If you’ve ever tried to fit serious tires under your Toyota Tacoma, you might have quickly come to the realization that the front fenders aren’t exactly designed to house monster rubber. This is particularly true if you are running a wheel with an aggressive offset that has pushed your tires out past the stock fender flares, which is a no-no in certain states that require all tires to be covered by a full flare if the truck is driven on the road.
Aftermarket Fender Flares
There are a number of different options available to you if you are interested in extending your Tacoma’s fenders to meet local regulations, with one of the most popular being bolt-on fiberglass, plastic or rubber flares. The main reason why bolt-ons are the flare extension of choice for most Tacoma drivers is price. It’s relatively inexpensive to install a set of fiberglass flares, but it’s also not the most attractive solution unless you go for a high end product or have access to a paint shop that can match your truck’s factory paint hue.
Glassworks Unlimited Front Fiberglass Fenders
Enter Glassworks Unlimited and their fiberglass front fenders for the 2005 to 2012 Toyota Tacoma. These fenders, which are completely compatible with the stock bumper, doors and hood, add a four-inch flare and a three-inch rise compared to the factory setup. This offers a lot more tire coverage than what is provided as standard equipment on the Tacoma.
Is Fiberglass Right For You?
There are definite advantages and disadvantages to choosing fiberglass fenders for your Toyota pickup. Fiberglass is relatively easy to paint and can be matched to your stock color to the point where no one will be able to tell you aren’t running steel. It also doesn’t rust, which is a big plus to anyone living in a salt-drenched northern climate where corrosion is a fact of life.
Fiberglass replacement fenders also bring with them a couple of downsides as well. Perhaps most important is its lack of strength. Unlike steel, fiberglass doesn’t bend or dent – instead, it has a tendency to shatter (sometimes rather spectacularly). For daily driving, this isn’t really an issue, but out on the trail if things get a little hairy you might end up having to replace cracked or exploded fenders. Fiberglass molds also aren’t known for being precise, which means that you may be forced to sand or trim the fenders before installation in order to achieve uniform thickness.
Finally, although Glassworks Unlimited claims a perfect stock fit and the ability to install with basic hand tools, they also warn that some Tacomas might require sheet metal cutting in order to properly install their product. This could create a “point of no return” situation, where you can’t easily go back to stock if you end up being unhappy with the fiberglass flared fenders.
Affordable Fiberglass Option
All-in-all, the Glassworks Unlimited Toyota Tacoma front fenders are an appealing and inexpensive option for anyone who needs to do something about their lack of flaring. Priced at $325 per pair, it is also possible to have each fender “gel coated” to roughly match factory colors before they are shipped your way for an additional $50. A 15 day return period is included with every order.
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