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Benjamin Hunting is a freelance automotive writer who has been involved in racing, restoring and writing about cars and trucks for more than a decade. In his spare time he enjoys keeping the shiny side up on track days. You can find out more about Benjamin’s writing at his website,

CalTrend Seat Covers for the Toyota Tundra

Seat covers have come a long way since the days of fuzzy faux-fur and cheap elastic straps. These days, if you are tired of the look of the seats in your Toyota Tundra you can choose between a bewildering variety of materials with which to recover each throne, ranging from basic patterns all the way up to form-fitting full leather sleeves.

One of the biggest seat cover manufacturers currently on the market is CalTrend, which has been in the accessory business for more than two decades. Based out of California, CalTrend is most notable for the fact that it produces a startlingly wide range of custom-fitted seat covers…it is possible to select from 11 different cover materials.

Camouflage seat covers - great for when the deer are hiding inside your Tundra's cabin.

CalTrend Seat Covers – A Materials Breakdown

The seat cover fabrics used by CalTrend can be roughly lumped into a few specific categories.

Tundra Tool Box Buying Tips

When Jason was at SEMA this year he was able to speak to several different representatives from truck tool box companies about the details of their various products. What emerged from the interviews was a series of interesting takes on what goes into making a solid, safe and secure tool box for the truck bed of your Toyota Tundra. With that information in mind, we’ve put together a brief tutorial to help you use this knowledge to your advantage when selecting a tool box of your own. Special thanks to the video assist from Orion Newman of Better Built tool boxes.

Materials and Design

One of Orion’s main recommendations was to choose a tool box built out of a single piece of aluminum, reducing the number of welds to a bare minimum. Obviously there is the need to fully weld each of the five lower pieces of the box to each other, but aside from that each “side” of the box should be cut from a single piece of metal. This dramatically improves the overall strength of the box.

Best Toyota Tundra Burn Out Videos

Once the Toyota Tundra gained a 5.7-liter V8 engine with nearly 400 horsepower on tap, it didn’t take a crystal ball to predict that pretty soon YouTube would be filling up with tire-melting shenanigans caught on amateur video. Burnouts are fun – especially if it’s not your tires going up in smoke – and the Tundra has more than its fair share of cool brakestands and donuts preserved for the ages by camcorders across the country.

Let’s take a look at some of the best Tundra burnout videos available on YouTube.

CGI Engine Blocks and Half-Ton Diesels – What, How, and Why

Sometimes some of the most innovative design ideas rely on concepts that are actually very, very old. History is littered with theories, materials and feats of engineering that were patented long before their time, intriguing developments that simply were not capitalized on in their era for a variety of different reasons. One technology that falls under this general heading is compacted graphite iron.

Compacted graphite iron (CGI) was developed more than 60 years ago as a high strength alternative to standard gray iron. In fact, CGI is 75 percent stronger and stiffer than traditional gray iron, and it also offers better resistance to fatigue than both aluminum and gray iron. This strong and lightweight material was used only sparingly over the decades following its discovery, with applications including high speed train brakes and commercial diesel truck engines.

CGI Engine Block

In a more modern setting, CGI has found its way into the factories that produce premium luxury cars, such as those run by BMW and Audi who use the metal in a number of different engine designs. Jaguar and Hyundai have also adopted the use of CGI in several high performance applications. In the motorsports world, NASCAR has heavily adopted CGI technology, with the majority of teams using this material for their engine blocks which see some of the harshest abuse that a motor can take. Even TRD has gotten into the act, using a CGI block for its Craftsman series racing truck engine.

For half-ton truck owners, the most intriguing possibilities offered by compacted graphite iron relate to its potential in the lightweight diesel field.

ARB Air Locker for the Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra is a decent off-road vehicle right out of the box, but more serious all-terrain pursuits often require the installation of upgraded drivetrain, suspension and chassis components in order to get the most out of the Tundra platform. A popular way to improve the trail capabilities of any pickup truck is to install a locking rear differential in order to maximize traction in a variety of different driving situations.

Stock Tundra = No Locking Rear Diff

Stock four-wheel drive Tundras don’t offer a traditional locking differential.