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Old 03-02-2021, 08:37 PM #1
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Skid plate advice

So I thought I'd get some opinions on this. There's so much collective knowledge and experience here. I've read threads on "skids vs sliders", or "keep factory skids vs upgrades", but nothing to address my situation, exactly.

Current skid plate situation:
  1. My first factory skid plate is rusty but serviceable. (Radiator Support Splash Shield, Part # 5140535071)
  2. My second factory skid is missing. Previous owner must have lost it somehow. (Radiator Support Splash Shield, Part # 5140604010)
  3. My third factory plastic one is broken but still hanging on. (Radiator Support Splash Shield, Part # 5149535010)

If I repair 1 and replace 2 and 3, I'll be spending maybe $300 or so for new. Or I'd spend a little less (but not that much less!) waiting around looking for used.

Or, I can get new, full CBI skids, powder coated and delivered for about $675.

I guess my question is this: How protective are these factory skid plates? I don't rock crawl, I'm 95% on-road, but I'd like to be able to get off the beaten path for mountain bike trips, etc. Plus I suspect I'd go wheeling more if I was set up for it...

Is CBI way overkill? Or will I be kicking myself later for not spending a little more and getting fully protected? I know only I can decide, but I'd love to get some people weighing in.

I'm in a 2000 SR5 4WD auto. 265/75/r16, 2" lift. See my signature for more details.

Thanks!!
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:51 PM #2
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I'm about to receive a set of fancy* aftermarket skids:

1996-2002 4Runner Drivetrain Skid Kit

I'd give you my stock set if you were nearby. It really depends on how much danger you are expecting to expose your underbelly to. I plan to slide and grind so I got a set of sliders first and now some burlier skids. If you will stick to trails without sharp rocks or boulders, I wouldn't bother with either - just get a used OEM 2nd part skid to go with your OEM front.

*not as fancy as the Savage stuff i was just about to order before he closed up shop. I just got an email response to their online form I had filled out in early Jan and hoped for a miracle, but it was not to be. RIP Savage.

4XI also takes PayPal so you can do the Pay in 4 interest-free scheme in case you are a paycheck-to-paycheck 4-Wheeler like me. LOL.
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:10 PM #3
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I have recently been drawing up my ideas for building my own skids to have some beefier protection than my stockers.

I think if I were in your position I would invest in the aftermarket skids and never worry about it again. 4XInnovations is more in the $400 price point including the skid that covers the tranny, getting you close to the stocker price with far more protection. In my mind, that is $100-150 that could save you $1000 if you ever were in a position that compromised your tranny or front diff.
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:11 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endlessblockades View Post
I'm about to receive a set of fancy* aftermarket skids
Those look awesome!

So, it's a little hard to tell from the photos and descriptions, and since you went with 4xinnovations, I'll ask.

I know from @mtbtim's install video that CBI covers past the transfer case to the crossmember immediately before the gas tank.

How far back does 4xinnovations extend?
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Old 03-03-2021, 01:01 AM #5
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As said it's a matter of what you expect to subject your vehicle to and your level of confidence/comfort. If you're just gonna be going down some forest service roads and don't see yourself doing any sort of crawling then you'll probably have very little need for them, if any. However I personally find oil/trans pan skids to be very good insurance and while I don't particularly see any crazy crawling in my future either I do plan on tackling some light rock gardens this summer and I'll still be installing them for extra confidence and protection, just in case. Lifted SUVs like ours love to slip on rocks once they start facing angles and a cracked/busted oil pan would be a major bummer.
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Old 03-03-2021, 02:49 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cl4Rk View Post
Those look awesome!

So, it's a little hard to tell from the photos and descriptions, and since you went with 4xinnovations, I'll ask.

I know from @mtbtim's install video that CBI covers past the transfer case to the crossmember immediately before the gas tank.

How far back does 4xinnovations extend?

The 4XI are pretty basic and don't include a transfer skid, like say, a Shrockworks skid set - they have more options including a T-case and gas tank skid. Huh - I just noticed the engine skid is $120 and the transmission is $170. That's not bad if you compared to OEM. There are tricker options out there, I just kept it USA and reasonable cost and lead time. I don't even have them yet but I'm on here bumpin my gums.... jeez.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:27 PM #7
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I personally, just beef up the factory skid plates when they get thin or rotted through in the rust belt I live in. If you are after tank plates, I would weld 1/8 plate on the inside of the skids. Be fairly heavy to remove but would protect your undercarriage very well.

These styles are very easy to really beef up. If need be.

In my case, I mostly just repair the rot as mine are mostly on road all the time and the factory ones suit my needs just fine. :-)

Lots of folks have plans for custom made skids on the forum as well.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:55 PM #8
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The plastic 'skid plate' is mostly just a splash shield - and many 4Runners never had them even from the factory. Don't worry about that one.

The OEM 'skids' are good for keeping brush, sticks, bushes, road debris etc. out of the engine bay - but would get quickly damaged beyond repair if they hit big rocks with any force.

The engine oil pan and trans pan are up a ways from the stock cross members, so unless you are sliding over rocks, they won't get hit if you are careful.

Remember you will be carrying those beefy skids around at all times. They are heavy and hard(er) to remove - worse for MPG, worse for maintenance.

So, get them if you need them, don't worry about them if you don't need them. (that said, I have full skids front to gas tank, sliders and a front bumper... even though I don't get off road often)

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Old 03-03-2021, 08:11 PM #9
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i wouldnt pay even half price for the factory stuff but find a 3rd gen at a pick n pull or the like and pull those. I got both factory skids to hold me over for 10 bucks
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:58 PM #10
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Great info and advice, thanks all!!
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Old 03-05-2021, 02:33 AM #11
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If you're not wheeling on big rocks, just stick with factory stuff. It honestly sounds like you'll be fine with some Oem replacements for what you're missing. Keep in mind that the heavy rock crawling plates add a substantial amount of weight, and some have to be removed to do oil changes.

That being said, I have the budbuilt front plate and it goes all the way back to the first crossmember. It's a great plate and has taken some nasty hits with minimal damage. Its also very heavy and needs to come off every time work needs to be done near the front end.
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Old 03-05-2021, 02:49 AM #12
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Facebook market place, Craigslist, pick n pull for factory stuff. I think I sold my factory skid plates for like 20$-40$.. Can always upgrade later if you decide you want to start messin around on rougher trails. I have a mix of 4xinnovations and RCI skids. Definitely was worth the investment for me, I scrap every skid plate on the trails I go on.
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:44 AM #13
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Update: Iím taking some of yíallís advice and for now Iím just going to repair/replace the factory skids.

Yesterday I JB plastic welded the broken parts of the plastic factory dust cover and hit it with a rattle can of black plastic paint/primer. Looks good as new.

I also found a relatively cheap factory skid to replace the one thatís missing.

So, Iíll repair the front skid with a little por-15, bondo, and black spray paint.

That will give me decent on-road protection while I continue to get the rest of the truck into great shape.

If I start dipping my toe into wheeling, Iíll add armor as needed. But I suspect I wonít need real skid plates or sliders for the level/amount of off-roading Iíll be doing in the next year or so.

Thanks all!
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Old 03-05-2021, 01:38 PM #14
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im looking for stock skids too, this one came without them, why I dont know in its history they were removed. Stock is fine for just crusing back roads and not all out heavy rock crawling, and they do keep the engine compartement cleaner, less mud and snow.
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Old 03-05-2021, 02:33 PM #15
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Quote:
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im looking for stock skids too, this one came without them, why I dont know in its history they were removed. Stock is fine for just crusing back roads and not all out heavy rock crawling, and they do keep the engine compartement cleaner, less mud and snow.
Some people paint the inside engine skid surface a light color, as it can be good for drip analysis.


Don't they? Or is that just my hare-brained scheme? I just got a shipping notice from 4XI on some bare skids I'll need to paint, so.....

BTW 4XI Shipped just before 4 weeks of lead time arrived. The site quotes 4-6 weeks. pretty good....
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