/clunking sounds for the last 15k.

I checked for binding in the coils, transmission clunk and mounts, ujoint play, CV Joint play, torn LBJ bushings. Pulled and re-assembled everything more than I'd care.

It turned out to be the sway bar links.

Whenever I tightened down the links after assembling the suspension, the vehicle was always jacked up, wheels off, and using a second jack to put the suspension in a "neutral" position.

As luck would have it, I forgot to tighten the links after adjusting my COs and the car had weight on wheels when I tightened the link nut.

Wouldn't you know it, the popping/clunking sound is all gone.

It's finally nice to have a quiet suspension, mine some grease on the UCAs.


Apr 3, 2017
Live in KC, play in AR
I loosened and re-torqued those at ride height too. The lower shock bolt is supposed to be torqued with the weight of the vehicle on it as well. I've seen front struts bent because of that. If that lower bushing is tightened in the air it twists when the trucks weight is on it and puts a lateral force on the strut. It either wears out the bushing prematurely or in extreme cases causes the shaft to bend after a big shock to the suspension (pot hole or alike). And for whatever reason, no one really spells that out in any install instructions.
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
San Diego
I loosened and re-torqued those at ride height too. The lower shock bolt is supposed to be torqued with the weight of the vehicle on it as well. I've seen front struts bent because of that. If that lower bushing is tightened in the air it twists when the trucks weight is on it and puts a lateral force on the strut. It either wears out the bushing prematurely or in extreme cases causes the shaft to bend after a big shock to the suspension (pot hole or alike). And for whatever reason, no one really spells that out in any install instructions.
Yep. Learned that bit if info when I did suspension work on my old Audi (RIP). The concept is the same, which was to reduce the preload applied to rubber bushings when torquing things down. That was what the second jack was "supposed" to be doing, but I guess it just didn't have enough extension to get the proper position.
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
San Diego
prob wouldn't phase those Kings :) but good for the bushings.
Probably not, lol. Not a problem anymore since I've picked up the pro-eagle 5-8" jack extension.

Love the Kings, but from a functionality/performance standpoint, it kind hurt losing that extra inch the Icon extended coilovers provided.

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