Project Tundra: Assembling the Ultimate Off Road Drop In Suspension!

You can see just how underbuilt the stock knuckle is in the area of the balljoint.  We are not sure what Toyota was thinking as this is the size of something you would see in a car, not a heavy-duty pickup truck. We know a few people who have broken the knuckle driving offroad.  The cut-out for the balljoint is a total stress riser for a crack to propagate.

The other area of the knuckle that is weak is the tie rod mounting point. The Camburg part is triangulated and immeasurably stronger here!  It’s obvious to see. For more details on the knuckle, you can read this.

Here is the Coachbuilder tie rod compared to the stock Toyota part.  You can see that it is much beefier!  The OEM tie rod has a kink that weakens it.  The tie rod is known to bend on the Tundra in offroad driving and it is what bent on our truck which started this whole adventure in suspension fortification.

The Coachbuilder tie rod moves the end pivot closer to the knuckle.  This geometry change reduces bump steer which is important in a longer travel suspension.  We wrote extensively about the tie rods in an older article.

The Dirt King Fabrication lower control arm is much stronger, basically has better ball joint or spherical bearing angularity, delrin bushings, mounts for limit straps, and bypass shocks. We wrote about it in detail in an earlier article.


  1. Such an awesome shop truck. If I still lived in california I would love to have you work on my regular cab Taco work truck. Currently sitting pretty with a Ute flat bed, bilstein trd pro spec dampers, OME leaf pack, & lightweight scs wheels, and corbeau GTS2 seats to avoid scoliosis. Suspension is good enough but still leaves a bit to be desired

  2. I used to sell those trucks. I was always surprised how much people would pay for a used Taco, when they could get a Tundra. They were paying more for the old Tacos than the new ones. I never understood that, at all. Especially, considering the E-diff and traction modes.

    1. The tacoma was more practical and easier on the wallet for many folks. First gen tacomas have a cult following and not everyone is on the wagon with the pricier new tacomas. What’s not impressive is the gas mileage on the newer tacomas and tundras lol.

      1. That’s interesting. I never knew why people loved the old Tacos. I guess technology isn’t everything for some people. Truly disappointing about the fuel economy, though.

        The one thing that is impressive is the auto loans they have these days, which are basically mini-mortgages. I know it’s a bit of a scam, though. It gets you to buy something that you really can’t afford.

    2. I went with a Tacoma because of the size. Full-size trucks are too damn big. A Tacoma is pretty much the smallest thing you can get nowadays. If someone offered a compact truck I would have gone that way but they’re all deader than the dinosaurs.

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