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Old 06-21-2021, 05:43 PM #1
DavidK99 DavidK99 is offline
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Hello, and questions about moonroof repair, seat re-upholstery, and dead rear window

Hello, new member here. Iím on my second 4Runner, a 2007 SR5 V8. Itís been a fantastic vehicle. But itís getting a little old in the tooth, and wife and I had been trying to decide whether to put some money into it or replace it. We just finished a 3 week road trip and it was such a pleasure the whole time that we figure weíll do some repairs and try to get another year or two out of it. It has about 120,000 miles.

The drivetrain has been flawless all along and most of the current issues are about the body and interior.

The biggest problem is the moonroof. A bunch of pine needles got into the mechanism, jamming it, and it stopped working about 5 years ago. Besides being unusable it makes a rattling noise, which bugs the heck out of me. My local mechanic (who is excellent) tried to fix it and gave up. The dealer wants over $3000 to repair it. Is it really THAT difficult a repair? Iím in the L.A. area and wonder if there might be some specialty shop that could repair it for a more sensible price. Any ideas?

The next issue is seat wear. The driverís seat has lost some of its shape and springiness, and has become less comfortable. The fabric shows a lot of wear and has some small holes that are worsening. Iíd love to have both seats looking and feeling like new again but donít know where to begin and donít want to be disappointed by a bad job. Suggestions?

One final, minor annoyance is a dead lamp (lamps?) in the up/down button for the window in the rear hatch. Not a huge deal, but the button is a little hard to find at night while driving. My mechanic was reluctant to tackle it and thought that the disassembly / reassembly might be extremely time consuming. Possibly the issue is the wiring harness and not the actual lamps. Are there 1 or 2 lamps, and are they LEDís or incandescent types? It it really a huge job to access that switch?

Thanks in advance for any advice. The vehicle gives us everything we need, and in comfort. Itís been perfect for 14 years, probably has some life left, and weíre glad to put some money into it at this point. We just need some help figuring out what our options are.
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Old 06-21-2021, 08:32 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK99 View Post
The biggest problem is the moonroof. A bunch of pine needles got into the mechanism, jamming it, and it stopped working about 5 years ago. Besides being unusable it makes a rattling noise, which bugs the heck out of me. My local mechanic (who is excellent) tried to fix it and gave up. The dealer wants over $3000 to repair it. Is it really THAT difficult a repair? Iím in the L.A. area and wonder if there might be some specialty shop that could repair it for a more sensible price. Any ideas?
Toyota won't troubleshoot a moonroof - only remove and replace - hence the steep cost (labor to remove headliner, etc. and cost of new mechanism). I suspect yours is a combo of the needles and seized grease, a typical issue on these trucks.

Toyota issued a TSB on the matter, depending on your comfort level working on the truck yourself, I'd start there.

As for the seat, another forum member ordered OEM seat foam and a new cover (his were leather) for a couple hundred bucks and basically had a new driver's seat.

And lighting-wise, burned out bulbs are common on these aging rigs, you should be able to find several helpful replacement how-to's.
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Old 06-22-2021, 01:08 AM #3
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These are pretty minor fixes except maybe the sunroof. Iíd try dropping the roof liner and see what can be accomplished with a thorough cleaning of the rails.

The seat, as someone else mentioned, can have the foam replaced along with a new cover or just put a nice seat cover on after replacing the foam.

The switch will be easy. That trim piece isnít too difficult, look up the radio install guide on here and it shows how to remove. The bulbs are incandescent, cheap and easy to replace.

At 120k sheís just getting broken in. Mine just hit 165k and Iíve yet to have one legitimate mechanical problem. All have been self induced or age wear stuff like you describe. You can easily get more than a year out of it at this point. If not, someone will get a sweet deal on a relatively low mileage 4Runner.

Good luck and keep us posted.


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Old 06-22-2021, 09:29 AM #4
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I agree, the seat and the switch lighting are relatively easy fixes. I see youíre in SoCal so finding a decent upholstery shop shouldnít be too difficult unless you want to take a stab at it.

The switch should have a tiny incandescent bulb in it that can be replaced. Worst case scenario, is you replace the whole switch.

Like previously stated, the sunroof is expensive because Toyota, and probably most other shops, just replace the entire unit. Mine also started rattling a few years ago. Weird thing is, we never use it. Itís been opened maybe 10 times in the 13 years weíve owned it, sun shade included. If I open it, then close it, initially it is rattle free but itís like the mechanism loses tension and it starts rattling. I tried the TSB method and a couple other fixes I found on here but it still rattled. So I placed four rubber shock bushings I had in my toolbox between the sunroof glass and the rails. They hold the glass nice and tight, rattle free and I can simply pop them out in the odd case that I actually want to use it. However, as it ages, Iím increasingly reluctant to even try opening it because I donít want it getting stuck open. Fortunately, mine doesnít leak but if/when it gets there Iím going to seal it up for good.

The other sunroof related rattle I had was the rear portion of the sunshade itself against the headliner. I stuffed a piece of soft foam in between the two to stop that rattle. It just needed a small piece of foam to put just enough pressure so the shade wonít flop around. I have it stuffed in so most folks wouldnít even notice but I can easily remove it in case I actually want to open it.
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Old 06-23-2021, 01:40 PM #5
DavidK99 DavidK99 is offline
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Thanks VERY MUCH for the replies. That's encouraging news about the switch lamp and seat re-upholstery. I'll look into options on the latter. If OEM foam and fabric are available at a reasonable price, that'll be my first choice.

On the moonroof, I wound up stuffing some blocks of soft form in there, which stopped the rattling for now. The noise was coming from the rear corners, caused by the moonroof assembly bouncing up and down slightly, But I'd love to have it actually working again, and MIGHT tackle it myself. I have a fair amount of experience with electro-mechanical repairs and might have a decent chance of success.

Will follow up here later when I have more to report. Thanks again.
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