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2011 Toyota Tundra – War Wagon

Inside Wilco Products’ Urban Attack Tundra

The problem with bug-out vehicles is that they are, as the name implies, reserved for bugging out — retreating. There’s no shame in having this as your main strategy, but we all know that the need to remain flexible during a critical event is as important as getting your hits and keeping your gun running. In an EOTWAWKI scenario, your so-called bug-out vehicle could be called upon to conduct a frontal assault, support an ambush, evacuate casualties, set up a roadblock, or serve as a V-8-powered battering ram.

The ever-flexible staff at Wilco Products realized this, and it didn’t take long for them to convince us that they could build a full-on urban attack truck that was capable of so much more than being loaded up with MOLLE gear and high-tailing it to the hills. With the help of a former U.S. Navy SEAL Ground Mobility program manager, the project quickly took shape and the Toyota “War Wagon” was born.

2011 Toyota Tundra   War Wagon photo

Roger Wilco

Wilco’s experience is widespread, but the company’s passion for Baja-style desert racing certainly played a huge part in the project, as did its ability to consider the high level of versatility required of a modern pickup truck turned do-it-all vehicle. After careful consideration, the project managers decided to focus on three key areas: increased protection, efficient gear integration, and better off-road capabilities. But before even a single welding torch was sparked, a suitable platform for the build needed to be found.

Normally dealing with the storied Ford Raptor line, Wilco decided to go a different route and instead employed a Toyota for this build. A strong stock truck with a solid engine, the modern Tundras are also wickedly capable in the dirt. There was no debate about the drive system; four-wheel-drive would be essential to meet the demands of the unknown. It was also determined that a Double Cab configuration with a 6½-foot bed provided the best balance between interior and exterior room. With the objectives made clear and the proper truck in place, the work started.

Under the watchful eyes of their former SEAL advisor, the Wilco crew began by designing an integrated bedrail system that would be the backbone of the build. Much like a rail setup for a rifle, the bedrails provided a place for Wilco to attach various pieces of furniture that could be modified and moved around. Ammo cans were outfitted with rail mounts, while a Powertank mount was constructed to provide easy and quick roadside air access in the event of a flat tire. They soon decided to integrate a roof rack into this configuration. Despite the fact that Toyotas are notorious for bed/cab flex, a free-floating system was designed to keep the weight off of the actual roof of the cab. Many off-roaders opt to place a spare on the roof, but Wilco’s Baja experience has proven that a 140-pound spare on the top of the vehicle does not lend itself to better handling — or ease of use, especially when alone or under fire.

2011 Toyota Tundra   War Wagon photo

Once the bedrail system was dialed in, Wilco removed the stock tailgate and installed the crown jewel of its off-road collection: the VTXL TireGate. Proven to be both durable and functional, the TireGate places the spare in a much more practical location (in terms of both weight bias and access) and adds a bit of room to the bed without compromising performance. Two quick-pins and a pivot allow the TireGate to be opened in a hurry, and the large spare acts as a makeshift push bar in case the Tundra needs to be pushed to safety by a supporting vehicle. The next step for Wilco was to fabricate a durable rear bumper guard that would function as a step into the bed; in conjunction with the TireGate, these mods effectively turned the rear end of the Toyota into a fortress of clean lines and steel tubing.

Forward Facing

The next step for the build was the topic of much debate: What to do with the front end of the truck. The Wilco team knew that the end result needed to be strong enough to blast through a barrier, but weight can add up quickly and the front end of the truck is not where you want additional pounds. The solution, they determined, was a matter of materials: Wilco opted for an aluminum bumper/grille guard. As the part began to take shape, mounts were installed to accommodate what Wilco considered to be one of the most important aspects of the project build: the lights.

2011 Toyota Tundra   War Wagon photo

Baja Designs has made a name in off-road night racing for a reason, and the company’s LED technology is second to none. Consulting with the Wilco crew, Baja Designs suggested that a primary OnX two-cell 15-inch driving light be mounted atop the bumper guard to provide the majority of nighttime needs. Additionally, two forward-facing Squadron 3-inch LEDs would be tucked inside of the grille guard to provide auxiliary illumination while staying completely out of the way. All three lights were mounted and tested in order to find the best throw at high speeds. Lastly, Baja Designs opted to mount two SII 3-inch sidelights to the roof rack. These super-bright spots can be activated both to the sides and the rear of the vehicle, creating an I Am Legend functionality that can turn a dark city street or back road into a safe avenue of approach. SoCal SuperTrucks took care of all wiring and made sure that the waterproof connectors were tucked out of the way and integrated into the various rail systems of the truck.

With all of the armor and lighting in place, Wilco handed the truck off to the team at 4 Wheel Parts to install a multitude of Pro Comp components aimed at transforming the mild stock Toyota chassis into an off-road race-ready platform. Various lift kits were considered before Pro Comp’s exclusive Vehicle Specific Ride Tuning (VSRT) suspension came up as the perfect solution for this project. With several inches of adjustability, the suspension keeps the Toyota at a reasonable height and doesn’t murder the fuel mileage, while also giving the truck a much more race-inspired stance. Although the stock wheels are strong, Pro Comp’s Series 7033 wheels were put in place for even more resistance against warping and damage over hard hits. For an aggressive pattern that could still be ripped down a city street, Pro Comp’s XTREME MT2 tires gave the Tundra the footing it needed for both on- and off-road performance.

2011 Toyota Tundra   War Wagon photo

Firepower

Finally, Coverking’s MOLLE-compatible seat covers were placed inside, and a Smittybilt pistol lock box was bolted to the floor of the cab. But the best modification was still to come.

With so much bed space available, Wilco chose to employ a tripod-mounted, belt-fed .50-caliber M2HB machinegun in the center of the bed. With shooters in the passenger and back seats able to cover the front and sides of the vehicle, the .50-cal is able to rain down deadly fire on pursuers, evaders, and everyone in between. Of course, we’ll keep this mod tucked away in a safe place until the SHTF, but we’re confident that if and when things get nasty, the incredible firepower provided by the 50 will make the already-menacing Tundra a force to be reckoned with.

In the end, the crew at Wilco did precisely what they set out to do: apply carefully considered modifications to an already-capable stock platform in order to create a versatile and tough vehicle. Although this truck can be driven around a city without drawing too much attention, it can easily transition to rugged off-road use, and the pre-existing mounting points for heavy weapons give it the potential to become a force multiplier in the truest sense of the term.

Whatever the end purpose it serves, Wilco Products’ Toyota Tundra is certainly more than a bug-out vehicle — this truck is able to bug out, in, over, around, and through whatever is in its path, depending on what the mission dictates.

Make:
Toyota
Model:
Tundra Limited Edition Double Cab
Year:
2011
Engine:
5.7L V-8
Drivetrain:
4WD/Six-Speed Automatic

2011 Toyota Tundra   War Wagon photo

1 TireGate
With 2-inch diameter by 0.95- to 0.120-inch-thick wall tubing — powdercoated in semi-gloss black — the VTXL TireGate is stylish enough for the streets, yet tough enough for hard use. The rear-facing spare tire doubles as a push bar in the event that the Tundra needs a boost.
Make:
Wilco Products
Model:
VTXL TireGate
MSRP:
$949
URL:
www.tiregate.com
2 Rear Bumper
Even with the TireGate in place, Wilco stressed the need for maximum protection on the rear of the Tundra. This rear guard emulates the stock bumper’s shape, but provides 100 times the strength.
Make:
Wilco Products
Model:
Custom Rear Bumper (steel production model available by year’s end)
MSRP:
Contact for pricing
URL:
www.tiregate.com
3 Aluminum Front Bumper
Custom built from 6061 T6 aluminum, this bumper was designed to be able to handle a large frontal impact. Ramming speed!
Make:
Wilco Products
Model:
Custom Front Bumper
MSRP:
Contact for pricing
URL:
www.tiregate.com
4 Primary Light
Providing incredible output in a relatively small and extremely durable package, the main OnX LED light bar utilizes off-road racing technology for extremely bright night driving capabilities.
Make:
Baja Designs
Model:
OnX Two-Cell 15-inch LED Light Bar
MSRP:
$695 (plus $75 wiring harness and $58 switch kit)
URL:
www.bajadesigns.com

2011 Toyota Tundra   War Wagon photo
5 Bedrails
Along with the roof rack and modular mounts, this test version of Wilco’s bedrail system adds integrity and makes for simple storage that doesn’t clutter the back of the truck. Pre-production versions will be released at the SEMA show at the end of the year.
Make:
Wilco Products
Model:
Custom Bedrails
MSRP:
Contact for pricing
URL:
www.tiregate.com
6 Ammo Can Mounts
To help aid easy access to vital supplies (tools, tire chains and ammunition), a series of modular ammo cans can be mounted anywhere along the bedrail system. Bolts can be swapped for quick-pins in areas where thieves are punished by lead.
Make:
Wilco Products
Model:
Custom Ammo Can Mounts
MSRP:
Contact for pricing
URL:
www.tiregate.com
1 Powertank with Mount
This portable air tank makes on-the-fly tire inflations a snap, and can even run pneumatic power tools (such as an angle grinder for slicing through locks).
Make:
Powertank
Model:
15-Pound Off-Road Series
MSRP:
$687 (Power Tank); contact Wilco for pricing (Mount)
URL:
www.powertank.com
2 Adjustable Suspension
Height adjustable, spring seat monotube shocks that feature Pro Comp’s exclusive Vehicle Specific Ride Tuning (VSRT) create the ultimate in adjustability and handling performance in nasty terrain.
Make:
Pro Comp
Model:
Pro Runner SS Shocks
MSRP:
Contact for pricing
URL:
www.procompusa.com
3 Roof Rack
Maximizing storage space and adding a mounting point for additional lights, the Tundra’s roof rack can support a spare tire, although this negatively affects the truck’s center of gravity. We drove the Toyota hard off-road with more than 200 pounds on top and the well-made roof rack didn’t so much as budge.
Make:
Wilco Products
Model:
Custom Roof Rack
MSRP:
Contact for pricing
URL:
www.tiregate.com

2011 Toyota Tundra   War Wagon photo
4 LT295/65R18 Tires
Rock rejection ribs, a two-step tread block design and reinforced tri-ply construction helps to minimize flats and enhance stability, precision and durability.
Make:
Pro Comp
Model:
XTREME MT2 Radial Tires
MSRP:
$400 each
URL:
www.procompusa.com
5 18-Inch Wheels
A durable flat-black powdercoat and sculpted eight-spoke design ensure that this wheel can stand up to any demands encountered on an excursion.
Make:
Pro Comp
Model:
Series 7033 Wheels
MSRP:
$167 each
URL:
www.procompusa.com
6 Certified Service
(Not pictured)
When it comes to installing and tuning a full-size truck’s suspension, consulting the experts is key; 4 Wheel Parts made sure that the Tundra was 100 percent squared away.
Make:
4 Wheel Parts
MSRP:
Contact for pricing
URL:
www.4wheelparts.com
1 Secondary Driving Lights
With illumination out to 300 meters, each 4,300-lumen Squadron light packs four CREE XM-L2 LEDs into a super-rugged, aircraft-grade aluminum housing. Wilco tucked them away for maximum protection.
Make:
Baja Designs
Model:
Squadron LED 3-inch Driving Light
MSRP:
$300 each (plus $20 wiring harness)
URL:
www.bajadesigns.com

2011 Toyota Tundra   War Wagon photo
2 Pistol Lock Box
Made from 14-guage, heavy-duty steel and bolted securely into the truck, the removable Smittybilt Lock Box offers excellent secure storage space for a secondary weapon and extra mags.
Make:
Smittybilt
Model:
Secure Lock Box with Mounting Sleeve
MSRP:
$70
URL:
www.smittybilt.com
3 Side Spot Lights
Literally the brightest LED lights ounce for ounce on the market, these lightweight accessory lights crank out over 1,800 lumens while drawing less than 22 watts.
Make:
Baja Designs
Model:
SII LED 3-Inch Flood/Work Lights
MSRP:
$175 each (plus $14 wiring harness)
URL:
www.bajadesigns.com
4 MOLLE-Compatible Seat Covers
With an integrated MOLLE platform and six standard pouches, Coverking’s Tactical Seat Covers allow for uncluttered storage of gear and components.
Make:
Coverking
Model:
Tactical Custom Seat Covers
MSRP:
$230
URL:
www.coverking.com
5 .50-Caliber M2HB Machinegun
What truck owner doesn’t want a heavy machinegun in the bed of his vehicle?
Provided By:
Independent Studio Services
URL:
www.issprops.com
6 Custom Fabricated Light Mounts/ Wiring
(Not pictured)
As an authorized Baja Designs dealer, SoCal SuperTrucks made sure that the lights were wired and mounted correctly for minimal battery drain and maximum illumination. They were also able to tie in an aftermarket infrared backup camera to the factory monitor/head unit.
Make:
SoCal SuperTrucks
MSRP:
Contact for pricing
URL:
www.socalsupertrucks.com