TRD Skid Plate 5th Gen 4Runner
5th Gen 4Runner TRD Front Skid Plate
5th Gen 4Runner TRD KDSS Skid Plate and Non-KDSS TRD Skid Plate
When it comes to protecting the undercarriage of your 4Runner from our local California 4×4 Trails, the TRD skid plate is a must-have. Whether the TRD skid plate came stock on your TRD Pro/TRD Off-Road, or you are looking to mount one on your Trail Premium or SR5, making the move to a TRD skid plate is a good call. Made from powder-coated aluminum, the TRD skid plate is one essential part of your undercarriage that helps protect your vehicle from any damage. Also, when going to modify your 5th Gen 4Runner Suspension or add a Leveling Kit, removing the TRD Skid Plate is much easier than removing the OEM skid plate.
TRD Skid Plate Part Number & Ordering:
- 5th Gen 4Runner Skid Plate – Check Today’s Price
If you have KDSS (Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System) equipped on your 4Runner, you may want to think twice about purchasing this skid plate. There is a huge difference between the regular TRD skid plate and the TRD skid plate that needs to be modified for KDSS.
If your 4Runner has KDSS, you will need special modifications done to allow the TRD skid plate to fit. With that being said, if you are looking for a 5th Gen 4Runner KDSS Skid Plate, and you are uncomfortable with making modifications, this may not be the best skid plate option for you.
Trail 4Runner is equipped with KDSS and the SR5/ Limited is not (2013-2016)
Stock 5th Gen 4Runner Skid Plate (SR5)
If you are one of the rare breeds of 4Runner owners with the Trail or Trail premium, odds are you have KDSS in which you will need special modifications in order to mount a TRD Pro Skid Plate. If on the other hand, you are running an SR5 or limited 4Runner, you will not need modifications and are in the clear to grab a TRD Pro Skid Plate (worry free) which is super easy to mount. A couple bolts, pop off a few brackets and you are good to go.
Installing the TRD Pro Skid Plate is a walk in the park for anyone. You may have an interesting time with the removal of the factory skid plate. We recently had to remove the stock skid plate on the 5th Gen SR5 for the Pro Comp Leveling Kit (full install on the spacer kit here) and removing the factory skid plate took a bit of effort.
There are tiny brackets (L shaped) on the factory skid plate that insert between a section of the body. You have to tilt the skid plate down and then out in order to remove the plate.
It was the only part of doing an entire spacer kit that irritated us the most. If you have sockets and a screw driver, you can have a new TRD Pro Skid Plate mounted in about 30 min.
TRD Off-Road is equipped with KDSS and the TRD Pro is not (2017+)
The TRD Front Skid Plate mounted above is on a 2017 Cement TRD Pro 4Runner without KDSS. Please note the difference between the newer 4Runners; TRD Off-Road is equipped with KDSS and the TRD Pro is not equipped with KDSS. The TRD Off-Road is equipped with KDSS and does not come with the TRD Pro Skid Plate. The TRD Pro does not come with KDSS and is equipped with the TRD Pro Skid Plate (kind of strange, right).
Modified TRD Pro Skid Plate for 5th Gen 4Runner – KDSS
If you are one of the lucky ones with KDSS and are looking for a TRD Skid Plate, it can be done. There are many 4Runner owners that have installed TRD Skid Plates with KDSS. Because the KDSS stabilizer bars cross directly through the TRD Skid Plate, you need to cut out a section on both sides of the TRD Skid Plate with aluminum Sawzall (or some type of hand held saw) blades in order for the KDSS bars to pass through.
There is no “set” template for cutting your TRD Skid Plate, so this is much more of an eye for cutting out a section of the TRD Skid Plate that will work for your KDSS. Soon enough, we will see a modified TRD Skid Plate for KDSS right here on Trail4Runner.com.
As you can see from the photos above, customizing your TRD Skid Plate is a little different for everyone. Some follow a certain guide but there really is no guide or “right” way to cut your TRD Skid Plate. If you have Toyota put a TRD Pro Skid Plate on your Trail Edition or TRD Off-Road Edition with KDSS, it will look something like the lower left image.
As for others (seen in the lower right boxes), it has been seen to be chopped straight down and straight across. I really like the look of the straight down and straight across on the TRD Skid Plate.
Other 5th Gen 4Runner Skid Plate Options
There are many other options for 5th Gen 4Runner Skid Plates. You don’t have to settle for the TRD Pro Skid Plate, but it is one of the cheapest and best-looking skid plates on the market for our 5th Gen 4Runner. But, is it the most durable? With many other well-established manufacturers of 5th Gen 4Runner Skid Plates, it is hard to pick any one but there are a few in the industry that have been time tested and trail approved.
Aluminum Skid Plate or Steel Skid Plate?
When it comes to skid plates for your 5th Gen 4Runner, you have the option of aluminum skids or steel skids. Aluminum skid plates have a tendency to slide easier across rocks and terrain as well as being more light. While aluminum skid plates are light, steel Skid Plates are much more heavy duty and provide much better protection for your 5th Gen undercarriage.
If you don’t plan on wheeling that often, you may want to grab some aluminum skid plates as they won’t bog you down as much and they have fewer issues with rust. Either way, skid plates get dirty and destroyed over time, so the choice is yours but aluminum skid plates seem to be the more popular choice among daily drivers and occasional wheelers like most of us.
Top Brands for 5th Gen 4Runner Front Skid Plates & Full Skids
- Toyota TRD Pro Skid Plate
- RCI Metal Works Skid Plates
- ARB Skid Plates
- Shrockworks Skid Plates
- Procomp Full Skid Plate
- Smittybilt Skid Plate
- C4 Fabrication Skid Plates
- Budbuilt Skid Plates
- CBI Off-Road Skid Plates
These are going to be the most well-known and well-trusted name brand skid plates on the market for the 5th Gen 4Runner. There are a few others, and if we are missing any, please let us know. But, for the most part, you get the point. When it comes to skid plates, it really comes down to how much and how hard you are going to wheel your 4Runner.
If you are an occasional wheeler (80% road/ 20% off-road), then a TRD Skid Plate is perfect for you. They serve the purpose of most off-road skid plates for the 5th Gen 4Runner while being affordable.
Other aftermarket skid plates that range from $500-$2000+ for a set are for serious off-road/overlanding addicts and if you do go this route, you may not get your monies worth. On the other hand, if you lay awake at night dreaming of off-road adventures and overland expeditions, then a more robust skid plate may be in your wheelhouse.
The aftermarket steel skid plates from companies like CBI, RCI and ARB offer superior performance off-road and are built to take a serious pounding. These are amazing skid plates but for the cost vs. how you will use your 4Runner all depends on your needs.
The TRD PRO Skid Plate Look
Does it look good, yup. Does it cost an arm and a leg, nope.
The TRD Pro Skid Plate has to be one of the most affordable body mods for our 5th Gen 4Runner. This skid plate looks especially good when you lift your runner and couple this mod with a new set of 5th Gen 4Runner Wheels. We just bought one for under $300 so just about anyone who can pay 35-40K for a 4Runner can spend another $300 for a skid plate. With the other options above, you can easily be in over $500 as most of these skid plates are a little more robust. But, that doesn’t mean the TRD Skid Plate is a bad option.
We will be installing the TRD Pro Skid Plate on our 2014 Trail Edition 4Runner, so stay tuned and check back to see what happens when we attempt to cut apart the TRD Skid Plate for the Trail edition with KDSS. For all of you without the KDSS, considering the Skid Plate, you won’t regret it.