We've put 5,000 miles on our '07 Toyota Tundra and during that time we've towed and commuted with the truck, getting a feel for its on-road manners. It's time to find out how well our two-wheel-drive truck will work off the road by taking a journey to a far-off destination. In this case, the destination is one of our favorite watering holes, which is situated in the middle of the Arizona desert. The aptly named Desert Bar is in the middle of nowhere, and like that island in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, you can't find it unless you already know where it is.
The DSI shop is massive, and...
The DSI shop is massive, and the technicians made quick work of our installation, finishing and aligning the truck in under eight hours.
The Desert Bar lies between two rock formations at the base of a mountain about 3 miles off highway 95 in Parker, Arizona. The trail that leads to it is an unmarked, rocky stretch of dirt with a handful of switchbacks and tight corners of varying elevation. It's tame enough to take a stock truck through with a few scrapes on the chassis, but rough enough to rattle the fillings from your teeth should you take your stocker in search of the bar's fantastic beer and live music. We were hankerin' for some hooch but didn't want to hurt our kidneys, so we opted to outfit our Tundra with a dirt-worthy suspension and rolling stock from Pro Comp. Dealer Services International (DSI), the company that built the no fear GMC Sierra featured in the March '08 Builder's Blueprint, also hooked up our truck.
The KIT: The Stage II suspension system from Pro Comp lifts the truck a total of 6 inches. It includes all of the hardware to do the job, except for thread-locking compound for the bolts and the tools to do the job. The parts will put the truck up enough to clear 35x12.50-inch tires with rim sizes up to 9-inches wide. The replacement coilovers are not adjustable, but the eS9000 rear shocks are. This kit works for both two- and four-wheel-drive Tundras.
Stock Suspension: The Tundra's IfS is a beefy, unequal-length A-arm design and relies on coilovers for support. look at those big ol' tie-rod ends: They are larger than most 3/4- and 1-ton domestic truck parts.
Spindles And Shocks: The new spindles move the hub location downward and roll the angle of the tie-rod end over to eliminate bumpsteer. The aluminum-body coilovers are longer and offer increased travel without a harsh ride, thanks to a better spring rate.