Trail-Ready Tundra: Upgrades from Fox, Total Chaos & BFGoodrich

Nov. 26, 2013 By Josh Burns
 

Trail-Ready Tundra Continued

We headed down to the shop early to get a start on the install. Shop Manager Jason Smith was there to greet us, and he has done his fair share of these installs and quickly went to work getting the Tundra on the lift, pulling the tires, and starting to remove the stock suspension. If you have the proper tools and plan to do the install the parts yourself, Fox does include detailed instructions to walk through both the coilover and the piggyback installations. Without access to a lift, however, we were happy to have ORW help us do it right.

The Fox coilovers are fitted into place. The packaging for the remote reservoir was kept on to protect it from nicks and scratches during the install Ė something Shop Manager Jason Smith suggested during the install because he knows from experience.

A large pry bar and some help is sometimes necessary to seat the coilover properly and get it into place.

After the 2.5 Fox coilover is fitted, the lower arm is reconnected.

With the coilover in place (with the reservoir mounting to come later), it was time to install the Total Chaos UCAs. Grease is applied to openings before the urethane bushings are fit into place.

All put together, the Total Chaos UCA is ready for install.

The upper control arm is tightened into place.

With the Total Chaos UCA in place, we adjusted the connection of the Fox 2.5s remote reservoir attachment to make sure of proper clearance.

The reservoir mounts are then attached toward the front of the wheel wells. Again, make sure the reservoir hose it not going to rub on the control arm.

Here is the completed install of the Fox 2.5 coilover and remote reservoir mount and Total Chaos UCA.

Before mounting the front tires, marks are made on the bolts after they are torqued down to check for any movement after the truck is driven.

The new BFGoodrich All-Terrains, mounted to our 18-inch Black Rhino wheels, were put back on the truck.

Compared to the 2.5 Coilovers up front, the Fox piggybacks were a much simpler install in the rear.

Once everything was installed, test-driven and checked for proper height, the ORW crew aligned the truck.

Riding Impressions
After leaving ORW, we hit the road a few days later for the 2013 SEMA Show (check out our show coverage here), so we logged in quite a few on-road miles right off the bat.

Photo: Scott Rousseau

Both the shocks and E-rated tires contributed to a slightly stiffer ride (which we fully expected), but overall the truckís road manners didnít feel too far off from stock. The added height in the front certainly gives it a less aerodynamic feel, but the truck still tracks true, offers good cornering and feels comfortable on the road overall.

Photo: Scott Rousseau

Just after SEMA, we made our way south of the U.S. border down to Baja California, Mexico, for the 2013 SCORE Baja 1000. We got down there with just enough time to do some pre-running and exploration of some of the course outside of Ojos Negros. The Tundra, although much more capable, is not intended to be a race truck, so no tabletop jumps or high-speed whoop sections for us. Nope, itís now a capable 4x4 truck with the proper suspension, travel and clearance to not cause any serious damage when exploring and cruising around the course Ė so after hitting the trail, we can get home without having to put it on a trailer!

The truck just feels awesome in the dirt, like itís really stretching its legs for the first time. The Fox shocks soak up the bumps with ease and never feel strained. Weíre confident they can handle way more than we threw at them Ė itís the rest of our truck's setup we have to worry about (such as the lack of skid protection). The Total Chaos UCAs definitely provide more travel to compliment the shock swap up front. The BFGs gave us more than added clearance with the larger tires; they also provided the peace of mind knowing we can beat them up without cause for concern Ė especially while weíre in Baja, the stomping grounds for the companyís testing for decades.

One area of trouble on the Tundra when it comes to rubbing is the frame base. We were unsure of it would rub until we got the truck on the floor. It only rubs slightly so itís not a concern for us, though the piece can be cut and re-welded if running a larger tire.

Even though we didnít go with 35s, we still had some slight rubbing issues. On the left front tire (shown above), at extreme angles the tire will rub on the frame. This is something ORW can take care of in-house if itís noticeable after the install, but honestly we didnít catch it until we were actually running the truck off-road while down in Baja. On the right front tire, the outside edge of the tire catches the stock bumper. This is an easy fix, however, with a Dremel or a small cut-wheel, provided cutting a little plastic doesnít bother you. Both are minor issues but worth noting since we had a tough time determining whether the setup would rub or not. Itís hard to know until the parts are installed because there are slight variations on just about every truck.

Photo: Scott Rousseau

Overall, we couldnít be happier with the setup and look forward to adding more parts. We kept a relatively low center of gravity while providing crucial trail clearance and serious off-road capability. The added height makes getting into the truck a little tougher, so weíll be installing an AMP Research PowerStep in the near future, as well as an AMP BedStep to make getting into the bed for loading dirt bikes an easier task. Some protection underneath will also be needed as well as some upgrades to compliment the larger tires. We found a great recipe for our Tundra, and we look forward to more time in the dirt.

CONTACTS

Off-Road Warehouse

2645 Auto Park Way
Escondido, CA 92029
760/746-3193
OffroadWarehouse.com

BFGoodrich Tires
BFGoodrichTires.com
877/788-8899

Fox Shox
800/369-7469
RideFox.com

Total Chaos Fabrication
951/737-9682
ChaosFab.com

Black Rhino Wheels
800/479-8127
BlackRhinoWheels.com

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