While some guys buy a truck and are content with the factory look and feel of it, the rest of us have a longing to be different and stand out. Ed Balaoro, or Ninja Ed as his friends call him, from Las Vegas, Nevada, is of the latter group, always needing to customize his vehicles. Each of his previous trucks received mild modifications but nothing like this current one. Ed picked up this ’08 Toyota Tundra CrewMax and began the process of making it his own. After 2½ years, Ed has found the perfect mix of customizations.
The CrewMax first needed an altitude adjustment. To get his truck up in the air, Ed ordered a Bulletproof 12-inch lift kit with new spindles, one-piece cage, and uniball upper A-arms. Out back, Atlas springs were installed to give the ’Yota a smooth ride all around, while Fox reservoir shocks were used for bump relief. To really set off the Tundra, a set of 22x12 American Force Rush SS wheels were enveloped in Toyo Open Country M/T rubber, size 40x15.50R22. When Ed picked up his Tundra, he was in love. But that didn’t stop his demand for more modifications.
"My girl calls the truck 'The Beast'!"
With the bigger wheels and tires, the 5.7L engine needed some help. To help the iForce V-8 inhale and exhale more efficiently, Ed installed a Volant intake, Airaid throttle-body spacer, and Gibson exhaust. A Sprint Booster programmer was installed and helped bump the 5.7-liter to more than 381 hp. The lift and power were nice, but Ed had a fever, and the only cure was more modifications.
The body was just too plain and was in dire need of assistance. To remedy this ailment, Ed installed an ARE tonneau cover, Bushwhacker pocket-style fender flares, and an Ansani Designs bumper insert, to which Ed added three 8-inch HID off-road lights. Next, Ed disassembled the headlights and installed an Oracle ColorShift halo kit. He then smoked the taillights and was that much closer to fulfilling his dream of owning a show truck. However, one more area needed to be addressed—the interior.
Bringing the white theme inside, Ed pulled many of the interior plastics out and had them painted white to match. He then installed black leather Katzkin seat covers with white stitching to provide the right amount of contrast.
Ed absolutely loves his Tundra. And this isn’t a trailer queen by any means. If you are in Las Vegas for more than a day or two, you are bound to see Ed blasting down The Strip or at local car meets. Ed doesn’t drive his truck solely on pavement, he has been known to get rowdy in the dunes outside of Vegas, and he pushes his truck as hard as it will go at the dragstrip. Winning his fair share of awards and making tons of friends, Ed couldn’t be happier.
The Oracle ColorShift kit and Ansani Designs bumper insert add just the right amount of cu
Just as the name suggests, the Bulletproof lift kits are big, bad, and burly.