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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I've been reading these forums for the last month or so while trying to decide which vehicle to purchase next. We eventually decided that a Sequoia would be the best fit for our family and went ahead with a purchase. We ended up buying one out of New York state because it was a good price and the pictures / CARFAX / dealer reputation all looked to be great. Well, I just received the vehicle a couple of days ago and it drives great and looks great except... there is what I would consider to be a significant amount of rust on the rear hatch and underbody of the vehicle!

In the area that I live, there is not a significant rust problems so I don't have much experience with this. I don't know how bad of a case it is or what my options are for correcting it. I was hoping that someone on these forums might be able to help me out in this area. My questions are...

1) How bad would you say the rust problem is on this vehicle - for those of you from the "rusty" areas? (pictures attached)

2) Is there anything I can / should do to prevent the rust from getting any worse?

Any help or advice would be very much appreciated.

EDIT: Forgot to add the vehicle details. It is a 2006 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD with 94,000 miles.
 

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Hey Canuckel, welcome to the site! For a vehicle with 94k on it, it looks pretty typical for an undercarriage that has been submitted to harsh winters or salty conditions. The areas of concern on the tundra are the rear crossmember where your spare tire would be.

There are some things you can do, and work pretty well for surface rust. If you have really bad spots, you may need to take a more drastic approach and have those repaired using patch panels or something? You can pull the spare tire out, and pressure wash it really good. Take a wire brush to all the loose debris and mask off what you don't want treated. Then order you some POR15 or something similar in the matt black, and simply brush or spray on. I've brushed it on in bad areas on my old 4Runner that I don't have anymore, and it looked great. I've also used it on other parts, and the stuff dries hard as nails. It cuts off the oxygen, and stops the rust while giving you a nice durable coating. Good luck, some other members might have some other ideas as well.
 

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Thanks for the recommendations, big-o. It's good to hear that this is not an unusual amount of rust although it still comes as a bit of a surprise to me.

From what I can see now, the rust has not significantly penetrated the metal anywhere. It all appears to be surface rust so I am hopeful that if I treat it now it will be good for a long time to come. I read up on the POR15 product a little on their website and I am curious as to how strictly you followed the process when applying the product to your 4Runner. As far as I can tell, this is a 4 step process:

(1) Clean / degrease with "Marine Clean"
(2) Neutralize rust and prep with "Metal-Ready"
(3) Paint on POR15
(4) Apply top coat

Conveniently, they have products to sell for each of these steps so I'm not sure if they're just trying to push more products or if this is actually the necessary steps to successfully applying POR15. What did you do?

Also, did you have a hoist to lift up your vehicle for this process or did you crawl around underneath the vehicle? It seems to me that this job would be a major PITA if you don't have your vehicle lifted on a hoist.
 

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Another place you might want to look at is on the exhaust, i had a dodge i bought from up north that had rust much worse than yours and one of the first problems i had with it was the exhaust rusted out and i had to replace it completly. Im really not sure what the best fix would be but a wire brush and a can of LPS cold galvanize would slow it down and stand up to the heat. Wish i would have known about POR15 when i did the underbody on it because black rustolem didnt slow it down at all.

As for not having a hoist, it wasnt bad on my truck, but i had 35 in tires on it. I would borrow some tall jackstands if i couldnt find a hoist that would at least help.
 

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Near the front of the vehicle, the rust isn't nearly as bad as the back except the exhaust pipe (which for some reason seems to be corroded worse near the front of the vehicle than it is at the back). I was already thinking this might be the first component that would be giving me an actual problem down the road.

On that note, another option for me would be to replace the exhaust with an aftermarket (Magnaflow) pipe. I see that I can pick one of these up off of eBay for $630 (new). What has the experience on these forums been with aftermarket exhausts? I am interested in the possiblity of increasing power / torque but I don't want an especially loud exhaust system (a bit of a growl is nice but I don't want the vehicle to sound like an off-road racing machine).

EDIT: I did a little digging on these forums and it sounds like the Magnaflow pipes add a bad drone when cruising at highway speeds. Also, the reason for purchasing this vehicle was to use it as a tow vehicle for a travel trailer in the summer and apparently aftermarket exhausts decrease low end torque. It sounds like the stock system is the best exhaust for my needs (quiet cruising and good tow capabilities). I'll have to look into options for repairing or replacing the stock exhaust.
 

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POR -15 FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good stuff just be sure to follow their instructions to the "T". Any coating is only as good as the prep work.
 

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Congrats on your purchase. My truck is nearing 180,000 miles now. I've taken many road trips, towed boats, gone off roading, towed heavy logs across muddy fields... needless to say i've used it as a truck-type SUV should be used. The V8 is bulletproof, and still runs smooth and quiet. I can't tell you how many people i've driven around on trips that absolutely love the Sequoia. Interior build quality is impeccable, rides very nice, etc.

But rust. Outta curiosity, where in NY did your Sequoia come from? I drove mine around for 5 years in upstate NY just north of Syracuse - they get some of the worst snow in the country there (Lake Effect snow FTL). I'm a bit nervous towing nowadays, though I normally tow smaller boats these days. The frame on either side of the spare tire have massive cracks you can fit your fingers in. The frame behind the rear axle is really my only issue - the entire rest of the frame, wires, suspension, everything, is just fine. Just the rear part of the frame. There's another post about a potential recall on the Sequoia for the frame - the 00-03 (maybe 00-02?) Tundras were just recalled for their frame.

Just keep an eye on it and follow all the other recommendations on this page. These sequoias are excellent vehicles, and aside from a couple nagging issues myself and other owners have dealt with (skid control/VSC electronics, manifold rust), there aren't a whole lot of major issues you hear about on these. Those are actually my only two problems - well driver side window, but that happens with time.

Enjoy your vehicle, and good luck.
 

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Hey el-madmaster, thanks for the feedback. I definitely plan on using this SUV as it was meant to be as well. I think you've got me beat with pulling heavy logs through muddy fields but I will definitely be using the vehicle for off-roading and towing.

Here's the history on the vehicle that I was able to get prior to making the purchase:

- Vehicle was originally purchased by someone in the state of Maine (for $48k)
- After 4 years of ownership, the original owner traded it and bought a new Landcruiser.
- Dealership that the vehicle was traded in at sold this vehicle to another dealership near Syracruse, New York.
- I purchased the vehicle from the dealership near Syracruse, New York (for $18k).

So, while I bought the vehicle out of New York state, the vehicle actually spent most of its life in Maine. I think I got it for a pretty fair price so I'm still happy despite the rust surprise. Like I said in my initial post, the vehicle looks excellent inside and out and drives like new... just don't look underneath it. It looks to me that it's early enough in the vehicle's life that the rust hasn't really started to weaken the frame yet. I'm hoping that if I do a proper job of sealing the underbody with POR15 now that it will fix the rust issue once and for all.
 

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Just took these today. These are also posted in the other rust-related Sequoia thread. This is the rear part of the frame on either side of the spare tire. I need to take a better look at the cross member supporting the spare.
 

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Yeah, el_madmaster looks like the POR15 won't help if you can put your hand or finger through the cross-member! Looks like some patch work for you...

Canuckel, I wouldn't worry too much about the exact protocol for the POR prep that they specify. You do want to make sure it's clean and grease free...but if you get the debris and brush everything off to bare metal and rust, you should be ready from there. You can buy other types of metal prep, but I would suggest talking with your local auto-paint supply store to make sure you get what you need (I think you can buy some rattle can type prep). However, this stuff has been around for a while and people have just painted it on old rusty pieces of tractor parts in the field with no prep at all with great results. I didn't use any degreaser on my 4Runner and it was fine. There were some spots on the rear diff that had chipped from rocks, but they were tiny spots not worth touching up. Good luck with it! Oh, if you want to do your exhaust there is some of the Bassani stainless cat-back kits left at trdparts4u.com for $295. I have that kit, and it sounds/looks good.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bassani Exhaust

big-o, what's your experience with the Bassani exhaust regarding cabin noise? I like the idea of getting a little more power and a nice growl during acceleration, but I'm worried about the reports of "drone" while cruising. One of the things I really love about the Sequoia is how nice and quiet it is when cruising along. That's a really good price, though. I doubt I could replace with stock exhaust for even close to that price.
 

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Yeah, changing out the old rusty exhaust for that cheap is pretty cool. I love Bassani. They've always done great work with the Ford small blocks, and they sound great. The Sequoia is much quieter than the what they would do for a mustang dual set up by far. The sound is a bit more quiet than I like, but for people used to silence, it could take some getting used to. My wife thought it was a bit much, so I put dynomat on the floor and doors. PM me your email, and I'll send you a sound clip.
 

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Hey big-o, I PM'd you (twice) but I'm not sure if the messages made it through because they don't appear in my "sent" folder for some reason. Let me know if you don't receive these for some reason.
 

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Proposed Solution

Back on topic...

Based on the previous responses to check out POR15 (thank you!) I have read up on their product and application process and here is what I plan to do going forward. A friend of mine operates a small auto repair shop so I will be taking advantage of that and using his car hoist to lift the Sequoia up. Once I have the Sequoia on the lift, here is the general plan of attack:

1) Remove wheels, spare tire, and exhaust pipe (to protect from overspray)
2) Remove trailer hitch assembly (this will be treated with POR15 as a separate piece)
3) Pressure wash bottom of vehicle (to get all loose debris off)
4) Spray bottom of vehicle with "Marine-Clean" degreaser using air compressor and spray gun
5) Pressure wash bottom of vehicle again (to get Marine Clean and whatever it loosened up off)
6) Spray bottom of vehicle with "Metal-Ready" using air compressor and spray gun (as per POR15 directions)
7) Pressure wash bottom of vehicle again (to get Metal Ready off)
8) Wait for the vehicle to dry overnight
9) Mask off all areas of the vehicle that shouldn't be treated (suggestions on what I should protect?)
10) Spray bottom of vehicle with POR15 paint 1st coat
11) Wait for 1st coat to dry then spray bottom of vehicle with POR15 paint 2nd coat
12) Wait for 2nd coat to dry then spray bottom of vehicle with top coat of paint (Chassis Black)
13) Re-install exhaust, spare tire, wheels and trailer hitch assembly.
14) Done (well, the few contact spots that the hoist covered on the frame rails need to be done still).

For anybody has done anything like this, please critique my action plan here and let me know if there is anything I am missing (or if you have words if wisdom in general). I'm especially unsure about what I should be masking off during the application of POR15. Can I just go nuts or do I need to make sure that this stuff doesn't get into joints, etc.? Thanks for all of your help so far.
 

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Hi All,

1) How bad would you say the rust problem is on this vehicle - for those of you from the "rusty" areas? (pictures attached)

2) Is there anything I can / should do to prevent the rust from getting any worse?

Any help or advice would be very much appreciated.

EDIT: Forgot to add the vehicle details. It is a 2006 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD with 94,000 miles.
I live in Massachusetts which is certainly part of the rust belt. I was under my 2004 Sequoia SR5 this week-end lubing the driveshaft U-joints and took a look at the rear of the frame.

I was surprised at the amount of corrosion on the tow hitch and gas tank rock shield. The frame is also showing some corrosion, particularly along the weld lines along the bottom of the box beams. The corrosion gets progressively worse towards the rear of the frame but is nowhere close to rusting through.

The rust on your frame doesn't look that bad - mine is a little worse. I also have the same rusted bolt heads on the rear bumper - those bolts are easily replaceable. The rust you show on your rear hatch is actually on part of the handle assembly, which is replaceable, and you will be replacing it - when it breaks.

There does seem to be an emerging constellation of frame rust issues with Toyota vehicles. Just last month, Toyota announced a recall for all 2000 to 2003 Tundras due to frame corrosion that could allow the spare tire or gas tank to fall off the vehicle.

The Sequoia shares a common frame with the Tundra and having inspected my frame it looks to me that there are two root causes here. (1) the rear wheels direct road spray into the rear frame area whereas the rest of the frame - from the rear wheels forward - is not so much subject to road spray, and (2) the frame has no protective coating other than what looks like a thin layer of paint. Additionally, the weld metal used to close the seam in the box beams appears to be less corrosion resistant than the steel of the box beam itself.

I'm planning to keep my Sequoia for 250,000 miles - maybe fifteen years - and I can see that it will be frame rust that kills this vehicle. I was already planning to remove the tow hitch this summer for sand-blasting and epoxy powder coat. To get to fifteen years, I think it will be necessary to sand blast and paint the rear of the frame and perhaps also strip and paint the weld metal seam along the length of the frame.
 

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Get your Sequoia's to your local dealer to have the frame rust inspected. Mine has been deemed unsafe to drive and had to be taken off the road. I've been going back and forth with Toyota since January! The Sequoia is built on the same frame as the Tundra that is experiencing the same rust issues...Tundra frames are being replaced and nothing is being done with the Sequoia's. I have the MA Attorney General's office working to help me now. Vehicle still valued at $13,500 and we still owe $$$ on it....Not impressed with Toyota Customer Service....we own 4 of them...we were loyal Toyota customers. Once the frame is determined to be unsafe, contact Toyota Customer Service and start a case w/ them.....good luck.
 

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I recently purchased a 2004 4Runner with 95K miles, the undercarriage looked identical to yours. My mechanic warned me that I would have problems any time I had to do any work under there so I returned it. Luckily Carmax will give you a full return within 5 days of purchase. Also the front diff was leaking and it had a really bad sound coming from the engine. I gave Carmax a chance to fix it but they just washed off the fluid and replaced the front splash guard so of course the thing started leaking again right away. I was pretty upset with my experience with Carmax, luckily I found a really nice local 2003 Sequoia. So it all worked out in the end.
 

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Make sure the bolts are not rusted too bad either, this sort of rust may be common up north but down here its hard to find mechanics that knows how to deal with it, if you have any repair work that needs to be done. I hate to sound so negative but I just went through this same trouble 2 weeks ago and I am still a little upset over it haha.
 
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