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Archive for May 8th, 2018

End of the Sienna

Although I knew the Sienna showed signs of a leaky head gasket, the exhaust system needed some attention, and a sporty used car recently put it in the shade, this still came as a surprise:

I’m trying to get a crew … together and live the demolition derby dream

By the time I arrived, the dashboard trim had vanished and the air bags were safely out:

Demolition Derby - Sienna dashboad prep

Demolition Derby – Sienna dashboad prep

Diligent application of a Harbor Freight “Professional Windshield Removal Kit” cut through the side window seals, but the rear window rested on four impossible-to-cut locating studs:

Sienna - rear window locating stud

Sienna – rear window locating stud

I managed to pry the glass off using a Gasket Scraper and considerable muttering.

With all the exterior trim, lights, and mirrors gone, the Sienna was in fine race trim:

Sienna - Demo derby race trim

Sienna – Demo derby race trim

But, being no longer street-legal, it required trailering. For the record, not all huge pickup trucks have bulky guys with pot bellies behind the wheel:

Demolition Derby - Tow Vehicle Rental

Demolition Derby – Tow Vehicle Rental

A few hours later, it was in the Short Track Full Size pack at the Upperco Volunteer Fire Company’s Demolition Derby:

Sienna at Upperco VFC Demolition Derby - start

Sienna at Upperco VFC Demolition Derby – start

The driver required a few laps to shake off years of safe-driving indoctrination:

Sienna - Demolition Derby - running alone - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Demolition Derby – running alone – 2018-04-28

But eventually the spirit of the thing took over:

Sienna - Demolition Derby - right crunch - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Demolition Derby – right crunch – 2018-04-28

We now know the transmission oil cooler sat just ahead of the left front wheel, where it was exposed to damage by a glancing collision:

Sienna - Demolition Derby - left crunch - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Demolition Derby – left crunch – 2018-04-28

The Sienna finished the race and made it almost all the way to the trailer before bleeding out through the ATF cooler.

The driver emerged in fine shape, although the door didn’t work nearly as well as it had fifteen minutes earlier:

Sienna - Driver exiting Van - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Driver exiting Van – 2018-04-28

A race staffer in a Bobcat aimed the carcass in the right general direction and shoved it onto the trailer for the return to base:

Sienna - Final Trailer Tiedown - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Final Trailer Tiedown – 2018-04-28

You can find shaky low-res camera action documenting the event, because video-or-it-didn’t-happen.

We piled the windows / parts / detritus into the back, a scrapper hauled it away the next morning, and that’s the end of our Sienna’s story.

Toyota sold a lot of Siennas, which means the Hot Topics list over on the right will show a need for Sienna ABS trouble codes long into the future.

In fact, the adjacent motel slot had a disconcerting sight:

Yet Another Sienna

Yet Another Sienna

I think it was a 2001 model, but …

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