AOD Fabrication Bed Stiffener Review

AOD Fabrication CNC Steel Bed Stiffener Installation for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

AOD Fab Bed Stiffeners 3rd Gen Tacoma: Affordable & Easy

If you are researching bed stiffeners, you are probably pretty far down the rabbit hole. You’ve educated yourself enough to know that it’s one of those necessities. Let’s take a closer look though.

So what are bed stiffeners, and why do you need them?

Bed supports are solid steel brackets bent at a 90⁰ angle to fit the contours of your bedsides. They are designed to support and strengthen the bedside, so it doesn’t bow, twist, and ultimately break the composite under stress. The more weight you add to your truck and the harder you wheel, the more you put your bedside at risk.

If you regularly go off-roading or plan on adding excessive weight to your bed, then you should consider a pair.

Find It Online

  • AOD Fabrication Bed Stiffeners (2005-2023): Check Price

Why AOD?

Truck Bed Bracing Strengthening Support for Toyota Tacoma

There are a ton of different options on the market. Just about every aftermarket off-road fabrication company has its own design and price point. Some are close to $200 with Total Chaos being the most common at $180.

AOD’s design is, in my opinion, one of the most solid options you can find for the price. They have an affordable price point coming in at under $100.

AOD is one of the only companies on the market that adds an additional support bracket to the opposite side of the bed frame in the taillight housing. These increase the strength of the column quite a bit. I will break down the design in more detail as well as my overall thoughts on the product, but first, I want to cover the installation.


Tools Needed to Install Bed Stiffeners - 2nd & 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

The complete install for both driver’s and passenger’s side should take about 30-45 minutes with the proper tools.

You will be drilling eight holes total and then bolting them down. Fairly simple.

Tools & Materials

  • Torx Bit Set
  • Mechanic’s Tool Set
  • Power Drill
  • Drill Bit Set

Step 1. Organize Parts

Bed Stiffener Supports for 2005+ Toyota Tacoma

Assemble all the parts required.

Straight out of the box will be the two bed stiffeners, two backing plates, eight bolts, eight nuts, and eight lock washers.

Step 2. Bed Bolts

Removing Bed Bolts on 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma with Torx Bit

Remove the two bolts shown in the image above using your Torx bit set.

Step 3. Bed Washers

Bed Stiffener Installation Guide for Toyota Tacoma

With both bolts removed, take the D-Ring tie-down point and remove all of the washers from it.

Due to the thickness, if the washers are left on, the bolt won’t have enough thread exposed to reach the bed. The thickness of the bed stiffener will replace the washers.

Step 4. Bolt Down Base

How to Install AOD Fabrication Bed Stiffeners on 3rd Gen Tacoma

Align the holes on the bottom of the bed stiffener with the holes in the bed.

Reinstall the two bed bolts and tighten them completely.

Step 5. Remove Taillight

Removing Taillight on 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

Remove the tail light from the bed by loosening the second and last bolt (in order from top to bottom). It should look like the image above.

With both bolts removed, grab ahold of the top and the bottom of the tail light and pull straight out. Two metal clips will pop out of place. Once the tail light is free, you can either let it hang on the side of the bed or unplug the wires and set the light aside. I chose to let the light hang as it won’t cause much stress on the wires, nor will it be in the way.

Step 6. Drill Holes

Drilling Holes for AOD Fabrication Bed Stiffener Installation

With the bed stiffener bolted down, it will be aligned flush with the bed frame. Use this as your guide to drill the four holes. You can either mark the holes, remove everything, then drill the holes, or just leave and drill through it.

I chose to leaveit mounted and drill the holes through it. I drilled from top to bottom, and once I drilled the first hole, I placed the provided bolt in it to keep the bed stiffener stable while I drilled the other three.

Step 7. Backing Plate & Tail Lights

Installing Backing Support Plate - AOD Fabrication Steel Bed Stiffeners for Tacoma

With the bed stiffener holes drilled out and all the bolts in place, you can now bolt down the backing plate.

Starting from the bottom up, place the backing plate followed by the lock washer and lastly, the nut. Using an Allen wrench on the outside and a socket wrench to hold the nut, tighten fully. Simply repeat the process all the way up until each bolt is fully tightened.

The third bolt is covered by the metal bracket, so it’s a little harder to get to. The top bolt is curved, but the backing plate is straight. No worries though. Once you get the bottom three bolted, you can push the backing plate to form to the inside of the bed frame, and it will bend to line up with the top bolt. Once you tighten the top bolt completely, the backing plate will form flush with the bed frame.

Repeat the steps for the opposite side, reinstall your tail lights, and you’re done.

Final Thoughts

AOD Fabrication Bed Stiffeners on 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

Overall, this is a solid product. The price point is great, and the design is one of a kind. I haven’t seen another one on the market that adds an additional support bracket on the backside of the tail light housing.

Just holding AOD’s bed stiffener in my hand, I can tell its quality. It is CNC cut from 3/16″ mild steel. They come powder-coated textured black with full seam bending, meaning you get maximum strength out of it. These guys did an amazing job delivering this product.

Lifted Barcelona Red Metallic 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma with Mickey Thompson M/Ts & C4 Hybrid Front Bumper

I do about 95% of the product installs myself, and I am all about the ease of an install. This install is super simple and extremely quick.

This is one of those necessary products that is priced so well you can’t pass it up. AOD really killed this product design! If you are looking for a solid option, check them out!

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2 years ago

What is the purpose of these? In what conditions would these be required?

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