Arguably one of the toughest looking trucks on the market, the Toyota Tundra is a popular choice for truck enthusiasts and a target for restylers. Its muscular appeal, stunning performance, and creature comforts can’t be kept a secret anymore. DJM Suspension corralled a Tundra long enough to design a 3/5 CALMAX drop kit, installed and tested it, and here is the story.
The front suspension design is a McPherson Strut type like Ford and Chevys latest platforms. The coil spring and shock absorber are integrated into one and can be removed as a unit. McPherson struts do not lend themselves to lowering with coil springs, loss of travel and ride quality issues inspired DJM to create another CALMAX CONTROL arm system for the Tundra. The arms give the Tundra a 3” drop without changing anything else. Remove and replace, couldn’t be simpler. Of course you can align the front end and use almost any wheel and tire combination you can find for a Tundra. We used the factory wheels for this install without incident.
The rear is the basic truck leaf spring arrangement. DJM moved the axle from below the leaf spring to the top of the leaf. This actually lowered the rear more than the desired 5 inches and DJM designed a shackle package which will lift the rear to the proper ride height. This and the rest of the rear kit has dropped the rear a full 5” without a ride problems. You will need to run shorter shocks and DJM suggest their CALMAX SuperShox as the perfect choice for performance and ride quality.
Here is the step by step install.
Remove the tie rod end. Be careful not to damage the grease boot.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0011.jpg]1950
Remove the strut bolt and keep this bolt! You will need it to install the factory arm in the future.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0012.jpg]1870
To help with removing this strut bolt try placing a small jack under the control arm and use the jack to relieve pressure on the bolt. Do not hammer the threads.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0015.jpg]2120
The easiest way to remove the ball joint is to remove the casting mounted to the spindle. You will need to keep and use these ball joints in your new Calmax control arms, as usual don't damage those ball joint boots![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0028.jpg]2040
Using a press you can remove the factory ball joint. You need a piece of tubing with the correct diameters to push the ball joint out. If you don't think you have the right stuff to do this, you probably don't. Seek out a speed shop or a local machine shop for help with this. You'll thank us later![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0016.jpg]2020
Mark the alignment before you take apart then set back after installing the Calmax arms.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0089.jpg]1910
Install the grease zerks in the prepared holes[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0022.jpg]1800
On your lower arms DJM installed a twin tube in one side, the other side uses the factory alignment eccentric bolt. Don't forget to liberally apply grease![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0031.jpg]1870
Install the Calmax arms in the factory mounts. Line up those alignment cams with your previous marks and tighten. (No need to over tighten here, use your best judgement)[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0096.jpg]1970
Install the strut and swaybar links with the new bolts (supplied in kit)[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0097.jpg]2010
Mount the ball joint in the casting before joining the casting to the spindle. Use the thread lock compound on the bolts which secure the casting to the spindle![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_13.jpg]1950
Remove the tie rod end so you can remove 1/4" of length from the tie rod. This allows you more adjustment with the ability to set back to stock. Tip: leave a nut on the rod when you cut, then clean up any burrs carefully and thread the nut off to finish. The tie rod end will thread on and away you go![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0100.jpg]1850
You have threaded the tie rod end on and now mount to the spindle.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0041.jpg]1810
These are the parts you will use to move the rear axle from below the leaf spring to on top of the leaf spring.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0040.jpg]1950
After you have "flipped" the rear axle you will use the longer DJM Shackles to lift up your Tundra to the designed height. [img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0034.jpg]1720
Now, after you support the rear of the truck properly with jack stands, using a floor jack support the rear end and remove the rear shock absorbers.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0044.jpg]1650
You have the rear end supported now remove the leaf springs completely. Replace the factory shackles with the DJM shackles![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0045.jpg]1610
Also you must re-position the brake line. [img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0046.jpg]1550
Here you can see the brake line mount to modify.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0047.jpg]1610
A cut-off wheel does a great job of separating the bracket from the mount.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0084.jpg]1720
Install the leaf springs under the axle using the axle brackets, u-bolts and spring plates. Now mount the brake line bracket as shown. Reverse the mount which was cut so it rests against the bolt (not the brake line) and secure with a nylon tie wrap).[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0106.jpg]1750
The rear factory bump stops are used by installing the bracket supplied. You may want to trim the bump stop to allow more suspension travel![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/toyota-tundra/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0107.jpg]1670
This images shows the rear axle kit installed, you may also notice we have not yet secured the brake line with a tie wrap, don't make the same mistake!