Another potential owner

KPack

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Jan 13, 2019
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Hi all,

Having 5 kids now, we are in the market for a Sequoia in order to take our whole family on outings in the mountains and towing a boat.

I'm not a beginner when it comes to 1st gen Tundras, having done a lot of work on my 2005 Tundra that came with some issues. If you're on Expedition Portal then you've probably seen me over there. I've dealt with most of the common issues for 1st gens on my Tundra so I know mostly what to look for on Sequoias (timing belt, radiator, manifolds, CV axles, LBJ's, etc).


Today I went and looked at a 2006 SR5, with 140,000 miles on it. The truck was in surprisingly good shape. Not a scratch or dent anywhere to be seen, and the interior was near perfect.

The good:
-Timing belt and water pump replaced at 115K miles with Aisin kit
-LBJ's replaced in 2007 (I'm assuming recall). No signs of grease around them now
-No exhaust tick
-UBJ's not leaking
-both CV axles appear new-ish, no grease to be seen and no tears
-All fluids appear new (PS fluid was perfect)
-Started in California, spent 9 yrs in WA
-Serviced every 5K miles at a dealership
-Smooth driving
-Smooth braking
-4HI and center diff lock works
-Towing package

The "meh"
-No leather. I kind of prefer leather with young kids because it's so much easier to clean up.
-No rear entertainment system. Again, with young kids this is a life-saver. Anyone have any experience installing aftermarket RES components?
-No sunroof. Not really a necessity, but in place of it the truck has a funky overhead console with like 5 glasses holders. Waste of space. Anyone removed this before?
-Mild rust on the frame. The frame rails look mostly good, the rear diff is moderate, and some other places are moderate. Overall it is better than my truck was. I will need to get under it, clean everything up, and paint it.
-Rear window actuator needs to be replaced. The dealership already has it ordered
-4LO doesn't engage. I suspect it has never been put in 4LO its entire life. Probably need to clean the actuator contacts.

A couple questions for you Sequoia guys
1.) Towing with stock rear springs? Do I need to be looking for airbags instead? I'll probably replace suspension with OME all the way around and uniball UCA's up front.
2.) Replacement options for rear subwoofer?
3.) Can I fit 16" wheels over the calipers or do the Sequoias have larger rotors than the Tundras? I prefer 16" for more rubber. I have a set of 285/75-16 Duratracs that I took off my Tundra.
4.) They are asking $8,991. Thoughts on the price for what I listed above? Tundra pricing was totally different than Sequoias. For a SR5 I would think that it should be a bit lower.

Thanks for the advice!

-Kevin
 

Dan.3

New Member
Aug 27, 2018
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I have an 03 Limited. Basically there were two sizes for brake calipers. On my limited, I have the larger caliper (231mm iirc) and I put my 99 4runner limited 16" rims on the sequoia with no issues.

Im in the Chicago area. To me the price sounds a little high given that the 4lo isnt engaging. Im guessing its at a dealer of some kind based on the price. Given the 4lo issue, should be able to talk them down fairly easily. Could be a simple fix. Wife had an 04 4runner that would be a real pain to engage sometimes if it wasnt cycles for quite a while. Tapping that actuator with a rubber mallet and cycling the 4lo for a while seemed to do the trick.

Honestly I would pay extra not to have the sunroof. Dont have to worry about leaks and its a quieter cabin at highway speeds.

I dont tow with mine. I guess airbags would depend on what you are towing. As far as the subwoofer, I wasnt aware that the 1st gens came with a factory sub. Atleast the 03 didnt.

I wouldnt worry about the RES either. Honestly its cheaper and much easier to get each kid their own amazon tablet (and headphones) and download a bunch of videos to it. They can play there own games and watch their own videos. We also have a bracket that attaches to a headrest and holds the tablet in between the driver and passenger seat. Simulates a RES. Just another option. I honestly dont see why people think they RES are worth the extra money even in new vehicles. Expensive to fix and get out dated fairly quickly.
 

KPack

New Member
Jan 13, 2019
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Thanks Dan for your input.

The truck is indeed at a dealership, which is both good and bad. I tend to trust them more over some guy on Craigslist. Plus they seem to be proactive about getting the truck in top shape on their own accord (replacing the faulty rear hatch window motor). I hope to talk them down on the 4LO problem, and the lack of leather/RES, etc. There are some Limiteds going for that much around here, so I brought that up as well.

Interesting to hear your thoughts on the sunroof. Part of me wanted one, but they don't open do they? A quieter vehicle on the freeway is always nice.

Originally I was dead-set on RES, but the more I've thought about it, the more I agree with you. I can easily enough pick up a couple of headrest monitors that have a DVD player built in, and have the ability to wirelessly stream audio. Simple.

Good to know about the 16" wheels as well. I'd hate to get rid of these tires that are still in great condition. Might as well use them. Of course to fit them I will need to lift front and rear, and replace the UCA's. All in good time.

-Kevin
 

GTV

Member
Dec 5, 2018
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I've seen your build on XP, nice truck.
I think you can do better than the Sequoia you're looking at. There's plenty for sale, so just narrow it down to trucks with the exact options that you want and watch for a while what comes up. I just bought my 05 SR5 4x4, cloth interior, no rear air, tow pkg, and sunroof (the exact options I wanted) for $3,750. It's high miles (259k) but it was a one owner and always dealer serviced. Body is really nice, interior is mint, original frame is 100% solid. Check in other parts of the country as well, here in the PNW they demand a higher price. I ended up finding mine just north of Chicago, I flew there and drove it 2,000 miles home.
 

KPack

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Jan 13, 2019
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GTV - Your's came from Chicago without rust? Wow, that is unexpected. The one I looked at had what I would call a standard amount of rust for this area (rear axle housing, weld seam lines, and a few hard-to-clean areas). Nothing I can't clean up, paint, and protect.

The more I look at the SR5's, the more I lean towards that rather than the Limited. I'm not sold on getting the factory rear air suspension. I think I would rather have springs so that I can easily change them out if I want to. If I need more support when towing I would just add Firestone bags. I can do without the factory RES. Leather would be nice, but not a deal-breaker. Some seat protectors would be fine for car seats, and then just make sure the rest of the kids aren't making a mess.

This one has one of the lower miles I've seen around this area for the past month or so. Almost everything else has ~200K on them, which is more than my truck. My truck unfortunately had lots of work that needed to be done, partly because of high miles and abuse. I'd really like to avoid that as much as possible with a Sequoia. My hope is that I can pick one up that requires no immediate maintenance. All that work on the truck made me gun-shy for higher miles. I'm not even considering trucks that have not had the timing belt done recently. No need to spend an extra $1000 right off the bat.

Short term it will be my wife's 2nd vehicle for when roads are bad with snow. We'll use it to take the whole family camping and boating. Eventually I will build it mildly for better off road travel (redo suspension, lift, UCA's, 33's, sliders, possibly front and rear bumpers, and some interior functional upgrades). The Tundra will remain the main trail vehicle as it's built for that and the paint is completely pinstriped.

-Kevin
 

GTV

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Dec 5, 2018
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Mine lived in southern Wisconsin, I bought it in Illinois. It has the common rusted seams on the rear doglegs, but that's it. I plan on touching up the frame paint when I do the suspension work. It was definitely well cared for.

The airbags are the same reason why I went for an SR5. The air suspension was still optional, so make sure it isn't there. On the other hand I've heard it's no big deal to swap to standard coils. So if the price is right, don't rule it out. Most all of the Sequoias in my area have leather, cloth seems to be harder to find on the 05+. Non sunroof models aren't as common, that's a good thing because that overhead console is the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

If you find a nice truck with a complete service history don't worry so much about the mileage. As you know, if maintained these things will go forever. I haven't done a timing belt yet myself (I had my Tundra done by a friend who was a dealer tech), but I will do it myself in another 30-40k. Costs $200 (genuine Toyota parts) and a day of your labor.

I'm still getting my truck dialed in before I start modifying it. I started a thread here but the lack of activity on this forum (and most forums in general these days) isn't inspiring me to keep it updated.
https://sequoia-forums.com/threads/here-we-go.87429/
 

Dan.3

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Aug 27, 2018
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I paid about $5700 for my 03 limited about a year ago in the chicago area. Decent maintenance records. Frame has surface rust but solid. No rust in the rear passenger door wells. It had 180k miles. Had a set of of Michelin defender LTX tires on that had about 80% tread left. I did a tune up with it and threw in NGK spark plugs that are used in land cruisers. I run 93 in it since I dont pay for gas (i use it as a company car). Seems to run pull stronger then if I run it on 87 and mpgs are a little better too.

The sun roof fully opens on these. But I have the shade closed most of the time due to the slight whistling on the highway. I have a sunroof on my 99 4runner that I have to touch of with silicone on the weather stripping seems every now and then. Plus I keep up on making sure the chain is lubed. Otherwise it can brake at the worst time and they are a pain to repair. My wife had an 04 4runner sr5 without the sunroof. It was quiet!
 

KPack

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Jan 13, 2019
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Prices around here aren't anywhere near what you guys were able to get in Chicago. Of course it was the same for double cab Tundras when I was looking for mine. Almost all of them were going for $13-15K. I've broadened my search to Idaho and Oregon and it's about the same there. Any further than that is not worth it to me because I don't have the time to spend driving back across multiple states. I'd rather pay a bit more stay local if possible.

I'll be looking at the 06 SR5 again tomorrow to dig a little deeper. I'll spend a bit more time examining the underframe and will go through the electronics thoroughly. I will also look into the 4LO issue again....I read through the owner's manual and surprisingly it is a different process to activate 4LO than it is for a Tundra. For the Tundra the truck must be in 4HI first, and in neutral. For the Sequoia it looks like you just press the 4LO button without being in 4HI.

I'm going to take another look at it tomorrow. Depending on what I find and if they will be flexible on price, I may come home with it. If not then I will continue my search.
 

KPack

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Jan 13, 2019
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You're in Washington? Whereabouts? I'm in Shoreline.
Ellensburg. Middle of the state.


Well, unfortunately the dealership called yesterday and said that someone else came in and bought the Sequoia last night after only being on the lot for a day (they had to pull it out of the shop when I went to look at it....replacing fluids and broken rear window actuator). We were going to buy it today. I'm a little bummed because it was a very nice truck in near-perfect condition. I guess I'll be keeping my eyes open for another good one to pop up!
 

GTV

Member
Dec 5, 2018
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Ahh yeah, I've driven through Ellensburg a few times.

Be patient, there's plenty out there.