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Lights, Armor, Action! Potent Lighting and Beefy Armor for a 2017 Tacoma

Potent lighting and beefy armor for a ’17 Tacoma

Jered KorfhagePhotographer, Writer

Just like wearing a helmet and other gear while riding a motorcycle, it’s a good idea to protect your rig on the trails. In the months since our ’17 Tacoma left the dealership, we’ve added many things, including 35-inch tires, new wheels, and a pneumatic locker for the front differential. As the truck began to see more difficult trails, we were reminded of how its wheelbase, approach, and departure angles could still hold it back.

The ’17 Tacoma has a 127.4-inch wheelbase, roughly 2.5 feet more than a two-door Jeep Wrangler. While the long wheelbase is helpful in some off-road situations, it can make the rocker panels susceptible to damage when off-road. To keep the truck sliding across rocks and logs—and to make sure our doors would open afterward—we chose to install DeMello Offroad’s Bolt-On Sliders.

Even with the suspension lift and taller 35-inch tires, the factory plastic bumpers are still threatened when we drop off ledges and nose the truck into deep mudholes. We’re not afraid of a little body damage, but heavy-duty bumpers are designed to slide over and across obstacles where the factory plastic might not hold up. The Flat Top front bumper from DeMello Offroad and the T3 High-Clearance rear bumper from CBI Offroad Fab both add extra strength to the Tacoma’s ends to protect the body from thumps and bumps on the trails while helping to generate the high clearance we need.

Replacing the factory front bumper meant that the OE incandescent foglights would no longer fit. We solved this problem, and then some, with a pair of Baja Designs Squadron Sport LED lights mounted in the new bumper, and an additional pair of Baja Designs Squadron Racer Edition LED lights mounted on the truck’s A-pillars. We now have auxiliary lights down low to punch through dust and snow, as well as the option to illuminate areas to the side of the truck with the A-pillar lights.

Here are some of the highlights of the install.