So, you’re thinking of following through on your decision to buy Tacoma bed stiffeners. A wise move, we think that most people will agree, but what about the installation process – is it simple?
The good news is, yes it is quite simple, so long as you’re in possession of some basic tools and a little bit of DIY skill. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll be looking at the 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma.
To begin with, you need to be sure that you’re installing your stiffeners the right way round and you’ll likely find that the manufacturer will have marked one of the brackets so that you can tell which is which.
So, what you’ll need to do next is remove the bottom bolt (for which you’ll need a T55 ratchet) and the D-Ring that needs a T40. When you remove the D-Ring, you’ll likely find that the retaining clip needs to be snipped off, but you shouldn’t worry, as we’re not going to be replacing it.
Something you may not have known when you chose to buy Tacoma bed stiffeners is the fact that you have to remove your tail lights to install them. It sounds worse than it is in reality though, as they pop out pretty easily. You can then either let them dangle while you work or remove the connectors and take the light cluster off completely. For this part, you’ll need a 10mm ratchet.
Drilling the Necessary Holes
To start off with, you’ll be putting the bottom bolt through the hole that’s already there and tightening it up. It’s best to do this bolt first, as it will give the bed more time to settle into place. It will also give you a clear idea of where exactly the three necessary holes should be made.
You’re going to need a 3/16 drill bit for this and you should aim to make your center punch markers in the absolute center of the hole to avoid any alignment issues. Then affix the top bolt first and finish with the other two – again, doing things in this order will help you to avoid any misalignment.
Once every bolt is firmly tightened, that’s pretty much the end of the install, with the same process being repeated on the other side.
Do You Need to Buy Tacoma Bed Stiffeners? Yes & Here’s Why
If you’d like to know what it is that the decision to buy Tacoma bed stiffeners is such a good one, try closing your tailgate after fitting one side and seeing just how much less ‘play’ there is in your truck bed walls when pulled or pushed outwards. Firstly on the side with the bed stiffener and then again on the side without it.
You’ll find so much more give on the side without the stiffeners and this is where the benefit lies. When you’re placing heavy loads or rooftop tents on your bed walls, they’re going to be splayed outwards, unless they have stiffeners installed. Period. Spending just a couple of hundred bucks or less on this aftermarket addition will help your truck bed to retain its shape – no matter what you’re putting it through.
So, if you’re someone who doesn’t just use their Tacoma to go to the store and back and you like to use your vehicle for the purpose it was built for – stiffeners are a must and one we’d heartily recommend investing in.