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I've always wanted a truck, but in the Summer of 2013 at the age of 39, I started really getting the itch to buy one. I did a little bit of reasearch and was leaning toward a new F150. My main requirement was that the truck needed to fit my entire family of 6.
Fast forward to August 2014...I took my 2001 Honda Accord (a car I had owned since new) to the dealer to have a leaky power steering hose fixed. While waiting for the repair to be completed, I wandered over to the Toyota lot next door and started looking at Tundras.
I told the salesman about my 6 passenger requirement and he showed me a 2012 MGM CM with only 26k miles on it. I took it for a test drive and was hooked. However, since I never buy on impulse, I told the salesman I needed to do more research and test drive more trucks before making a purchase. I took a photo of the truck and walked away.
While sitting in the waiting area back at the Honda dealer, I sent the photo of the truck to my wife...just the photo...no words. Knowing how long I'd been wanting a truck she replied with just two words, "get it."
I didn't need any further convincing, so I walked back over to the Toyota dealer, negotiated a great deal on the truck (including them covering the repair bill in my Accord). Shortly after finalizing the deal, my Accord was ready. I drove it 300 feet from the Honda dealer to the Toyota dealer and drove home in my Tundra. My wife was waiting outside and she said I had the biggest childlike smile on my face as I drove up.
I joined TundraTalk that day and soon realized I just made one if the best spur-of-the-moment decisions of my life.
My first mod was to protect the carpet. I researched Weathertech and Husky liners. In August 2014, I went with Husky X-Act Contours front (item 53711) and rear (item 53811). I also did a Husky Weatherbeater Center Hump Floor Liner (Item 83581).
In September 2014, I added a K&N air filter and immediately noticed a whistle. No worries. I found the solution HERE
The next addition was the Pop and Lock Tailgate Lock
in October 2014. This is, by far, the best mod for around $100.
The next mod, in January 2015, was a Nestah Edition Antenna
. Performance is good and it looks much better than the whispy stock antenna.
Now on to more exciting stuff! I knew I wanted nice wheels and beefy looking offtroad tires, so I started looking at 17" wheels. I was just about to pull the trigger on some Method Double Standards when a fellow AZ Tundra Club member posted a notice in April 2015 that someone was selling some nice looking Rock Warrior wheels on Craigslist. I snapped those up quick! The only thing I wasn't fond of was the polished aluminum wheel rings.
Luckily, I have a friend that builds and sells side charging upper receivers for AR-15s. They are much better than the traditional charging handle. He also cerakotes firearms, so he offered to cerakote my wheel rings "tactical grey". Here's a photo from May 2015 with 35x12.5x17 KO2s mounted.
I was so excited about the look of the new tire/wheel combo that I did a test fit to see if they would fit with my stock suspension.
Sure enough! They fit! I only had to trim the skid plate by 1" on each side and remove the mud flaps. Click HERE
for a whole thread with more photos and details.
I liked the absence of the chrome wheel rings so much that I decided to Plastidip the badges in late July 2015.
I must have caught a Plastidip bug so I dipped all remaining chrome two days later. FYI, 112° is too hot to spray Plastidip. It was drying before it even hit my truck. This resulted in a rough finish that is hard to keep clean. Next time, I'll do it when it's around 80°.
In August 2015, I painted the front and rear calipers red with VHT caliper paint. I painted them without removing them from the truck. I just cleaned them really well and masked everything off carefully. Only the outer half is painted.
In August 2015, I added a Bakflip G2 Tonneau Cover
. The rail clamps were incorrect, but the customer service has been excellent. This was a great purchase.
One of the things I agonized about was suspension. I knew my budget was limited, so Kings, ADS, Icons, etc. were out of the question. I read...and read...and read literally hundreds of pages on suspension. I learned a lot. Spacer lifts went out the window very quickly. For a long time, I had my heart set on OME 612s until I saw the Bilstein 6112 thread
. For several months I went back and forth between the two. I finally settled on the 6112s with 5100s for the rear...mainly because I got a gift card for a site that sold Bilstein but not OME.
Got the new suspension on in early December 2015. Fun project and very satisfied with the 6112/5100 combo. Eventually, I'd like to get 5160s for the rear.
Stock suspension with 35 x 12.5 x 17 KO2s, Bakflip G2, and full tank of fuel:
Driver Front: 37.62"
Passenger Front: 37.75"
Driver Rear: 40.62"
Passenger Rear: 40.56"
Bilstein 6112 on highest setting (1 shim on driver side), Coachbuilder +2 shackles, poly bushings 35 x 12.5 x 17 KO2s, Bakflip G2, and full tank:
Driver Front: 40.31" (2.69" lift)
Passenger Front: 40.37" (2.62" lift)
Driver Rear: 41.93" (1.31" lift)
Passenger Rear: 41.87" (1.31" lift)
*Measurements taken 2 days after initial installation and 1 day after alignment. Truck settled about .75" from initial installation height.
Added the diff drop in January 2016.
CV Angle Before Diff Drop
CV Angle After Diff Drop
Swapped out my 5100 rear shocks with 5160s in March 2016.