Toyota Tundra Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm the proud owner of a 2005 Sequoia SR5 4x4 and couldn't be happier. I thought there was a problem with the tires or wheel bearings when I bought it but am coming to the conclusion that it's the front differential. From about 35 MPH to 60 MPH there is a very annoying cyclical vibration coming from the front end and you can feel it through the floorboards. I've had several mechanics look at it, the first replaced the tie rod ends but that didn't help. The second thought it was the tires (even though they are nearly new and the previous owner said he bought them specifically to try and fix the front-end issue but that didn't help) so I had them rotated and that didn't change anything. The third mechanic replaced the front left wheel bearing but that didn't help. He took a closer inspection and then said it was definitely the front differential. So he removed it and looked at all of the parts but nothing seemed obviously "broken" or worn. He put it back in with new differential fluid and that didn't help. At this point he said I should get a replacement differential.

I've read countless forum posts where Sequoia owners are replacing their differentials and that works (at least for little while), others replace rear wheel bearings or axles or even just change differential fluid and that worked.

I live in Hawaii and we pay a rather large premium for parts (generally 30-50% more) once you factor in shipping, etc.

So my question is this: do I go with a used differential I can get shipped for $450 (from a 2006 model with 86k miles) or a new differential from an online OEM Toyota parts supplier for about $1100 shipped?

Should I get more opinions from other shops? Midas/Goodyear to look at the tires? The dealer to hear what their diagnosis is (and pay around $150 to find out)?

The Sequoia is in VERY good condition, I got it from the original owner who really babied it. It has 160k miles but you would never be able to tell by looking at it or driving it even. Though I know I do have a tendency not to keep cars long... so my first inclination is to go the cheaper route. I did already buy a leveling kit and am planning/hoping to put new wheels and 33's on in the near future. There are some great beaches here on the island that are great for camping and a little more height clearance would be great.

Thanks in advance for your help and advice. The forum looks it's made up of a lot of good people and I'm happy to be a part of the community! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
The Sequoia is not the only Toyota to suffer from this. I've owned a 2008 Tacoma TRD sport and a 2008 Tundra 5.7 Limited and both vehicles exhibited this issue. I had the front diff changed on the tundra under warranty but the noise is coming back again now. I have noticed that if you were to engage the 4x4 while the noise is happening the noise will stop. This and what I've read leads me to believe that when the ADD (auto disconnecting diff) is disconnected that something doesn't line up quite right in the front differential. It is also my experience that having a truck with a leveling kit or a small suspension lift (without different sterring knuckles) seems to exasperate the problem. My advice would be to leave it alone unless the differential fluid contains filings or unless the front diff actually fails. Thats my plan as I am now well past warranty on the new front diff in my truck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Sequoia is not the only Toyota to suffer from this. I've owned a 2008 Tacoma TRD sport and a 2008 Tundra 5.7 Limited and both vehicles exhibited this issue. I had the front diff changed on the tundra under warranty but the noise is coming back again now. I have noticed that if you were to engage the 4x4 while the noise is happening the noise will stop. This and what I've read leads me to believe that when the ADD (auto disconnecting diff) is disconnected that something doesn't line up quite right in the front differential. It is also my experience that having a truck with a leveling kit or a small suspension lift (without different sterring knuckles) seems to exasperate the problem. My advice would be to leave it alone unless the differential fluid contains filings or unless the front diff actually fails. Thats my plan as I am now well past warranty on the new front diff in my truck.
Hey MHTundra, thanks for chiming in. Well my Sequoia has the same issue regardless of being in 4x4 mode or not. The previous owner said the noise started at about 90k miles and he wasn't able to find any solution by changing bearings, brakes, fluid, etc. Yeah I am thinking to hold off on the leveling kit until I get the issue fixed.

I had a similar vibration problem with a 2007 Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited I had but changed the tires and that went away. But that vibration was much mellower and only at about 55 MPH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
I have a '04 Sequoia with 180,000 miles that so far is vibration free. I did a little Googling on this problem and Toyota has a couple of TSBs for Lexus vehicles with front end vibration. I think Toyota put more effort into solving this problem on Lexus vehicles due to their higher price and brand positioning. On the Lexus GX 470 the fix for front end vibration is (1) installing a front differential dynamic damper, (2) installing a transfer case dynamic damper.

I think there's a good chance the Lexus differential dynamic damper is retrofittable to the Sequoia. I don't have time right now but it would be worth a look at part numbers, drawings etc. to see if this is possible.

In any case, these fixes do show that the problem lies with some inherent characteristics of the drivetrain and not with failing components.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have a '04 Sequoia with 180,000 miles that so far is vibration free. I did a little Googling on this problem and Toyota has a couple of TSBs for Lexus vehicles with front end vibration. I think Toyota put more effort into solving this problem on Lexus vehicles due to their higher price and brand positioning. On the Lexus GX 470 the fix for front end vibration is (1) installing a front differential dynamic damper, (2) installing a transfer case dynamic damper.

I think there's a good chance the Lexus differential dynamic damper is retrofittable to the Sequoia. I don't have time right now but it would be worth a look at part numbers, drawings etc. to see if this is possible.

In any case, these fixes do show that the problem lies with some inherent characteristics of the drivetrain and not with failing components.
Thanks for your suggestions. I did come across the TSB for the dampeners though I get the impression that's a fix for higher speeds (55mph+). My problem happens starting at around 33 MPH.

Driveline Drone on the Freeway [Archive] - Toyota 120 Platforms Forum
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
Thanks for your suggestions. I did come across the TSB for the dampeners though I get the impression that's a fix for higher speeds (55mph+). My problem happens starting at around 33 MPH.

Driveline Drone on the Freeway [Archive] - Toyota 120 Platforms Forum
The later Lexus drivetrains come with dynamic dampers factory installed. The dynamic dampers are really just a band aid for some kind of design problem.

The point is there is no obvious cause and no procedure for fixing this problem. So a new front differential may not cure your vibration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreciate everyone chiming in so far. :)

Though as I've been driving the Sequoia more it seems I am able to hear/feel the front end noise even at very slow speeds of even just 10 or 15 MPH. It is less severe but definitely still there. It doesn't seem like a resonating noise when you go slow but more of a friction related issue which makes me think wheel bearings... but the front ones were already replaced a couple times now (the previous owner said he did it at 90k when the noise first started and then I replaced one of them recently).

This does make me think it IS perhaps the differential. Maybe no gears are broken or teeth are missing but it's just worn to the point where there's too much "play"? I'm no mechanic and I'm grasping at straws a bit. I just want my new car to lose that annoying sound!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm no mechanic, but I did finally find out what the problem was with my Sequoia... (long pause and drum roll please)... the REAR wheel bearings!!! Oddly enough the sound, vibrations, and everything else felt like it was coming from the front-end but no. My mechanic put it on the lift and spun each wheel and then had someone step on the gas to get it up to 30 MPH or so then the sound became more obvious. My ride is now super quiet and drives like new again... even with 166k miles on it!

I've never had a torque converter go bad on me so I wouldn't know how to diagnose that. However I definitely suggest you have a good mechanic check your wheel bearings like I described above. If that's the issue it's fairly inexpensive to fix a pair (cost me about $600 for parts, labor, and machine shop fees).

Anyway, good luck!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top