The Fabtech Fix
OK, by now you probably know that the new Toyota Tundra is one cool pickup. A hot-rod V-8, bump-soaking suspension, and above-average on- and off-road performance all propelled the Tundra ahead of the competition during our 2000 4x4 of the Year testing. Of course, nothing in our eyes is ever perfect.
One area that we found could use a little tweaking in our torture testing of the Tundra was the front suspension. In stock form, the Toyota front is a bit spongy, and that makes it bottom before it should. Another annoyance we have with the Tundra is that it sits nose-down. Something about a truck not being level just makes us queasy.
Luckily for all of us, the folks at Fabtech had the same feelings about the Tundra and decided to do something about it. Using its considerable knowledge of suspensions, Fabtech cured the Tundra trounce by replacing the factory coilover shock. The new Fox coilover unit has a stiffer coil and holds more shock fluid for fade-free performance. It also makes ride height adjustable in the front, which allowed us to finally level out our nose-low Tundra. Best of all, installation is super-easy and took under an hour.
The first step is to get the wheels off the Tundra and secure the vehicle on jackstands. Next, a pickle fork is used to separate the tie-rod end from the knuckle.
With the tie-rod ends separated from the knuckles, the sway bar end links are next to come off. Disconnecting these pieces allows the suspension to go to full droop and gives us easier access to the factory coilover shock.
The next step is to unbolt the factory coilover shock. On the top of the shock there are three bolts that need to be removed. Unbolt the innermost one first or the shock will move in its mount and make it hard to access the inner bolt.
With the bolts removed from the top and bottom of the coilover, it will simply slide out of place.
In this photo you can see the new Fabtech unit next to the stocker. The bottom of the Fabtech shock is threaded so that ride height is adjustable. It also features a firmer coil that really helps to improve performance on- and off-road.
New Fabtech shocks were put in the rear to provide a slightly firmer ride and better control off-road.
Now the new Fabtech coilover shock can be put into position. Make sure to torque to spec, as too much torque will blow the bushing out of the bottom and damage the billet top.
Coil preload is next to be dialed in. This is how ride height is adjusted. Our Tundra wound up being lifted about 1 1/2 inches in the front to make it sit level.