4Runner Armor, 5th Gen Mods, Off-Road, Overland, Rear Bumpers, Reviews, Trail Tested

Brute Force Fabrication Rear Bumper – 5th Gen 4Runner

Updated 1/27/21 / Read Time: 11 mins

Brute Force Fabrication Rear Bumper - The Highest Clearance Bumper On The Market

Brute Force Fabrication Rear Bumper – The Highest Clearance Bumper On The Market

Off-roading is something a lot of 5th Gen 4Runner owners have in common. We like to get out and explore, sometimes on roads that are easy and less traveled, while others like to hit harder, rougher sections of trail that require modifications to navigate through. Depending on what you do and what features you like, a rear bumper might be the perfect option for you, and Brute Force Fabrication has one of the best-looking bumpers, but also most effective on the market.

Who is Brute Force Fabrication?

Brute Force Fabrication is a small business located in Clovis, CA, and specializes in Toyota Products. Whether you are looking for high clearance bumpers, rock sliders, armor, or off-road Toyota related products, Brute Force can get it done for you. While they specialize in older Toyota products, Brute Force has also entered the newer 5th Generation 4Runner models and has made some exceptional products for them.

Why Brute Force Fabrication?

Brute Force Fabrication Rear Bumper - The Highest Clearance Bumper On The Market

When it comes to products on the 5th Gen 4Runner, I am very picky. I want something that looks good, but also something that is equally if not more effective for its purpose. What good is something if it’s just a replacement and has no better features?

I also like to support small businesses being a small business owner myself, and having a local fabricator here in Central California was a no brainer to me. Not to mention the owner, Billy, being a down to earth guy who was willing to answer all questions and go into detail about his product was a big bonus.

Because I also enjoy off-roading in both “overland” terrain and more rocky terrain, I wanted to get the benefits of both worlds. One that will give me protection when the rear bumper is dropping down on rocks, but also the ease of access to the rear along with the mounting of various accessories.

Being his products are used religiously across the rock crawler platforms I knew it would withstand anything thrown at it, but ascetically when comparing against others on the market, it had the cleanest look to it.

The rear bumper comes with a raw steel finish and powder coating available as an option. It also comes as a single or dual swing-out.

Find it online:

High Clearance Bumper

Brute Force Fabrication Rear Bumper - The Highest Clearance Bumper On The Market

One of the major downfalls to the 5th Generation 4Runner is the rear bumper.

Departure angles cause the low hanging bumper to easily drag on some of the most minor drops on trails. I’ve had my bumper pop off numerous times on things you wouldn’t expect it to, not to mention looks like it’s gone through some kind of sandpaper machine with all the paint and grooves in it.

Brute Force Fabrication’s rear bumper on the other hand is high clearance and won’t leave you scraping and dragging on things you shouldn’t be. Many aftermarket companies tend to replace the rear with something steel to be able to handle off-roading, but they don’t actually do anything to improve angles. That’s exactly what Brute Force did. In fact, without actually cutting up the frame, they have the highest clearance bumper on the market to date, and it still retains factory mounting positions.

If you aren’t into playing around on the rocks that might not be a big deal to you, but what is the point of having a rear bumper if it’s going to be the same as stock and not give you any better features?

Options

The main thing with any off-road product is getting the most bang for your buck. Thankfully the rear bumper has plenty of those depending on what exactly you want to do or are looking to add. While not all of these were a huge deal to me, they might be for you depending on how overland you want to get or be.

Single/Dual Swing Out

One of the most common options off-roaders look for with their bumper is either a dual or single swing-out. Depending on your choice these allow for many different mounting options. If you are looking to get the spare tire out from underneath the vehicle, it’s recommended a single swing-out minimum, however, if you are looking to mount other items such as hi lifts, water tanks, jerry cans, etc, you’d want a dual.

The purpose of a dual is to help spread out the weight on the rear hinges. If you remember in the past single swing outs were the number one option, but over time the hinges would break and fail.

Lighting

Brute Force Fabrication Rear Bumper - The Highest Clearance Bumper On The Market

Two spots for lights are standard for the rear bumpers and allow for your typical pod-style lighting, however, if you need a Baja Squadron S2 style light, Brute Force can accommodate for that as they did with me.

A lot of companies on the market aren’t always willing to work with you, so I was happy when I heard they could make the S2 style lights fit as they certainly are smaller than the larger Squadron style lights from Baja.

Jerry Can/Rotopax

Fuel is one of the main reasons people add a rear bumper, especially one with dual swing outs. They want an option to store either extra fuel or one thing of water and fuel. Depending on your setup and what you use, Brute Force has mounts for both Jerry Can and Rotopax users.

I personally run both jerry cans, one with fuel and one with water. Because I frequent Death Valley so much, the extra fuel comes in handy when out on some of the long desert trails that are nowhere near gas stations. At the same time it gets extremely hot there, so having the water in case there’s an issue with overheating (something that is more common there than you think) gives you peace of mind.

Side Protection

Brute Force Fabrication Rear Bumper - The Highest Clearance Bumper On The Market

Unlike many competitors on the market, the Brute Force Fabrication bumper has the option for side protection or no protection. You aren’t forced to have it, nor are you forced to go without it, it all depends on what you want with your vehicle. Due to going out on snow runs, as well as into muddy areas, I decided to go with the option in case I ever slid just enough to where my rear might come into contact with a tree trunk or rock. Of course, this can come in handy with other things such as bad drivers on the road who might ding you in a parking lot.

Drop Down Table

Are you really an overlander without a table? Of course, that’s always the debate online. A table add-on is a great option for those who need an extra spot for whatever the case may be while out on the trail.

I’ve found having an extra spot to position plates of food, or an area to cut food is always a huge bonus as space is normally limited while camping. You may also find it to be a nice workstation with a laptop and hard drives if you’re into photography such as myself.

Whatever the case may be, a drop-down table is a huge positive for those who are always looking for an extra spot to put things no matter what it is.

Powder Coating

While the bumper comes with raw steel, you do have the option of having the bumper powder coated to your liking. This is done out of the house so lead times can vary, but from my experience, it was done rather quickly.

Modular Panel

Brute Force Fabrication Rear Bumper - The Highest Clearance Bumper On The Market

The modular panel that Brute Force Fabrication has designed for the rear swing-out allows for multiple different ways to mount items depending on what you want to do. For instance, if you want to carry your hi-lift jack, as well as a water tank, you can arrange how you mount your items to make things fit effectively on the rear. Some like to run a water tank with their jerry cans, others like to mount items in various different ways. Whether you want jerry cans or not, there are endless ways to place things on the panel.

This is a great way to make the most out of the space you are given, but also to organize things in the order you might use them, or need to use from least to last. Currently, I have the jerry can holder on mine, but will definitely be adding a hi-lift jack later.

Tow Hitch

With the high clearance bumper, the factory tow hitch is no longer used and a new one is given to you. It is able to be installed and removed with four bolts, but like anything with a tow hitch, you have one low hanging point off the bumper. I kept mine off as I don’t tow anything, and if needed to pull someone out there are two weld-on mounts for D rings on the rear that can be used.

In fact, I had to use them at the beach one time to help a friend get out of the snow and the bumper worked flawlessly, as did the mounts with a soft shackle.

Weight?

Brute Force Fabrication Rear Bumper - The Highest Clearance Bumper On The Market

Like any bumper made of steel you are adding a significant amount of weight to the rear, that’s not including the additional weight of items such as the tire, jerry cans filled with fuel and water, etc. You can expect to add at minimum roughly 230lbs with the Brute Force Fabrication rear bumper with dual swing outs (less if you choose a single or no swing-out option). I estimate mine, with fuel and the tire, comes in around the 260 range.

You will without a doubt need a stiffer rear coil in the rear to deal with the weight. I went with a Dobinson 749V rear bumper from YotaMafia to be able to handle the weight. It indeed has dealt with the weight of the rear bumper, as well as everything added for an extended camping trip.

A re-gear isn’t necessary with the added weight, but you will definitely feel the difference when climbing up mountain passes whether on pavement or on dirt. It will be even more apparent if you have 34” or larger tires. However, I think we all know these aren’t race cars and expecting them to go fast with added weight is wishful thinking.

Camera Relocation

With the addition of swing outs, you lose the ability to fully use your backup camera. For some this isn’t an issue, for others it is. Thankfully you can add on the relocation kit to fix this issue, and use your factory camera as if it were still stock from the factory. This is big for those who need it for help while parking or backing up in tight spots on trails.

Locking Swing Outs

Brute Force Fabrication Rear Bumper - The Highest Clearance Bumper On The Market

One of my favorite features that tends to go unnoticed with the bumper is the ability to lock the swing-out. Break-ins of vehicles are becoming more and more common these days, and especially with off-roaders as people know we tend to carry quite a bit of thing with us. This is where the ability to lock the swing outs comes in hand.

There is a padlocking hole on each swing-out handle to put a lock through. This prevents the handle from being able to fully open and makes getting into the rear window practically impossible, especially if you have a dual swing out, as the tire and accessories block access.

If for some reason you find yourself on a long camping trip that ends at a hotel, or a cross country trip that involves staying at hotels, you can feel comfortable knowing your swing outs won’t be open when you come out in the morning.

Timeframe

In the world of Amazon, everyone wants things as fast as possible, in fact, if people could have it their way, yesterday still wouldn’t be fast enough. When it comes to things like bumpers any sort of fast shipping goes out the window, especially from small businesses. This stands true with Brute Force Fabrication.

As mentioned above Brute isn’t a 4Runner specific company, as they build everything for just about all Toyotas, but more importantly do custom work such as roll cages. Depending on when you order from Brute Force you can expect to wait anywhere from 3-6 months. This is pretty standard in the community for made to order items, especially bumpers, but it’s important to mention this for those that either do not want to wait or expect things quicker than what reality is.

Even with COVID putting a dent in not only production times but also the production of materials needed to make the bumper I was still able to have my bumper in under 16 weeks. Needless to say, I was quite impressed as there are still things I have yet to receive that I ordered before COVID hit.

At the end of the day, you will have a wait, but you are also paying for quality and detail. You’ve all heard the stories of items being shipped that probably shouldn’t have been. Maybe there were grooves in the steel, bends, chipping in paint? That doesn’t happen at Brute Force, and that’s exactly why I went with them.

What’s Not To Like?

Brute Force Fabrication Rear Bumper - The Highest Clearance Bumper On The Market

If you’ve read my articles you’ve probably noticed that I tend to not dislike a lot of things about the products I buy. The main reason is that I research and research before making a purchase, to avoid things like “I wish it had this” or “this could be better.” This after all is why we write reviews, to help make your research a bit easier.

Being Brute Force Fabrication is a local company I was able to not only ask questions in person but also see the work right in front of me. Their quality control is impeccable and why I chose them.

There is literally nothing to complain about with the bumper itself nor the people who built it. It functions as it should, it’s extremely high clearance where I’m no longer rubbing or worried about rubbing.

I suppose if someone were to complain it would be about the wait time, but as mentioned with most bumpers taking the same amount of time to be built it’s not something to complain over, and it’s something I for sure don’t complain about, especially during a pandemic.

Final Thoughts

Brute Force Fabrication Rear Bumper - The Highest Clearance Bumper On The Market

Brute Force Fabrication is one of my favorite purchases. It not only is clean and works extremely well with the body lines of the 5th Generation 4Runner, but it’s also the most efficient bumper on the market when it comes to features and high clearance.

There are plenty of other companies that claim to have the highest clearance on the market, but this bumper without a doubt is. There is no question you can fit up to 37” tires with no problem, as well as maneuver through obstacles cleanly.

If you are worried about cutting your bumper, you likely don’t need a rear bumper, as you aren’t hitting it enough to where you’ve had the bumper break support clips, get dented, and scraped to all hell. I also have to point out that having metal go right up under your taillight can risk expensive damages when flexing occurs, as the rear lights tend to break.

If this bumper took a year to wait for, I would still choose it, that’s how impressed I am with it. I feel more confident on the trail now, specifically where rocks are. In the past, I have popped and ripped my OEM plastic bumper off. In those same areas, I no longer rub on the rocks and “crawl” over them with ease.

Questions or Comments? Leave them below!

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TLe85
TLe85
February 25, 2021 6:06 am

I love this bumper and it would have been my top choice. However I had to pick a different bumper simply for the fact that I could never get a hold of Billy or anyone at Brute Force to even place an order. 3-5 phone calls and left VM’s, filled out their contact form on their site, and DM’d on Instagram. Never could get a response so ultimately had to go in a different direction. For non-local people my story is not different from others. I don’t mind the 3-6 mo wait but not being to get a hold of… Read more »

EchoRunnr
EchoRunnr
February 24, 2021 8:05 am

Did your BF rear bumper come with install instructions? I’m not seeing any videos or articles on install specs and what’s required on his web site.

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