Total Chaos Fabrcation

Desk To Glory Tundra House On Wheels

overland 2nd gen toyota tundra flat bed camper pop top


Text and images by Richard Giordano of Desk to Glory.

There are many reasons why long term international travelers generally shy away from aftermarket parts, but over the years we have found that there are just as many reasons to select a few high-quality components that will help us stay out longer, increase the overall durability of our vehicle, and allow us to maintain or repair our vehicle in the field – all with fewer spare parts on hand. In our case, we’re shipping our North American designed and built Tundra to Europe. From there we expect to find ourselves in Northern Africa and beyond. Sure, this Second Gen Tundra shares a plethora of parts with the venerable 200 Series Land Cruiser, but it does have plenty of proprietary components that may be harder to find overseas. Using a selection of TOTAL CHAOS Fabrication parts we’ve increased overall strength and performance of our suspension and made it easier to service worldwide at the same time.


Reinforcing Known Weak Links

When the factory suspension was removed we installed cam tab gussets and spindle gussets to increase the strength of the weak OEM pieces. The tall and skinny Tundra spindle is prone to bending under stress, so reinforcing them with TOTAL CHAOS spindle gussets was a no-brainer. As noted in Toyota Cam Tab Gussets: Do I Need Them?, cam tab gussets replace the weak factory plates that are vulnerable to deflection or shearing under high impacts. This can throw the alignment off and wear out tires prematurely.


TOTAL CHAOS cam tab gussets help ensure your vehicle retains its alignment specifications.


TOTAL CHAOS Cam Tab Gussets replace the weak factory alignment cam tab plates that bend during bottom outs or hard front impacts.


The intention when installing these pieces was not because we regularly abuse our home-on-wheels when traveling, but for those unforeseen instances when inadvertently hit a Mexican topé, monstrous pothole in Houston, or G-out in Morocco. If these instances occur, and all that’s necessary is to rearrange some things in the camper or field-align the truck, that’s a lot better than having to deal with a sheared off cam tab, or a bent spindle.


TOTAL CHAOS Serviceable Control Arms

The second generation Tundra’s control arms are unique to the truck, so adding stronger and rebuildable TOTAL CHAOS upper and lower control arms made perfect sense instead of sourcing complete replacement OEM control arms. Urethane bushings reduce deflection, lower control arms retain sway bar mounts, and the upper control arm’s inherent design provides an additional one-inch of wheel travel when paired with longer shocks. This, combined with the ability to retain factory alignment specs when lifted, means that our heavily laden Tundra continues to perform well on and off-pavement.


TOTAL CHAOS Upper Control Arms are one of the first upgrades we recommend to any Toyota owner.


Factory lower control arms are not rebuildable. Why replace when you can upgrade?


Regular lubrication keeps the noise down, and the zerk fittings make this process super simple.


After installation and an alignment we marked each cam bolt with a paint pen. At a glance we can now see if anything has moved. There is still the potential for these bolts to rotate under very hard impacts, but with gussets and paint marks in place we can reset the alignment in the field.


TOTAL CHAOS UCAs can be paired with any brand coilover, assuming they have the appropriate amount of travel.


The sway bar provision on TOTAL CHAOS LCAs means you don’t have to make any compromises.


Replacement Parts and Tools

To ensure that we have the parts necessary to maintain the control arms when abroad we packed the following items in the truck:


The sealed replacement parts take up minimal space in our Tundra.


Each of the upper/lower uniballs are the same, so instead of carrying four, we decided on two. We have found that the lower uniballs wear out sooner than the uppers (perhaps due to their lower location being abused by sand and salt, combined with being more difficult to access for regular cleaning), so once those need replacement, we’ll track down or make an order for a second kit. Bushings are unlikely to need replacement, but they’re lightweight and make for an easy swap if the uniballs are being replaced. In our case, the uppers have been installed longer than the lowers, so we have a full set of upper bushings on hand just in case.

We have seen TOTAL CHAOS equipped trucks around the world including Peru, Saudi Arabia and Iceland. If we require replacement or service parts there seems to be at least one specialty off-road shop in each region that has access to bushing kits and uniballs. Otherwise, it’s always nice to have an excuse to call Pat and kindly to ask him to ship some parts via DHL.


The current configuration was shaken down in Utah prior to being shipped to Europe.


This Tundra isn’t only our vehicle, it is our home!


TOTAL CHAOS Fabrication Parts Installed


Warning WARNING: This product can expose you to a chemical or chemicals such as Talc, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects and/or reproductive harm. For more information go to


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