Toyota Tacoma: Aftermarket Bumpers

Update the look of your truck and add more functionality with a new bumper.

By James Hodgson - February 12, 2016

This article applies to the Toyota Tacoma (1996-2015).

Your truck's bumper is the business end of the whole vehicle, but the original equipment bumper just isn't business enough if you do any serious off-roading or remote driving. If you want to protect your truck, add winch mounting points, add some lights, or just make your truck look even more thoroughly bad ass than it already is, a new bumper could be just the thing. In this article we'll look at a few examples.

Some owners have a welding machine and a bin of scrap steel just sitting around out in the garage. One might think, they can knock something out together that technically qualifies as a bumper. Maybe, maybe not. When honestly, the added up cost of materials, time, the fire that would most likely be caused, and the intense displeasure of a significant other at having burned the house to cinders, this is a job best left to the pros.

After all, welding machine ownership does not necessarily make one a welder, let alone a fabricator. Here are some offerings by real pros who know what they're doing and have the fire extinguishers on hand to prove it.

Heavy Plate, Light Tube, or in Between?

  • Moab bumper
    Figure 1. Heavy duty Moab bumper.
  • Dakar bumper
    Figure 2. Light duty Dakar bumper.

It's important to remember that there is a myriad of choices here. Some bumpers are super heavy duty plate for protection purposes. Others are made mostly of tube steel to improve departure angle without adding a lot of weight. Only you know what choices are right for you. Consider the kind of terrain and the type of driving you intend to do there, and remember that any of these manufacturers or their dealers will be glad to walk you through their product lines.

Just going by the names (Figure 1 and 2) alone, we can assume the Moab is meant more for rock crawling than off-road racing, which is where the Dakar is meant to be.

ARB 4x4 Accessories

ARB 4x4 bumper

Cost – MSRP $1,019

Professional Cost – $200 on up to install

Skill Level – Easy (as claimed by ARB); Instructions here.

ARB has two offerings for the 2nd generation Tacoma, both right around the $1,000 dollar mark. Enthusiasts believe ARB is the most established company in this space, which means the usual things that come with established companies: warranty, support network, etc.

That said, it's only a 2-year limited warranty, which isn't exactly what I'd call ironclad. ARB expects you to be thrashing your truck pretty hard. And hey, they're probably right.

The ARB offerings come standard with some features other smaller fabricators don't offer, most likely due to their larger size and ability to get materials cheaper and produce bumpers faster.

(Related Site: ARB Deluxe Bar - ARB

All Pro Off-Road

All Pro Off-Road bumper

Cost – $799 (bare metal)

Professional Cost – $200 on up

Skill Level – Should be easy, but All Pro doesn't say.

Keep in mind that the price listed here is for the bare metal bumper, not painted. For an extra two bills ($200), All Pro will powder coat the bumper using "Standard" powder coat. We're guessing that means you can have any color you want as long as it's black.

However, no doubt they'll powder coat it any color you like for an up charge. Or you can just hit it with a rattle can yourself if you like. Paint it plaid. That would be weird. Okay, maybe don't paint it plaid.

There are also options for a couple of light bar hoops, which add to the price as well. Functionality isn't cheap, people.

I'm sure that All Pro offers a warranty of some kind, but there's no mention of it on their website. They've been in business about 20 years now, though, and you don't stay in business that long unless you take good care of people.

(Related Site: All Pro Bumper - All-Pro

CBI Off-Road Fabrication Moab

CBI Off-Raod Moab bumper

Cost – $1,049 (bare metal)

Professional Cost – $200 on up

Skill Level – CBI says install is easy, with basic hand tools; Instructions here.

Like All Pro, CBI's bumper price for the Moab is without any kind of paint or powder coat. If you want to add powder coat, it'll run you an extra $175.

For another $200, you can get your bumper made out of aluminum instead of steel for some big weight savings. That's not a bad deal when you consider that aluminum was once so precious a metal in refined form that they placed a pyramid of it atop the Washington Monument. It'll be like having history right on the front of your truck!

(Related Site: Moab 2.0 - CBI Off-Road

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