2013 Toyota Tundra Project XU – Featured Truck

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This week’s featured truck doesn’t need a long introduction or a multi-page list of modifications. It is a large, “beastly” black Tundra that has a sweet set of wheels. Any questions?

2013 Toyota Tundra Project XU - Mountains

The rock formations at the Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs sure look small next to this truck don’t they?

Simple, large and to the point, this 2013 Toyota Tundra is proudly owned by Eric Johnson from Colorado Springs, CO. He started with a basic truck and created this beast. We pulled together his list of mods and went over his detailed build thread over at Tundratalk.net.

This truck has:

  • 12″ Bulletproof lift
  • RBP RX3 grille
  • 24×12 Fuel’s
  • 40×14.5×24 M16 tires
  • 20×12 RBP Assassin’s
  • 38×15.5×20 Toyo OC MT
  • Fox resi coilovers
  • Fox resi shocks
  • 10″ Atlas leafs
  • Ekstrom +4″ shackles
  • Amp Powersteps w/white led’s

There is a lot of height and great suspension plus tire upgrades on that list!

2013 Toyota Tundra Project XU - Stock and Lifted

A “little” perspective…

One of the interesting parts of the build are the tires. He ordered SS-M16 40×14.5R 24 tires from Interco (they are the only ones that make a 40 for the 24″ rim). What was interesting was that he bought 18oz balancing beads to self balance them as he drove. We get many questions about lift kits and getting everything aligned correctly including tires. This is a pretty smart idea.

Johnson did a great job explaining his build and the decisions he made. Here are the highlights.

Why go with a Bulletproof lift?

I decided before I bought that I did not want it stock, I also did not want to cut the cross member on the frame. That brought me to the 12″ Bulletproof lift.
I ordered it and didn’t look back. Took about a month to get it because it is built to order, but well worth the wait.

2013 Toyota Tundra Project XU - Bulletproof lift

This is one of the cleanest lifts we have seen.

How was installation on the lift?

The lift took about a month to arrive, was well packaged, and came with everything except the instructions. I called Brian @Bulletproof and he emailed them to me, but they are pretty much useless anyway. Everything is pretty straight forward and I referenced to (Punch, another Tundra Talk’s build thread) for a few details. 

I did change my order with Bulletproof and got the 10″ springs instead of the 9″ that comes with the kit since I didn’t want to use blocks. I could’ve used different shackles, but figured I would start out with the bigger springs (they didn’t cost any extra $$). I just wanted to clear 40’s without going to crazy.

Basically, everything had to come out. The calipers, rotors, hub bearing assembly, spindles, tie rod ends, upper control arms, lower control arms, anti-sway bar, coilovers, etc… The CV shafts stay connected to the differential as the whole unit will have to come out anyway. I used a transmission jack to lower it down from under the truck being careful not to damage the CV shafts.

Bolting on the differential to the cage relocates it under the cross member, this is why there is no cutting involved here. Once the cage is in, all the suspension components are installed.

The rear was very easy and took a few hours to install the Atlas Leafs, u-bolts, Fox shocks and upper mounts, carrier bearing drop bracket, and the SS braided brake lines.

2013 Toyota Tundra Project XU - Lights

This is a smart idea for lifted trucks.

Why add the lights under the Amp Powersteps?

I decided since the truck was going to be high, I installed lots of white SMD LED’s on each side above the step so when you open the door it lights up the ground and the step. I have little kids and I want them to see what they are jumping down to!

Now that it is all done, what do you think of the truck?

I have to say it actually rides really good. I thought for sure it would ride bad but I can say it’s somewhat comparable to factory. The balancing beads work great, I’ve had it up to 75mph with no issues at all.  The coilovers soak up the big dips we have on our highways and road here too. I did not have to do any trimming on anything to turn the wheels and the coilovers are cranked up about 2/3 of the way. The pictures really do no justice as everything looks proportioned (wheel/tire combo with the size lift).

2013 Toyota Tundra Project XU - Sponsor

The “sponsored” truck.

What’s great about building a really nice truck? Getting it sponsored!

The Tundra is now sponsored by RBP/Lexani, Rock River Racing, and 2nd Floor Huntington Beach!
RBP/Lexani hooked up the Tundra for the Monster Energy Supercross in Anaheim on Jan 18th 2014. They gave me an RBP RX-3 coloramatched grill, 20″ RBP Assassin wheels, 38×15.5×20 Toyo Open Country Mt’s, Billet locking gas door, exhaust with laser cut tip, RBP floor mats, RBP metal black emblems, hoodies, t shirts, hats, and an aluminum iPhone case. It was on display on behalf of Toyota for everyone to see at the RBP and Rock River Racing Yamaha team in the pits!

2013 Toyota Tundra Project XU - Police

Apparently, you can’t have these types of modifications in Utah. Who knew?!?

What is the worst part of having a custom lifted truck? Meeting the Fuzz.

“Do you know why I pulled you over sir?” “Where do i begin, Your lift is way too high, your tires stick out too much, you need fender flares, you need mudflaps and your tint is waaaay too dark.” LOL Sorry Utah State patrol for violating every state law on lifted trucks.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to this same build?

My advice would to go big on a lift the first time, if you install a 6″ lift your always going to wish you did the 12″. I have the 12″ and glad I do! I wouldn’t want it any other way.

While there are lots of different likes and dislikes when it comes to lifted trucks, we like this one. It is really clean and doesn’t have so many modifications that it becomes polarizing to look at. Great Job!

Want to learn more about this truck?

  • Check out the build thread – here.
  • See the Facebook page – here.
  • And check out the Instagram page – here.

Interested in having your truck featured? Get a hold of us on Facebook, comment below or through Tim’s email at editor@tundraheadquarters.com.

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Filed Under: Featured Vehicles


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  1. Mario says:

    Its so beastly it cracked the concrete.

  2. Mickey says:

    WOW! Very sharp! I like it a lot. I just can’t take getting in and out. Not to steal this guy’s thunder it’s time I tell you Tim and Jason. I will find out in a couple of days what type of cancer I have. It started in my right liver lobe and a little passed on to my left kidney. Today I did my biopsy and very soon will do a pet scan to make sure that is the only places. I have this beat. It’s in the early stages of this cancer. I showed no side effects. It was pure luck in finding this. I do blood work every 6 months because of my diabetes to make sure it’s under control. My last test back in July was great. When I took it in the end of December which was my yearly physical where I worked at, I had elevated liver enzymes. So my doc made me go through a bunch of test eliminating the cause. All test came back great. Nothing wrong. I work at the paint shop on the base so the worry was paint and solvents causing this. My doc set me up for a ultrasound. Ultrasund showed dark spot on liver. Very next morning I did a cat scan. CT scan showed what it was and 2 days later I was doing a MRI. Then another CT scan with masking. They were checking everything and ruling all other organs out. Then oncologist ordered this biopsy and petscan. They can see a tumor in the liver. Again I show no side effects. We will find out shortly if this is benign or what type of liver cancer I have. Oncologist stated he will give me treatment i.e. radiation or kemo type to shrink the tumor some and make it more receptive and then take it out. Then he will check the kidney which is about 2cm covered to see if it was taken care of during the treatment. He also stated I will be able to go to work the next day when he’s done. I think I will at least take one day off to relieve the stress. So that’s the low down on what’s happening to me

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Wow Mickey! For all of us here on THQ, we are going to keep you in our thoughts and prayers. PLEASE keep us updated!


    • Mickey – So sorry to hear you’re dealing with this, very glad to hear you caught it early. Fingers are crossed. 🙂

  3. mk says:

    That sucks Mickey for sure, but sure hope you fly thru this with flying colors. Sounds like you have a positive attitude over the whole situation. I’d be depressed or pissed or both at the same time. Attitude is key.

    I really like this lifted tundra, never saw such monster tires fitting on a stock framed tundra with mods of course. Doubt though even with running boards I could get in it, but if the kids can get in it, I should be able to as well?

    I’d love to have toyota develop powered out lighted running boards that flare out ONLY when opening the door and then retract once door is shut.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      I have seen those powered and retractable running boards. I think they are an after-market add on and I reckon their is some long-term reliability concerns that keeps Toyota from offering them straight out.


    • Mickey says:

      mk Ford does it on their new Explorer. From the factory.

  4. breathing borla says:

    Cool truck, impractical, but cool

  5. breathing borla says:


    God speed brother, I’ll throw in an extra one before I go to bed tonight

  6. Eric Johnson says:

    Thanks for all the comments! And thank you THQ for the feature! I wanted to keep the build clean but beast at the same time. This truck will be getting many more mods in the next few months, such as: rear 4 link suspension to ditch the leaf springs, 50″ LED light bars, Lexus LS460 projectors retro-fitted into the OEM headlights, Toyo 24’s, and much more, So keep checking my build pages for updates!

  7. Mickey says:

    Tim and Jason,
    Found out what cancer I have and pretty much how we are going to treat this. The name is “Hepatocellular Carcinoma”. Hepa is liver tocellular is tumor and Carcinoma is cancer. Looks like treatment will be done to shrink the liver one at the same time kill the 2cm on kidney. Will keep update on treatment. Thanks guys.

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