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What Types of Body Armor Are There for Your 4×4?

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What kinds of 4×4 armor do you need for your 4WD?

In this article, we tell you what they are and what makes them so important in the first place.

WHAT IS 4X4 BODY ARMOR?

4x4 body armor

A 4×4 body armor is exactly what it’s called – it protects the vital components of your 4WD against possible damage from various obstacles you may come across, whenever you go to various places where terrains can be imposing but challenging at the same time.

WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR TYPES OF BODY ARMOR?

4x4 body armor 2

There are many body armor you can equip your 4×4 with, but the most common and useful ones are:

  • Skid plates
  • Rocker guards
  • Fenders
  • Trail doors
  • Bull bars

WHAT ARE SKID PLATES USED FOR?

toyota tacoma skid plate
Photo Credit: KUAFU

Skid plates are often metal sheets placed on the undercarriage of your 4×4 to shield it against scratches or scrapes from the hard and piercing rocks underneath. A few of the parts that it usually protects are your engine and transmission.

WHAT ARE ROCKER GUARDS USED FOR?

rock sliders vs rocker guards
Image shows rock sliders (on top) and rocker guards (at the bottom).

Rocker guards are like support beams or frames made from steel. They’re mounted on the underside of your 4×4 just below the door sills, to protect them against impacts from rocks and reduce the amount of wear and tear on the sides of the doors brought by snow, sand, and mud.

Rocker guards are quite similar to rock sliders, especially in terms of looks. But the distinct difference between the two is the former is meant to absorb a portion of the impact from side collisions, while the latter is meant to “deflect” the impact from side collisions so your vehicle “glides” from the obstacles.

WHAT ARE FENDERS USED FOR?

dodge ram fender flares
Photo Credit: BUSHWACKER

Fenders are the cone-shaped structures that you see surrounding your tires. To simply put, they’re like housing frames that catch mud, dirt, and other stains thrown by your rolling tires, so they don’t reach the body and other parts of your 4×4.

WHAT ARE TRAIL DOORS USED FOR?

trail doors for jeep wrangler
Photo Credit: Body Armor 4×4

Trail doors are tubular metal doors bent together to form a frame. They’re most popularly used for jeeps. However, they’ve become available to a number of non-jeep vehicles like the Tacomas for functionality and safety reasons. Some trail doors have latches to keep them closed and they have strap checks to prevent them from being opened too wide.

At a glance, trail doors are aftermarket doors that can be used to replace your 4WD factory doors or if you have none at all, to provide protection for yourself and your typical passengers such as, children and pets. They also give the following benefits:

  • Prevent your items from spilling out.
  • Give you sufficient view of your surroundings in the absence of a spotter.

WHAT ARE BULL BARS USED FOR?

2018 ford f150 bull bar
Photo Credit: AUTOSAVER88

Bull bars are meant for damage mitigation both for you and your 4WD. They may not give you 100% protection from accidents, but they can still reduce the fatalities by about 30-40%. This is because they also take a portion of the impact from any collision which explains why you see them dented or bent after hitting an obstacle.

Aside from protection and improving the towing capacity of recovery points, bull bars are also designed to minimize their rubbing movement against your 4WD’s body when going over rough terrains. This way, they don’t rub too much on your vehicle’s body and risk damaging it. See how it’s done via the corrugation test.

CONCLUSION

Getting the right 4×4 body armor for your 4WD isn’t only a matter of protecting your investment, it’s also a matter of safety when you need it the most. Without them, you’re only putting yourself and your vehicle at risk. Share us what other types of 4×4 armor you have in mind by commenting below.

 

 

 

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