I’ve been asked how the Hot Rod Tundra drives…. I’m going to answer that question definitively with a couple of videos, but for right now, I’ll answer it with words…
It drives like a 67k mile Tundra that has had meticulous maintenance and just happens to make a gross amount of power.
This truck has only not started on me once, and it was due to the GPS unit being wired improperly and causing a draw after the truck was parked for a couple of weeks. The GPS unit was replaced and its never had an issue since then. I have access to several cars, so I dont drive the truck every day ( I used to until November 2017), and it can sit for a while sometimes. This winter I was driving a Focus RS most days. No problem for the truck. Get in, turn the key and go.
Throttle response in light throttle used for every day driving is not any different than any other Tundra with a big exhaust on it. That’s because the trans is configured with a street based stall. (I think 2500, but I’ll find out for sure and update) so it doesnt do wierd things on the street. Its responsive to light throttle and has good manners. Automatic A/C works like a charm, Cruise control is perfect, Steering wheel controls all work, Its not cranky if its cold outside, it doesnt overheat if its 100 degrees outside. It just starts and goes where you want it to. Now, slam that hammer down and the transmission will drop down a gear (or two), instant torque hits the rear tires and you’re GONE.
Things that make it different than a normal Tundra:
- Instant torque can overwhelm the traction control. Simply pressing the button once gives you SOME safety measure but allows you to have fun.
- The factory eLSD is a pain in the ass, but this is an issue even on the stock truck. Again, I advise pressing the traction control button once to turn the eLSD off and let the mechanical unit I installed do its job.
- Traction bars use heim joint. Heim joint make noise. When you go over a speed bump you can hear the heim joints in the traction bars make noise.
- The stage 5 brakes make more dust than normal brakes. not a big deal and not like the porterfields and wilwoods I have on my MR2, but its more than you would get with a factory pad. I prefer knowing I can drop the anchor if needed, and yes, its stops extremely well for a huge truck. The 305 tires help here as well. Its balanced though, and ABS does still kick in in emergency braking.
- You MUST use Premium fuel.
- When you first start it, the LED light for the water/meth will do a system check. If its low on fluid it will blink. Just get into the habit of checking the water tank every other fill up and it’s not a problem. When I drive my MR2’s, I check the oil every time I fill up, cause Im not an idiot.
- With traction control completely off, if you romp it in a turn, the ass end will step out. However, it is very controllable despite the long wheelbase. I wouldn’t go autocrossing in this truck, but it actually responds to a little bit of opposite lock, be prepared, you put over 600 horses to the ground in the middle of a turn and things happen. If you wait ’till after the apex to mash the throttle, youre rewarded with a hero exit that makes you look like Ken Block. (however, its loud at WOT, make sure theres no cops within earshot or people crossing the street)
Things that you would not expect from a modified truck:
- There is no rubbing of the suspension, tires, or anything else. It all fits with full suspension travel available.
- The ass end sits a bit high, but it means it can still be used as a truck and doesn’t seem to bottom out even with a load in the bed.
- Ride is comfortable. Its not a caddy, its a street truck that can actually handle well, so dont expect floaty, but it wont jar your teeth out of your head either. I’ve taken this truck across multiple states comfortably with no back issues or anything else. I credit the use of normal size sidewalls.
- You don’t need to “let it warm up” This truck starts in the morning and is happy to go. Now, if you’ve driven forced induction cars before, you know not to romp on the throttle until its at operating temp, but that’s true for any car with a supercharger or turbo.
- The transmission will respond to how you are driving. Drive like a normal person and it is smooth. Drive like an asshat and it joins the party.
So, how’s it drive? Like a normal tundra with more of everything we love. More engine music, more supercharger whine, gobs more power, the same reliability and a little more comfort. Get in and go! I wouldn’t hesitate to drive this truck across the country. Just remember, with power comes responsibility. 😉
Yup, its got a real Limited Slip Diff in it.