Our Project Tundra Teams Up With Pro Comp
We decided to change things up a bit with the build of our Project Tundra. Instead of showing you the entire process moving forward from when we picked up the truck, we are going to show you what it took to transform it from stock to stunning in reverse. As you see, the truck in this article is how the truck was built for the SEMA Show in Las Vegas this past November. We teamed up with several great companies, so please stay on the lookout for future articles covering the build.
Immediately after receiving the truck, we wanted to swap out the suspension. The new Tundra is a pleasure to drive both on- and off-road, but at stock height they don't scream, "I'm an off-road truck," if you know what we mean. Installing a solid suspension system and a proven aggressive tire would give our truck that prowess it needed so very much. Pro Comp Suspension and Pro Comp Tires both had the ingredients we were searching for to complete our recipe for building a great all-around performing truck while still keeping all components bolt-on. Although cutting a truck in half and running a tube chassis is fun, the reality is most of us will not do that to a $40,000 truck. Once again, changing things up a bit, we aren't going to show you how to install these components yourself. Instead, we want to share with you our experiences behind the wheel so you can choose whether or not these wheels, tires, and suspension package are what you are looking for.
Pro Comp offers its 6-inch Tundra suspension in two versions - basically with or without coilovers. The Stage I version comes with a spacer up front that is mounted to the stock coil assembly and the Stage II version replaces the stock assembly with a really nice coilover setup. Wanting to share with our readers how they both ride, we had Pro Comp install both kits to the truck so we could spend time driving both. The rear of both kits come with an add-a-leaf and block with either ES Series shocks or MX-6 adjustable shocks. Once again, we spent some time using both to give a thorough evaluation.
The new stance of the truck definitely gave the truck an off-road style. Our install bay was located about two hours away, so it gave us sufficient time to see how the truck did at 80 mph on the freeway. The ride was smooth, but we definitely noticed a bumpy feeling when we reached speeds in excess of 70 mph. Around 80 mph, the truck smoothed out a bit more but still had a tendency to bounce over rough sections more so than it did stock. The truck was smooth when driving around town - very smooth. As soon as we hit the dirt, we felt the Pro Comp Xtreme M/T tires hooking up very well, providing a ton of gripping power. We hit several small rocky sections, a few swooping twisty trails, and even crawled a bit testing out articulation. The rocky section felt good but left a little to be desired. The steering felt good through the flat trails, and we never felt like the truck was out of control or unbalanced considering its much taller stance. Articulation really isn't what this kit is about, and it is where we felt most uncomfortable. The truck made it through everything without problems. Overall, the Stage I kit is a good option for those looking for a solid kit to give their Tundra that aggressive off-road look and clear 35-inch-tall tires while still retaining a good ride.
The installation of the new coilovers and MX-6 adjustable shocks made us happy before we even left the shop. The new shocks meant more adjustability, a better-quality ride, and an even smarter off-road look. Driving home, the ride on the road was much improved over the Stage I setup. The front coilovers were much more sensitive to the bumps on the road, and the steering felt more responsive. We hit the same dirt sections for our second test session so we could compare the two kits side by side. We were able to drive through the rock sections with much more speed because of the smoother ride and better control. The steering response was improved with the coilovers and added stability over small whoops as well. Articulation felt about the same as before, but we assume most people reading this realize this is not a long-travel suspension. The twisty trails are where we spent most of our time and where the kit shined. If you don't mind spending a few more dollars, go for the Stage II kit. You will not be disappointed.