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Toyota Tacoma Frame Reinforcement

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 250 lbs. The rearward frame section, just before the shock mount, is not boxed as the front 2/3 of the frame is boxed. 2000 and older Tacomas 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 due to the rear bumper combination led me to decide that the frame should be 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 the article from Tankota here.

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

Completed Rear Frame Reinforcement

The completed rear frame reinforcement

Rear Frame Section Not boxed

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

Driver's Side Forward PLATE

Driver’s side, forward plate

Rearward Plate

Rearward plate

Fully Welded

Fully welded

Protective Paint on Welded Frame

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.

Vendor:
Demello Off-Road

Cost:
Frame Reinforcement Installation and Parts: $200 approximately
*Prices are subject to change, and should be verified with the vendor

Weight:
19 lbs. for both sides

% of Available Payload:
0.014%

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

Scott is the publisher and founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. He lives in Prescott, Arizona