LIGHTS, AR­MOR, AC­TION!

Po­tent light­ing and beefy ar­mor for a 2017 Ta­coma

Four Wheeler - - Contents - By Jered Korfhage jered.korfhage@fourwheeler.com Pho­tos: Jered Korfhage

Po­tent light­ing and beefy ar­mor for a ’17 Ta­coma

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 35inch 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 35inch 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.

Since in­stal­la­tion, both bumpers and rock slid­ers have taken beat­ings from tight and rocky trails, pro­tect­ing the Ta­coma’s body pan­els. Our new com­bi­na­tion of Baja De­signs lights has also kept our night­time trail ac­tiv­i­ties well lit. Since in­stal­la­tion, both bu have taken beat­ings from pro­tect­ing the Ta­coma’s b com­bi­na­tion of Baja De­sig

ody pan­els. Our new ns lights has also kept s well lit.

To start, we lined the Demello Of­froad Bolton Slid­ers up with the Ta­coma’s fram­erails and ac­counted for all the in­cluded hard­ware. 1

2. We at­tached each slider to the fram­erail us­ing four 1⁄2-inch Grade 8 bolts, wash­ers, and ny­lon in­sert lock­nuts. 2

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34. Be­fore in­stalling the Flat Top front bumper, we laid out all the parts.5. We dis­con­nected all the fac­tory fog­lights and sen­sors be­hind the bumper and hung them safely out of the way. To pre­pare for our cuts and to pro­tect the Ta­coma’s paint, we covered the area with a thick layer of tape. Demello Of­froad gives de­tailed in­struc­tions show­ing specif­i­cally where to cut the front bumper and plas­tic fen­der flares. It never hurts to triple-check these mea­sure­ments be­fore putting your truck un­der the knife. A cut-off wheel and steady hands made quick work of the fac­tory plas­tic.

53. Mov­ing on, we drilled four holes into the un­der­side of the frame us­ing a 1⁄2-inch bit. We used the four mount­ing holes on the slid­ers to guide our drill, covered the ex­posed metal with black sil­i­con primer to pre­vent rust, then torqued the M10 bolts un­til the slid­ers were snug.

810. Be­fore in­stalling the rear bumper from CBI Of­froad Fab, we un­clipped the wiring for the fac­tory li­cense plate lights, re­moved all the plas­tic bumper parts and sen­sors, and un­bolted the fac­tory re­ceiver hitch (the hitch wasn’t reused).11-12.Fol­low­ing the de­tailed in­struc­tions from CBI Of­froad Fab, we taped and cut the rear body pan­els to make space for the new bumper. Lin­ing the trimmed edges with the in­cluded ad­he­sive liner gave a cleaner look and helped fill any gap be­tween the bumper and the body.13. Us­ing the Grade 8 hard­ware in­cluded in the in­stal­la­tion kit, we af­fixed the T3 rear bumper to the frame, reat­tached the li­cense plate light­ing, and were ready to test out our new high-clear­ance ar­mor. fw

117-8.Our Baja De­signs Squadron Sport LED lights fit into the bumper’s fog­light ports. We also at­tached the in­cluded am­ber lens to cut through snow and dust from down low.9. With the lights mounted and wired to our in­te­rior switch panel, we fit the bumper to the Ta­coma’s frame us­ing the brack­ets and hard­ware Demello Of­froad sup­plied.

136. With the old plas­tic bumper re­moved, we pulled out the plas­tic im­pact damper and un­bolted the bash bar and fac­tory towhooks.

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