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Tatted Toy: 2004 Toyota Tundra

'Bagged, 'Bodied and Badass

Maxwell Matthewson
Jan 1, 2012
Photographers: Dan Ward
Joel "Grommit" Sandenwasser has been in the custom vehicle scene for a long time, so when it came time to build a daily driver that would be suitable enough to carry his family, he knew exactly what he wanted. Anybody who knows Joel will tell you that he isn’t a “follow the masses” kind of guy, which may be why he chose a 2004 Toyota Tundra Double Cab for his project, maybe not, but no matter the reason, Joel has finished it and is extremely proud of his accomplishment.
Photo 2/13   |   Built to be a daily driver, “Grommit” didn’t require any prodding to take the truck out on the open highway and lay it out.
Starting with a completely factory truck, Joel had it lifted 9 inches and rolling on 37-inch off-road tires. That scene quickly got old and the decision was made to bring the truck down a foot or two. Nathan Alexander of Riverside, California, removed the body from the frame, and then stock-floor body-dropped the truck, becoming the first Double Cab Tundra on its rockers. He then ripped out the suspension in order to replace it with parts that would lay the Toyota on Mother Earth. Before bolting anything back on, the entire frame was boxed for rigidity and undercoated to protect it from the elements. Next, a set of one-off Bio Kustoms spindles were bolted in place and a pair of Slam Specialties ’bags installed. To finish off the front, a pair of 24x8-inch Lexani wheels wrapped in Nexen rubber were bolted on and seemingly disappear when the truck is laid out. Moving to the rear, Nathan installed a forward four-link with a wishbone to locate the rear. For a smooth ride Bilstein shocks were installed on all four corners, and an Accuair system keeps Joel’s Tundra always riding level. With a matching set of Lexani 24x10-inch wheels and Nexen tires, the suspension was complete.
The engine was next on Joel’s agenda. Not wanting to do a radical engine swap, Joel left the 4.7L V-8 in place but added a set of JBA polished headers and a JBA exhaust. He also installed a Mishimoto aluminum radiator and electric fans for maximum cooling. A two-piece driveshaft delivers the engine’s power to the Tacoma 4WD rearend that has been outfitted with 4.56 gears. Finishing up the drivetrain is a 10-gallon fuel cell that fuels the power plant.
Photo 3/13   |   2004 Toyota Tundra Tatted Toy engine
Moving to the body, Joel didn’t want anything too extreme and decided to leave it fairly stock. After prepping the body, Joel sprayed the truck in Color Horizon Candy Blue paint. He then had Alan Farias and Noel Flores airbrush tattoo-style designs from the pillars up, inside and out. He even had the lips of each wheel airbrushed. Nathan Alexander then fabricated a sheetmetal bed, which received a sprayed-in bedliner that was color matched to the body. Next, a Lexani grille was bolted on and the body was complete. Finally, Joel could let his creative juices flow and work on the interior.
Joel first sanded all of the plastic pieces down and prepped them for paint. He then had the front seats chopped down and the rear bench cut and turned into buckets. After wrapping the seats in eggshell white leather, he began painting the interior to match the body. For a custom touch, Joel had Adam Radovich, also in Riverside, build a custom fiberglass center console that goes all the way back to between the rear seats. The console was then airbrushed to match the truck. The headliner was wrapped in suede and a Colorado Customs billet steering wheel was installed. Owning an audio shop, it was imperative that Joel’s audio system bumped with the best of them. An Alpine head unit is the cornerstone of the system and sends the output to a pair of Memphis Audio amplifiers. From there the audio is sent to the three Memphis 10-inch subs in the extra-long center console and the various Memphis components throughout the cab. To entertain his kids while they are riding with their daddy, Joel installed an Xbox 360 and Nesa 10-inch monitor.
Photo 4/13   |   The inspiration for all of the tattoo-style airbrushing came from actual ink on Joel's arms, chest, and back.
With his truck complete, Joel can cruise the town with his wife and daughters in style. He wanted to send a special thanks to his wife Lindsey and his daughters Ella and Alene for dealing with all his late nights working on the truck. He also wanted to thank his crew at Extreme Audio and Kustoms, including Matt, Adam, Mook, and Jose, Joe’s Tires in San Diego, his club Xtreme Lowz, and last but not least everyone who goes to shows, builds rides, and supports our scene that inspired him to build this truck.



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