: '05 Taco Belly Armor Debate


CoTacoTRD
03-28-2009, 05:02 PM
Ok. So am about to purchase belly armor for the Taco. I am actually heeding to what is said on this forum. Sliders, Skids, and bumpers. So for a late model Taco there are really to choices All Pro and Bent Up. Right now I am leaning toward the All Pro Skids for reasons that I will list below. But I wanted to open it up for discussion and get your well experienced opinions on this matter. :D

All Pro

http://www.allprooffroad.com/05tacomatrailarmor/05tacomaskidplates

OK. I am looking at the front skid, the tranny skid, the T case Shield, and the E Locker Skid. My reason for not getting the full T case skid is that I want to relocate the strangely designed exhaust that hangs down and move it with a custom after market exhaust in the future and I will not have need for the skid plate hanging down below the crossmember. I want that crossmember to be the lowest point on the belly.

Reasons I am leaning toward this kit:


Price $496.00 + tax and shipping
Segmentation of the skid plates if I need to access one part I only need to take one part down.

Bent Up

OK I started this topic under the assumption that Bent Up was still open. I just went to the site to get the link to and it says that they have closed up shop. WTF??:(

So now I guess my question is............... Are there any other companies out there making belly armor for late model tacos?:dunno:

Quick Draw
03-28-2009, 05:09 PM
I assume that All Phase in Longmont would make you some. Does BudBuilt not have any for 05+?

EDIT: Looks like they do, but it accommodates the low hanging exhaust:

http://www.budbuilt.com/new/05+Tacoma.html

CoTacoTRD
03-28-2009, 05:24 PM
Ah Shit! Thank you. I was looking at the Bud Builts for my debate not Bent Up.

Bud Builts

Advantage is smooth belly all the way back.

Disadvantage is cost and lose of clearance. I only have a 2.5" lift to start with.

I will probably get their gas tank skid in the future.

OK every one your thoughts or suggestions?

mrdoug
03-28-2009, 07:55 PM
I REALLY like the bud builts. yes, there's _some_ clearance loss, but the peace of mind knowing that when ever you come down on a rock and knowing that the bud builts will save your ass is enough for me. Looking at the clearance thing... any loss is minimal under the parts you really need to protect, and the palaces where the budbuilts remove clearance, are places you don't want a rock anyways cause moving forward or reverse you're about to do damage to something you dont want to (tcase, drive shaft, gas tank, rear axle/diff).

Yeah, Bentup got bit, unfortunate, but reality.

I've yet to hear of a plesant dealing with All Pro, most have issues with wrong parts, lengthy ship times, etc. I think that if your order enough stuff (spend enough $$) they pay better attention because I know that alot of people run their stuff.

For me, calling and talking to bud himself was enough customer service in my book. He normally makes slight modifications to his products happily and at no charge. One thing to consider with Bud Built tho, is that we had to notch a skid for YanMan because of the headers he was running dropped just a touch too low. Turned out ok I believe. I have the stock exhaust and the cat tucks nicely above the skid.

I haven't seen a gas tank skid that I thought would bring the same peace of mind, but I haven't looked that hard. Never had a problem with it till Moab when I tagged it a little (not enough to dent the tank itself, just the cheap-o stock skid)

fjcruzer
03-28-2009, 08:11 PM
I can only speak to the BudBuilt skids. Laser-cut, perfect fit great hardware, bomb-proof, and I've met Bud and he's a helluva nice guy. He just put out sliders for the FJ that I'll prolly upgrade to when I'm rich and famous. I know that if you wanted to do something custom, he'd work with you on it, but it'd take a while.

I'll let those who know the details talk about AllPro...

Avsfreak1234
03-28-2009, 08:35 PM
X2 on budbuilt. I also like my setup from allphase in longmont. dont know if they have anything for 05+ though. im sure they wouldnt mind using your truck for a prototype. they might even cut the cost a little if they did. I got my skids there all discounted because they never test fitted them on anything other than a 95.5 and didnt know if they would fit. one tough set of skids. and i like being different!

CoTacoTRD
03-28-2009, 08:49 PM
Doug good information. These days Customer Service is sometimes the best thing. Price is steep though. Have to consider.

AvsFreak - All Phase might be a good thing. I like to support Colorado companies. I have emailed them and we will see what they say. Although they currently have a 2005 project truck. But it is sitting on a 6" DB lift so they couldn't create a production skid plate for the front. I will have to see what they say.

I haven't heard of any All Pro shipment issues as you guys have brought up. I hope that is not the case.

Good info. guys. Keep it coming!

Avsfreak1234
03-28-2009, 10:42 PM
as far as allphase goes, they do great work, really. but they know it. and they charge like it. dont get me wrong, if they are willing to work with you and get you some nice skids go for it! Dave is a good guy and knows how to make customers happy.

Jacket
03-29-2009, 10:34 AM
I've got Budbuilts on mine - all 4 pieces (although I've never installed the gas tank skid). I agree with what everyone has said about BB, so I'll just add a few thoughts.

- Downey is another choice for our trucks. It's cheaper than AP or BB, but it's also a one-piece, somewhat generic design that might require customization to get it to fit right. It also doesn't have a drain hole for oil changes.

- I've got a post out here somewhere where I've cracked the outer lip on my BB-twice.... It's not in a critical location, but for the money I've paid for BB, I don't like to see the thing crack.

- I wouldn't skip the transfer case skid, even if you fix the exhaust crossover problem. Yes - the cross member will hang below the transfer case and protect it, but if you are sitting on a rock on your cross-member, and move the truck forward enough to get past the cross-member, what happens next? You land the transfer case on that same rock.

- I have the e-locker skid from all-pro, and it has one nice rock gash in it. So for that I'm glad I have it.... The clearance between it and the gas tank is really tight, so that's something to keep an eye on. Mine contacts the plastic stock skid when I flex the axle. I need to grind some of the skid metal off just to be safe.

- Fitament was great on the BB skids. The front IFS skid was a bit of a hassle, but once it was aligned and installed the back to plates went in really quickly. The 05+ Tacoma kit comes with an extra cross-member to mount the back of the tcase skid to.

- on that last point....the new cross member bolts to the frame just behind where the boxed section ends and it opens up into C-channel. One of my Demello slider mounts was about 6" behind that point, and I got really lucky because the BB cross member fit between the boxed section and the slider mount - with a 1/2" to spare. Check to see where your sliders mount to the frame to make sure you have room for the cross-member (if you opt for the Tcase skid).

- you do lose ground clearance with the BB. It's frustrating because these trucks already have a long enough belly. Having to clear the exhaust cross-over is a major issue, and so if you deal with that problem, you'll gain back some much needed clearance. If you do consult an exhaust pro on a solution for the exhaust, please post up and show us what you've done.

HHH.

dr350jja
03-29-2009, 11:05 AM
On my '06 long ass double cab (141" WB), I went with the Shrockworks sliders and BudBuilt skids. All bolt-on stuff. I just 'put-em-to-use' yesterday, on China Wall. Both worked really well!!!!!!!! If not for the sliders, my rockers would be mangled. The BudBuilts helped me slide right OVER the rocks (who knows, without them probably would have damage now). :eek: To me, well worth the $ IMHO

ike
03-29-2009, 01:23 PM
My vote is for bud builts. Yes, they hang down, but now when i hit the underside of the truck i dont worry like i did before. And as stated before Bud is a great guy.

dr350jja
03-29-2009, 03:52 PM
what's nice about the BudBuilts is that it gives you a 'smooth' bottom, which just glides over the rocks. :)

I was extremely glad I had the sliders on:

http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee91/dr350jja/Sliders/Slider-scrapes.jpg

CoTacoTRD
03-29-2009, 08:44 PM
Thanks Guys. Good opinions and points of view.

Jacket if I went All Pro I would get the T Case shield for now until I moved the exhaust. Once the exhaust was moved I would be most likely doing a custom piece to cover the entire area but at least it would be above the crossmember.

The placement issue on the BB's and the All Pro T case skid to the frame is something I have to consider because of the Slee Sliders that I have. The mounting points is L channel steel the runs the length of the slider. So I may end up with an issue no matter which one I choose.

I will have to look at the Downey one's just to see what they are offering. I have also emailed All Phase in Longmont and will be interested to hear what they can do.

mrdoug
03-29-2009, 10:05 PM
The placement issue on the BB's and the All Pro T case skid to the frame is something I have to consider because of the Slee Sliders that I have. The mounting points is L channel steel the runs the length of the slider. So I may end up with an issue no matter which one I choose.

I had/have the same issue.. that was the slight modification that Bud made for me gratis. Looking back it would have been 2 min with a cut off wheel to resolve.

CoTacoTRD
04-01-2009, 10:00 PM
OK. So I still ended up ordering All Pro skids today. I am getting the full front and bottom, Tranny, T case shield only, E Locker, and I ordered a U Bolt Flip kit to clean up the bottom of the axle. I went with All Pro because of:

Weight
segmentation of skid for repairs
That exhaust issue I intend to fix
Price

Oh and they gave me a 5% discount for ordering the set. This gave me a little extra money so I could order the flip kit. They just sold out of front skids so they will not ship out until the end of April but that is fine because I am going out of town in the middle of the month. So it looks like I will have a nice Saturday project at the beginning of May. :D

fjcruzer
04-01-2009, 10:18 PM
That Saturday might look something like this :)

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w84/fjcruzer123/03-008%20HOW/1234059.jpg

Congrats! :kewl:

Avsfreak1234
04-01-2009, 10:25 PM
That Saturday might look something like this :)

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w84/fjcruzer123/03-008%20HOW/1234059.jpg

Congrats! :kewl:

wasnt that crazy neighbor day at HOW N?

fjcruzer
04-01-2009, 10:26 PM
wasnt that crazy neighbor day at HOW N?

Yep, just like in the FB pic :D

Avsfreak1234
04-01-2009, 11:17 PM
thought that pic looked familiar!

CoTacoTRD
04-02-2009, 06:14 AM
FJ - the skid on the far right is that the gas tank skid from BB? Have you ever hit it? That is one thing that All Pro didn't offer and I am thinking of getting the BB one for my gas tank. In my last rig I only hit the gas tank one time but what a pain in the as trying to take the dent out. I lost about 5 gallons of capicity and where I hit it screwed up the floater for the gauge. :mad:

mrdoug
04-02-2009, 09:01 AM
I'm pretty sure those are bud builts for the FJ.. they'll be way different than what you get.

ike
04-02-2009, 09:05 AM
mrdoug I'm pretty sure those are bud builts for the FJ.. they'll be way different than what you get.




That is one thing that All Pro didn't offer and I am thinking of getting the BB one for my gas tank.



Come on, it isnt that early!

Dont know why bud doesnt offer a gas tank skid for the older tacos, unless i have missed that last time i was on their site.

mrdoug
04-02-2009, 09:12 AM
apparently it is.. damn I suck at reading comprehension.

CoTacoTRD
04-03-2009, 06:02 AM
Doug you're funny man. Having problems with reading at 8:00am. You need more coffee!!!:D

Yeah I know I am getting a completely different product then the BB's. I have looked it over and over and I feel for the kind of wheeling I do now and will get into with this truck the All Pros will be just fine. But since they don't have a gas tank skid I will most likely pick that up from BB at a later date. I wonder if the late model skid will fit an earlier taco Ike?

Jacket
04-03-2009, 10:12 AM
I'm 99% sure the one on the right is the BB GT skid - it looks very similar to mine (in fact they all do with the exception of the IFS skid). My BB GT skid has never been installed - and I'm not really sure why. The plastic stock skid definitely has some scrapes on it, so the possibility of needing better protection definitely exists. But I just hate having all that extra weight on the truck. :dunno:

fjcruzer
04-03-2009, 10:48 AM
FJ - the skid on the far right is that the gas tank skid from BB? Have you ever hit it? That is one thing that All Pro didn't offer and I am thinking of getting the BB one for my gas tank. In my last rig I only hit the gas tank one time but what a pain in the as trying to take the dent out. I lost about 5 gallons of capicity and where I hit it screwed up the floater for the gauge. :mad:

Yes it is and mine has a few substantial gouges in it from some of my more rambunctious escapades. In order to install it you would need the BB cross member and BB belly plate, or need to do some custom fab connect/support the gas tank plate to whatever you end up with in that neck-o-the-woods. You can see the connection on the left side of this pic:

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w84/fjcruzer123/03-008%20HOW/skidrust008.jpg

Jacket
04-03-2009, 11:05 AM
I think that's only true for the FJC. For the Tacomas, the gas tank is quite a ways away from the t-case, and the gas tank skid is a standalone piece. I think it just bolts up using the existing OEM skid mounts (which I believe are only present on the TRD OR model?).

fjcruzer
04-03-2009, 11:14 AM
I think that's only true for the FJC. For the Tacomas, the gas tank is quite a ways away from the t-case, and the gas tank skid is a standalone piece. I think it just bolts up using the existing OEM skid mounts (which I believe are only present on the TRD OR model?).

Dunno! I haven't peeked under any Tacos with the BBs. What I do know from the FJ is that the OEM skid is only supported by 4 bolts along the belly of the gas tank, which is sufficient for the polymer, but the front lip of the BB plate gets significant support from attaching to the belly plate/cross member. If the Taco has independent support, that's cool (and from looking at the pics on BBs site, that's what it looks like!)

http://www.budbuilt.com/new/05+Tacoma.html

CoTacoTRD
04-03-2009, 02:25 PM
Yeah I can see 6 bolts holding the Taco one on. And I read that too about needing the stock skid plate there or you will have to order parts from Toyota. I have the stock skid so I will just have to order it up once there is some more money in my wallet:eek:

Jacket - as far as weight is concerned my thought process is that the rear on our trucks are so light they could use a little weight. I am actually looking forward to getting a full steel high clearance rear bumper to add some weight back there. :D A little junk in the trunk!

CoTacoTRD
05-03-2009, 10:13 PM
Update - All Pro Skids are on! Also got the U bolt flip kit and that was a bitch. There was no way to hold the bumpstops on to the top bracket so I got to learn how to weld today with an old ARC welder that my dad has. Pretty ugly welds but they hold. I think I want to find me a MIG now and practice!

Did some clearancing of the plastic in the rear wheel wells and chopped the exhaust off just after the axle to keep it from later getting smacked in the back.

All Pro skids are fricking heavy. I had to use the floor jack to put it up into place. All in all it was a productive day. Now I need to get out and test em!:driving::camping:

spindleshanks
05-04-2009, 09:51 AM
Disadvantage is cost and lose of clearance. I only have a 2.5" lift to start with.

In my experience, when you have a long wheelbase truck like your and mine, you're always going to have a tendency to drag the center undercarriage (t-case, crossmembers, etc) no matter how much lift you have.

Glad you're happy with the AllPro. I've been impressed with the simple functionality of AllPro armor. It should do the job nicely.


And Ike, Bud says he's working on a gas tank skid for our Tacos as we speak. He told me his tank is so mashed up that he runs out of gas as soon as the needle hits the bottom slash on the gauge.

ike
05-04-2009, 03:40 PM
good to know, i am curious as to what he comes up with.