Although I don't intend to run this truck in the Baja 1000, I had read about people having their frames crack. Ok, great, but that would never happen to me. Then a friend of a friend had the frame of their FJ break a week later. I was already ordering sliders from Demello and figured the extra $100 was cheap insurance (and I really wanted an excuse to weld something
). The reinforcement pieces are .120" steel with lightening holes. They fit perfect around all the welds and extrusions in the frame EXCEPT the fuel filler tube mount. Not a big deal. Once the bed was off we cut the mounting bracket off and saved it for later with the intent to weld it back on over the reinforcement.
I had limited time to work each day and knew that we couldn't finish both sides in the allotted time. I got magnetic tail lights (the kind used for towing a vehicle) for $10 and stuck them to the frame. The circuit doesn't work if both tail lights are unplugged so we zip tied one to the inside of the bumper.
Tail light zipped to the bumper
We then tacked the reinforcement on
I had a bit of anxiety about welding near the gas tank. To ease my nerves, we covered it as best we could with wet shirts to cool the splatter quickly. I only have a wire feed welder so the raw welds aren't very pretty but after some heavy wire brushing they look pretty good. We then painted over them with Rustoleum Bed Liner after washing the whole thing with acetone.
Final product seasoned with a bit of dirt.
Fuel filler tube bracket reinstalled
I honestly didn't think these would do much more than transfer energy better during a rear end collision and give me worse whiplash but wow did they stiffen up the back end. There is a certain freeway around here that with the right wheelbase can really get a vehicle hopping. The truck used to feel like it was actually bending back and forth when traveling this stretch. I always thought it was just a weird sensation and that the truck couldn't actually be bending... maybe it was. What ever it was doing it is doing it a whole lot less now that these are stuck to the sides of the frame. Are they worth it from a time, energy and financial stand point? Up to you. I certainly did enjoy installing them though.