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Toyota Tacoma Cab Mount Chop

Trimming the factory cab mount for tire clearance.

Fact is, Toyota Tacomas make a great platform for an off-road rig. They are reliable, safe, capable, comfortable, and durable, and aftermarket support for these trucks abounds. Many owners want to add a little lift, add some larger tires, tune the suspension, and outfit their Tacos for whatever the trail may offer. Still, adding tires much larger or wider than stock can open a can of worms when it comes to the front tires rubbing inner fender wells and even the rear of the front fenders.

Trimming those items is something that happens with tons of 4x4s all around the world, but with the second- and third-generation Tacoma the stout and safe forward cab mount can often get in the way. Luckily there is a solution to get a bit more clearance from this otherwise immobile metal interference. The process is called a cab mount chop, and many have done it. It does require cutting and welding and a cab mount chop plate. Cab mount chop plates are available from several aftermarket Toyota specialty shops, but the truth is, making them is also easy. Follow along as we chop and make cab mount chop plates for a third-generation Tacoma.

We started the cab mount chop on our Tacoma by jacking up the front of the truck, removing the front tires, and placing the truck on some stout jack stands. This gives easy access to the front of the cab mount. We made some marks including a line about 3 inches from the side of the frame to follow when we started cutting.
Using a 4 -inch angle grinder with a cut-off wheel installed in it, we started cutting the factory cab mount as shown. The bottom cut is easier to make following a line to the back of the opening in the front corner of the cab mount. The top will have to be cut and then ground back once the face of the mount is removed.
With the face of the cab mount removed, you can see how the top lip of the cab mount will need to be ground down to roughly match the contour of the lower cut. We used a 4 1/2-inch angle grinder with a 36-grit flap wheel to shape the upper and lower edges of the cab mount. It's fine if the plane of the chop on the front of the cab mount isn't flat. You can pound the cap to match the shape.
Here is a trick to make a template for the cab mount chop caps. Take some cardboard, in this case from a beer box, and a small ball peen hammer. Use the rounded head of the hammer to tap along the cut edges of the cardboard. The hammer will transfer an exact copy of the opening (providing you don't let the cardboard move).
Here is our template for the cab mount chop cap. You can fine-tune the overlap between the two parts.
We then used some 1/8th scrap steel to make our cab mount chop plates. These are available from several aftermarket parts suppliers, and they are inexpensive (probably costing less than you can make your own), but we can make our own, and so we did.
We started by tack-welding the cab mount chop cap along the cut edge inside the cab mount. We then welded along the areas where the cap met the cab mount. With that done we took our hammer and pounded the cap to meet the contour we cut into the mount.
In this shot you can see how much the cut we made curved back as it ran to the outside of the truck. This gives you the maximum tire clearance without having to worry about melting the factory body mount bushing.
Here is our cap welded to the front of the cab mount. We cleaned up the welds (we ran out of shielding gas during the install) and painted everything semi-gloss black. If you aren't looking for them you won't notice the cab mount chop.
This modification needs to be done in conjunction with trimming the front fenders and the plastic front fender liners for tire clearance. There is also a large pinch weld along the back of the front wheelwells that may need to be cut and folded over. You don't want to cut it off, but rather make relief cuts perpendicular to the wall the pinch weld forms and then hammer it over to the side for clearance.