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Adding off-road armor on a 2017 Toyota Tacoma

Four Wheeler logoFour Wheeler 6/14/2017 Tyler Adams

03 Taco Armor

03 Taco Armor
© Tyler Adams

Toyota loyalists have been relishing the aftermarket goodies available for the third-generation Tacoma. Since the current model launched in 2015, the aftermarket companies have ramped up an array of functional products from suspension upgrades to armor protection. Now, if we could only get a factory TRD supercharger for the mildly-powered 3.5L V-6, we’d be ecstatic!

For the build at hand, we chose a ’17 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 TRD Sport longbed with the 140.6-inch wheelbase. We camp a ton, so the longbed was key to our purchasing decision and has enough room for all of our gear. But, stout bumpers and rocker protection are lacking on the new Taco. The factory front bumper cover is formed plastic and behind the cover is injected foam, mainly for crash protection. It’s pretty wimpy! The rocker panels have zero protection and are completely exposed to the elements and would cave in at the first soccer ball-sized rocks they contact. And finally, the factory rear bumper is, well, it’s there.

For the ’15-current Toyota Tacoma, Off Camber Fabrications (OCF) manufactures a slick modular front and rear bumper, as well as a solid rocker guard. The front bumper is a five-piece bolt-together unit that requires minor trimming to the front fascia. The main front section of the OCF front bumper, below the grille, allows the placement of a 28-inch Rigid Industries E-Series spot/flood combo LED lightbar. The tubular corners offer up enough room to place two 3-inch square Rigid Dually flood and spot LEDs on each side. This truck will light up the night.

The longbed is great for utility, but the added wheelbase puts the rocker panels in harm’s way off-road. OCF manufactures modular (two-piece) rocker guards that bolt up to the framerails without any modifications. They’re heavy-duty and will protect the rocker panels from crunching on terra firma.

02 Taco Armor© Tyler Adams 02 Taco Armor

To manage the multiple LED lights and future electrical demands, we installed Precision Designs’ newest sPOD on the Tacoma. The sPOD includes a switch panel, harness, and distribution center. There’s no need to splice into the factory wiring and potentially void your truck’s warranty. Most of your electronics will simply bypass the battery, such as; lights, fridge/freezer, race radio, and so on. Duval Offroad Designs in Newbury Park, California, handled the installation chores, but all of the OCF parts we installed can be bolted up in your driveway with simple tools. Follow along as we hit the installation highlights of these products on our ’17 Taco in preparation for some serious overlanding. As Toyota suggests, “Let’s go places!”

Amazon Affiliate links are our attempt to show you real-world pricing and availability for the products we review and install, and while the Amazon links are separate from editorial and advertising, the Four Wheeler Network may receive a commission on purchases made through our posts.

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