2012 Toyota Tundra
Andy Canaza is no stranger to modifying cars...afterall, he is the magazine’s Mobile Electronics Director and has helped build countless project vehicles over the years. But after working on other people’s projects, Andy wanted to create his own masterpiece and finally got the chance to turn his already mildly modded 2012 Toyota Tundra into the head turning ride that he wanted but never had the chance to put together.
“I always wanted to do something more to my daily driver, but it wasn’t until after we launched LFTD & LVLD that I decided to transform my Tundra into a project vehicle,” Andy mentions. “The truck was already lifted so I knew I had a solid platform to build on, but it wasn’t until I saw how aggressive the new front end of the 2015 Tundras were that I wanted the same look for my 2012 model.”
Since the 2015 Toyota Tundra kept a lot of the same styling cues from before, Andy figured it would be easier to do a front-end conversion instead of having to purchase the new model he admired. Now, came the hard part. Because Andy knew how much work was needed to tackle the conversion, he got some help from Shawn Lucero from Rogue Offroad in Las Vegas, NV. “I’m glad I called my buddy Shawn to come help me knock it out,” he says. “It took us 12 hours to finish everything since we had to make sure everything lined up correctly. The hardest part was aligning everything so that it all just fit perfectly. Either the grille sat too low or the bumpers weren’t perfectly straight, so it was a tedious task that we really had to take our time on to get just right.” To complete the transformation he fitted Bushwacker fender flares and Fab Fours front and rear bumpers to give it an all around tougher look. He added a Rugged Ridge winch with a Factor 55 ProLink shackle mount and AnzoUSA U-bar projector headlights and L.E.D tail lights.
The suspension was set up by Bryan and the crew at Bulletproof Suspension in Mentone, CA, where he installed a 15” Bulletproof suspension system and added the parts Nitro Gears sent over, including some Auburn Gear Limited Slip Differential (LSD), that made a huge difference for Andy’s daily commute. “They really improved the overall driving experience of the Tundra. It handles a lot better and the Nitro gears gave me back the power I lost with my bigger wheel setup. I’m now able to change gears a lot faster than before and it helped out a lot with improved gas mileage as well. And as far as the lift, it really makes my truck look more aggressive now that it has the new front end. I get to really stand above everyone else on the road.” To keep the look clean and compensate for the huge lift he also installed the retractable AMP Research Power Steps to help him get in and out easily.
If the Tundra’s massive height alone doesn’t catch your attention, its 3M matte aluminum vinyl wrap will. While it’s actually not a bright and eye-catching color, it’s not something you see on a daily basis which is what makes it stand out. Andy opted for a fresh set of 22” TIS535 wheels that were color-matched to the wrap and then perfectly paired with set of 40” tall Nitto Mud Grapplers.
More power comes via a K&N Intake system and a Metal Mulisha Exhaust by Gibson which gives the Tundra a menacing growl. Andy upgraded the interior with creature comforts including a Webasto sunroof and redoing the interior with custom-fitted ALEA Leather. The center console was topped off with the extra large Alpine INE-Z928HD head unit, which has an 8” WVGA screen and features all the infotainment he wanted in a source unit.
Boasting more than $45K in aftermarket parts, Andy’s Tundra was unveiled at the 2014 SEMA Show where it was well received by show goers. Now, that he’s finished and satisfied with his build, he’s looking to the future and is considering another truck or a C7 Corvette.
GEAR: 2012 Toyota TundraExterior
- Webasto Sunroof
- FabFours Bumpers Front and Rear
- Rugged Ridge Winch
- Anzo U-bar projector headlights and L.E.D tail lights
- 3M (Matte Aluminum) Vinyl Wrap
- Bushwacker fender flares
- RK Sport Custom Hood
- Amp Research Power Steps
- 40x15.50R22LT Nitto Mud Grapplers
- 22x12 TIS 535 wheels
- Bulletproof 15" Lift
- Factor 55 ProLink shackle mount
- Nitro Gears
- Auburn Gear (LSD) Limited Slip Differential
- Metal Mulisha Exhaust by Gibson Performance Exhaust
- K&N Intake
- R1 Concepts Rotors
- Alpine INE-Z928HD Head Unit
- ALEA Leather interior