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Get Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Magazine on the App StoreDifficulty: 3 out of 5

This project requires cutting and welding of the frame. This project should only be tackled by someone with previous welding experience. Those tackling this project should wear proper personal protective equipment to help prevent injury. Do not attempt this project without a helper, or two, to prevent straining one’s back by trying to hold a bumper in place while bolting it up.

Tools Required:

  • Ratchet and Socket Set (Metric & SAE)
  • Combination Wrench Set (Metric & SAE)
  • Torque Wrench
  • Soldering Iron
  • Grinder with Cutoff Wheel
  • Welder

Step 1: Factory Bumper Removal
Locate and unplug the wiring harnesses from the turn signals.
Locate and unbolt the two Fender Apron Braces, there is one brace on each side. A single nut is used to connect the brace to the side mounting bracket.
Locate and unbolt the two Front Bumper Arms from the frame. There is one bumper arm on each rail. Note: Do not discard the hex-head cap screws as they will be used to install the new bumper.
With the bumper removed, locate and unbolt the two Fender Apron Braces from the inner fenders.

Step 2: Modifying the Frame
Before the new CBI Front Hybrid Bumper can be installed the frames of 1996 through 1998 4Runners need to be modified. These years of 4Runners had a different plate on the front of each frame rail than the 1999 through 2002 models. *If you are reading this installation and own 99 through 2002 4Runner you can skip this and jump Step 3. The frame end plates need to be replaced with the new plates supplied by CBI. This is done by grinding off the welds securing the factory end plates to the frame.

Now, with the factory plates removed, temporarily bolt the new mounting plates to the CBI Hybrid Bumper. With the help of a friend, lift the bumper into place and use the Front Bumper Arm bolts to temporarily secure it in place. The new mounting plates need to be flush with the frame rails and tacked into place.

Note: My 4Runner was in an accident prior to us purchasing it. This resulted in the passenger-side frame rail needing to be trimmed an extra 1/4 inch to get everything to line up properly.

With the new mounting plates tacked into place, the bumper can be unbolted and removed. The new mounting plates can now be welded into place. Once complete, the frame and mounting plates should be painted with a liberal coat of paint to prevent rust from developing.

Step 3: Bolting Everything Up
The new Hybrid Bumper can be bolted up once the paint has dried. Now is a great time to install a winch, if you are choosing to install one. CBI recommends that you torque the six main mounting bolts to 70 ft-lbf to ensure a solid connection to the vehicle.
With the bumper mounted, the new turn signals can be installed and wired up. The factory plugs will need to be cut off of the wiring harness and soldered to the new light pigtails. Be sure to cover the wires with heat-shrink tubing to prevent corrosion.

Even with the extra bit of cutting and fitting required by my 4Runner’s bent frame the installation went very quickly. I had the help of two friends during the project. One helped me lift the bumper into place as the second bolted everything up. This worked out rather well as the bumper needed to come on and off a few times to get the fitment just right. In all I am very impressed with the bumper’s construction and I cannot wait to hit the trails to test its durability!

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    COMEUP Web 16

    Published in Winter 2016

    FJ Cruiser Front Bumper rear bumper and armor articlesWhile we’re finishing up the April 2013 issue of FJC Magazine, I was thinking now would be a good time for a little retrospective on the armor related articles we’ve done in the past. As many of you know, we consider good skid plates for your FJ Cruiser one of the most essential modifications if you’re planning on moderate to difficult trails. Of course for many, front and/or rear bumpers are the first ways you’ll modify your truck.


    Published in Features

    ✓ 1/4” CNC Plasma Cut 4130 Steel Platerear diff skid
    ✓ Hand Welded Joints both inside and out - All joints blended for smooth, hang-free strike surface
    ✓ Bead Blasted & Powder Coated Red (Additional colors upon request for additional fee)
    ✓ Built to tight tolerances for best fit
    ✓ CADD Designed and reviewed by Licensed Engineer
    ✓ New Grade 5 Hardware Included

    From Digger (the manufacturer): This diff skid was designed and built with a few ideas in mind:
    1. Clearance – Some other diff skids on the market sacrifice clearance for protection. This diff skid fits flush against the bottom of the rear diff. The only clearance lost is the thickness of the material.
    2. Ease of use - Our diff skid is currently the only one on the market that allows diff fluid servicing without removing the skid. This is accomplished by guarding the factory drain plug standoff with a 1/2" long piece of 3" DOM tubing (1/2" wall). This provides the best protection without sacrificing accessibility.
    3. Fail safe attachment system - Our diff skid is mounted under tension and designed to be an integral part of the skid structure. There is no slipping or sliding into the driveshaft or 3rd member yoke. The drain plug stand off does not only protect but also acts as part of the attachment system.
    4. Strength - Our diff skid body is made from 1 solid piece of 1/4" HR plate. It is CNC plasma cut and bent to conform to the rear diff of the FJ cruiser. There are 4 seams that are welded inside and out to ensure maximum strength and durability. As mentioned above, it is put on and torqued under tension. This "pre-loads" the diff skid and allows it to also to act as a kind of axle truss to strengthen the interface between the diff housing and the axle housings.

    For more information or to order, contact Digger at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Published in October 2009


    Although they’re new to FJ Cruisers, Ricochet Off Road Armor has been producing skid plates for dirt bikes & ATV’s for over 30 years. During the Toytec / FJC Magazine Fun Run in June, one FJ Cruiser managed to get a rock wedged in the open space in front of the front lower control arm (LCA) and had to be jacked & yanked off the obstacle. That’s when we first thought of adding a little protection to our LCA’s.

    After reviewing all the top vendor websites, we found very few options for a front LCA skid that was lightweight and provided great protection. That’s where Ricochet comes in. Just a couple of months ago they released their front LCA aluminum guards. They’re very lightweight, super easy to install, and fit perfectly. At only $129, they’re a great way to protect one of the most vulnerable areas on your FJ. For all the install pics, click the Install tab above.

    We’ll be testing them out in the coming months, so look for a long term review in 2010. For now, we’re happy to have this added protection.



    Ricochet Front LCA Skids for FJ Cruiser

    An LCA skid before installation


    Insert the bolt & washers as shown

    DSC_0175 DSC_0177

    Insert the bolts & washers up through the factory holes in the control arm & slip the nut on.
    Leave them loose until all bolts are in, then tighten.


    Installed & ready to go!

    Published in October 2009

    In case you haven't seen it yet, Aluminess has just come out with one of the most exciting products for the FJ: An all aluminum front bumper. This bumper weighs in at only 43lbs (with no brush guard), less than 1/3 of some of the other bumpers available.

    The bumper is winch compatible and includes a black powder-coat finish, tow hooks, and built in light mounts.   It's is offered with no brush guard, with a full brush guard, and with a bull bar.

    While aluminum bumpers are new to the FJ Cruiser, they've been available for a variety of vehicles for many years. We can't wait to see this bumper in action on the trail. Look for more in depth info on this bumper soon!

    See this bumper on the Aluminess Website.

    Published in Latest News

    Intense Fabrication just announced availability of their new FJ Cruiser Pre-Runner front Tube Bumper. This bumper bolts directly on to the frame horn aIntense Fabrication FJ Cruiser Fron Tube Bumpernd is hand made of .120 wall tubing. The bumper includes the skid plate that can be customized with anything you want on it (additional charges may apply).

    This is a great looking front tube bumper, and at only $499, it's a great deal! Checkout Intense Fabrication for more info.








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    Published in Latest News
    Even when completely stock, the FJ Cruiser is one of the most trail-capable vehicles available. With specs like, a ground clearance of 9.6”, approach and departure angles of over 30 degrees, and great suspension flex, there isn't much your truck can't do.

    After upgrading your tires and wheels, (see Off Road 101, April 2008) the next addition  for many owners is in undercarriage armor. The term ‘trail armor’ can be applied to many different modifications. We are focusing on two primary trail armor upgrades, rock rails and skids.

    Please download the Full PDF to continue reading this story. It's Free!

    You can also view this entire issue online !

    Published in July 2008