MFing Tundra


Well-known member
Apr 13, 2022
Copied from Dead Rangers:

I know the protocol on [Bad Lines Good Times] is to come up with some awesome name for trucks, but I'm lazy and have been hash tagging (gay, I know) my truck as the MFing Tundra. I'll stick with it's dual meaning. My story won't be as epic as Jeff's, but it's something. I'm about to do a full prep on the truck in the next week or so and will document from there forward more thoroughly. I'm a desert addict and here is my story.

After selling my 1995 Chevy C1500 desert / daily truck, I started to build my 1986 Toyota Pickup into a desert-only truck back in 2015. I had pickup up a 2014 Tundra in late 2014 and had always wanted to have a newer stock-ish truck towing a built older race truck of the same brand. I had all the parts ready for a full Class 2000-ish build. 3.4L swap, Tundra rear end, Racer-X fuel cell, etc. The build was progressing, though slowly. One of my super sperm met its final destination in mid-2015, at which point I decided that I would like to have a truck that could fit my growing family. I 86'd my Pickup and it's parts, save the rear shocks, by early 2016.

I picked up my 2001 Tundra 4.7L 2wd from someone on DR in January 2016. Photos straight from the DR ad:


I bought the truck a couple of days later and brought it home.


I realized the rear end was going to have to be rebuilt before even taking it into the dirt, so the truck went down about a month after I bought it.

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I finished up the rear rebuilding in a couple of months. I ended up with 3.0x16" ADS 4-tube bypasses, Deaver C27, MF shackles, spring plates, and bolt-in bedacge, Inland Driveline slip yoke, and misc parts. I was happy with out it all came out and am still running the setup.


I took the truck out to Lucerne the next day for it's maiden voyage. I was very impressed with how it handled right out of the box.


In January 2018 I decided to finally paint the truck. I hated the door moulding, so I shaved it off. I wish I has spent some time blocking the doors flat, but whatever. Despite the seemingly popular opinion online that my truck is purple, it's actually hyper blue metallic(a) from GM. I had it painted at Maaco in Corona and am happy with how it came out. After letting the paint cure for a couple of months, I had the bed Line-X done at their Corona location. Again, very pleased with how it turned out.



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In June 2018 my rear end decided to fuck off while driving back home from buying some goodies from @DP_Ranger. I debated on going with a full floater, but couldn't justify dropping $6k versus the $800 it cost me to throw a Detroit locker in their (included brakes, fluid, etc.). The locker is a real joy in the dirt.

I put some BD lights up front right before a desert trip at some point in 2018. I also got some new Toyo M/T in late 2019 and have been happy with them, short of their weight. Some random photos.

I bought the truck with ~125k miles and today it sits at ~138k. I'd put the total desert miles at ~1k. The truck has been 100% reliable. It has never broken or left me stranded and I drive the shit out of it. The first gen Tundra is the right size truck for anyone who wants to drive their truck out, play around, and drive home. I can fit plenty of shit and people for the weekend and it's not so big that it's rubbing bushes all over the place.

Here are some random photos for shits and gigs.

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October 25, 2020:

Finally collected most of the parts and tore the front end down today.

Time: 3 hours
Music: Trivium, Vader, Zimmers Hole
Beer: Modern Times, Clown Shoes
Fucks: a couple



Two year old uniball.

Tweaker shit right here:



Next step is to clean up and rebuild these skanks.

I got the arms all cleaned up and ready for fresh bushings and uniballs. Also got the rack ready for the new bushings. I’ll head to Total Chaos either tomorrow or Tuesday for all new bushings. Overall it was a productive enough day. It was nice to be back to work on a desert truck. My last few wrenching days were on a C6 Vette and my V. Trucks are so much easier to work on.

I took Tuesday off work, so expect more shredding then.
October27, 2020:

Passenger shock is torn down. Oil looked terrible and there are no marks on the retainer from the set screw, so I’m assuming this is the first time this shock has been rebuilt.

What do you guys think of the valving? Single 2.5” coil over with the TC kit and 2.0” air bump off the lower arms.



Here’s the driver shock. I believe my calipers were not zeroed on the passenger side, since the discrepancies are all about the same. These ones are triple checked.


I ended up keeping the valving the same after talking to [mention]Ooracing [/mention]. Got the bumps rebuilt as well with the oil / pressure recommendations mentioned earlier. One I them had basically zero oil in it.

I also picked up new bushings from TC for the arms and rack. I need to tap my lower arms for zerk fittings, since I have an old kit without them. Hopefully I’ll get the arms all prepped tomorrow so I can cycle to mount the resi in a new location. The previous owner mounted them above the upper arm, so the upper uniball bolt would hit them.



March 1, 2021:

I suck at updates, but in case anyone cares...

I finished the front end prep in November. Quick recap on the prep: new FK uniballs for the uppers, all new Total Chaos bushings including the rack, rebuilt the coil overs and bumps with Fox blue oil, new hoses and fittings for the reservoirs, new King coils (3.0x16" - 600 lb), fresh Amsoil fluid in the rear end, Bruno Fab billet carrier bearing, rebuilt the drive shaft with Moog u-joints. It was so nice to have a truck free of squeaks.


Not bad for 4 years of abuse.


I took the truck out the weekend of 12/05/20. Jeff came out as well. It was a good time, but was cut short since the people parked near us were dicks and ran around in their SXS all night, blasting mariachi until 7am. I was beat and headed home Saturday evening. Fuckers. Dirt miles: 30.

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Last Wednesday I decided to take a half day at work and head out to the desert with my buddy Marco. We met at Evan's Brewing Co in Corona for a beer at 11:30am, then settled on heading out to Barstow. We ended up at Barstow Del Taco for a late lunch at 2:00pm and after smashing a few burritos on my tailgate, we headed to rainbow basin. We did the loop and had a beer, then went to Calico via dirt. It was about 4:00pm at this time, so we decided to skip walking around Calico and head for Lucerne via dirt. We ended up on Camp Rock road around 6:00pm and headed home. It was a great "work" day. My front passenger bedside mount DNF'd, but that was the only casualty of the trip. Drit miles: 50.


I'm looking forward to the DR Meatfest. Hopefully I'll get a couple of days trips in before then.
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March 1, 2022:

This thread sucks and needs an update.

It is cage time for my truck. I hadn't welded in ~3 years, so I needed a project to get my fab arms back. My in-laws needed a gate, so I took the opportunity to get some practice in. Fucking terrible idea as the gate was a pair of giant 200-lb pains in my dick that took me a month to build. Luckily I had just quit my job and had that time off before starting the new one. Here is the finished product, minus the hinges. One gate is 8" shorter due to the post setup at their house.


Another non-truck update. A former coworker had a 2005 KTM 525 that he was looking to sell. It had been punched out to a 570 and a few other goodies on it in addition to being plated in CA. I threw a bullshit offer of $1000 at him and he went for it. The thing rips and is one of the better deals I've gotten.


Finally on to the truck. I ordered all the tubing and plate for the cage when I bought the material for the gate above. The cage will be 2" x 0.120" mains with 1.75" x 0.120" supports, all DOM.


The rear of the truck hasn't been prepped since I built it in 2016, so it was long overdue. I had even tacked the lower bolts on the shocks so they didn't walk away and had to grind those off last weekend. Since I was going to prep the rear, I decided to box the whole frame while I'm at it. I do not plan on punching tubes through the rear wall of the cab for now and will not likely link it for a couple of years, so I figure it's worth the effort. I plan on doing a new lighting package, dual batteries, add more fire extinguishers (possibly a suppression system), and a few other odds and ends. I also need to fix my carrier bearing, which has pulled rearward after installing the Bruno fab solid bearing.

I have an old pair of Beard fat / tall boy seats for the front and a new PRP for the rear, along with all new PRP harnesses. If I can fit a fourth seat I'll pick up another PRP. I will keep the stock dash and should be able to get the carpet back in. The cage layout and some tear down photos are below. I want to get the rear done first, then put the truck back on the ground (and the bed out of the backyard before the wife makes me sleep in it) before moving forward with the cage. I debated on doing a 4-bar link setup with panhard, but I'm lazy and I want to get the truck out again this season.


Hopefully I'll get the frame cleaned up and start cutting plate this weekend.
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As of today:

I got the frame boxing completed, all 11 ga. cold rolled. The frame is now fully boxed front-to-back.


I ditched the stock proportioning valve for a Wilwood unit. For anyone looking to do this, the metric M10x1.0 unit uses a bubble flare, NOT an inverted flare that Toyota runs. Make sure you buy correct fittings. Parts list:

Bubble flare tool:
Wilwood proportioning valve:
Fittings at valve:
Plug for return line at master cylinder:
Deburing tool:
Line cutting, Toyota lines are tough as hell, be patient:


I prepped the springs and repaired + boxed my carrier bearing mount. I'm waiting on some Ruff Stuff u-bolt plates to replace my current ones.


The cab is gutted, short of the dash. I need someone to buy this stock interior so I have some room. I want to pull the dash as the last second so I remember where everything goes. I'm about 25% done removing the cab sheet metal as required. Everyone knows this part is a gas.IMG_8516.JPG

Progress will be slow the next few weeks due to family obligations. That gives me time to update all of the broken photos in the posts above.
I made some decent progress last weekend - 9 tubes total. This was my first time bending and notching tube in 4 years, so I took my time to get back into it. I wanted to have the dash tube closer to the firewall to get the A-pillar tubes tucked tight, but that wasn't going to happen without hacking the stock dash tube up and deleting even more AC vents.


I originally didn't want to bring tubes out of the top of the cab, but decided to stop being a pussy and let the hole saw eat. I will tie the cab cage to the bolt-in bed cage with 1.75"x.120" DOM sleeved into the 2"x.120" tubing exiting the cab. My logic is that using the smaller tubing will leave me with a nice sleeve when I eventually do a full bed cage. Also bringing tubes out of the top of the cab now will save me from chopping the roof up to do it later.IMG_8700.JPG

I also decided to put in the effort to come through the firewall now, saving me from removing the dash again in the future when I build an engine cage. All tubing coming through is 1.75"x.120" DOM and has been bent as required to clear the windshield wipers. Ignore their varying angles as they are just sitting in place, not tacked to the dash tube yet. I'll tack them on after I drop the dash tube for full welding of the more important cage tubes. I may still have to modify the tie rods for the wipers, but I'll deal with that later. Windshield wipers are a nice-to-have, not a must have for me as I never drive the truck in the rain.

My company is cool and gives us a 4-day weekend for Memorial, so I should make some good progress. I hesitate to set a goal for the weekend, but I should be able to get the roof and C-pillar tubes done this weekend.
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I got the roof tubes wrapped up last weekend. I dropped the cage down and fully welded everything, which was a pain in the dick. I welded as much as I could with the cage in place, let it cool, then cut the tacks and dropped it down. That fucker still warped enough that I had to hog out the holes at the top of the C-pillar and had to force it back in place. The same thing happened the last time I tried this method on the first truck I ever built. The next truck I cage will have the roof cut off.

Given that I wanted to keep the third break light and maximize head and leg room for the rear seat(s), my C-pillar may end up just behind the roof tubes. There will be a gusset there, so I'm not terribly worried if it does happen. The first photo shows the most likely location, but neither are tacked in yet.

This weekend is booked, but I may be able to get some tubes done on Sunday.
Looks good! But seriously, why are you trying to kill all of my nuns? A gusset will never work there. Who do you think you are, building things to be practical?!
I ended up with the C-pillar at the roof junction, so the nuns are safe from my truck. I was testing the C-pillar push against the cab, but I still would have had to bend all of the upper triangulation tubes so I decided to just do it properly. I changed the design as my original star-type design (see Morgan Clarke or Kibbe) would have required almost double the work and the lower tube connecting the C-pillars wasn't going to work with such a design. I could have made more progress yesterday if my notcher shaft hadn't decided to tweak and wear out hole saws fast than my undies. I had to chop saw and grind every notch, just like the good old days. Everything you see is welded as far as it's going to be without cutting holes in the back of the cab. I'll do that later when I link the truck and re-paint.


I should be able to finish both B-pillars / triangulation on the next full fab day, but that might not be for a couple of weeks.