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Tacoma Protection: We Up-Armor Our Toyota With Off-Road Worthy CBI Bumpers And Rocker Guards

Posted in How To: Body Chassis on August 30, 2017
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Photographers: Maher Boulos

The ’16 to current Toyota Tacoma has admirable front and rear bumper clearance, making it significantly more off-road friendly than most comparable 4x4s in stock form. However, if you ’wheel a Tacoma regularly, you’ll eventually find out exactly what the factory original bumpers are made of. The very thin sheetmetal and plastic bits are simply not designed for the dragging, bumps, and bruises that regularly occur off-road. After upgrading the suspension of our ’17 Tacoma, we began taking our truck further up the trail and came to the conclusion that we needed more body protection. We also wanted a way to carry extra fuel and get the larger-than-stock spare tire out of our pickup bed.

With these parameters in mind, we made a call to CBI Offroad Fab to order the T3 steel front bumper with a short center grilleguard, the T3 rocker guards/sliders, and the T3 rear bumper with a swing-away tire carrier and dual jerrycan holder. CBI Offroad Fab offers the parts in bare steel or with a satin black smooth powdercoated finish. Once the parts came in, we headed to SoCal SuperTrucks to have them installed on our third-gen Tacoma. The CBI Offroad Fab T3 sliders and rear bumper are straightforward bolt-on parts, but the high-clearance T3 front bumper requires a bit of accurate trimming for a clean installation.

The crew at SoCal SuperTrucks removed the factory grille, front bumper, and other bits for the installation of the CBI Offroad Fab T3 front bumper. The upper portion of the original bumper is retained.
SoCal SuperTrucks techs marked where to trim the original bumper with masking tape as per the instructions. A cut-off wheel was used to slice the plastic, although any number of cutting methods will work.
Once the upper portion of the factory front bumper is reinstalled and the fender flares are cut to match, the front inner fender can be trimmed. The SoCal SuperTrucks techs used a utility knife for this cut.
The high-clearance CBI Offroad Fab T3 front bumper is available in both steel and lightweight aluminum. The steel bumper weighs in at 102 pounds and the aluminum version is 42 pounds. We opted for the more robust steel version.
Our new bumper is cinched in place using existing holes in the frame. The original Toyota front skidplate is retained and reinstalled.
Out back, the SoCal SuperTruck techs removed the entire factory rear bumper assembly with the wiring. The harness is carefully unplugged from the chassis so it can be reused.
The entire factory rear bumper wiring harness is removed from the original rear bumper and installed into the CBI Offroad Fab T3 rear bumper prior to installation on the truck. All of the backup warning sensors are retained.
A large spindle and sealed bearings support the swing-out spare tire and fuel can carrier. The swing-out assembly is installed after the bumper is cinched down and is held closed with a heavy-duty industrial cam latch.
The bolt-on CBI Offroad Fab T3 rocker guards attach directly to the frame for increased rigidity and body protection. They fasten in place using existing holes with no cutting, drilling, or welding required.
The tubular design of the CBI Offroad Fab T3 rocker guards not only protect the rocker area, the protruding tube/step helps keep rocks, logs, random branches, and shopping carts from making contact with the doors too.
There are several options available with the CBI Offroad Fab T3 rear bumper and swing-out tire carrier. Ours holds two 5-gallon fuel cans and gets the fullsized spare tire out of the bed of our truck.

Sources

Socal Supertrucks
San Bernardino, CA 92408
877/807-6225
www.socalsupertrucks.com
CBI Off-Road Fabrication
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
866-522-0697
www.cbioffroadfab.com

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