Project FZJ80 Land Cruiser: Metal Tech 4x4 Rock Sliders
Making the jump to trails with larger rocks and obstacles has the potential for body damage. Sometimes these hurdles on the trail are planned; others surprise us along the way. As we started to venture into more remote areas with our Land Cruiser, we had some close calls resulting in minor body damage. We decided it was time to get serious about our body armor before something major happened.
We set out to find a pair of quality rock sliders for added body protection on our 80 series Toyota Land Cruiser. Design and craftsmanship was a big factor when deciding what to get. After searching for a few months, talking to numerous Land Cruiser owners and inspecting different brands first hand, we really liked the sliders from Metal Tech 4x4.
METAL TECH 4X4
Based just outside of Portland, Oregon, the crew at Metal Tech 4x4 builds quality body armor and suspension components for the Toyota Land Cruiser and FJ Cruiser. What started as fabrication on a personal trail rig, these parts caught the eye of others and the requests for roll cages, sliders, skid plates and custom builds started to roll in. Today Metal Tech 4x4 has grown into a full-fledged off-road business.
Much of Metal Tech’s success can be attributed to owner Mark Hawley’s attention to detail and his innovative designs. Mark makes it his business to make sure that every part that is fabricated in his shop has been thoroughly designed and tested before it is branded with the Metal Tech name. Every piece is handcrafted in the USA and stays true to their motto “quality over quantity.”
Some other features include:
• 100% Precision Laser Cut and Formed Steel
• 2-Stage Rub Rail (Patented design)
• Powder-Coated Inside and Out
• Bolt-on application, no welding or cutting required
• Catalytic Converter Protection (1995-1997 FZJ80 models)
• Optional Accessory Mounts available for extra storage (Air Tank or Spare Optima Battery)
• Four rock light tabs all pre-installed ready to go
We ordered up a set of Metal Tech 4x4 sliders, made to order and delivered within a few weeks.
Installation of the Metal Tech 4x4 sliders can be done by the average DIY. They are a direct bolt-on, so no welding or cutting is required. Since the sliders weigh 91 lbs. for the passenger side
and 76 lbs. for the divers side, it is recommended that at least two people muscle them around during the assembly process.
We needed help with our installation, so once again we called on Off Road Warehouse (ORW) in Escondido, CA. Store manager Wally Palmer and his crew have been a great help with our Off-Road.com projects. They have all the right tools for the job and are familiar with our Adventure Land Cruiser Project.
Bellow is an overview of what it takes to install a set of Metal Tech 4x4 sliders on a Toyota FZJ80 Land Cruiser.
The Metal Tech 4x4 sliders installed nicely. Everything fit like it should. Total installation time was around 1.5 hours with the help of Jason Smith from Off Road Warehouse.
We really like the Metal Tech 4x4 sliders and their Patented 2-Stage Rub Rail (kick-out). They look great, are strong and best of all, they fit our Land Cruiser very well.
We’ve had them on the rig since the beginning of the year, and have been lucky to test them in places like Superstition Mountain, Anza-Borrego and Johnson Valley during King of The Hammers. We weren’t looking for trouble, but somehow we found it while chasing the race--a big staircase drop hidden by sand and the sun made our Land Cruiser fly off and land hard on a rock. It hit so hard that it rocked the entire vehicle. I had a bad feeling that something bad happened underneath.
We stopped to see what damage had been done. There was no major damage, and just some scratches to the powder coat on the catalytic converter protection plate. I can live with that. The Metal Tech 4x4 slider had saved my cats and undercarriage – worth every penny.
Overall, we highly recommend the Metal Tech 4x4 sliders. They add more protection than factory running boards and produce better ground clearance—improving your off-road performance. They also make a great surface to use a Hi-Lift Jack. The Metal Tech sliders will pay for themselves the first time you hit a rock, hill or stump. So don’t wait any longer, get some sliders!
Metal Tech 4x4