If you are looking for a top quality rear quarter panel option, you should seriously consider the set manufactured by TNT Customs. You will gain a great deal of protection, lots of customization options, and a very tight fit to the stock contours.
- 3/16th inch thick aluminum
- Fully welded LED light pocket
- Superior rear quarter panel coverage with no gaps
- Excellent anchor points
- Easily modified to integrate with already installed equipment
- Shipped raw metal
Here are some pictures of what you will get:
First and foremost, this is a permanent modification. Extensive cutting and drilling of your stock body panels will be required. In order for these to be installed correctly, meticulous care must be taken during the alignment and drilling portion of the install. Also, make sure you know how to install nutserts extremely well as your final fitment will depend on how well they are aligned and anchored.
The first major step will involve cutting out a huge hole in your rear corners. (The small holes you see in my pictures, close to the tailgate, are from my old tire carrier)
After removing the body sheet metal, you may as well grind down the raised metal that your stock tail lights used to anchor in the upper corner. This needs to be done so the armor lays against the body contour properly.
Once this is done, you can place your armor for fitment and figure out how you are going to anchor it in place. The driver side is fairly easy since the gas nozzle trim helps line up everything but the passenger side can be tricky. A clamp in the door opening, a clamp over the gunnel, and a ratchet strap worked really well for me. (I trimmed the armor to fit with rock sliders I already had installed)
From here, it is mostly straight forward. Use the armor as your drilling template but be extra vigilant in making sure that no shifting occurs. Once all of the necessary holes are drilled, it’s time to install nutserts. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the nutserts provided so I used ones I was more comfortable with. Be sure to reference the directions often because TNT went into really good detail on a phased approach to drilling and anchoring. If you follow their steps, you won’t have any issues at all. Since I custom cut the part to fit with my sliders, I actually added several steps of drilling holes, removing the armor, installing nutserts, replacing the armor, drilling more holes, and so on. This way I could anchor the piece a little at a time and be sure I had my holes exactly where I needed them. I drilled a couple extra holes near my rock sliders and contoured the armor to match the lines.
Once everything fits forward of the pinch seam near the rear corner, it is time to drill holes for the rear wrap around section of the armor. TNT’s recommendation of doing one vertical pair at a time worked really well. The middle picture shows the bottom hole of the first vertical set to drill and tighten before moving on the vertical sets 2, 3, and 4.
Getting your arm up inside to hold the flange nuts can be a little challenging though. I wasn’t aware of how different the two sides are. It is worth taking a good look after you cut out your two giant holes. The driver side is somewhat easy since you just need to move a foam panel out of the way and then just deal with the double layer of sheet metal. The passenger side has an extra amount of character to deal with. You have to remove sprayed in foam, pull out a plastic access panel, deal with the tail gate swing guide, and then negotiate really tight areas that you can’t even see (behind the sheet metal).
After all the flange nuts are installed, the armor is pretty much done. Send it off to finishing and turn to prepping your lights. You will need to wire in a resistor since simply wiring in the LED lights will cause your blinkers to rapid fire. I chose to go with the Maxbilt tail lights and used the stock connectors to simplify final installation.
All of the time and money spent end up being well worth it. Once everything is in place, you have solid corners that offer protection to your body and tail lights without the weight. The craftsmanship from TNT will make this install go nice and smooth. They have clearly put a great deal of thought into the development of this product. I really wanted this mod to stick out so I worked with Classic Custom Coatings in Edgewater, MD, to give them a unique look.
I think the only argue-able con of this part could be the price but you get what you pay for. There is a great deal of extra coverage on the two door armor which translates to more metal, bending, contouring, and drilling. Compared to other armor I have got my hands on, this is the best yet.