In February I ( Anthony/ #TaterSalad) had the opportunity to build and review the True North Fabrications DIY plate bumper kit sold by SRQ Fabrications for the third gen Toyota 4runner. To he honest, I was pretty excited to be one of the first people to weld together one of these kits and provide some feedback along the way. One of the things that stood out to me about this kit was it was all tab and slot with pre-bent pieces. Okay so, what does that REALLY mean? It should be way easier to put together than most “kit” bumpers.
Lets clear up something here first, I am not, I repeat NOT a professional welder. I am a hobbyist welder who is YouTube self taught that has had pretty good success sticking two pieces of metal together of the almost 2 years I have been welding. Okay, now that that is out of the way and all of the people who want to hate on my welding can go kick sand.
So, I know you don’t want to sit and read all of the little things, so here is what I am going to do. Lets pick some things to rate.
Shipping / Packaging –
The shipping price was reasonable for an around 75lb bumper; they took care to wrap all of the pieces big pieces in bubble wrap and bag up the hardware that came with it. Yes you heard that right, they included the hardware!
I am going to say for this, it was WAY easier than i thought it was going to be. The tab and slot design literally is fool proof. Aligning the pieces together ( all 9 core pieces) was stupid simple.
I am going to have to say, they were simple and almost “ikea” like. With it being a CAD designed bumper they were able to easily break way the stuff you didn’t need and focus on what you needed to do in that step all alongside just a few words.
Again, here is the CAD, laser cut, tab and slot, pre-bent goodies all coming together to work for you, This sucker is fitted to the truck with good gaps all around, not too big, not too tight JUSSSSST right! They also give you some wiggle room in how you bolt up the bumper, I mean, come on who has a truly accident free 20 year old vehicle?!? The bumper was made to fit a Warn M800 winch but I took a chance an picked up an Engo XR 10k lb synthetic winch from Apex Overland, and…..my chance paid off I got a quality winch at a far less price
I am going to say that this being a first run of the bumper there were somethings that needed some work. But this is why they chose me to put one together I was able to offer up some suggestions for the future runs of the product. Some of the improvements on the later models of the bumper include recesses for winch controller mounting on the top side of the bumper ( you don’t wanna mess up that pretty SRQ Fabrications grill!!), larger fairlead hole for synthetic winch line allowing proper clearance, and larger slots in included light brackets.
I will have to say, if you have some skill with a welder and want a plate winch bumper for your third gen 4runner and don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for an ARB or similar pre-welded bumper this one might just be for you. It definately hit the price point I wanted to see and have me all of the features I was looking for.