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Toyota Tacoma Frame Reinforcement
Vendor: Demello Off-Road
Vehicle Expeditions West: 2004 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD
Cost:

Frame Reinforcement Installation and parts: $200 Approximate
*Note: Prices are subject to change, and should be verified with Demello Off-Road

Weight : 19 Lbs. for both sides
% of available payload: .014%
Installation Time : 2 hours
Difficulty: (easy, moderate, difficult) Moderate: Requires Welding, Cutting and Grinding experience to ensure a nice finish
Specialty Tools Required: Welder, cutting device (bandsaw, torch, etc.), grinder

The rear of the Tacoma frame is subject to fatigue and failure if excessive weight is mounted to the aft C-channel. For example a heavy bumper, fuel tank, and spare tire mounted to a swing-out tire carrier. All of those items are scheduled for my vehicle, with the rear bumper, high lift jack, and spare tire weighing nearly 250lbs. The rearward frame section, just before the shock mount is not boxed as the front 2/3 of the frame is. 2000 and older Tacoma's are even more susceptible to frame failure as the frame does not have the additional reinforcement at the first bend (by the shock mount). The 2001 and newer frames are much stronger there, but the repeated flexing of the frame because of the rear bumper combination led me to want the frame reinforced for safety.

The reinforcement completed by Demello Off-road covers the major bend at the rear tire wheel well. They add a 1/4"x4 steel plate to the outside of the frame for a total of 33" of frame section.

This is a good article describing an actual failure of a 2000 Tacoma frame: Read Article from Tonkota.net

Demello preps the frame by cleaning the area and grinding a good welding surface. The 1/4" steel plate spans nearly the entire height of the frame section.


As shown in the picture, the entire rear frame section is not boxed.

The completed rear frame reinforcement
Drivers side, forward plate
Rearward plate
Fully Welded
protective paint is applied
Impressions

I noticed the difference in ride quality immediately, which was a surprise. The flexy rear frame member contributes to the heavy axle wrap and bouncing of the Tacoma rear suspension. Now the truck feels like the springs and shocks are controlling the rear axle, as opposed to the frame contributing to the poor ride quality.

The truck should now be able to manage the additional weight of the rear swing-out bumper, auxiliary fuel tank and heavy spare.