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After working on countless Tacoma's and seeing all the different variations of "rock sliders" available we decided it was time to do things different.
Our decades of experience with building high end rock crawlers, buggies and trucks have taught us the most important aspect of armor is its ability to slide over obstacles. The beauty of the tube chassis vehicles we build is that we are not limited by the stock frame rails and can easily achieve a flat bottom with smooth sides which allows the vehicle to "slide" over obstacles when need be. Modifying production vehicles with stock frame rails makes things a lot more challenging to obtain the same results.
Lets talk about the issues with the sliders that are currently available for the Tacoma platform...
The typical solution to protect the cab on the Tacoma consists of a tube structure that is cantilevered off the side of the frame. They are typically attached to the frame with a series of plates and bolts or just welded directly to the frame. The Tacoma frames are notoriously flexible and the C-channel, middle section of the Tacoma frame is the worst area. Having a tube structure leveraged out off the side of the frame only makes things worse especially when you have a 6000lbs truck slamming them into rocks. We have seen some trucks where the frame rails are bent inward from abuse.
The other main issue with the typical tube sliders is that they catch and snag rocks causing the truck to get hung up. The distance between the tubes creates an area large enough for big boulders to get in there and stop the truck dead in its tracks.
All of these issues were taken into account when designing our new sliders and are really happy with what we came up with.
We learned years ago when putting a roll cage in a Tacoma just how strong the factory cabs are. The rocker panel area on the Tacoma cab is 3 layers thick and built with a honeycomb construction that all comes together at the pinch seam just underneath the cab. The pinch seam area of the Tacoma cab is so strong that the entire truck can be lifted up by the seam alone! Our sliders are designed to bolt along the entire section of the frame under the cab and then tuck up tight to the bottom of the cab just under the pinch seam. We include a rubber U-channel molding for the pinch seam that the slider rests on while still isolating it from the cab. The sliders are also bolted to the cab (with included rubber bushings) using the factory bolt holes for the OE running boards. In doing so we have prevented the slider from becoming leveraged out off the side of the frame and it can now react against the pinch seam when the truck lands on rocks. The full plate construction of the slider allows the load to be distributed through out the entire length of the pinch seam effectively eliminating any flex or frame twisting. An added bonus is that the sliders now act as additional body mounts for the cab and will prevent the OE body mounts from tearing themselves up.
When we were designing the sliders there was no question that we wanted to utilize a plate construction vs the typical tube design. In doing so this allowed us to tuck the rock sliders up tight gaining the most amount of ground clearance possible. Most importantly the plate design ensures that the sliders have the ability to actually slide over things, not get hung up on obstacles like tube sliders do.
For the hardcore rock crawler's the steel sliders are built out of a combination of 0.120" plate and 0.120" rectangular tube. The rectangular tube is capped on both ends and fixture welded to ensure a perfect fit every time. If you are looking for the same protection without the weight of the steel sliders we also offer an all aluminum version that is constructed out of 0.188" 5052.
For those looking for for an extra 4" of protection you can also purchase the sliders with the optional tube kick outs which run at a 10 degree angle up when measured off the side of the frame.
All sliders are sold as a pair and include all the necessary hardware, moldings, bushings and mounting brackets. All sliders come with a raw finish so you can paint or coat them the color of you choice. They will fit both DCSB and AC models and will work with the DCLB too.
PLEASE NOTE- you have the option to purchase sliders that work with our frame brace kit or without. Make sure you select the correct part in the drop down menu!!!!