Rear Bumper, 3rd gen

Quick Links:

If you want a great-looking, radically high-clearance, crawling-inspired bumper with clearance for 35s for your 3rd gen 4Runner, I’ve got you covered.

About this bumper:

I’ve been designing & prototyping this bumper for a few years now (- this is version 12!)
It came about as problem-solving after I designed F150 fuel tank conversion brackets for the 3rd gen 4Runner to relocate the tank to the spare tire position. My weld-in rear crossmember ties the open frame rails together for strength, but as a result, typical aftermarket bumpers would not mount directly, and a new bumper solution was needed. Accordingly, my bumper requires that rear crossmember for its primary mounts but that gives you the option of using the F150 tank in the rear or retaining your stock tank in its original location – whichever you prefer.

From the beginning, I designed the bumper to use the factory running board plastic step cover from the early 3rd gen 4Runner (the one with Toyota embossed on it). I knew that for a high clearance crawling-oriented design the receiver pin access needed to be from the top side and the receiver had to be completely encased in the rear face of the bumper to maximize departure angle, so the plastic step cover was a natural solution to capping off access holes in the top of the step. It also cleans up one of the two inelegant gaps between the bumper and the hatch that exist with most aftermarket bumpers. The plastic step cover, then, determined the length of the bumper from the hatch opening, and the receiver itself determined the height of the rear face.

Then during the design process, I discovered the hand-built Assburns rear bumper, which ultimately became the muse for this one – his is still the most radically high-clearance bumper I’ve seen for our trucks, and with his approval, I did my best to emulate its’ clearances while not requiring major cutting of the body. By basing my design around a 1″ body lift (I run 1.25″ for the maximum bumper gap when flexing) I’ve been able to do just that, and achieve the rear departure angle that I was after.

When I launched this bumper last year, I had a fair number of inquiries about installing it without a body lift.  To accommodate those guys, I’ve redesigned most of the bumper for version 12 so that you can configure it for a non-body lift application when ordering, although I still recommend using a body lift on the 3rd gen 4Runner for multiple benefits (you can read about my reasoning on that subject here)

With my background being what it is, I did my best to angle the planes on the corners under the taillights in such a way as to carry the arc from the hatch (side view) into the bumper, so that it wouldn’t have a “block under the back of the truck” look. Aesthetics aside, these angled faces present a terrific opportunity for positioning auxiliary reverse/scene lighting, so I’ve included mounting holes for rear-mounting the  Rigid Industries IGNITE back up light kit (20641).

I’ve tapered the front of the bumper to just wider than the body itself to keep it narrow for tight trail work, to avoid interference with obstacles. This makes it narrower than the stock SR5 flares and mirrors the cut-off flare look in the front when the running boards are removed, which like, personally. (However, for those of you who prefer flare-width bumpers, I’ll be working with another well-known vendor to offer flare extensions as add-ons in the future to carry that width down onto the bumper.)

I’ve cut the forward edges of the bumper back and angled them appropriately to allow you fully stuff a 315 up to the short factory bump stops, or a 37 up to the commonly-used extended bump stops. Due to this, installing the bumper requires trimming back the pinch weld on both sides.

For version 12, the recovery points are now fully machined from 1-inch thick A36 steel, with generously-radiused holes for use with soft-shackles. They’re custom-made for this bumper to maintain the rear departure angle and maximize clearance, as well as carry the loaded weight of swing-out accessories. (That’s right, I’ll be releasing removable hinge assemblies for this bumper after this product run, so you guys can build swing-outs and accessories as you see fit.)

And since this design was originally intended for maximum ground clearance, I’ve put a hole in the right side for the exhaust to be run over the frame and behind (not under) the bumper.

New Features:

To accommodate non-body lift applications and to create a more inclusive kit, I’ve made a number of revisions to the internal structure in the previous version. These center around a new, 3-piece inner receiver support that is designed to clear the rear crossmember when the bumper is installed without a body lift. No longer does the end-user need to source additional steel to install the receiver, as this new support is contoured to directly accept the recommended Buyers Products RT25806 Receiver Tube.

In addition, the primary mounts are now contoured to reinforce the new support arrangement and all of the components that make up the center section of the bumper are now slotted and tabbed for ease of alignment during assembly. Weld slots are included where useful to create fillet corner joints for a cleaner end result.

Non-Body Lift applications include all-new risers for both the frame rails and the crossmember (6 pieces total) and shim and washer plates where the bumper wings are secured in the wheel well (4 pieces total). As with the receiver support detailed above, these new components are tabbed and corresponding slots have been included in the center section and bumper wings for alignment and ease of assembly.

And as previously mentioned, the v12 recovery points are now fully machined from 1″ A36 steel to reduce overall construction time for the installer.

Also brand-new for v12 is an optional weld-in wing brace assembly, to stiffen and reinforce the wing at the wheel well opening against side impacts during off-road use.

In all, every major component has been revised and 16 new components have been created for version 12.

What you get:

The standard bumpers are made up of 3 major pre-formed pieces, 2 recovery points, 3 receiver braces, and 4 smaller brackets that are assembled and welded on the truck for ease of fitment. In fact, the bumper shown in all of these photos has simply been bolted to the frame, no welding has occurred – so as you can see, it’s more or less self-aligning prior to welding.
The non-body lift option will include 6 additional brackets and 4 new shim and washer plates.
I’m also including a pair of nut-straps and all hardware needed for installation.

Please remember, if you don’t already have the rear crossmember from my fuel tank relocation bracket kit, you’ll need to add one to your order.

  • v11 and v12 bumper owners can add the optional weld-in wing brace assembly
  • v11 bumper owners who haven’t assembled and installed their bumpers can order the non-body lift installation components (tabs that penetrate the center section of the bumper will need to be removed for use with v11)
  • v11 and v12 owners can retrofit the swingout hinge assembly (both left and right-handed versions) – currently in development
  • v11 and v12 owners will be able to retrofit the upcoming flare-width extensions

What you need to provide:

To install the receiver, you’ll need to provide the receiver itself, or you can purchase one from me when you order your bumper (and save on shipping it!). If you prefer to provide your own, the bumper was modeled with the Buyers Products RT25806 Receiver Tube which can be purchased from It will need to be trimmed for non-body lift applications.

You’ll also need to provide the early OEM running board cover for the top of the step (this covers the access holes and finishes off the top of the bumper – see the quick links at the top of this page for measurements for trimming it to fit) and the aux reverse lights (if you choose to run them)

Important notes:

*The bumper requires the rear cross member from my fuel tank relocation bracket kit as its basis, so if you don’t have one of my kits you’ll need to add a cross member to the order.

*The standard bumper requires a 1- 1.25″ body lift. Non-BL applications will require the additional conversion parts as discussed above.

*You will need to cut out the pinch weld in the rear of the wheel well on each side. The bumper is designed to provide full articulation with 35″ tires and clearance for 37s when using extended bump stops.

*I strongly advise the use of poly body bushings on the rear body mounts at a minimum to minimize flex & potential body contact when wheeling.

Q & A:

Body Mounts
Q – You recommend running Sonoran Steel’s upgraded body mounts to avoid bumper flex into the body?

A – At a minimum, yes. However, I redid did all of the body mounts on my 4Runner (energy suspension), because the front will have the same issues with flex. IMO everyone should go to poly mounts if they’re going to run any aftermarket bumper on a 3rd gen 4Runner. (plenty of threads on this – too much chance of body damage with factory mounts)
*If you use Energy Suspension Poly Body Mounts, make sure to measure your stack height (height of mount and body lift puck combined) of the rear mounts to ensure that it totals 2.25-2.5″

Q – Does your bumper design have a receiver built-in?

A – The bumper has provisions for a Buyers Products RT25806 receiver, which can be included in the bumper purchase or you can source one yourself. 

Q – What is the tow rating on your bumper/receiver?

A – There is no tow rating applicable; this is a weld-it-yourself kit, so please note that for all intents and purposes, I consider the receiver to be simply an accessory mounting solution and an additional recovery point as/when needed. 

I have done my best to brace and reinforce it internally for off-road uses, but its strength and durability are ultimately determined by the skill and competency level of the installer/welder.

Q – I probably missed it, but will the bumpers be pre-bent just requiring welding?
Q – Will It come pre-welded or have the option to order the panels and weld it yourself?

A – The bumper components are pre-bent, all welding is done by the end-user.

Q – Looks like it’ll be a lot of fun to work with the nut-strip in the frame, any solution to making that alignment to get the bolts started easier since it looks like it’s not easily accessible with this design.

A- The included nut-strips (I’m providing them since most of ours are so rusty at this point) can be installed through access holes I’ve included in the rear crossmember for this purpose. 

Fuel Tank
Q – Will it work with a standard fuel tank or does it require your F150 mod?

A – It requires my rear crossmember, but the tank can remain in the stock location.

Q – Are you building a bolt-on gas tank skid that will go in conjunction with the bumper?

A – I am! Look for that later in the year.

Q – Is this bumper available with a swing-out option?

A – I’m doing a pivot mount for you guys – it is a removable double-shear mount, and you guys can make whatever you want to hang from it. I’ve included pilot holes in the bumper to correctly position it on either side, so it will retrofit to an existing bumper. Look for that later after I finish this product run.

Q – Will these be available for limited models? To sit flush with the flares?
Q – Will you be able to add a drop-down menu for extra width? For people with no flares, sr5 flares and limited/sport/bushwhacker flares?

A – the bumper is designed for crawling so it’s as tight and clearances as I can get it – however, I’m working on flare extension options with another vendor for folks who want that aesthetic. Look for those later in the year.

Q – The sides of the rear trim valence need to be chopped? Seems like you made the curvature in the bumper to accommodate the plastic trim? But the picture shows it trimmed up pretty good

A – I designed it to use the factory running board covers from the early 3rd gen 4Runner (with the Toyota logo). I’m surprised no one else has done this since they’re plentiful and basically free nowadays. You’ll need to provide your own, but I’ve included instructions on how & where to trim them in the quick links at the top of the page.

Q – Any idea of overall weight?

A – The shipping weight of the base bumper and crossmember once boxed and packaged is 122 pounds

Aux Lights
Q – do you have a link for the specific lights you spec’d the rear holes for?

A – they’re for Rigid Industries IGNITE back up light kit – 20641.

Q – Integrated hole to tuck exhaust into?!?!

A – Yes! I set it up so you can go over the frame at the rear of the wheel well and out the side of the bumper (with 1″ body lift and some pinch weld trimming) – even with a rear-mounted fuel tank.


Since there is so much up-front cost with this particular product, I’m now taking pre-orders on the new run of bumpers. As usual, I’ll cover the shipping within the continental US, and pre-orders will receive a discount for being first in line.

To pre-order simply email me at with your full name, telephone number, billing and shipping addresses, and indicate that you want in on the run. Please also indicate whether or not you already have my rear crossmember, and if not, whether or not you’d like the full fuel tank relocation bracket kit included with your bumper order. Also indicate if you want the non-body lift installation option, and whether or not you would like me to include a receiver with your order.

Pricing is as follows:

  • standard bumper (for 1-1.25″ body lift) – $825
  • non-body lift option – add $135
  • rear crossmember – add $50 (with bumper purchase)
  • entire tank relocation bracket kit (includes the crossmember) – add $100 (with bumper purchase)
  • optional wing brace assembly – add $45
  • include 2″ receiver – add $22

When I get 10 commitments, I’ll send out PayPal invoices to you guys for a 50% deposit, and once those deposits are in, I’ll submit the order to my bend shop.

My bend shop typically takes 3-5 weeks to turn around an order, so the sooner all the deposits are in, the shorter the overall duration will be, and the quicker I’ll be able to start shipping your bumpers out to you. Getting your deposits in quickly helps the other guys in the run too!

The balance will be due when the bend shop completes the order – I’ll send a second round of PayPal notifications at that time.

Refund of deposit:

Rear Bumper, Out of fairness to the other folks who have pre-ordered, your deposit will be considered non-refundable to complete the bend shop work. That said, if for some reason you need to bail, I’ll reimburse your deposit when the next client takes your spot in this manufacturing run, so as not to delay delivery of everyone else’s bumpers.