Congress is Going to Take Your Truck Away

Have you heard the radio ads, the ones that say that Congress is considering new fuel economy regulations? According to these ads, Congress is going to take our trucks away. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has stated that the new fuel economy bill being proposed in Congress by Sen. Byron Dorgan, Democrat from North Dakota, will result in ALL vehicles being smaller and more expensive. The alliance says that big vehicles, like family SUVs and pick-up trucks, will be hard or impossible to manufacture if these new fuel economy regulations take effect.

Here’s a link to listen to the ad that says we’re going to lose our trucks.

Here’s the link to listen to the ad that says we’re going to lose our big, safe SUV’s.

When I first heard the ads, I thought they were right. After all, if fuel economy must improve, then maybe cars will have to get smaller. Smaller vehicles weigh less, are more aerodynamic, and don’t need to be as powerful. Smaller engines usually mean better fuel economy. It makes logical sense, right?


Making a vehicle smaller is one way of improving fuel economy, but it’s not the only way. Better technology, like hybrid drive systems, hydraulic or pneumatic energy storage, plug-in battery packs, or alternative fuels are all ways that fuel economy could be improved. Not to mention simpler market-ready technologies like lightweight materials, turbochargers and superchargers, and direct injection. The fact is, these technologies could be easily implemented in vehicles and improve fuel economy without dramatically raising new vehicle costs. But according to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (which includes GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, VW, Mazda, BMW, Mitsu, and Porsche), any gains in fuel economy must come from making smaller vehicles.

In other words, bye-bye trucks and SUVs.

Why are these automakers trying to scare us? History has shown that every time the government has mandated newer auto regulations we’ve all benefited. Seat belts and airbags were resisted by automakers, but we all know how that turned out. Now we’re supposed to believe auto manufacturers when they say that tougher fuel economy standards mean that our kids’ lives are going to be at risk riding in the backseat of a Ford Festiva and that we’re going to do our hauling in Toyota’s that look like this. (See the story behind that photo here.)

I think the radio ads are misleading. For argument’s sake, let’s say that new cars got more expensive…so what? If a new car costs $2000 more, but it saves you $800 a year in gas, doesn’t that make sense? I think auto manufacturers are against this bill because it will hurt their profits…if their costs go up, their margins will go down.

What do you think?

Toyota Tundra Lift Kit Review: Toytec 3″ Lift Kit

Toytec Lifts produces lift kits, leveling kits, and other suspension accessories exclusively for Toyota trucks and SUVs. Based just outside of Denver, Colorado, ToyTec tests all of their products on Toyota vehicles that travel rugged trails in the Colorado Rockies. We found Toytec’s website and decided to review their 3″ Toyota Tundra lift kit. Our review includes a Tundra lift kit installation guide and video.

When the new Tundra was introduced, after market product manufacturers like ToyTec had very little time to design and manufacture a kit that would work with the all-new suspension. ToyTec’s engineering team collaborated with dealerships in Colorado and North Carolina to measure, design, and test their 3″ lift kit design as soon as the Tundra came out. Once the measurements were made, parts were machined, and ToyTec’s newest kit was ready for the market. For the most part, ToyTec sells their lift kits to dealerships and four-wheel shops around the country, but the product is available to the general public.

ToyTec 3

2007 Tundra CrewMax Comparison: With and without ToyTec Lift Kit. The lifted truck is wearing ProComp 6066 wheels

ToyTec’s kit is designed to raise the front of the Tundra 3″ and the rear 1″, thus leveling the truck while also increasing the height about 1″. The end result is the lifted truck looks better, is level, and can accommodate a much larger set of wheels and tires. Read more…

ToyTec 3″ Lift Kit Installation Pictures and Video

Installing the ToyTec 3″ Lift Kit on a local Toyota Tundra was auto technician Jerrod Jewell of Mountain States Toyota. Jerrod, an auto technician for almost a decade, worked quickly and efficiently to install this kit while still taking the time to answer questions and allowing us to take pictures.

Thank you!

In order, here are the steps for installing the 3″ lift kit from ToyTec on a 2007+ Tundra. Read more…

Toyota considering recall of 5.7’s made before 3/15/07

According to a local source, Toyota is currently weighing the cost and impact of recalling all of the 5.7L V8’s that were produced before March 15, 2007. By some estimates, that may be as many as 30,000 vehicles.

The recall is being considered because an unknown number of 5.7L V8 Tundras have defective camshafts. Specifically, the camshaft may snap during hard acceleration because of a manufacturing defect. While Toyota is fairly certain that the number of vehicles effected is very small, the possibility of negative publicity and future failures is enough to consider replacing the camshafts in the Tundras in question.

Here at TundraHeadquarters, we’re wondering what would be worse for Toyota — recalling 30k vehicles and declaring to the world that their newest, most powerful engine could disintegrate under acceleration OR acknowledging this may be a problem but refusing to take a pro-active stance.

We’re of the opinion that the problem is still fairly small (20 trucks out of 30,000) and that Toyota really doesn’t need to do anything at this point. Other manufacturers have had far worse problems that went uncorrected. If Toyota announces a recall, the problem will look worse than it really is.

Toyota Tundra Camshaft “Problem”

When you’re at the top of the food chain, everyone wants to eat your lunch. Toyota, arguably the MOST successful car company in the world, is sometimes a victim of its’ own success. When Toyota has a minor hiccup, the press lunges at the opportunity to discredit and devalue the company. Most recently, Automotive News has reported that “The launch of the all new 2007 Tundra full size pickup continues to go anything but smoothly” due to a mysterious camshaft failure found on the 5.7L V8.

Before anyone takes their new 5.7L down to their local Ford, Chevy, or Dodge dealer to trade it in, let’s evaluate the facts:

  1. Automotive news reports 20 instances of this camshaft failure, but this isn’t a complete number. There could be more, and there could be less. Weighed against the current total of 30,000 trucks sold, that amounts to a very small percentage of defects.
  2. To their credit, Toyota has acknowledged there is a problem with SOME of the 5.7L camshafts. If any camshaft has failed, Toyota may replace the entire engine according to correspondence with
  3. If this were happening in a new Dodge, Ford, or Chevy, this wouldn’t be news. The fact is that the only reason camshaft failures are news is because they’re happening on a Toyota.

The bottomline: Until this starts happening with any sort of regular frequency, it’s not a problem. Toyota warranty’s the camshafts on a new Tundra for five years or 60k miles. If there is a defective camshaft in your truck, it’s going to grenade long before the warranty is up. If Toyota installs a new motor (and grants you an extended warranty on the rest of the power train), what’s the harm? Besides, it’s probably not going to happen to anyone that it already hasn’t happened to.