1 2
AAZCD
AAZCD HalfDork
4/3/20 3:15 p.m.

I've been happy with Pepper, the '04 Cayenne, but at 170,000+ miles I started looking for a newer grandkid hauler and tow pig. I was set to buy a 2012 TDI Touareg, but the dealer wasn't answering my calls (probably closed for a local Corona lock-down). Meanwhile I had been following the most recent, "Which tow pig?" thread and it was one of many where the recommendation of a Toyota Sequoia got my attention. Suburbans, Excursions, and Durangos have never quite been right for my taste, but a big V8 Toyota somehow feels right even after filling my driveway with Porsches. My gut feeling is that a Cayenne with about 200k  miles has reached the point where continued maintenance costs are not worth their value. With the Sequoia that point comes at about 400k miles. I just bought an '04 Sequoia with 220k miles as an update to replace my Cayenne with 170k miles. Does that make any sense?

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/3/20 3:17 p.m.

My guess is you will spend much less getting that Sequoia to 400k , pretty safe bet! 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
4/3/20 3:40 p.m.

That seems like a lot of car/truck for $3K

Kingkong
Kingkong Reader
4/3/20 4:12 p.m.

Great deal! How's the frame?

Obviously you want to do the timing belt/water pump right away if you have no records.

The front lower ball joints also tend to be E36 M3 from the factory. I forget if the 04 or 05 had the upgrade ball joints though so you may be OK, otherwise change them out for OEM.  Get an all metal rear door handle and replace the cable as well in the rear door at the same time. 

Besides that, its a pretty sweet truck!


docwyte
docwyte UberDork
4/3/20 4:38 p.m.

My GX470 (aka V8 4runner) fell apart from 115-125k miles.  So in my experience 400k miles is a no go.

AAZCD
AAZCD HalfDork
4/3/20 5:22 p.m.
docwyte said:

My GX470 (aka V8 4runner) fell apart from 115-125k miles.  So in my experience 400k miles is a no go.

Frame rust or general wear? The way I see this purchase I got in cheap enough that after I catch up any maintenance along with a fresh (DIY) timing belt it will be an easy flip locally or I can keep it and run it 'till the wheels fall off. A newer Cayenne is still an eventual possibility, but the nearest good (buyers) market, Dallas area, is a four hour drive away and not happening soon.

AAZCD
AAZCD HalfDork
4/3/20 7:01 p.m.

We bought it Wednesday. That morning we had heard on the news that the city where the dealer was had declared a 'Shelter in Place' order that would go into effect at noon. We arrived just after they opened at 10:00. Mrs AAZCD had never really wanted the Touareg and was sold on this car when I showed her the ad. At $2,998 I thought I could probably get it for a couple hundred less with cash in hand, COVID19 Sale, point out minor issues.... Unfortunately when we were with the dealer, Mrs AAZCD kept saying things like, "This is the one I want." and "Just give him the money and lets go." Remind me not to bring her the next time I go bargain hunting. So: "Wholesale dealer", quick test drive, firm price, cash, sign papers, wash hands & don't touch face.

On the drive home I got a check engine light and traction control warnings. It still was running smooth, so I hoped it was minor and kept going. At home, a quick check with my code reader showed an upstream O2 sensor bad and a communication error with the ECM. Some Googling showed they are often both caused by the O2 sensor.

The O2 sensor was simple to replace - easy access laying underneath and fixed the problem. From there I went ahead and pulled the nasty air filter, cleaned the mass airflow sensor with the appropriate CRC ® product and determined that the timing belt is about 30,000 miles past due.

Yes, it needs to be caught up a little bit on maintenance, but it was priced at about $2k less than any comparables in my local area. The timing belt kit is ordered and I'll get that done before I put many miles on it. I did take it out for a test run yesterday and helped my son move to a new house. Towing my 16' trailer felt fine and I don't think it will have any trouble hauling a car. I do plan to use this for my trip to the 2020 Challenge.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
4/3/20 7:51 p.m.

Nice, that's a pretty great deal for what will likely only be minor maintenance. The timing belt is a fairly big job, but it's not hard at all. Just have to take about 20 things out of the way to get to it lol....

As mentioned earlier, the main thing on these (and all Toyotas) is rust, and the Sequoia is not immune if it lived in a salt area. So check the frame out well. The most common rust spots are where there is an "inner frame" (you can't see it) that collects crap and rusts from the inside out. On mine it only happened on the driver's side. There's a place under the driver's door area where you can see the "seam" where the front and rear frame sections were joined, and this is the problem area. Also a section in the back of the front wheel well. So check those areas first (just bang on them with a hammer and make sure they sound solid).

Also check the front of the right rear wheel well (the area covered by the back door's bottom rear lip). It's not sealed well so grime can get up in there and rust it from behind. 

The photo of the 02 sensor area doesn't look very rusty compared to mine, so you may be in good shape anyhow. 

As mentioned, the front balljoints were a recall item. If you can find a record of it, it's worth checking. If not, change them - and get OEM (OEM!) from the dealer, not the aftermarket replacements which have a higher failure rate. It's the one and only part I bought directly from Toyota for mine. 

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
4/4/20 9:41 a.m.

In reply to AAZCD :

Not rust, just everything wore out in that 10k mile time period.  We bought it with 39k miles on it and maintained it fine, it needed the typical Toyota stuff, so really nothing but basic maintenance.  Then starting at 115k miles, everything just started dying.  I put $7000 into it in that time period and that's with me doing almost all the work myself and I sold it with a weepy steering rack that would've been ~$2800 to fix at the local Toyota Indy shop.

So basically $10k worth of work in 10k miles, on a truck that was worth $12kish.  I was tired of constantly working on it and knew the rear airbags and secondary air pump were likely to die next, so I tapped out on it and sold it.

Brett_Murphy (Forum Supporter)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/4/20 10:55 p.m.
docwyte said:

In reply to AAZCD :

Not rust, just everything wore out in that 10k mile time period.  We bought it with 39k miles on it and maintained it fine, it needed the typical Toyota stuff, so really nothing but basic maintenance.  Then starting at 115k miles, everything just started dying.  I put $7000 into it in that time period and that's with me doing almost all the work myself and I sold it with a weepy steering rack that would've been ~$2800 to fix at the local Toyota Indy shop.

So basically $10k worth of work in 10k miles, on a truck that was worth $12kish.  I was tired of constantly working on it and knew the rear airbags and secondary air pump were likely to die next, so I tapped out on it and sold it.

That's crazy. I have a V8 4Runner. Here is a picture from last year:

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
4/5/20 9:35 a.m.

In reply to Brett_Murphy (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, I was pretty pissed off at it.  You could certainly make the argument that I'd basically fixed everything and it was going to be fine for another 100k miles but I knew I'd have to replace the steering rack soon for ~$2800.  Then everyone on ih8mud was telling me that around 125k miles is when the rear airbags and secondary air pump go, so I'd have to replace those soon too.  The rear bags aren't an issue, just throw in FJ rear springs but the secondary air pump would cost me more $$$.

I'd just had it with the truck and was tired of constantly working on it and throwing money at it.

grover
grover Dork
4/5/20 2:29 p.m.

In reply to docwyte :

That's crazy about the 470 I had no idea.  Our GX460 has 140 and runs honestly like brand new and we've not replaced anyting since we got it at 108

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
4/5/20 5:51 p.m.

In reply to grover :

Fingers crossed for you.  It wasn't that things wore out, that's to be expected.  It was just that *everything* wore out at once.

Brett_Murphy (Forum Supporter)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/5/20 8:20 p.m.

It sounds like the Lexus was a lot more complex, with the air suspension and all. 

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/30/20 10:41 p.m.

The Sequoia, now named 'Silver Bullet' by my wife, came with only one key. Last week I went to a locksmith to have a second key made. It was going to cost $75 including programming and I was fine with that. Until then I had not tried to unlock the doors with the key. I had always used the fob. The locksmith tried the doors. It didn't work in any of them, just the ignition. We decided just to get a second ignition key and sort out the locks another day.

He cut the key, then sat in the car to program it while I kept socially distanced. After some time and a phone call to another locksmith he came out of the car shaking his head and said, "I can't do it. These Sequoias are different from the other Toyotas. You'll have to go to a dealership." He handed me the fresh cut key and said, "Sorry, you can have this free." (would not let me pay him for his time or the key.)

I went home and did some internet searching and came across some instructions on how to program a Toyota transponder key without any special tools. http://www.diy-time.com/automotive/toyota/toyota-sequoia-transponder-chip-key-programming/  A very specific sequence of turning the key off and on and flapping the door open and closed. I doubted it would work. Maybe I should say a special chant and wink my left eye too? Well... no E36 M3, it worked! It took me seven tries and the couple walking down the street gave me an odd look as I swung the door six times in 20 seconds, but it worked. The trick was following the "Important notes (*Shared by Jonathan Elliff)"  at the end of the DIY. Thanks Jonathan.

A few days later I resolved the door lock. I don't know what I'm doing, but through a life-long compulsion to take apart broken things, I've got the general idea of how to re-key a lock. Here, pictures may serve better than my words:

Success! The key works and a screwdriver won't. In the end I had five of seven sliding things (tumblers?) installed in an order that worked with the key. I was short what I'm guessing was another #3 and maybe a #1.

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
1/13/21 10:22 p.m.

I finally replaced the timing belt and water pump. I read online of people getting over 200,000 miles on a timing belt in these engines, but for me, when I pass the recommended interval, I feel like I'm pulling the pin on a grenade every time I turn the key. The last thing I need is to be towing a trailer or worse yet, have my wife driving when the timing belt gives out.

Not a hard job, but lots of bolts to turn and parts to pull off. There's plenty of good internet documentation and I easily found a .pdf from the factory manual detailing the job. I still managed to get to the part where the crank pulley comes off without noticing that I would need a special tool. This is not the time to order tools online or drive around for a few hours to find one. It is a 'What am I going to do to get this off Right Now' time. Two minutes of internet told me that this happens to almost everyone and the sure-fire method is to brace a breaker bar against the frame and crank the starter with the spark plugs disconnected. It worked so well I wondered why anyone would consider buying a $40 - $90 tool.

With everything on the front of the engine removed, the water pump and timing belt went on easily. I really liked how the belt came with labeled lines to match up with a mark on the cam gears and crank. No tooth counting or cam locking. Just make sure it is lined up and bolt it all back down.

 

All was smooth and easy until it was time to put the crank pulley back on and torque it to 245 Nm/181 ft. A quick review of the forums impressed me that the correct torque is important. Guessing the Ugga Duggas with an impact wrench may cause failure in the future. The starter trick does not work for tightening the bolt. The pulley would have to be braced against 245 Nm of force. I saw a variety of solutions. Chains or ratchet straps holding it to one side were sworn by, but sounded pretty sketchy. One guy made a functioning 'holder' with a 2x4 and two bolts. Others had fabbed a brace with metal bars. I looked around my junk pile and found some metal scraps - a chassis brace from a Boxster and a short piece of angle iron. It went together well and was just long enough to brace against the frame while I torqued the bolt. 

I wish I could tell you that I got out my torque wrench and turned it to 245/181, but my sad old collection of torque wrenches only does up to 150 lbs Tq. I needed oil and a filter anyway, so while I was out, I stopped at Harbor Freight, thinking I could grab a ~$20 wrench. Nope, it's well over $100 to get up to 245 Nm. I did grab a Quinn digital torque adapter for $30 and about $100 of other probably useful stuff, but ended up balancing my 190 lb body on one foot, standing about 12" out on a breaker bar. My wrenches all agreed that it was over 150 lbs of torque. Good enough for a 222,000+ mile truck (I hope).

All in all, it seems a success. No extra parts, nuts, or bolts left when I was done and I even added in a bolt for one that was missing from the AC compressor. I'm planning to just drive it for a while now, but the next maintenance will probably be the brakes. A good flush of the fluid and replacing pads and rotors. I may go ahead an upgrade to larger calipers then as well.

Brett_Murphy (Ex-Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Ex-Patrón) MegaDork
1/13/21 10:52 p.m.

I'm not sure what you used, but when I did the timing on my 4.7 4Runner the tensioner in the Gates kit decided to fail after less than a year. I was a bit miffed. I hope you have better luck. 

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
1/14/21 7:19 a.m.

A customer of mine bought one of these from the parking authority at auction. Turned out it had a blown timing belt, so he took it to another mechanic to have the belt done. The mechanic recommended removing the heads to have them checked but when the heads came back from the machine shop, the mechanic decided he didn't know how to put it back together. 
 

So I took the job at straight time paid. Turned out the previous mechanic had lost a bunch of the parts and hadn't organize anything (the truck came to me with everything piled in the trunk). Anyway, I finally got it all back together, owner took it and put 600 miles on it and it threw a rod through the block. 
 

so I installed a junkyard motor for him. It had rod knock on start up. So I installed a third motor for him. 

Now it runs and drives but has no 4wd because both actuators are seized. At this point he's probably into it for $12k and it has rust holes through the frame. (Yes I have discouraged him at every turn from spending money on this truck but he must have gambler's fallacy bad)
 

It's nice to drive though!  

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/14/21 9:47 a.m.

I dont know why i didnt notice this thread the first time around. Interesting theory on the Cayenne stuff. Ours is at 160-something and I recently got one running (a combination of bad fuel pumps and cracked fuel lines in the tank) that had 230-something on it which i was pretty excited about because i was curious how a high miles one would be holding up. Main thing i noticed is the transmission doesn't act the way ours does (i love the way ours works, btw) and that would definitely change my relationship with the car even if it wasn't 'broken'.  I'd like to put a bunch more miles on ours and will certainly try to. I recently took my dad's minivan on a big road trip, lost reverse, and took the trans apart and repaired it and put it back and still love that thing at 235ish k. I'd like to think i'd just do the same if it happened in the Cayenne, but we'll see. One of the big question marks about the future of the Cayenne i have is that there appear to be LOTS of even cooler ones i could buy instead of doing any major investment in the current one. Hmmm.

 

Anyway, Toyotas.. I like those things but they sure don't drive like a Cayenne! I'm a big fan of those Tundras and Sequoias in general although I have to admit to liking the contemporary Tundra/Armada a little better just because the engine is such a monster in comparison. Anyway, buddy of mine has a Tundra of that gen that's had a decent amount of mods (including a big brake kit $$$) and one funny thing i can say about it is that probably the best mod on it is just using a holesaw on the bottom of the stock airbox. It goes from Toyota levels of not-exactly-exciting to making wonderful v8 induction noises (and still silent at low throttle) for basically zero dollars. I HIGHLY recommend that mod on these trucks. laugh

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
1/14/21 10:31 a.m.

In reply to Vigo (Forum Supporter) :

Reading your post, I realized that during a time-lapse in this thread there's missing info regarding Cayennes. Rather than selling 'Pepper' I kept it and let my daughter have it as her daily. It has been flawless for her other than an HVAC issue (blows cold on one side when the heater is on).

After a few months with the Sequoia, I wanted a newer, nicer Cayenne and started looking again. The Sequoia is a great work truck and dog hauler, but I missed the power and braking of the Cayenne for towing as well as the 'Porsche' feeling of the drive. The few Cayennes that were local all seemed overpriced and I ended up buying a TDI Touareg  with the 'Dieselgate' drivetrain warranty. It is 90% a Cayenne at 60% the cost. I plan to keep both the Touareg and the Sequoia long term. Sequoia gets the dirty jobs and the Touareg does the heavy towing and long family trips.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UltraDork
1/14/21 11:19 a.m.
orthoxstice said:

A customer of mine bought one of these from the parking authority at auction. Turned out it had a blown timing belt, so he took it to another mechanic to have the belt done. The mechanic recommended removing the heads to have them checked but when the heads came back from the machine shop, the mechanic decided he didn't know how to put it back together. 
 

So I took the job at straight time paid. Turned out the previous mechanic had lost a bunch of the parts and hadn't organize anything (the truck came to me with everything piled in the trunk). Anyway, I finally got it all back together, owner took it and put 600 miles on it and it threw a rod through the block. 
 

so I installed a junkyard motor for him. It had rod knock on start up. So I installed a third motor for him. 

Now it runs and drives but has no 4wd because both actuators are seized. At this point he's probably into it for $12k and it has rust holes through the frame. (Yes I have discouraged him at every turn from spending money on this truck but he must have gambler's fallacy bad)
 

It's nice to drive though!  

Don't discourage him ! It's $$$$$ for you devil

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/14/21 11:18 p.m.

In reply to AAZCD (Forum Supporter) :

Sounds good to me!

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
1/15/21 8:01 a.m.

In reply to AAZCD (Forum Supporter) :

I think I finally convinced the wife a TDI Touareg is in our near future, and seeing you steer towards the Sequoia had me questioning that plan. With that said, can you think of any deficiencies that have popped up towing with the Touareg?

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
1/16/21 7:37 a.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

I was going to answer this yesterday and got distracted. Realized this morning that I never replied. I have not had any problems with towing at all. When I was first looking at the TDI and had questions, most of the good answers were found on the ClubTouareg forums: https://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/off-roading-towing.66/

MrChaos
MrChaos UltraDork
1/16/21 9:13 a.m.

Im not sure if the Sequoia's had the same issue that the 100 series had where the factory module for the trailer lights is garbage and dies a lot. If they do, just buy the one from e-trailer since its much better than the factory box.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
meJ2OLAyVRpNB5TMdbS9wThtPx96DS6pzZJw3Fg6EboIfQzqF7MouhU9RKehI61h