Toyota Tundra Leveling Kit Review: Rear Leveling Kit

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As we all know, new Toyota Tundras have a pretty substantial forward rake:

Standard forward rake on a new Tundra.

This is a picture of a 2008 SR5 Regular Cab 4×2 with the 5.7 V8. If you look at the building behind the truck, you can see that the ground is roughly level. The truck, however is not. The rake (or forward tilt) of the truck is pretty severe. You can also take a look at the amount of space between the tire and the fender in the front and compare that to the rear. It’s pretty significant.

Before, we’ve discussed different options for raising the front end of the truck in order to level out your Tundra. Today, we’re going to blow your mind – what if, instead of raising the front end of the truck to make it level, you lowered the back end?!

Lowering the rear end will make loading and unloading your truck easier. It will improve handling by lowering the center of gravity and reducing body roll. Unlike leveling your truck with a front end lift, you won’t increase your truck’s aerodynamic cross-section with a rear drop kit. That means lowering the rear end of your Tundra won’t impact your fuel economy like raising the front end will. Simply put, there are a lot of advantages to lowering your Tundra’s rear end to make it level.

Tundra Racing, based out of Panama City, Florida, has come to this same conclusion. They began designing, manufacturing, and marketing a rear-end leveling kit specifically designed for the Tundra. They have a fleet of vehicles that they use to test and drive their designs, and they have come up with a rear-end leveling kit for the 07+ Tundra that doesn’t effect the ride OR the payload rating.

Tundra Racing’s rear end leveling kit doesn’t require new softer leaf springs, cutting leaf springs, or any modification that will fundamentally change the orientation of the factory suspension. You simply move the leaf springs from just above the rear axle to just below it. That results in about a 3 1/4″ drop of the rear end without sacrificing payload or ride quality. Genius.

NOTE: The leveling kit does not work as advertised on the Tundra CrewMax. Installing the rear leveling kit on the crew will result in the front end of the truck being about an inch higher than the rear. However, is now offering an air suspension kit (for an extra $350) that will fix this.

Anyways, on to the kit itself. All of the parts are excellent quality – as good as any kit we’ve reviewed. Every part is plated or powder coated, and the new shackles and axle components are CNC machined steel. Top notch.

Tundra Racing leveling kit parts.

Installation is pretty simple, but like a lot of kits we’ve reviewed, the instructions could definitely be better. Installing the kit is pretty basic really – you get the truck in the air, support the rear end with a couple of floor jacks, remove the leaf springs, attach some new hardware to the axle, then put everything back together. The instructions weren’t terribly clear when it came to putting the leafs under the axle, but the parts themselves provided the information we needed. Each piece of axle hardware was marked with a sticker that indicated orientation (the stickers said things like “Driver Side – Top Rear”) and there were notches in each piece that helped you make sure you were lined up right. Once we figured it out, install was easy enough.

Stock factory leaf spring setup. Lowered rear suspension setup.

You can see the leafs above the rear axle to the left (stock), and below the axle on the right (modified).

While install was easy for the most part, there were a couple of challenging tasks: removing and re-installing the leaf springs is a two person job, and you may need to modify the rear exhaust bracket to get the exhaust pipe to fit once the leaf springs have been moved below the rear axle (at least on the regular cab). Finally, install isn’t complete until you’ve re-torqued all the bolts after 100 miles (just in case anything settles).

Tundra with rear end lowering leveling kit installed.

Take a look at the building behind the truck and you’ll see it’s much better than before. The fender-tire gap is just about even now too.

The warranty on the kit is average – 90 days for defects if you install it yourself, 1 year if you have it installed by an ASE certified mechanic. One of the things we really like about this kit is that it would be fairly simple for a couple of people to do this install at home in the driveway, so we’re a little disappointed the warranty isn’t as good for this situation. But considering just how simple the parts are, it shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s unlikely anything will break if it’s put on right. As far as price, the kit is towards the higher end – $399 + $20 S/H. However, as part of this review, Tundra Racing agreed to discount the kit 10% and provide free shipping and handling – just mention “you read the review on” to get the special discount. Even though price is a little higher than some front end spacer kits, the quality is excellent and this is something just about any home mechanic can handle (as long as you’ve got a torque wrench).

Driving the truck with the rear leaf springs moved below the axle doesn’t feel much different. It seems a little bit tighter during cornering, but overall it drives about the same. If anything, it doesn’t seem quite as bouncy as before it was leveled. Tundra Racing offers a more aggressive version of this kit that will level and then lower the truck 2″ – we’re putting that kit on this truck next, so we’ll let you know how much better the truck handles then.

Bottom Line: Lowering the rear end is a smart and simple way of leveling the new Tundra, and we think you should definitely consider it (unless you have a CrewMax – see note above). Installation doesn’t require any fancy tools (like a spring compressor), and you don’t need to attack your suspension with a prybar to get new spacers or coils to fit. While we suspect some people have no interest in lowering their truck’s overall height, we hope that you can see it’s a very practical method for achieving the leveled look. Visit for more information about the Tundra rear-end leveling kit.

Download instructions for the Tundra Racing leveling kit (links to 4.8mb pdf).

Filed Under: Toyota Tundra AccessoriesTundra Lowering Kits

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  1. […] Re: YOUR 2007+ Tundra photos Think I found what I’m looking for… Toyota Tundra Leveling Kit Review: Rear Leveling Kit | […]

  2. Jerry Brown says:

    Are you kidding, that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read on here!!! You couldn’t pay me enough

  3. admin says:

    Jerry – Don’t sugar coat it man, give it to us straight! 🙂 But seriously, some people do want to level their truck out without lifting it. It’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely an interesting idea.


    i bought the tundra racing rear5-1/2″ and front 2-1/4″ lowering kit. it only took 2 delivery days to get to my priority mail. my friend and i, aren’t mechanically inclined, but with the easy instuctions and one quick call to the helpline supplied WE DID IT! only took us one day (8hours) cause we were going slow without power tools. i would recommend this kit to ALL! the ride still feels stock and my white d-cab tundra looks sporty and tough!

  5. […] kit from Tundra Racing. The kit is $399 without the shocks and I found a review for it over at Tundra Headquarters . com. I would be very happy with those results. Some […]

  6. marvin says:

    i got a question.
    i have a 2004 toyota t undra and i added a 2.5” inch spacers in the front to lift it up. i want my truck slanted so i wanna lower the rear just a little like an inchor a little less.
    what do you guys recomend ?
    please email me with the answer and iclude everything such as pros and cons or will it have any affect
    rember my rear is stil all stock

  7. marvin – I don’t know of an easy way to lower the rear 1″ – at least not without drastically altering the rear suspension.

  8. […] the rear drop? Tundra Racing sellings a rear leveling kit, check out the link at Tundra HQs: Toyota Tundra Leveling Kit Review: Rear Leveling Kit | Tundra Headquarters IMO, just lowering the rear looks a little off. __________________ Tundra Racing Lowering Kit […]

  9. BL says:

    I’d love to hear feedback from some people who have done this to their trucks.
    Are there any long term concerns?
    Any drawbacks?

  10. Tony A. Smith says:

    i have a 2008 toyota tundra i want to level the rear end of the truck and put a set of 22″ wheels on it. can u help me?

  11. Jason says:

    Tony – If you want to drop the rear end, this is the kit. If you want to raise the front end, check this out:

  12. a rider says:

    I’m wondering if Firestone air bags or Timbren ride controllers (for trailer towing) would even work with the rear springs moved below the axles? If anyone can weigh in on this question, I’d appreciate it. Thanks, rider

  13. Jason says:

    a rider – They *should* work – the amount of clearance between the spring and the frame hasn’t changed, and that’s usually where the air bags situate themselves. Tom at Tundra Racing can answer the question definitively, however, so I would call him.

  14. Phuong says:

    I drive a 2007 Tundra Double Cab, on it recommends short rear shocks, is that really necessary???
    If so, which shocks would you recommend? Because they have 2 packages available for the rear leveling w/ shocks package, they have the tokico rear shocks for $498 and the tokico trd sports shocks for $548, $50 differ. but if the regular tokico and the tokico TRD sports are the same then i might as well go for the regular tokico for $498.

  15. Phuong says:

    and also….
    I noticed that if I do decide to get the rear leveling kit that I would need a TRD sway bar mounting kit if I decide to get a TRD sway bar later on??? That sucks!

  16. Jason says:

    Phuong – The new shocks really are necessary, and I like the Tokico’s. You need a sway bar mounting kit because the driveline has moved.

    If you’re looking for a drop kit and you don’t care about maintain factory ride, McGaughy’s kit and TRD’s kit are both good options. The biggest advantage in this kit is that, when it’s all done, your truck won’t ride like a milk wagon. 🙂

  17. Phuong says:

    Jason, you mean the mcgaughy and trd kit wont make the truck ride like a milk wagon or the tundraracing ones???

    i want to maintain the factory or improve it even more, not makin it worse, which ones would you highly suggest???

    im really bad when it comes to picking suspensions, my last vehicle-honda accord, i lowered it and it rode like sh*t, thats why im asking, thanks for your help btw

  18. Jason says:

    Phuong – TundraRacing kit = same as factory.

    TRD, McGaughy, and some others that use new springs = rides like milk wagon.

    The biggest advantage in the kit we reviewed above is that it rides like a regular Tundra. However, because the truck is lower, it handles better…but the ride is the same.

  19. Phuong says:

    good info Jason, helped me out alot, i will go for the tundraracing kit

    dint kno mcgaughty’s n trd kit would ride bad, thought it would make it better, im glad i did research first b4 jus buyin it, at first i wanted the full trd suspension set up but it was sooo much money, but thought it was worth it, glad i stopped by here! thanks jason

  20. Phuong says:

    jason, should i get the tr-1041 kit? it gives the front a 1″ drop, i dont kno if i would need that kit to make the truck completely leveled, i dont want the back to b lower than the front so i need to make sure, thanks

  21. Phuong says:

    i know im asking you too many questions but its a $200 difference from just the rear drop so i must make sure

  22. Jason says:

    Phuong – The kit we installed was the max drop available, and it still wasn’t exactly “in the weeds.” Don’t get me wrong – it looked great – but it wasn’t outrageous. Therefore, I would go with the max drop because I think it’s still pretty low without hurting driveability (no stressing over speed bumps).

    So, to answer your question, I would definitely drop both the front and rear if you’re looking for that “dropped” look. If you just want to level the back, then you don’t need the fronts.

    See this post too:

  23. […] How to lower the back? blacktundra1: i hope this helps…. Toyota Tundra Leveling Kit Review: Rear Leveling Kit | Tundra Headquarters __________________ Phuong C Nguyen […]

  24. sammy says:

    i have 2011 tundra, 4.7, crewmax.
    will tundraracing 3.5inch rear drop kit work on mine??
    as of now, they listed crewmax version in their web site.
    also, are new rear shocks really needed??

  25. Jason (Admin) says:

    Sammy – Yes it will work, and yes you need new shocks.

  26. 909SCUM says:

    OK…. I have to ask this question.

    I have a 2008 crewmax…. the back is 4″ higher than the front…… I read the *crewmax note in the discription above, about needing to lower the front when you lower the back of a crewmax…. If the kit lowers the back 3.25″ then i would think the truck would sit almost level???

    A little help understanding why I would need the front lowered also, would be great.

  27. Jason (Admin) says:

    909scum – Every truck sits a little differently, so it could be in your case that you don’t need to lower the front. However, most of the time, the front-end must be lowered.

  28. PopeHat says:

    Jason – I want to order the BellTech Universal Lowering Block Kit for the rear of my tundra which will lower the rear about 3in. Do you recommend that I do this. I’m not trying to spend alot of caash on this.

  29. Jason (Admin) says:

    Popehat – Check out the TundraRacing kit too – unlike the Belltech kit, it’s just an axle flip.

  30. Marc says:

    Ok,I have a 2011 crewmax and I get that I need to apparently lower my front also. My question however, is there any cheaper way for us crewmax guys that may now be available? Such as shackles. They seam very reasonable at only $70 or so.

  31. Jason (Admin) says:

    Marc – Not that I know of.

  32. Matt says:

    Hey Jason, i have a 08 tundra dc…I want to just drop the rear to level it..All i need it the rear leveling kit and im planning on buying the shocks aswell…Do i need a rear sway bar relocating kit for this aswell??THanks

    • Matt – No – we needed that on our truck b/c we installed the TRD sway bar.

      • Matt says:

        cool thanks Jason…Although now that i keep seeing pictures im considering the 2.5 inch front drop and 5 inch rear drop..Stock podercoated black wheels with that drop i think will look good as hell.

  33. RIck says:

    Hi Jason,

    I read the article above ref the rear lowering kit and want to use this on my ’12 CrewMax. I have stock Bilsteins that ride well. It was recommended to use the shorter shocks. I was thinking of adding the airbags to raise the rear when towing. Will raising the rear to correct for drop affect the newer short shock?

    Which short shock do you recommend for good ride?

    Which air bag kit is recommended for my truck?

    I was not wanting to lower the front but may have to with this kit. Where is the front lowering kit that accommodates the rear kit?

    I like the fact that I drive a truck that is above the road somewhat and don’t want to make it too low. Can I get away with not lowering the front at all? Can the rear kit be adjusted to stay level with the front or is it only the 3-14″ drop?


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