Toyota has been manufacturing Tundra pick-up trucks since 1999. Although the manufacturing company is based in Japan, Toyota Tundra is produced in the USA. The pick-up truck was made in such a way so that it can carry heavy loads as well as carry passengers in its back seats.
This is one of the most used pick-up trucks in many countries because of its dual advantage. In addition to that, the truck is great for off-roading after you do some small changes to it. One of those changes is the leveling kit upgrade. Although leveling kits help your truck gain stability, there are a few side effects to installing them to a Toyota Tundra.
Vital Info. Regarding Toyota Tundra
To understand the various problems, you can face from installing leveling kits, you must know about the mechanisms that are affected by level. Toyota Tundra is a powerful and stylish truck that runs on a 5.7l V8 engine that provides up to 381hp and 401lb-ft torque. It can carry up to 1560lbs. of payload and tow 9800lbs.
This durable and cost-effective truck is an FWD (Four Wheel Drive) that has front independent suspensions and stabilizing bars. It uses the all-season tires that provide an advantage over other vehicles while driving off-road. The wheelbase of this truck is 145.7 inches and it has a 10.6-inch riding height.
Why Install Leveling Kits
Leveling kits are not stock parts and need to be installed as an aftermarket upgrade. Most Toyota Tundra drivers use leveling kits for keeping the truck leveled while moving through uneven roads. In addition to that, a leveling kit helps to provide extra height for the truck making it look stylish.
Installing a leveling kit is a choice because the disadvantages of installing them outweigh its advantages. Unless you’re going to spend at least 2500USD for buying advanced leveling kits, all you’re doing is lifting your truck by 2-3 inches. Cheap kits affect the truck and your driving experience greatly.
Why Isn’t Toyota Tundra Leveled from Manufacturers?
Toyota Tundra and many other pickups come as tilted down at the front and tilted up at the back because of various reasons. The manufacturer of the truck is aware of the problems that you can face from leveling your car. For this reason, they choose performance over style which means they choose not to level the Toyota Tundra while in production. The reason manufacturers don’t level trucks like Toyota Tundra are provided below:
1. Better Handling
Toyota Tundra is an FWD pick-up truck and has a powerful set of front independent suspensions. Vehicles tend to increase friction and handle better when they are closer to the ground. Using lifting or leveling kits affects the handling power of the truck making it harder to turn corners and brake quickly.
2. Safer Driving
Pick-up trucks unlike other vehicles have a bed at the back to carry payloads. Payloads remain seated when the truck isn’t leveled. Additionally, it’s easier to drive without leveling kits because you can see the road ahead clearly. When you level your truck, the front goes up due to the heavy-weight load on the back which makes driving harder due to the nose of the car rising.
3. Mileage Benefit
Toyota Tundra trucks already have poor mileage 14mpg but it goes lower when you add leveling kits. The truck is built with the front tilted down in such a way that the aerodynamic shape helps to reduce drag and consumes less fuel. The manufacturers don’t want to decrease mileage further so they don’t add stock leveling kits to the truck.
Problems With Adding Leveling Kits
Leveling kits are usually added for making trucks stylish but this visual upgrade comes with a cost. Not just one cost too, you’ll face a good amount of problems due to adding leveling kits since the truck was designed to stay tilted. The list of problems you will face after leveling your truck has been compiled below:
1. Alignment Issues
Pick-up trucks like the Toyota Tundra are tilted on purpose so that the payload doesn’t fall off and the driver can see ahead clearly. There’s always a slight difference of measurement between the front and rear ends of the car. Leveling the truck just puts more pressure on the tires and wears them out sooner.
2. Driveshaft Dysfunction
Now, the driveshaft is directly related to the leveling kit upgrade as there’s a good chance of it being put in the wrong position. The symptoms of this problem can be felt when you shift your truck and it makes noises from under the truck. This will wear off your driveshaft faster than usual resulting in handling issues.
3. Suspension Problems
Remember that the Toyota Tundra was designed to work in a specific order which provided a clear sight to the stock parts that should be used. As stock suspensions are not made to handle the leveling kit, the extra height will heavily affect its durability. This will eventually lead to a breakdown in the suspension system.
4. Cheap Visual Upgrade
The price of leveling or lifting kits varies greatly from one another. Again, there are different kinds of kits for the front and rear of the truck. So, buying cheap kits will cause handling issues with your car as it is just a visual upgrade. Whereas, buying better parts will help to increase payload and provide a uniform look for your truck.
5. Risky Driving
You will never feel the same driving you used to have with stock parts when you add a leveling kit to your truck. To keep your truck balanced, you will need to drive slower, brake sooner, and gear down your truck a lot before taking sharp corners. All that effort is only for a visual upgrade.
The Toyota Tundra pick-up truck has been around for more than 2 decades and that’s a huge achievement. Most vehicles models stop their production in 6-7 years because consumers want something else. However, Toyota Tundra has been able to capture its consumers due to its superb durability, flexibility, and price.
Unless you’re aware of the latest news on the Toyota Tundra, the 3rd gen Toyota Tundra is coming out in 2022 and has better mileage than ever. Nonetheless, the present models are the best with their stock parts and will face a few difficulties when you try to modify them. So, remember to check the problems you’ll face before adding leveling kit to your Toyota Tundra.