I'm against it but what problems may I encounter doing a Sienna 06
roof penetration (near the center) for a two way radio antenna.
(Magnetic mount has lots of problems.)
By the way - put three or four eyelets on each side for potential
privacy curtains to be snapped into.
My response was that nothing is known about either electrical control
circuits or airbag locations etc. Our old wheels was made of steel
and sheet metal and not plastic. I don't trust glue on plastic.
Are there safe areas and locations for any of the above?
You can access Toyota factory service manuals at techinfo.toyota.com for $10
per day and check out the locations of side curtain airbags and wiring
harnesses. Keep in mind that if you drill a hole in the sheet metal, rust
will probably develop near the edge of the hole, and unless you drop the
headliner, there is a good chance you will drill right through the
headliner. I do not recommend drilling holes in sheetmetal unless you apply
a very high quality rustproofing or re-paint the sheet metal where the paint
was broken. Also, you will not have any warranty coverage for any rust that
develops near the hole.
I would look at through-the-glass antennas or antennas that clamp on to the
lip of the rear hatch or hood. They are easier to install and easier to
avoid the problems associated with airbags and wiring harnesses.
I'm in the SW and rust is never a problem for cars here. Resale value
neither. I was about to ask if the side plastic - like next to the
rear doors pull right off - then I see they are side airbags. There
are F***ing airbags everywhere you look.
This seems like an application for Velcro patches <grin>. I can avoid
blame when they fail.
I think I will use a wood stick jammed in the roof rack to hold the
antenna and then the main problem is one of a very substantial or
solid ground - to bare metal and at two points minimum. Metal in the
roof rack may not be adequately grounded - through whatever holds it
on. Better not be glue - like the wings on a passenger airplane.
Consumers and safety advocates want those airbags, and if the vehicle
occupants are properly restrained by seat belts, the airbags do reduce the
severity of injuries. I can't imagine how you can avoid blame when they
fail, since you only have yourself to blame if they do fail.
Other things to be aware of besides wire harnesses and air bags if you're
drilling holes in the roof are dome lights, sunroof rails and hardware, air
conditioning tubing, and entertainment systems.
Rather than just jamming a wood stick in the roof rack, why don't you just
attach the antenna directly to the fore-aft roof rack rail? I would imagine
that there are brackets made for this application, or you can fabricate one
from a metal plate and some U-clamps, and then attach the antenna base to
the metal plate. The roof rack is screwed to nut-serts in the sheet metal.
If you want to confirm that the roof rack is grounded, check continuity from
the roof rack to a hinge bolt or door striker. If the coating on the roof
rack prevents getting a good ground plane, run a ground wire along the coax
to a good ground point somewhere in the body.
So there is actually a coil for the rear AC??? I had guessed a series
of mini ducts from a single front coil. Does this mean that for max
AC power I should run both front & rear AC?
2nd AC question - when the AC is set to max it automatically switches
to "air from outside" rather than" recirculate". Why would re
circulating not provide the most cooling - after all the air is
I have not looked at the Sienna's AC system so I do not know whether there
is a separate condenser for the rear AC or not. The Previa with dual AC has
a separate condesner for the rear. If the Sienna has independent controls
for the rear AC, then my guess is that there is another condenser for the
rear. In either case, for max cooling, you should run bothe the front and
I am not really familiar with how the AC in the Sienna operates. A logical
setup would be for the system to switch to outside air if the outside air
temp is cooler than the air temp inside the cabin (for example, 105 degrees
outside but 120 degrees in the cabin) until the outside and inside air temps
are the same, then switch to recirculate until the cabin air temp is within
X degrees of the set temperature, then switch back to outside air and lower
the fan speed. Running the system on outside (fresh) air after the initial
cooldown is accomplished will help reduce the musty odor from cooties
growing on the condenser.
I really would like to know how the AC for the rear is achieved. Did
a Google and found nothing. Went through the owner's manual and specs
- same result. Is there not something other than "the $10 a day
pages" (that I frankly have my doubts about)?
I don't even know how to 'get to' the air filter. Even that was
something one was supposed to dust off frequently - now the priority
has changed to rotating tires. It must be hell getting to the air
filter since it is simply replaced at 30k.
The latest manual available is 2003 - how much if any may it differ
from the 2006 model?
The techinfo.toyota.com web site is a Toyota web site with info supplied by
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, not a third party. There are those will argue
otherwise, but the folks at Toyota are more knowledgeable about Toyotas than
If there is a rear condesner, there will be a drain tube for the condenser.
Look under the van for an additinal condenser drain tube, or visit your
local Toyota dealer and ask them. You can also ask the dealership parts
department to show you the schematic of the rear AC to see if there is a
The engine air filter is under the hood and should be obvious. If it is
not, just follow the intake tube back from the throttle body to the air
The front cabin air filter is behind the glove box. I have no idea where
the rear cabin air filter is.
According to the web site, all service manuals and electrical wiring
diagrams are available for the 2006 model year. As far as differing from
the 2006 model, features that are available in 2006 will not be covered in
the 2003 manual.
I was thinking - but did not say "after market or by others" - I
would never spend more than $100 for a complete manual and I'm not
sure why T has adopted their posture of $10 per day for a web site.
Were changes that drastic between 03 and 06 that they would
significantly alter an el-cheapo manual or 200 page guide?
A good repair manual is indispensable for diagnosing and repairing modern
vehicles, and IMO, and in my experience, the factory service manuals are the
best. If you are a do-it-yourselfer without a lot of automotive experience,
the $300 you spend on a complete set of factory service manuals will pay for
itself many times over. That said, I have not invested in a factory service
manual for our '03 Sequoia or '00 Lexus because they have not broken down
and I have not needed one to do simple work like brake work. To me, there
is no question that I would invest $10 for access to a factory service
manual that will save me hundreds in repairs.
Toyota charges money for access to their web site because Toyota is in the
business of making money. They invested a lot of money to document and
collate information on their vehicles, and so they will earn a return on
that investment. Also, that information is available to competitors, and
they are not going to give that information to competitors for free.
IMO, the factory service manual is not "el-cheapo" and contains information
needed to properly service a very expensive vehicle.
The changes between the 2003 and 2006 Sienna are significant. For example,
the 2003 has a different chassis, body, engine, and transmission from the
2006, and the '06 has available features that were not available on the '03,
like laser cruise control and HID headlamps
So is Netscape and many others - whose products are available at no
From time to time one has to wonder about certain business models -
including that of Toyota.
BTW. It is a three volume set + a fourth wiring diagrams - total price
$508.51 +Tax etc.
AFAIK, most commercial web sites make support themselves or make money from
either advertising or subscription fees. There is no outside advertising on
Although Toyota's factory service manuals are available to consumers, they
are not intended for consumer use. They are intended for use by
professional with access to professional diagnostic tools and equipment, and
someone with limited automotive knowledge will not have an easy time
following them. The information in the factory service manuals is very
complete, including voltages for every pin for every ECU and for every
sensor, transmission test port pressures, ring-to-piston groove clearances,
plastigauge specs for crankshaft bearing clearances, steering rack preload,
differential collar crush depth, etc. This is the type of information that
the average consumer would not understand, much less attempt a repair on.
There are several aftermarket automotive repair manuals available for
consumer use that include information that the consumer is more likely to be
interested in, like how to do a brake job. These books often explain the
principles behind the designs, while professional manuals do not explain
principles of basic systems like brakes or ignition systems because they
assume that the professional technician already knows that basic stuff.
This is akin to someone without a medical background trying to diagnose and
treat an ailment from a medical textbook instead of using consumer health
With all due respect to both you great eloquence and demonstrated
knowledge and skill here - IMHO you have just outlined the problem!
As I look at the people in a shop I see none that would appear to be
even inclined to pick up a copy of the newspaper. None would ever
take the time to read manuals or even admit to reading manuals. Each
person would have at least 10 excuses from not enough time to manuals
being no good. Been there done that with the GM crowd in a large
dealership. As I visited (in person) and talked (phone and email) to
many car dealers I was impressed by just how uniformly similar they
all were in everything they did and said and the manner in which they
conducted business. I can think of no other business that would fit
such a uniform pattern.
This type of information is a perfect application for 'expert
programs' where all the vitals are entered by an attendant and all
the answers or further questions come out the other end instantly.
GM has no such system. Does Toyota? This is also about the only way
that "baby-talk" can be smoked out of written materials.
The complexity of modern vehicles makes it difficult, if not impossible, to
diagnose an unusual condition without referring to either the printed or
computrized repair manual for specifications.
I have visited around 100 Toyota dealerships and closely analyzed the
service operations of around 60. The analysis includes spending a week
watching how customers are handled; watching how service work is dispatched,
performed, and QC'd; analyzing customer pay repair and maintenance repair
orders and warranty repair orders; inventorying special service tools,
repair manuals; and technical service bulletins; inventorying required shop
equipment; and analyzing production capacity vs. units in operation;
reviewing technician certifications; and analyzing service satisfaction
indices. Many of the dealerships I visisted in small towns carried more
than one franchise, and the other franchises benefitted from my
recommendations. I do not know if this is still the case, but when I was
doing these dealership analysis, no other automakers offered a similar
service to their dealerships.
I've also dealt with customers who had repairs or maintenance performed at
independent service facilities.
From that experience, for my personal vehicles, I would not have maintenance
or repairs performed at any of the muffler chains; I would get only tires at
a tire facility; and I would get tires or batteries at Sears. Independent
facilities (including so-call import or specific brand specialists) are a
hit-or-miss proposition - I would only use ones that emply ASE Master
Certified Technicians and are AAA approved.
My impression with shops that claim to be Toyota specialists are that the
owners are ex-Toyota technicians who had current knowledge at one time but
lose that currency the longer they are independent because they cannot
attend Toyota technical classes. I fall into that category because I have
not attended a Toyota technical class in over 12 years. There are some
excellent independent shops, and they are probably OK for routine
maintenance and basic repairs but advanced diagnostics on a modern vehicle
may be beyond the scope of their abilities or special service tool
Like a restaurant that gives preferential treatment to a regualar patron,
when it comes to going "the extra mile" if it is questionable whether a
repair is warrantable, or if a vehicle needs an out-of-warranty repair,
dealership and factory service personnel are much more likely to give the
benefit of the doubt to a customer who has his vehicle regularly serviced at
a Toyota dealership. For example, if you need a radiator replacement one
week after the warranty has expired and you have never been back to the
dealership except for warranty repairs, you are much less likely to receive
goodwill assistance than someone who has had all of his maintenance
performed at the dealership. I have never seen an independent shop provide
a free repair to a customer whose warranty has just expired.
If you think that dealership service personnel NEED "expert programs" in
order to make sense of written manuals, then what makes you think that an
independent shop without access to factory training is going to be any
GM, Ford, Toyota, and I assume the other major automakers do have access to
computerized diagnostic systems, but they all require trained technicians to
take advantage of them.
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