Excellent product!! Fit perfectly with no fuss. Class act business that I’ll definitely buy from again!!
First, I give these five stars for being the most practical and non-intrusive design on the market, and only one reduction to the overall rating for the instructions and what I'll call the "engineering fundamentals." I installed these on my 09 Tacoma TRD Access Cab (6' bed), and have no regrets. The following notes may only be useful to my fellow masters of nonsense and other nutcases who live and die by torque wrenches and tracking mileage and maintenance in a paper ledger:
After the install, I can't quite reconcile some of the details. First, and most importantly, the sheet metal on the sides of the bed entry is like 18 gauge (let's say estimated around 16-22ish), which is the metal the bed stiffeners bolt through. Given the super thin sheet metal, the use of 1/2" bolts backed by common washers seems like an odd choice. Most of this vehicle's suspension isn't held on by bolts this stout. I'm all for an itty bit of overkill, but there are three bolts that can handle ~21,000 Lbs of shear nutted through sheet metal that can be bent by hand. If there was a backer plate that offered some additional structural assistance to the heavy duty food foil Toyota used here, I would likely not have thought anything of it.
On the topic of the engineering, it's also super odd to me that no torque specs were given for any of the bolts in the instructions. When bolting through composite materials, proper torque is essential. All in all, I was able to get these in and like the look and design of these above all others, and created my own plan for ensuring a consistent and safe installation. But similarly mechanically picky users might notice these things. I think Rago has a great product here, to be clear, and I think if they added a backing plate and torque specs for all bolts, they'd have this system perfected even for the nuttiest of their customers.
Finally, a stepped drill bit makes drilling through the Tacoma's sheet metal a breeze, and makes for a far cleaner drilling process. A conventional half inch bit is a bit of a challenge compared to the stepped bit.
Super easy install works great
When I found these stiffeners from Rago, I was curious about the fitment on a 1st generation Tacoma ('95 4x4 Single Cab in my case). I looked through the reviews on this page and the product photos and didn't see any of installs on a first gen. Fortunately when I reached out to them with questions they were very responsive, explaining how the install requires a few more holes drilled etc. So I purchased, and the stiffeners came in perfect condition, with extremely nice foam packaging and all required fasteners. Very well made items.
Fast forward to installation, and it's not quite as straightforward as I expect it is for later model Tacomas. Differences include: 1) you have to drill the two holes for the floor of the bed, as none exist there in 1st gens. Hardware was included for this, and the holes were in spots that didn't interfere with anything. (2) The width of the vertical plate including the bend interferes with a ridge on the factory tacoma bed, so these work better if they're installed on the opposite side from pictures shown in the gallery. This provides a full-width bearing area for the vertical plate where it wouldn't otherwise. (3) The lowest of the three holes on the vertical plate interferes with an internal gusset inside the taillight well. It looked like it could have worked without a washer on the nut side but that didn't seem optimal. My solution was just to use the top two holes.
All told I am happy with this product, though docking one star for the lack of clear instructions/optimization for 1st gen Tacomas. Perhaps the issues I had are specific to my very early 95.5' model, but I can't know for sure. The addition of low anchor points for straps and other tie downs is a huge improvement to a standing issue for these trucks IMO however, and the bed is now incredibly stiff, so I'm ultimately glad I sprung for these.
My friend and I ordered the same bed stiffiners for our trucks, we received them on the exact same day. They were an easy install. We first had to go buy the right size torx bits to take the bolts off in the bolts in the bed of the truck. I love them, they make me feel better about they composit bed of the truck.