2002 Sequoia Limited 4WD

Sal R.

Active member
MODIFICATION: Dobinson Rear Coil Springs

Upgrade to a better spring that can handle the added load, but minimize rear lift.

My build is all about being low slung and minimizing lift. Up until recently, there were no Sequoia-specific springs. Had to "borrow" from the Land Cruiser 100-series crowd. Thankfully, Dobinson stepped up and created an offering.

Dobinson Rear Coil Springs C59-345 (425mm free height, 17mm wire, 212 lb/in spring rate)

DURATION: 2 hours

COST: $195

Lots of documentation on this already.

  1. Jack up car and put on stands supported at the frame
  2. Support axle using jack
  3. Remove bolt from lower shocks and remove shocks from pin at the axle point
  4. Lower jack to droop the axle
  5. Replace springs
The Dobinson coils have a "similar" free height as the OEM springs, but has thicker wire and a higher spring rate to carry an additional load. Dobinson advertises a 1.75" lift.

The following are my results ground to fender through wheel centerline (34s@38psi measured actual):

Before: 37-1/8"
After: 38"

Configuration is in daily driver mode. Everyday-carry gear, armor, and spare. Mission accomplished!

This netted almost an inch of lift. It's a good alternative for folks looking to level their ride.

Dobinson vs. OEM

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Sal R.

Active member
MODIFICATION: Califab Rear Upper and Lower Control Arms

Reinforce the rear control arms and improve articulation.

I've been lucky that I haven't bent my lower arms yet over rocks I could not bypass. So when I saw these arms become available for the Sequoia, I jumped at the chance despite that fact that I probably should be fixing other ****.

Califab rear upper and lower controls arms
M14 washers (qty. 15)

DURATION: 3 hours

COST: $525

The remove and replace is straightforward.
  1. Jack up car and put on stands supported at the frame
  2. Support axle using jack
  3. Disconnect abs wire supports on DS/PS upper control arm
  4. Disconnect brake line support bracket from DS upper control arm
  5. Disconnect parking brake brackets from DS/PS lower control arm
  6. Move through each arm and remove and replace
Upper control arm:

Lower control arm:

I set the Califab arm lengths to OEM lengths. My alignment was good and tires were wearing out evenly. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

To complete the install of the Califab arms, you need some M14 washers to act as shims since the heim joints are not as wide as OEM.

Upper arm shims:

Lower arm shims:


2018-04-20 11_52_36.jpg

As you can see, the zerk fittings are faced down and exposed.

As a result, rear lower control arm skids just jumped up in my priority list.
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Sal R.

Active member
TECH: Dial in the Rear Suspension

Check clearances for stuffing 34s in the rear, size the bumpstops, and take measurements for spring/shock applications.

I have had the Bilstein 5100s, PN: 33-187174, for a few years now. Considering they were for lifted FJ Cruisers, I've often questioned they're actual performance considering it was a popular mod and everyone says that "it's all good."

Overall, I've never been happy with the Bilsteins and I've pondered on what to get, but with no measurements, it's hard to find a shock that could possibly work.

Add in the fact that I've never checked clearances with the 34s in the rear, it was time to get off my laurels (finally) and stamp this out.

DURATION: 2 hours

The idea is to cycle the rear suspension from full stuff to the bumpstops to max droop and measure the required spring and shock lengths.

I, basically,...
  1. Remove the rear coils
  2. Unbolted the shock from the lower pin
  3. Cycle the suspension using jack
Stuffed on bumpstops:


At max droop:

With the Califab arms installed, I found that the downtravel limiting component was the panhard bar. To a lesser extent, the parking brake cable. Not much extra slack there.

For springs, all measurements are from the bottom of the rubber isolator to the perch on the axle.

For shocks, all measurements are from the metal mount surface to the pin centerline on the axle.

At bump:
Compressed Spring length: 7-3/8"
Compressed Shock length: 17-5/8"

Max droop:
Extended Spring length: 20-3/8"
Extended Shock length: 29-3/4"

OEM/Dobinson rear coils:
Extended Shock length: 26-1/2"

As a result of this test, it confrmed my suspicion that the 5100s are completely inadequate as a shock replacement. Even when using OEM/Dobinson rear springs, the 33-187174 5100 shock is too short and is constantly using up the entirety of its length long before the OEM springs fully extend.

Thankfully, the bumpstops do not need to be modified for the 34s (295/70r18). There is plenty of clearance to stuff 35s in the wheel well with margin using OEM bumpstops. One less thing to worry about.

In short, to maximize articulation, in theory, you need a spring 20-3/8" tall that can collapse to 7-3/8" mated with a shock that has a compressed length of 17-5/8" and extended length of 29-3/4". A linear spring probably could achieve that. A progressive spring might not, especially one that tall.

Probably will need the Califab links to achieve these numbers since the OEM rubber bushings tend to bind and limit articulation, much like what the OEM panhard is doing at the moment. You could probably achieve another couple of inches with a heim'ed and polyurethane panhard bar...
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Sal R.

Active member
TL;DR 5100 rear shocks, or any FJ Cruiser shock, are not at all "good" for the Sequoia. And shame on you if you still recommend them after seeing this post.

So, just HOW BAD are FJ 5100 shocks (33-187174) on Sequoias?

I'm glad you asked because here's some tech for you.

Dobinson coil length: 16.7"
Dobinson installed coil length: 11"

5100 extended length: 23.5"
5100 installed length: 21.375" (measured from upper mounting surface to eye center)

When the suspension cycles, the spring can potentially extend +5.7". Meanwhile, the 5100 can only extend +2.125".

In an OEM/Dobinson application, the 5100 is at 91% of its spec length.

What this means for you OME 286x users with >2" of lift is that your 5100 is fully extended all the time, even sitting in a parking lot.
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