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Best ways to protect your truck from the trail???

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by x2468, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Jun 24, 2010 at 11:39 PM
    #1
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Went off-roading for the first time and had a lot of fun but now I have a few questions (also see my thread about post off-roading maintenance and cleaning in the off-road section if you have the time). Now, i'm not an idiot so I know that taking your truck off-road = a few scratches and dings. I don't plan on going off-roading very often, but having a capable truck and not doing it once and a while seems like a shame. I'd like to know how I can best protect the truck from the trail, I.E. branches, debris kicked up by the tires of mine or other trucks, etc etc. I'm aware of the most obvious thing, which would be skid plates, which thankfully my truck seems to have a few stock but i know there could be more. What companies should I look at that make quality products in this department?

    The branches on narrow trails were really pissing me off the most. Short of carrying a machete and trimming as I go, are there any effective brush guards for that type of thing? My brother was telling me about some type of 3M coating you can get for any vehicle to protect the paint but I can't find what it might be called. does such a thing exist and would it be any good for protection from branches and such?

    Also, I noticed that the very front most part of the rear wheel wells really gets hit with a lot of debris from the rear tires, making a lot of little chips in the surface. Anyone make something to cover that part of the truck? seems like it'd be an easy fix with some cut rubber and 3m adhesive.

    thanks in advance.

    PS for those still waiting for pics from my other thread I got a lot of good ones today, just waiting for my friend to e-mail them to me.
     
  2. Jun 24, 2010 at 11:54 PM
    #2
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    The only real way to protect it from offroading - is to keep it parked in the driveway.

    Seriously....You can spend a shitload of money trying to protect things, and it'll never truely protect it. Something else will bite you in the ass instead. You can't possibly protect everything.

    So, either you 'get over it' or you stay at home.

    Brush guards only barely protect the front end, they do nothing for the sides of the truck. A skid plate is always good to have. Do some research on rock sliders, they'll protect your rocker guards from rocks/dings.

    That's wheelin.
    Save up some money and buy a trail rig = an old used 4WD vehicle that you can take offroad and not give two shits if you scratch or ding it up.

    Don't go wheelin on trails that are too narrow and avoid terrain that's too rocky for your driver experience. NEVER wheel alone!!! Have atleast 2 vehicles in your group.
     
  3. Jun 24, 2010 at 11:58 PM
    #3
    Kenny650

    Kenny650 Well-Known Member

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  4. Jun 25, 2010 at 12:02 AM
    #4
    brettb

    brettb Well-Known Member

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    And most of all. Stay away from mud
     
  5. Jun 25, 2010 at 12:07 AM
    #5
    dysfunctnlretard

    dysfunctnlretard Hi

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    honestly man, there is absolutely nothing you can do to protect your truck from cosmetic damage when you're wheeling, shit is gonna happen. Trucks in front of you may slip a wheel and throw rocks, your tires will fling rocks at your rear as youve been noticing, and its all just part of wheelin. They do have a 3M clear tape you can use, but its pricey to do your whole vehicle and Im sure branches can easily get through it. Im pretty sure member IAMRAYZIAN used it to protect his roof when he had his roof rack on it, you may wanna ask him about it.
     
  6. Jun 25, 2010 at 12:07 AM
    #6
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So there are no options in between going out stock with zero protection for the truck and saying F it, or just staying home out of fear of cosmetic damage, pretty much is what you're saying? there isn't a single company that has come up with innovative ways to protect a truck from some light trail damage?
     
  7. Jun 25, 2010 at 12:08 AM
    #7
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm alright well if that's how it is i guess that's how it is. I guess that's why the truck will mainly be used to transport dirt bikes and ATVs to trail heads.
     
  8. Jun 25, 2010 at 12:08 AM
    #8
    dysfunctnlretard

    dysfunctnlretard Hi

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    Protection = sliders and skids (bud built makes excellent skids). But sliders and skids are not gonna protect your wheel well, the whole side of your truck, or the hood.
     
  9. Jun 25, 2010 at 12:10 AM
    #9
    dysfunctnlretard

    dysfunctnlretard Hi

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    I used to wheel my magnetic grey Tacoma and the dark color really made scratches stand out. I used Meguiars scratch X 2.0 and got over 90% of the scratches out by polishing them up. After a month i gave up though, I started doing alot of trail runs and polishing them out was just tedious, time consuming, and IMO, a waste of time since I would go back out the next week and get more.
     
  10. Jun 25, 2010 at 12:29 AM
    #10
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It'd be cool if you could get like 1/8 inch thick material like leather or something, cut it out in the same shape as your body panels and then somehow get it to cover them while you're wheeling. Perhaps strategic amounts of velcro, or some type of reusable adhesive that im not yet aware of. That would protect the body work from 90% of flying debri and branches i would think. no need to do the hood just the siding.... hmm..... just thinking aloud.
     
  11. Jun 25, 2010 at 12:32 AM
    #11
    dysfunctnlretard

    dysfunctnlretard Hi

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    I definitely think your onto something and you should definitely fab up something for yourself if it works for you. The reason companies havent really made anything (I assume), is that once you "really get into" offroading, scratches no longer mattter and it almost becomes prideful to have a high amount. I had a huge ass scratch from my front wheel well to the rear from a local trail, and when people would ask what the hell had happened, I would :D and proceed to explain. LOL. If you enjoy it now, and really start getting into it youll perhaps change your mind about scratches and dents.
     
  12. Jun 25, 2010 at 12:36 AM
    #12
    Mxpatriot

    Mxpatriot Arctic Prerunner

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    Money pit.
    A friend of mine did his hood in 3M. It was around $500 I think for the entire grill, surrounding area, hood, and part of the front fenders on his F150.

    He loves the stuff and swears by it.

    To me it's not worth the money. Chicks dig body damage.
     
  13. Jun 25, 2010 at 12:38 AM
    #13
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    yeah i know what you mean. I was like that with my atvs and dirtbikes. as long as they ran mechanically well, aesthetics weren't a big deal for me, and each gash was a story. Maybe because i found a truck in better condition then i expected to find one in, and the previous owner took such good care of it I kinda want to do the same. Either way i'll look into bulk materials and adhesives and see if i can come up with anything. if it gets to expensive or time consuming i'll just say screw it. Just wanted to see what options were already available on the market. i'll look into sliders and skids. I'd like an off-road bumper too with more approach angle. Something that can slide off the ground if need be.
     
  14. Jun 25, 2010 at 2:01 AM
    #14
    supremetaco2

    supremetaco2 Well-Known Member

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    not to jack this thread, but im running a k&n intake cone filter setup, i was wondering is there anything that i can do to protect it from the mud? besides getting a snorkel?
     
  15. Jun 25, 2010 at 2:06 AM
    #15
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Be careful with some of those 'stick-on' materials that cover the paint. That stuff will get scratched up eventually and could be a nightmare to get it off. But also, you wanna make sure the stuff isn't gonna harm your paint and won't turn 'yellow' over time.

    If you're in the hobby (of wheeling) long enough, you eventually get tired of trying to keep your daily driver in any sort of prestine condition. It just can't be done... and you end up buying a totally separate vehicle for the trails.
    And ya know what? With a trail rig - you have MORE FUN!!! You're not worried about scratchin it up..... the only thing you worry about is keeping it together so you can drive it home!!!! (and you eventually get a tow rig & trailer, but that's a long story).
     
  16. Jun 25, 2010 at 2:30 AM
    #16
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Not really......

    Does it already have a 'box' built around it? Some kits come with a inclosed box the cone sits in....

    Just be prepared to clean it after you get mud/dirt/dust in it. Clean it often or else the K&N won't filter porperly.
     
  17. Jun 25, 2010 at 4:54 AM
    #17
    Brunes

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    I know a guy who has an H3 and he covers the majority of the sides with magnetic sheets to protect it from scrapes and light damage.
    I vote use a good wax beforehand and a good cleaning everytime and buffing if you need it.
     
  18. Jun 25, 2010 at 5:25 AM
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    NicP

    NicP Well-Known Member

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    Limb wires/brush wires/limb deflectors are the wires that go from front brush guard to roof rack or roof basket. They deflect tree limbs away and above the hood and windshield. They wont exactly save paint but are helpful on small trails with lots of brush.
    Here is a discussion on Expedition Portal forumhttp://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/showthread.php?p=10326
     
  19. Jun 25, 2010 at 5:25 AM
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    NicP

    NicP Well-Known Member

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  20. Jun 25, 2010 at 6:04 AM
    #20
    tacoman101

    tacoman101 Well-Known Member

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    You could always use a textured type rubber paint like Herculiner to protect your body from trail damage. A 2nd gen owner on Tacoma World decided to have his whole truck Rhino lined (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-builds/36806-my-rhino-build-pics.html) and I think it looks pretty sweet. Then you really wouldn't have to worry about scratches, becuase the stuff is pretty much bullet proof.

    If you didn't want to Rhino line the whole thing you could just do parts the get the most abuse. I know someone else on this forum who just lined his rockers, becuase that's where the most paint chipping occurs.

    For some more info on Herculiner, here is the link for the website: http://www.herculiner.com/

    I'm in the same boat as you on scratches and dings on body work, so I have opted to begin to save for a strictly off road rig that I can beat the living shit out of. :D

    Hope this helps
     
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