Hello fellow ARIZONAN'S!
So this is my fourth Taco since buying an 08 v6 dBbl cab Trd sport brand new. For economic reasons, I traded it in for a 00 extra cab I4 with 115k miles. Talk about a down grade! I was a contractor and was killing the 08 with 120 miles daily so downgrading was not that bad of a thing, I hope it went to a good home. The little 4 cyl was great, it had a bigger bed and was a perfect work truck.
The 4 cyl ended its life this past December in a minor head on with, believe it or not, the exact year, model and color truck, except his was a 4X4.
I changed careers and was not sure how it would work out, so on new years day I bought a 2012 single cab 4 cyl, as basic as you can, in case I had to go back to contracting.
The new job has been great and my wife and I have been very fortunate this year so last week, 2 days after my 10k service we traded in the little single cab for a new 2012 trd O.R double, 6 speed.
When I had the 08 I did 4 peaks in quite a bit of snow. Everything was great till I got stuck in the late afternoon. Luckily, someone came along and pulled me out and did me a favor and lecturerd me on being prepared. I quickly started making a list of mods but never had a chance as I ended up having to get rid of the 4x4.
I swore I would never get stuck again and not be prepared again. So now that I have this 2012 4x4 I plan on getting front and rear high clearance bumpers, a winch and a good recovery bag, block straps etc and sliders.
So after such a long winded intro my questions simple. How is the factory underside protection? Should I focus on beefing up the underside before I even think about suspension? What brands do you all like for bumpers and armor?
Thank you in advance as I am limited to $5,000 for upgrades and after pricing some stuff out, that goes pretty quick!