Missing the 2007 Expedition Trophy was a tough bite to chew. To help myself focus on the positive, I figured I would shed a little light on the expeditionifying of my 2003 Toyota Tundra SR5 4.7L V8 4WD Access Cab.
I'll do this in several posts. Obviously now, it is much more expedition ready than ever before, as I had hoped to join the festivities in AZ this fall. I have owned it for four years now, LOVE THE TRUCK AS MUCH AS ONE CAN AN INANIMATE OBJECT, and it has become a focal point on a mission to be able to spend more quailty time with my family outdoors.
Here we go with Part 1, mostly on performance mods...
When I purchased it from Fred Haas Toyota in late July 2003, I had a few aftermarket goodies put on, in anticipation of increasing fuel economy. The sticker EPA ratings were 17/13. Here is how I took delivery of it…
Factory & Port installed options:
·Power Windows & Locks
·Towing package (includes 130 amp alternator, transmission fluid cooler)
·Rear hitch receiver
Goodies I purchased and included in the original deal:
·K&N FIPK cold air intake (at this time, they only made one for up to 2002 – see additional information on this sore subject below)
·Challenger Deflectashield aluminum over-the-rails pickup tool box
·Line-X spray in bedliner
·Aftermarket leather seats & door panel upgrade
Goodies I bought in the parts department before leaving:
·OEM rugged Husky-type floor mats
Not satisfied with the nameplate fuel economy, plus the K&N, I was looking for better horsepower and therefore, performance. The first mods I decided I wanted were a Bassani exhaust system and JBA headers. I had the make-ready shop install my Bassani a week after I took delivery.
Figuring to get the big horsepower improvements advertised by K&N and Bassani, I knew I would get better fuel economy, but that was surely elusive. After lamenting about it on TundraSolutions.com, I learned from others there, that the mass air flow sensor could not accurately measure the great volume of air flowing in on my cold air intake. The experts there suggested that restricting the air flow into the filter could actually improve economy. They were right. I purchased a pre-filter cover (I cannot remember what they call this, but it is essentially a nylon sleeve that fits over the filter with elastic on both ends) and it helped markedly. My city mileage was approaching 14.5 regularly.
My next mod was a rear bumper from Tough Country that I purchased locally at Master Hitch. I immediately started saving for the front bumper. I really liked their product and it was locally (El Campo, TX) made.
Getting it home, I was excited to show it to a buddy that wheeled alot in his lifted T-100. I learned about TundraSolutions.com from a him, and that started me down the trail to reach "off-road-ready nirvana".
Before purchasing headers, I had about 5000 miles on my new Tundra. I ordered the headers from JBA through TundraSolutions.com and began looking for a shop that would do the suggested 4-6 hour work at a reasonable rate. The hose-head service Tech at Fred Haas wanted 10 hours @ $70/hr for an R&R of exhaust manifolds. Screw that! I finally found a performance shop that would do it for $350.
After a couple tanks, I began to notice surge of fuel economy. I would consistently hit 16+ in the city.
The guy that installed my headers told me I should consider a Y-Pipe to squeeze out even more, so I bought one, also from JBA, and had the local muffler shop install it. That was about all for the performance mods.
My first highway trip to Tulsa to visit mom after finishing the performance mods, yielded a whopping 19.5 on the way up, and even more loaded on the way back, I hit 21 mpg. What a beautiful thing!!!