2002 Sequoia Limited 4WD

Sal R.

Active member
MODIFICATION: WaterPORT

GOAL:
Move the WaterPORT from the roof rack.

PURPOSE:
The WaterPORT is great to have. Not only for trips, but it's great washing off the beach days, and cooling off after hikes and runs, as well. But it's not very convinient being on the roof and having to break it down when I'm not using it. I never liked keeping it up there all the time because it added unnecessary height. I wanted a permanent solution that wasn't so obtrusive.

DURATION: 1 hour

MATERIALS:
WaterPORT
Large QuickFist clamps x2
Misc nuts and bolts

COST: $110

HOW-TO:
I used to carry my waterport on the roof rack and it was held in place using the large QuickFist clamps.

Since I don't carry a spare anymore under the car, it looked like a great spot to mount the WaterPORT. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I opted to keep using the QF clamps. I kept the install simple, accessible, removable, and portable.

I used the existing crossmember that held the spare to mount the clamps to. I removed the lifting mechanism (held in place using 4 12mm bolts), drill 6 holes, mount the QF clamps, mount the WaterPORT. Thankfully, it doesn't hang too low nor does it impact my departure angle...I think.

It's an ideal spot for 30lbs of gear to keep the vehicle CG low.

And I'm all about keep it low.

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The fill/output port is easily accessible under the car. The shrader valve has plenty clearance from the muffler. If needed, I can just undo the clamps and remove the WaterPORT.

I do need to find a capping solution for the fill/output port to help keep debris and the elements out of it.
 
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Sal R.

Active member
TECH: Suspension Geometry, Alignment Specs, and Shakedown Run

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Alignment and Suspension Tech:
With summit just a little over a week away, I thought that it was time to shake this booty around and see what falls off *crosses fingers*.

First off, my alignment specs and some suspension geometry tech.

Before I put the Solo gear on my Sequoia, I was using (keyword search) DJs Specs for my alignment specs. And they were great. My car tracked straight, tires wore evenly, and steering control was predictable.

With the Solo gear, not so much. I mentioned before that the Solo gear changes the suspension dynamics. Because of the way the outer heim steering mounts to the lower uniball housing, the point where the rod reacts to the joint is physically lower compared to OEM. This means that the length of the steering arm from the steering rack mount to the ball joint housing mount is longer by ~3/8" comparing Solo to OEM.

I'm not going to bore you with the math and geometry, but the added length of the steering rod makes a huge difference when the suspension loads/unloads, thus affecting steering/tracking. The suspension doesn't follow a completely up/down motion. It actually moves in an arc. What this means is that when the suspension moves up/down, the tires toe in/out as the steering arm moves radially. The added length in the steering rod results in an additional +/- 4deg of toe in/out when the suspension cycles over OEM.

To compensate for this change, I had to do a few things.

I changed the lift with an additional 5/8" of pre-load bring my lift to ~1-3/4". This puts my suspension to favor more uptravel and less downtravel. That way, the amount the suspension can toe out when it cycles downward is minimized.

Next, the alignment needed to be dialed in. This took trial and error. Thankfully, the shop I had do the job was super cool about it.

Alignment Specs:
Camber: L<-0.1> R<0.0> Cross <-0.2>
Caster: L<2.3> R<3.1> Cross <-0.8>
Toe: L<0.05> R<0.00> Cross<0.05>

This gave me back the driveability and predictably I needed up to 75mph. Tracks straight, no shimmy, and only "normal" steering corrections.

For the chagrins of it, I tried highway driving w/o front swaybar. That's a no go, especially on paved backroads with lots of twisties. All the added weight requires the front swaybar for controlability purposes.

Shakedown Run:
After sorting this whole deal out, it was time to take her out. I didn't want summit to be the first road trip since the rebuild and going out without really knowing if I missed anything just seemed like a bad idea. Thankfully, she did great. I didn't beat on her, but I wasn't gentle either. I made sure to bottom out the suspension when I could and tires were fully inflated to street pressure. This way, maximum shock loads were experienced.

Washboards were a breeze, but the front shocks faded quickly compared to the rear. The rear shocks held up great and stayed controlled. It reinforced the notion that the added weight in the suspension, front bumper, winch, and gear had exceeded the 2.5 coilover shock performance range. It's just not equipped to handle all the additional weight. So that will need addressing. Despite that, the fronts barely kept up.

I thought I heard some rubbing on the passenger side, but could not find wear marks. I hope I don't have to re-tub that side.

My impressions off-road can be summed up in one word. This kit is awesome. Steering response was tight. No slop. Turns on a dime. I am glad I took the time to dial this all in. The rear setup also held up great. My rear cargo was carrying extra weight to simulate camping gear and coolers, etc. The Dobinson shocks soaked up everything I threw at it.

All in all, she's ready for Sequoia Summit.

I had planned to commemorate the moment with a summit golden hour photo shoot, but was denied. Oh well...

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Sal R.

Active member
MODIFICATION: Dual Redundant Rear Lower Control Arm Bolts (Removed)

GOAL:
Add some dual redundancy to the rear control arm bolting schema.

PURPOSE:
Sequoia Summit in Colorado was a blast. I wish I could say it went off without a hitch.

At the last leg coming down from Imogene Pass, the Sequoia developed a rattling/clanking sound that I knew was not right. So, I signaled the trail lead and pulled over at the next safest spot. Inspection of the undercarriage revealed that 2 of 8 rear control arm mounting bolts had lost their retaining nuts and backed themselves out halfway from the frame-side mounting bracket. Sorry, I don't have pics, so you'll have to use your imagination. Needless to say, loss of any one bolt will result in a catastrophic failure.

With a little preparedness and a lot of luck, I was saved the heartache of leaving her on the mountain since replacement parts are hard to come by late in the day on a Sunday.

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Now I know what you are going to say, but I am 100% sure I torqued and re-torqued those bolts to spec when I installed the Califab arms, but they were loosening themselves out. I was re-torquing down those bolts all 1000 miles back home to California using a 24" breaker bar with a 1/2 drive. No bueno.

DURATION: 1 hour

MATERIALS:
4-1/2" long 1/2" Grade 8 bolts (qty. 4)
4" long 1/2" Grade 8 bolts (qty. 4)
Grade 8 Nylock nuts (qty. 8)
Grade 8 Washers (qty. 16)
1/8" Hitch Pin (qty. 8)

COST: $40

HOW-TO:
I modified each bolt to accept a hitch pin.

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Even if by some chance the nut loosens, the pin will prevent complete loss. No way I'm gonna suffer another failure like one at Summit.

I used an extended length bolt to build in some future growth when I get off my duff and actually make some LCA skid plates to protect the Johnny Joints.

EDIT: The 0.010" difference in bolt diameter really causes the control arm mounts to squeak. If I can't live with it, I'm going to need another solution.

EDIT2: I pulled the bolts. The squeaking was super annoying. It was the most prominent on the passenger rear upper and lower arms where there bolts backed out on the trail. The loose bolt enlarged the hole and added some play to the mount. Since the 1/2" grade 8 bolt is 0.010" smaller in diameter, it added some already existing play in the control arm. I don't want to risk fracturing the bolt due to fatigue. Going to try and find another solution.
 
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obchristo

New member
What an amazingly detailed series of write ups! I just went from a 97 4Runner to an 05 Sequoia and you have provided plenty of inspiration and solutions to challenges I have begun to notice. Thank you so much!
 

bkg

Explorer
I would consider flipping the hitch pins to cotter pins... I’ve had hitch pins come off of implements due to vibration/encouragement from external items (brush, etc).
 

Sal R.

Active member
What an amazingly detailed series of write ups! I just went from a 97 4Runner to an 05 Sequoia and you have provided plenty of inspiration and solutions to challenges I have begun to notice. Thank you so much!
Thanks for taking the time to read through it all.

I would consider flipping the hitch pins to cotter pins... I’ve had hitch pins come off of implements due to vibration/encouragement from external items (brush, etc).
That's a real good point. Will update, for sure.
 

ExplorerTom

Explorer
I would consider flipping the hitch pins to cotter pins... I’ve had hitch pins come off of implements due to vibration/encouragement from external items (brush, etc).
What if you just pushed the hitch pins so the bolt was in the "big loop" of the pin? Cotter pin would still probably work better though.
 

Sal R.

Active member
What if you just pushed the hitch pins so the bolt was in the "big loop" of the pin? Cotter pin would still probably work better though.
Since the goal is safety and I probably won't be removing these bolts frequently, cotter pins make more sense from a redundancy standpoint.
 

Sal R.

Active member
MODIFICATION: ScanGauge II

GOAL:
Monitor coolant and transmission temperature.

PURPOSE:
During summit, my coolant threw itself up all over my clean engine bay. One replacement radiator cap later, all was well.

However, this incident really made paranoid about loosing coolant suddenly and overheating during the drive back to CA. Better situational awareness would be nice.

DURATION: 1 hour

MATERIALS:
ScanGauge II
Velcro
Misc nuts and bolts

COST: $150

HOW-TO:
I mounted my ScanGauge on my kick panel. I wanted it out of the way, but still visible from the driver's seat.
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Out of the box, the ScanGauge II measured coolant temperature (WT), but it did not measure transmission temperature for my MY2002 Sequoia.

With the help of a fellow Sequoia owner, the following code was provided for the X-Gauge feature of the ScanGauge II to allow monitoring transmission temps:
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I mounted the ScanGauge on a bracket that's bolted onto the kick-panel. The ScanGauge is held in place using 3M outdoor Velcro. The reason for this was I wanted the capability to pull the display closer to me for scanning codes, entering trip data, etc. Keeping it hard-mounted would make the process annoying.

I routed the wiring thru the fusebox panel loosely coiled.
 
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Sal R.

Active member
GOAL: Organize Recovery Gear and Tools

SUMMARY:
Having all my recovery gear in the Plano case on the roof worked out well. However, it was cumbersome to setup and breakdown between trips and I didn't like added weight up high. Not to mention that I've nicked my roof moving gear up and down.

At the same, if I could store the Plano case in the cab, it was unruly to take in/out. With all the gear inside, it was easily 50+ lbs. At 36" in length, it didn't pack well, either.

I wanted something that packed better and was easier to manipulate.

Scouting Home Depot, I came across these Rigid modular tool boxes. Sturdy and weatherproof. I did have to remove the lid lining to maximize storage volume, but it really works out. It can sit nestled behind my cooler next to some storage boxes.

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In a similar note, keeping my tools loose in a toolbox was less than ideal. It made finding the right tool annoying, especially while on a trail.

Doing a bit of searching, I settled on the Bucketboss roll up tool bag with a separate wrench roll. I had considered the Atlas roll up tool bag, but I didn't like the fact the the wrench roll was integrated and on the backside of the bag. Accessing the wrenches after the bag was deployed meant closing up all the pouches and flipping over the bag. Didn't like that idea. I wanted all tools accessible once unpacked.

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ExplorerTom

Explorer
That looks like a great tool roll. I have this one in my Explorer:
https://adventuretoolcompany.com/product/shoproll-tool-roll
It's nice, but I think I like the Bucketboss where it has more zipper pouches- the ATC roll only has one.

I need to replace the plastic box that the tools came in that are in my Expedition. I was about to go with a generic bag, but you do have a good point: digging through it to find something could suck.
 

Kpack

Adventurer
I'd forgotten about the BucketBoss tool roll. Thanks for reminding me about it. I'm definitely going to get one.....just need to get more tools to put in it!

Once rolled up do the tools stay quiet, or do they rattle around?
 

Sal R.

Active member
That looks like a great tool roll. I have this one in my Explorer:
https://adventuretoolcompany.com/product/shoproll-tool-roll
It's nice, but I think I like the Bucketboss where it has more zipper pouches- the ATC roll only has one.

I need to replace the plastic box that the tools came in that are in my Expedition. I was about to go with a generic bag, but you do have a good point: digging through it to find something could suck.
That looks really well made. Dunno if I could say the same about the BB, but it's half the price, I suppose.

Before the BucketBoss, I had my tools in a plastic box, loosely grouped together. Idk. Maybe it was trail fix during 105deg heat, but it really sucked digging through the box to find the right wrench/socket.

I'd forgotten about the BucketBoss tool roll. Thanks for reminding me about it. I'm definitely going to get one.....just need to get more tools to put in it!

Once rolled up do the tools stay quiet, or do they rattle around?
I'm the other away around, I need to remove tools, lol. But I think I'm at the minimum for most common trail fixes for the Sequoia.

Considering that it's generally stored in a drawer, its quiet, as I can't hear it.

It's quiet, as well, when rolled up with the straps pulled taught.
 
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obchristo

New member
Coming from my 4Runner, I think I have a decent tool kit for the majority of needs- but I am pretty sure I have excess.
Case in point- When I had a Porsche 914- those guys loved odd sizes so I had 11, 13 and 15mm sockets and wrenches in multiple types in those sizes.
My 4Runner seemed to like the even - 10, 12, 14 and 18.
I can't ever seem to remember using a 16mm on either vehicle- so I just have a single socket and wrench in that size in my vehicle.

Now to my question: What is your list of tools "at the minimum for most common trail fixes for the Sequoia"?
Thanks!
Christo
 

Sal R.

Active member
Coming from my 4Runner, I think I have a decent tool kit for the majority of needs- but I am pretty sure I have excess.
Case in point- When I had a Porsche 914- those guys loved odd sizes so I had 11, 13 and 15mm sockets and wrenches in multiple types in those sizes.
My 4Runner seemed to like the even - 10, 12, 14 and 18.
I can't ever seem to remember using a 16mm on either vehicle- so I just have a single socket and wrench in that size in my vehicle.

Now to my question: What is your list of tools "at the minimum for most common trail fixes for the Sequoia"?
Thanks!
Christo
Let's see...

1/4" drive ratchet with sockets to 12mm
3/8" drive ratchet with sockets from 10mm to 17mm
1/2" drive ratchet, breaker bar, and torque wrench with sockets from 14mm to 24mm, and 35mm
12-point box wrenches from 10mm to 24mm
Assorted pliers and screwdrivers
Assorted allen wrenches
Scissor jack
Pair of chocks
Hi-lift with slider/tube adaptor and base
Jackstands x2
Paint pen

I figure that with the above tools I can work just about all suspension related fixes from UCA to LBJ, steering, and the CV axles.

Might be overkill, but luck favors the prepared.
 
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