Newbie stock 2002 Sequoia, first thing to spend $$ on?

hwgunner

New member
Just brought home a bone stock 2002 Sequoia. V8 and 4x4. Plan is to go wheeling and camping with my boys. I have lots of ideas for upgrades. From RTT to armour front and rear. Where do I start though? What is the biggest bang for the buck for that first $750 to $1,000? Tires? Misc. Little things like air and gear and high lift and gas cans? Suspension? I just don't know where to start. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

skrillah

Adventurer
Take it out stock, make upgrades based on what your needs are. There is no 'golden recipe'....depends on your use. If you wanna burn money though, my advice would be on maintenance.
 

04dblcab

Observer
When's the last time the timing belt and water pump was changed? Are your bushings on your suspension components worn out? Shocks leaking? Fluids changed?

How many miles on the truck?
 

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AaronK

Explorer
Definitely timing belt/pump if it hasn't been done.

Protection would be my first purchase. I got transmission skid plate from or fab for about $150. Lots of little oil lines running around under there.

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XPLORx4

Adventurer
As others have posted above, there is no "golden rule" for the first step towards building an expo rig. It all depends on your intended use, your budget, and the vehicle's current condition. How many miles does it have? How much life is left in the tires? Does everything work?

Also, if you don't have maintenance records for when the last service was performed, you should consider a full fluid change:
oil/filter
AT fluid
fr/rr diff fluid
t-case fluid
brake fluid flush
check coolant condition

Depending on mileage and/or service records, consider replacing the water pump and timing belt. Reliability is critical.

That being said, when I purchased my '05 Sequoia last year, I knew the direction I was going to take with it. After doing all of the major maintenance above, I fixed everything that was not functioning properly. I hardwired the rear cargo area's 12v power socket for running my fridge, which was the most important mod for expedition travel. Gotta keep the food cold!

If you'll be driving on mild dirt roads for extended periods of time, one of the best things to get is a portable 12v air compressor such as this $60 one, so that you can reduce air pressure for a more comfortable ride and for better traction, then reinflate the tires before reaching pavement at the end of your trip. Recovery gear (shackles, tow strap) is also important to have.

Unless you're driving on very rough terrain, you probably won't need armor.
 

FJR Colorado

Explorer
As mentioned, timing belt, all fluids, diffs, etc.

There is a plastic mechanism in the rear Sequoia tailgate that WILL fail. Replace it preemptively with a metal after-market unit you buy on-line. Unless you really know your way around Toyota doors and such, let the shop do the work. You need a few special tools and such anyway and plastic parts are bound to break and need replacement. Lots of on-line info about this.

Moving on... Dollar for dollar, your best investment is in good tires. GY Duratracs would be ideal for you.

Sequoia is a great vehicle. Love mine.
 

hwgunner

New member
Thank you everyone for the suggestions. She has 125,000 miles and all service is up to date. The tires are nearly new but are definitely street tires. The plan really is to explore the state and National Forrest between Santa Maria and the boarder between northern Idaho/Montana. Dirt roads mostly. The air compressor is near the top of the list. Have a few things like antenna and crooked rear glass to do also but most everything else is good. I have plenty of scrap and tools to make a platform and drawers. As suggested above I think tires are probably first. I can see real street tires being a problem. Are stock 16's good for tire choice or would 17's be better. I have a friend with some 4Runner 17's i could get cheap. No plans for armour at this point. Maybe I will grow into that but since this is really my first 4x4 in 27 years, I got a long way to go before I am that good. 11 year old son says I need lights and more lights and rear lights and front lights and side lights. Again, thanks everyone. I will learn to post pics soon so you all can see what she looks like.
 

AaronK

Explorer
16s will give you more sidewall which is better if you plan on airing down a lot imo

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Retired Tanker

Adventurer
She has 125,000 miles and all service is up to date.

Wow!! What a find!!:Wow1:


I just took my stock 2005 through some serious backroading here in Kentucky. I couldn't be happier with it. From the traction control, entry and exit angles, space available for storage in the back, etc. I don't have any complaints.


So instead of "fixes," I'm looking at increasing the capability of an already very capable platform to suit my needs.


I need better....uh, well...appearance? Maybe I'll lift it and add a really aggressive bumper. And a snorkel...gotta have one of those. And lights, lots of lights; bars to the front, sides, rear. Maybe one of those remote control spot lights!! And maybe a roof rack.


Seriously. Take it out and stress it out a bit. What you need will become apparent.
 

p nut

butter
Thank you everyone for the suggestions. She has 125,000 miles and all service is up to date. The tires are nearly new but are definitely street tires. The plan really is to explore the state and National Forrest between Santa Maria and the boarder between northern Idaho/Montana. Dirt roads mostly. The air compressor is near the top of the list. Have a few things like antenna and crooked rear glass to do also but most everything else is good. I have plenty of scrap and tools to make a platform and drawers. As suggested above I think tires are probably first. I can see real street tires being a problem. Are stock 16's good for tire choice or would 17's be better. I have a friend with some 4Runner 17's i could get cheap. No plans for armour at this point. Maybe I will grow into that but since this is really my first 4x4 in 27 years, I got a long way to go before I am that good. 11 year old son says I need lights and more lights and rear lights and front lights and side lights. Again, thanks everyone. I will learn to post pics soon so you all can see what she looks like.
Good decision on tires. That would be my first purchase as well. Stick with 16's. Tires are cheaper and plentiful. More sidewall is a good thing. 265/75/16's would be excellent choice. I like BFG KO2's, but only thing I don't like about it is it's a rock chucker. I might try out ST Maxx next time around.
 
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