In the last edition of Project Tundra, we talked about our Icon Vehicle Dynamics Suspension and how it allowed us to go a lot faster in the dirt, so much faster that we got in trouble and bent some stuff in the front end of our truck. Now we are addressing the weak points of our front suspension so this won’t happen again. There is nothing like breaking your truck in the middle of nowhere far from where AAA can come to get you to convince you that you need to build your truck strong here! We are going to fix one of the weakest areas of the Tundra’s front suspension, the Front knuckles with some heavy-duty parts from Camburg Engineering and beef up our outer tie rods, and reduce bump steer with some heavy-duty items from Coach Builders.
On a Tundra, the front knuckle is long and spindly, it looks like something that should be found on a car, not a heavy-duty 4×4 truck. We have had several friends break their knuckles right where the knuckle bends where the ball joint for the upper control arm goes in. You can see that the sharp machined edge of the knuckle in this area is a perfect stress riser for a crack to start. When our friends broke way off-road, they had to hitch a ride out, get new parts, have a buddy drive them in, and fix their trucks on the side of the trail. Not fun, especially with a major job like changing a knuckle. One friend had to take a week off of work to get it done.
To make sure this would never happen to us, we got heavy-duty knuckles from Camburg Engineering. The Camburg knuckles are fabricated out of 4130 chrome-moly plate and are much stronger than stock. You can see how Camburg boxes in the weak area of the Toyota knuckle. This is not going to break and if you manage to do it, other major parts of your truck are going to be broken too and the knuckle will probably be the least of your problems!
Another weak area of the stock knuckles is the steering arms. The Camburg units are totally reinforced and triangulated, there is no way you are going to bend these unless you destroy the whole truck!