Custom fabrication and one-off creations are definitely cool, but what if you could create something just as impressive using bolt-on parts?
Simi Valley, California’s Ryan Shimp sought the answer to that question in building up his 2010 Toyota Tundra. Ryan, a long-time Toyota fan, was after something that boasted improved performance over stock combined with the ability to confidently hit the dirt. A splash of style was required, too. Long-term down time was not an option. The truck was purchased brand new from Northridge Toyota.
The 2WD suspension was tackled first. Ryan wanted to stick with stock sheet metal, so flared fiberglass fenders and bedsides weren’t in the cards. That meant the suspension alone was responsible for creating enough room to clear a set of 35-inch Nitto Trail Grapplers wrapped around 20-inch BMF M-80 wheels.
Products from several companies were chosen to create tire clearance and provide a better-than-stock ride.
The front steering knuckles were replaced with a set of fully-fabricated CST knuckles, something that’s on the CST shelves as a production part. The CST knuckles re-center the wheel hub 3.5 inches downward, creating an equal amount of lift and tire clearance. No drop-down brackets are needed for the upper or the lower control arms, and the steering components are also allowed to remain as-delivered. King coilovers bolt between the stock coilover buckets and the stock front lower control arms. The Kings trounce the stock shocks on every front; durability, tunability, ride quality, and fade resistance are ticked up several levels above OEM. To complement the Kings as well as the CST knuckles, a pair of Total Chaos upper control arms complete the picture. The T.C. upper arms are more durable than stock and offer improved geometry when used with cranked-up coilovers.
Try as he did, Ryan wasn’t able to completely avoid grinding and welding on this build. The stock cab mounts at the back of the wheelwells had to be trimmed and plated back in for full-lock front tire clearance. This is a common mod with late-model Toyotas, whether truck or SUV.
Out back, a pair of Deaver leaf packs install into the stock spring hangers and Total Chaos shackles. The Deavers are controlled by a pair of King 2.5-inch smooth-body reservoir shocks featuring application-specific upper and lower mounts that bolt directly to the stock shock mounts.
With the suspension upgrades in the bag, Ryan focused his attention under the hood. The Tundra’s 5.7L iForce V-8 is a strong runner right out of the gate, so it was largely left alone with the exception of a TRD cold air intake, a set of Doug Thorley headers, and a Corsa cat-back system.
The big Toyota was now suspended, re-shod, and breathing better. The next “problem” was to find a way to aesthetically set it apart. The flames that ooze from the hood are no slapped-on wrap. They’re painstakingly hand-painted by Rock & Roll Custom Paintworks in Orange, California. It would have been natural to use red, yellow, and orange to create the flames, but Ryan was after something different. The glowing green is bright enough to make you wonder if you need a hazmat suit to get close.
The build time was fairly short: 10 weeks. Those who have taken on major projects know they can often swallow up months and years from start to finish. Ryan topped his creation off by giving it a name: the Toxic Tundra. Most toxic items are repulsive, pushing you away. This Tundra has the opposite effect, drawing you in. Yes, this is one infectious truck.
|Vehicle:|| 2010 Toyota Tundra Double Cab 2WD|
|Owner/Hometown:|| Ryan Shimp/ Simi Valley, California|
|Engine:|| Toyota 5.7L iForce V-8|
|Induction:|| Stock with TRD Cold Air intake|
|Transmission:|| Stock automatic|
|Front Suspension:|| CST lift knuckles, King adjustable coilovers, Total Chaos upper control arms|
|Rear Suspension:|| Deaver leaft packs, King smooth-body reservoir shocks|
|Rear Differential:|| Stock Toyota 10.5-inch dropout style (Note: This is a burly unit. We’d love to see this rear axle further developed for other applications)|
|Tires:|| 35-inch Nitto Trail Grappler|
|Wheels:|| 20-inch BMF M-80s|