Four-wheel-drive truck owners are known for maximizing their rides to the fullest. Whether they’re hardcore trail riding, deep mud bogging, doing construction work or even displaying their truck at a show, 4WDs do it all. Our particular project truck was purchased as a daily driver, to tow a show vehicle and motorcycles, and to haul landscaping supplies. The owner wanted to change the stance and height of the truck, add a little more presence to it and make it more nimble if he decided to take it off paved roads. This truck already received towing upgrades that we covered in the March 2016 issue (“Towing Improved,” pg. 108), which included rear helper airbags, onboard air and a rear sway bar; so, it would be necessary to work around those parts in order to lift the truck.
The owner also wanted to retain the comfort and reliability of the stock truck, so we contacted the guys at Rimz One in Mooresville, North Carolina, to come up with a suspension package that would deliver everything the owner wanted. After some deliberation, the crew decided that a 7-inch lift with 37-inch tires would set the truck up perfectly. For this, a call was made to BDS Suspension for one of its lift kits. This truck is a TRD Pro model, so it comes factory with oversized Bilstein front struts and reservoir rear shocks, which means the standard 7-inch lift won’t work. We had to step up to BDS’s 7-inch coil-over suspension system, which includes Fox 2.5- inch coil-over remote reservoir front struts (P/N 818F, $3,876.28). This kit replaces the stock struts with new Fox units, and the rear employs lift blocks and Fox shocks. We also picked up the Coach Builder 7⁄8-inch heim joint steering kit ($375) to strengthen the steering linkage as well as a set of +3-inch full billet leaf spring shackles ($275) to level out the rear and provide an even better ride. Coach Builder also offers a polybushing kit ($45) to smooth the leaf spring shackle flex.
Once we chose the lift and components, it was time to focus on selecting a wheel-andtire package to complement the new look. We contacted Dropstar Wheels and ordered a set of 20×9-inch 649BA wheels ($253 each). We had Rimz One color match the center caps to the truck for a little splash of custom flair. Handling the wet and dry traction are the new Toyo Tires ($403 each). The Open Country R/T has great on- and off-road capabilities, but doesn’t make too much noise on the street. We got them in the 37×12.50R20 size to give the truck some more height.
As soon as the parts, wheels and tires arrived, we booked the installation with the crew at Rimz One and dropped the truck off with them. A job like this generally takes a couple of days to finish with a realignment. Check out the photos to learn how this lift was installed.
Coach Builder/Ekstrom Design
Withthe lift kit attached, the truck gained height and ground clearance. We were able to fit a set of 37×12.50R20 Open Country R/T tires to add more inches to the truck’s stature. Not only did they make the Tundra taller, but they also made it off-road-capable without sacrificing traction on paved surfaces. These tires were attached to the 20×9-inch 649BA Dropstar Wheels from Rimz One.
“NOT ONLY DID [THE TIRES] MAKE THE TUNDRA TALLER, BUT THEY ALSO MADE IT OFF-ROAD-CAPABLE WITHOUT SACRIFICING TRACTION ON PAVED SURFACES.”
We tested the new suspension mods on the road. The truck towered over most other vehicles, and the ride was smoother, thanks to the reservoir shocks. We were happy with the new height and off-road performance.