Mudflaps are a fantastic option to help your truck stay cleaner, avoid rock chips, and they also offer a unique avenue for some extra customization. Not only do they protect your ride, but they protect cars and pedestrians behind you from flying rocks and debris that you might kick up.
If for nothing else, they break up the curves and lines of your truck and add some extra dimensions to your ride. Which mud flaps are best for your Toyota Tacoma? Let’s learn a bit about them, take a look at some styles and options, and get you the best ones that work for you.
Front and Rear Mud Flaps
Mud Flaps are known for being seen behind the rear tires in vehicles, especially big rigs, but on passenger vehicles, they are very common upfront too. On big rigs and box trucks, they are pretty much designed to just stop rocks from hitting cars behind them, but on passenger vehicles, they help protect your ride.
Rocks can be kicked up and easily chip away at the paint on your fenders, doors, bumpers (rear), rocker panels, and running boards/steps. With mud flaps extending below the end of the wheel well both front and back, they will help deflect what your tires might kick up.
Pre-Drilled vs Not Pre-Drilled Mud Flaps
The inside of wheel wells on modern vehicles has plastic or rubber inner fender liners. These bolt to the fender of the car, and generally do so with plastic retainer clips. Pre-drilled mud flaps take advantage of this! If you get one specifically made for your ride that’s pre-drilled, you’ll find that the holes line up perfectly with the existing holes in your fender/fender liner. You won’t need to worry about having to drill into your new mud flaps or truck. Depending on the thickness of the flap, you can either use the existing retaining clips, or the flaps will come with new ones.
Mud Flap Materials
The material that a mud flap is made out of is key. They are designed to be beaten by rocks, mud, and dirt, so they have to be strong. The most common material mud flaps are made out of is rubber. Rubber can be thick and dense, but when hit, the material will rarely chip or crack. It will absorb the energy of what hits it, and deflect the debris away.
Another good reason for rubber is flexibility. If you have longer mud flaps and you plan on doing off-roading, you want something that will not snap off when crawling over a rock. Over time, rubber flaps may get brittle depending on quality.
Mud flaps can also be plastic, but if they are, they should be shorter, and of higher quality material such as a polymer. As I mentioned about the flexibility, a long, plastic mud flap could have a tendency to snap if under the correct conditions. This leads me to my next category…
Mud Flap Sizes
Mud flaps can be really short, or longer. Typically from the factory, most vehicles come with short mud flaps. Visually, they are more acceptable to a wider audience. Keep in mind that not everyone buys a truck because they intend on using it as a truck. Short flaps don’t offer as much protection, but they are better than nothing. They can offer a nice color contrast while not being too obtrusive to the lines of your truck.
Longer mud flaps are best when you plan on driving on rougher or dirt roads. They offer more protection to your truck, as well as to the people and vehicles around you. They also offer more versatility for customization which I’ll talk about now…
Mud Flap Customization
With the right size and material, you can get some serious customization done. Laser engraving, chrome plates and silhouettes, text, and more. The most common would be brand names or logos, truck make or model names or logos, and of course the chrome silhouette of an attractive woman.
Weighed vs Non Weighted Mud Flaps
Weighted mud flaps offer a metal piece on the bottom of a rubber/flexible mud flap to keep them hanging down. This is beneficial because when your truck is in motion, a flexible mud flap might tend to rise up in the wind, which would remove a good amount of protection. A weight helps avoid this.
Mud Flaps For Toyota Tacomas
Now that we know about mud flaps, what works well on our trucks? Here are some examples based on reviews and high mentions in the forums. Find what works for you, and protect your investment!
A popular option comes from WeatherTech. They are $40 for the front or back or $80 for the pair. They are long flaps made from a proprietary thermoplastic resin and are easily installed. Backed with a limited lifetime warranty, they will keep your ride safe.
I have mentioned Husky Liners before, and for good reason: they make good stuff. While a tad pricey from $155 to $166, you can get different sizes, and they are weighted. The weights can be in black or chrome.
If you're tight on cash but are still hoping for a great pair of mud flaps, RekGen makes a decent looking and decent performing minimalistic flap. Lots of Taco owners are sporting these in the forums and I also have a pair on my Tacoma. These run less than $100 for a complete set.
If you want to keep your truck as Toyota as possible, you can get OEM Toyota Tacoma mud flaps. For around $70, they are inexpensive for all four. For the specific ones listed, your Taco does need to come with fender flares.
If you really want something fancy, SharpTruck sells Gatorback mud flaps from $147 to $450. These weighted, no-drill flaps are made of thick rubber and have a metal plate at the bottom.
WeatherTech - Courtesy of TacomaWorld User MuddyTacos91
Gatorback - Courtesy of SharpTruck
Pavement - Courtesy of CarID
RekGen - Courtesy of RekGen.com
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