I wanted to upgrade my rear bumper, but was having trouble finding one that I liked.  I had found a person that was making them, but when I finally got approval from the wife to order one, he had stopped production.

I was surfing the web and I found a message that refered to AJ and Bent-Up products.  I went to his web site, and found the rear bumper that I wanted!  I was not ready to buy one and so I had to play the waiting game again.   

When it finally came time to buy one, I read a post on the Tacoma Territory message board that said that AJ had stopped production on the rear bumpers.  I almost had a heart attack!!  Not again!!  I e-mailed AJ and he promply replied.  He was going to be building 10 of the rear bumpers in a few weeks, and I got my name on the list for one of them!

Below are the pictures of the installation.  

This is a before picture that shows what the stock rear bumper looks like.

Here is the stock rear bumper from the side.

I wanted the new bumper to not only be stronger, but to also hopefully increase the departure angle.  The new rear bumper will also provide tow strap mounting points.

Here you can see the rear of the truck with the stock bumper removed.

The stock bumper bolts directly to the frame.

I attached the new rear bumper to the truck with the bolts just hand tight.  The idea was to check the clearances and make any changes that might be necessary before I painted it.

The mounting holes in the new bumper lined up perfectly.  The problem that I had was that the new bumper was designed for a truck with a tailgate.  With the tailgate, it is perfect, but I have the walk in door.

Here you can see the new bumper from the side.  You can see that I have some room to move the bumper farther forward.
From the top looking down, with the walk in door open, you can see that there is also room to move the bumper forward here also.  

Not only am I going to move it forward slightly, but I also want more clearance between the walk in door and the bumper.  You can see here that with the door closed, the weather strip actually rubs on the bumper slightly.  Although this may not cause any problems, I would like to have some room for a little flex when I drag the rear bumper when off-roading.

I drilled new holes that moved the bumper slightly forward and slightly down. (SEE NOTE AT END!)

The next step was to spray the bumper with primer.

I used my engine hoist to hold the bumper up at a comfortable working height, and sprayed it.

I sprayed the bumper with Rust Oleum Gloss Black paint, and then cut a strip of non slip tape to put on the top of the bumper.  

I was thinking that the paint would hold up, but it is just not going to cut it.  I will wait for a few months to see if I want to make any other modifications and then I will take it off and have it powdercoated.

Compared to the other picture above, you can see that I moved it quite a bit forward.  This helped to close the gap you would otherwise not even see if you had a tailgate.  I am not sure, but this might actually interfere with the working of a factory tailgate...

Here you can see the final result.  I will be adding some big D-shackles to the tow points, but I will also glue some small pads below the shackles so they dont rattle and make noise like others I have heard.

As I said above, I will also have it powdercoated at a later date.

OK... the deal with the new mounting holes.  The holes that Bent-Up drilled lined up perfectly, and would have been fine if I had a tail gate, but I have the walk in door and wanted the bumper to fit tighter to the truck, and slightly lower.   I put the bumper on the truck and braced it and used clamps to get into the new position that I wanted it.  I then marked it so that I could drill the new holes.  When I removed it from the truck and looked at the marks I had just made, then were visibly off.  I thought that it had moved before I had made the marks, and so I compensated.  RULE NUMBER ONE: NEVER SECOND GUESS YOURSELF!!   If I had left things alone and drilled the holes as I had marked them, I would have been fine, but I didnt and had to enlarge one of the new holes.  I finally figured out that the mounting holes on the Toyota are about 1/4 inch off from side to side... a factory screwup.  It all worked out in the end, but I could have done it quicker and easier with out that problem.

Back to the Tacoma Page

Back to the Home Page