2002 Limited 4WD

Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
311
144
43
San Diego
#61
MODIFICATION: Maxtrax II Mounting Brackets

GOAL:
Mount the traction boards securely and unobtrusively.

PURPOSE:
Custom roof rack requires custom brackets. I didn't want those dirty ass things inside my cab, as well. Additionally, I didn't want to pay $50 for something like Rhino Rack's offering on top of the cost of the Maxtrax mounting pins. And, it had to be loooooooow profile. That's a lot of requirements.

MATERIALS:
Maxtrax Mounting Pins
Aluminum strap 1.5"x48"
M4x0.7 bolts x16
80/20, Inc. 10-series T-nuts

DURATION: 2 hours

COST: $45

HOW-TO:
Thanks to my rack design, making custom brackets is easy, but it did take some math.

Some notes:
Required Rack Length: 31-7/8"
Maxtrax Inboard Pin-to-Pin Length: 34-15/16"
Pin base diameter: 1"
Mounting pin diameter: 5/8"
Crossbar length: 2"

To make all the brackets the same dimensions, the measurements above yielded a bracket length ~6" long.

Nothing to it really:
  1. Cut metal strap ~6" long.
  2. Drill mounting pin hole using drill press
  3. Drill crossbar mounting hole using drill press
  4. Paint and clear coat.
But before I go thru the trouble of shaping and finishing metal, a proof of concept (using scraps) would be nice to make sure the intended design works out.

IMG_20171010_154227092_HDR.jpg

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It fits! And nice and low too!
IMG_20171010_154106204.jpg

With the concept working, I shaped and finished the following brackets:

IMG_20171019_114259.jpg

IMG_20171019_114354.jpg
 
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Oct 10, 2017
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#63
For your roof rack are the t-slot nuts already loaded in there or do you have to take off each bar and load them in?

EDIT: My bad again. Reading comprehension not with me today. Drop in t-slot nuts. Genius. What other mounts do you have planned for your roof rack?
 

Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
311
144
43
San Diego
#64
For your roof rack are the t-slot nuts already loaded in there or do you have to take off each bar and load them in?

EDIT: My bad again. Reading comprehension not with me today. Drop in t-slot nuts. Genius. What other mounts do you have planned for your roof rack?
- Maybe a hi lift mount, if I decide to get one.
- Pelican case bracket for recovery gear.
- Ringed tie downs for...whatever.

I just build them as I need them.
 

Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
311
144
43
San Diego
#65
MODIFICATION: Auxilary Lighting (Round 3)

GOAL:

Improve nighttime visibility.

PURPOSE:
Shoot some more light to the L/R.

MATERIALS:
Rago Fabrication Tundra Ditch Light Brackets
Rigid Industries Dually Flood Lights

DURATION: 1 hour

COST: $200

HOW-TO:
I ordered this ditch light kit thru Rago fab "Blacktober" sale. The brackets do come instructions about installation and their site even has YouTube vids for reference. All in all, it was very straighforward.

To summarize, the brackets mount to the hood and has plenty of clearance from the cowling and windshield when open. I wired the pods in-line with the front lightbar on an indiviual relay. I set it up so that the pods can easily be disconnected and removed when it is not being used. I don't really need them on all the time and, personally, I find them obnoxious daily driving.

Personal note: Having these lights shine on my hood just reinforced the notion of staying away from roof-mounted light bars/pods. Even with just these pods, the light off the hood was annoying.

IMG_20171019_114501.jpg

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You do have to trim the cowling (and this is noted in the instructions) and below is the end result. I got lazy and trimmed the cowling (using a knife and dremmel tool) while it was on the vehicle. You can't even see it anyway...

IMG_20171019_114623.jpg

2017-11-02 07_50_41.jpg
 
Last edited:
Likes: mulze42

Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
311
144
43
San Diego
#66
MODIFICATION: Barrier Net

GOAL:
Create a barrier as a precaution for wayward projectiles coming from the rear.

PURPOSE:
Despite the fact that I, generally, go out exploring alone, I do carry a reasonable amount of recovery gear just in case. As a result, I've been very concerned about all the things that can go wrong during a recovery operation. Broken whatever flying through the air. It forced me to take a good, hard look at improving driver/passenger safety and survivability. After reading about a guy killed by a broken shackle flying from the rear, I knew I needed a barrier net, but none exist for the Sequoia...

MATERIALS:
Truck tailgate net (17" x 54") working 3k lbf/breaking 6k lbf
Cam buckle straps (qty. 4)
Grommets
D-Ring anchors (Qty. 2)

DURATION: 2 hours

COST: $40

HOW-TO:
Because of the way the 2nd row seats fold, the left over opening above the folded seats, coincidentally, aligns with a typical truck tailgate dimension. I figured if a tailgate net is strong enough to take the load of whatever, it certainly will do the job as a barrier. Looking over the dimensions and material of a tailgate net and comparing it to more expensive units offered up by companies such as Raingler, I'm confident that it'll work. The nylon straps and opening are similar, as well.

Starting with the truck net, I added steel grommets on all for corners that would serve as the tie-down points, while the cam buckle straps would ensure the barrier stays taught. The upper mounts to the grab handles .

IMG_20171105_125601120.jpg

The lower mounts attach to D-rings I added to the seat rails.

IMG_20171105_125609542.jpg

I notched the trim pieces to keep an "OEM" look about it.

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With the seats folded up and net in place, it provides better protection than just open space. I can even hang gear on it, if needed. Additional storage is a added benefit.

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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
311
144
43
San Diego
#67
MODIFICATION: Ambient Lighting

GOAL:

Improve in-cab nighttime visibility.

PURPOSE:
One of the features I really miss from my old Audi A4 was the factory overhead ambient lighting. It was an illumination method that allowed me to see the center console at night without having to turn on the map lights and ruin my night vision.

MATERIALS:
Oznium 6mm Red LED

DURATION: 20min.

COST: $10

HOW-TO:
There was a spot perfect for the addition of the LED.

IMG_20171107_154407909.jpg

Installation was as simple:
  1. Removing the overhead console
  2. Drill a hole for the LED
  3. Tapping wiring for power/ground
  4. Re-install

To remove the overhead console, open the sunglass holder, remove the pictured screws, and pull down gently. After the screws are removed, it's held in by clips.
IMG_20171107_154926889.jpg

Here is where I drilled a hold for the LED. Fortunately enough, the spot I drill had a screw and mount meant to hold the sunroof and homelink controls together. Even without that screw, the tab from the homelink kept the sunroof controls in place w/o the screw.
IMG_20171107_154421557.jpg

For power, I tapped a pink wire (illumination wire) and a black wire for ground.
IMG_20171107_154450121.jpg

Finished.
IMG_20171107_155031280_HDR.jpg

The LED is not flush mounted because it is obnoxiously bright and distracting at night while driving.

The way it's mounted now, it provides nice lighting, but not obtrusive to the the driver and/or passengers.
 
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
311
144
43
San Diego
#68
MODIFICATION: CB Radio

GOAL:

Improve communication capability.

PURPOSE:
You can't always rely on your cell phone to save you. Having an alternative mode of communication is always a good thing.

MATERIALS:
Uniden 520XL CB Radio
Firestik II 5ft. Antenna

DURATION: 30min.

COST: $50

HOW-TO:
I kept the install simple. The CB radio wired directly to the distribution block and is "hot" independent of ignition.

I mounted the Uniden 520XL on the center console just next to my leg and routed the wire to the back passenger side.

IMG_20171119_144042210_HDR.jpg
 
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
311
144
43
San Diego
#69
MODIFICATION: Front/Rear Bumpers

GOAL:

Improve approach/departure angles, help protect my investment, and make the rig look more badass.

SUMMARY:
I've never been a fan of plate bumpers. For what I do, plate is overkill, heavy, and bulky. Not saying they don't look good, because some do look sweet (i.e. BruteforceFab), but just not for me. The only tube offering was made by Addicted Offroad for Tundras, but I really wasn't a fan of the lines of that bumper. As with everything else, custom was the way to go. With the new bumpers, the vehicle grew +3", excluding the length of the spare, which, I think, is pretty good.

Requirements:
Front
  • Integrated winch plate
  • Shackle receiver
  • Tabs for light pods/bar
  • Integrated Hi-Lift mount
  • Heavy Duty Skid Plate
  • Minimum Profile
Rear
  • Dual Swingouts for Spare and Jerry Can
  • 2" Hitch receiver
  • CB Mount
  • Minumum Profile
These two rigs served as inspiration for the design I had in mind:

RSO T4R
IMG_20180108_113836.jpg

Dirtco T4R
IMG_20180108_113754.jpg

The reason why I opted to have the Hi-Lift up front was for accessibility and better weight distrubtion front and rear. I figured this will help to keep the center-of-gravity from shifting too far back and keep close to neutral as possible.

With the removal of the OEM bumper, I lost my OEM fogs with it. As a result, I upgraded to Rigid Industries D-Series fog lights. I wired them to the fog light button I added and the D2 driving lights to the factory system using existing factory harnesses.

Integrated into the bumper is a ComeUp Seal Gen2 12.5RS winch with synthetic line mated with a Factor55 Flat link for extra badassery.

IMG_20180108_110154.jpg

The reason for dual swing outs is simply because I did not want a 50+" swing arm sticking out while in the open position. I wanted to keep the install tight. This rig a daily driver and will see tight stalls at a mall or shopping center. I would have preferred to pass on the swing outs, but the spare doesn't fit in the OEM location, would have hung down way too low, and I didn't want to sacrifice my cargo space to house the spare inside the cab. No way I'm going throw a 100lb spare to/from the roof. Since I have one arm already, I thought, "why not make use of another arm?" In hindsight, I wish I'd gone with a three-can holder. One can is not enough for long excursions and there is just enough room for three while sacrificing additional 2" on the rear profile.

IMG_20180118_214501.jpg

IMG_20180108_120128.jpg
 
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
311
144
43
San Diego
#70
MODIFICATION: Plano Case Rooftop Storage

GOAL:

Moar storage!

PURPOSE:
Add a low profile, easy-to-access storage, mainly for recovery gear.

MATERIALS:
Plano All Weather Tactical Gun Case - 36"
Thule Rack Mounting Kit

DURATION: 30min.

COST: $55

HOW-TO:
Amazon had a Plano gun case I had saved on "sale" so I thought, why not? It was a nice low-profile, tried-and-true storage solution.

In my last trip out to the desert, I got stuck. And I learned that opening the swingouts, then hatch, then crawling into the cab to haul out the recovery gear, then close everything up was a pain.

So, up on the roof they go next to the Maxtrax.

To mount it "cleanly" and securely, I used some left over Thule mounting feet from a snowboard rack I modified to secure it onto the rack. Drilled holes, passed the M6x1.0 bolts through, tighten, and done.

The same mounting hardware can be purchased through etrailer.com.

IMG_20180116_103222.jpg

IMG_20180116_103157.jpg
 
Last edited:
Likes: mulze42

Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
311
144
43
San Diego
#71
MODIFICATION: Uniden Dash Cam

GOAL:

Add extra insurance and some undeniable accountability.

PURPOSE:
Having an impartial witness to bad driver shenanigans is always a plus. Seeing that a 2.2K mile road trip was on the horizon, having some extra insurance was not a bad thing.

MATERIALS:
Uniden DCAM Dash Cam
iSaddle Adhesive Windshield Cam Mount
AUTO-VOX Hardwire Kit with Mini-Fuse Adaptor

DURATION: 30min.

COST: $60

HOW-TO:
Picked up the DCAM on a black friday sale online. The hardwire kit is run tucked into the roofline down the a-pillar and the inline fuse is jammed into the power outlet fuse.

So far, it's a great little camera. It's configured to automatically turn on and start recording on ignition accessories on and automatically shuts down on ignition off.

It did not fail to record during my 2.2k mile road trip. The resolution is not that great, but it does the job of capturing traffic. Has a fairly wide FOV and captured everything in front of me.

I did have to modify the ball mount to add some extra adjustbility so that the camera wasn't angled downward relative to its position on the windshield.

IMG_20180115_140831.jpg

IMG_20180108_124734.jpg
 
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Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
311
144
43
San Diego
#75
MODIFICATION: Relay Bus Version 2

GOAL:

Add more accessories and keep the wiring clean.

PURPOSE:
The addition of lighting quickly turned my wiring paradise to a collection of spagetti crap that my anal retentive nature just could not accept. Adding new circuits was easy, in theory, but the actuality of it was a pain. A revision was needed.

DURATION: <3 hours

MATERIALS:
HELLA H84988011 7-Way Mini Relay Box Kit (qty. 2)
5-Pin Mini relays (qty. 10)
Misc 12, 6, 4-pin connectors

COST: ~$120

HOW-TO:
I paid a premium and opted to use two 7-relay mini relay buses since space is a premium and I wanted to keep the install tight.

Before diving into it, I planned ahead and put together a pin out diagram:

IMG_20180206_135826.jpg

The idea was to make adding new circuits stupid easy and the relay buses removable for troubleshooting and maintenance, hence the need for multiple connectors. The new wiring schema would be conducive to future growth.

Wire grouping for each specific connector was determined by the direction a specific wire was going to be routed.

The end result of the newly implemented electrical framework is that all my existing accessories are collected in one spot using a total of 10 of 14 relay positions, as opposed to, the original 5 relays in the old bus holder and the rest made to fit everywhere on the vehicle. Additionally, I built in a total of 7 available pre-wired slots for new accessories inside the cab (3 independent & 4 switched with relays). This gives me the option of adding alley lights, rock lights, HAM, etc. with ease.

IMG_20180206_135742.jpg

The process is:
  • Add switch (somewhere)
  • Plug in relay
  • Add accessory to appropriate pin out on connector
  • Ground accessory
  • Add fuse
  • Gravy
 
Last edited:
Likes: mulze42
Oct 10, 2017
150
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#76
@Sal R. So I would like to mimic your roof rack as I've come to the conclusion this method is completely the way to go. If you don't mind me asking what what was the width of the 1/4" x 96" aluminum flat bar and where did you source it from?
 

Sal R.

Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
311
144
43
San Diego
#78
@Sal R. So I would like to mimic your roof rack as I've come to the conclusion this method is completely the way to go. If you don't mind me asking what what was the width of the 1/4" x 96" aluminum flat bar and where did you source it from?
2" wide sourced a local metal distributor. It can also be had at places like home depot or Lowe's.
 
Oct 10, 2017
150
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#80
2" wide sourced a local metal distributor. It can also be had at places like home depot or Lowe's.
Great! Thank you very much. I actually have 2" on my BOM from trying to deduct from your pics. I'll be sourcing from McMaster Carr I think and then using the eBay 8020 store for the 48" lengths. Thank you very much.