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Old 01-07-2020, 12:54 AM #1
NWsuperwhiterunner NWsuperwhiterunner is offline
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Front skid plates

I knows there's a million different pages on skid plates but I'm looking for some reall world advice. I have a new 19 non kds Trd Off road that is stock but for trd pro wheels and Ko2's in the stock size. The truck is a weekend warrior and sees light trail use no dragging it through the Rubicon. I'm looking for a quality from skid that will take abuse if I miss a boulder in the snow and ideally not have to remove it to change the oil. I've already read way to horror stories about striped out bolts. What have you all had good luck with ?
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:06 AM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWsuperwhiterunner View Post
What have you all had good luck with ?
You are not asking the right questions.

There aren't too many bad reviews of aftermarket skid plates.
It depends on if you are going to get a set or not, because most manufactures make full skid set that connects, otherwise you may have fitment problems.

I myself have missed a boulder and dinged my skid. Is it worth it for that one time, yes. Is it worth it to drag the extra LBS every day. Thats a question you have to ask yourself.

There are plenty of people running stock skids with lifted trucks. Beat them up and then get them replaced.

Again.. what are you really wanting to know? Good luck with what?

Edit - congrats on your purchase and welcome to the forum : )
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:44 AM #3
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Yes, so long as you use the stock springs, you will hit. It is inevitable with any frequent offroading. You cannot always be 100% on long days or with frequent trips and the stock suspension leaves no room for error.

My RCI 3/16 steel skid has done the job. While it leaves the alignment bolts exposed, I have had no issues with that (over 100 trails between 4x4 and dirt roads).

That said, I don't just have a dent, I completely caved half of it in. Sure, I was testing new springs and found them softer than expected...but I already had real damage to the skid from another hit, which is the kind of hit you are trying to protect yourself from.

So in the Southwest, I would not personally spend 1 cent on an aluminum skid for a 4Runner (had one on a Subaru). In a state like Montana, on the other hand, where 4x4 trails are few and far between (and where speeds are very low) and where smooth dirt roads are plentiful, aluminum might make perfect sense. Here in the desert, my worst hits come on easy trails (high-clearance trails, neither dirt roads, nor 4x4 trails). They can be very long and generally ok to drive a little faster but they always have tricky spots.

Another option is to get a better suspension and keep the stock skid plate. There is a lot of air behind it (which is why I have not replaced mine now that it is caved in) and the front skid has very nice design. The curved radiator supports carry much of the load during a hit. So I would stay away from designs that remove those supports.

Another point: skids and suspension are in the same conversation.

Lots of people including myself until recently, attribute too much to ground clearance as measured in the garage and to skid plates. The reality is that a stiff enough suspension does a better job at preventing hits offroad than a ground clearance increase that preserves the stock suspension.

In other words, you can do skids, or suspension, or both, depending on need. But a single skid upgrade is not necessarily the best answer. Consider that the three front skids necessary to slide/drag with peace of mind cost as much as a solid suspension upgrade that also yields 1.5" of lift.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:54 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWsuperwhiterunner View Post
I knows there's a million different pages on skid plates but I'm looking for some reall world advice. I have a new 19 non kds Trd Off road that is stock but for trd pro wheels and Ko2's in the stock size. The truck is a weekend warrior and sees light trail use no dragging it through the Rubicon. I'm looking for a quality from skid that will take abuse if I miss a boulder in the snow and ideally not have to remove it to change the oil. I've already read way to horror stories about striped out bolts. What have you all had good luck with ?
A weekend warrior won't need anything more that TRD skid plates. Heavier skids = more weight = more sag = less clearance, which is not good.

More clearance, better driver, and less skid action is what you want
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:56 AM #5
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I got a full set of 3/8 inch steel RCI skids -- plus the gas tank -- and would recommend that to you.

People complain about the weight from steel skids. But it is only around 120 lbs. -- 175 lbs. if you also add the steel gas tank skid -- which is comparable to the weight of a full tank of gas (23 gallons x 6 lbs a gallon = 138 lbs.). That's like driving around with a small-ish friend and complaining about the extra weight -- give me a break. 175 lbs. is about 3 percent of the gross weight of a 5500 lb. 4Runner, which is next to nothing for the protection you get in return.

The RCI skids have an awesome oil drain plug access hole and a hatch for the oil filter. Very easy to install (I used a floor jack to support them and installed myself) and are an excellent fit on the 4Runner.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:45 AM #6
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Your stock skid is perfectly fine for what you describe. I've yet to see a single instance of anyone ever having damaged something behind the stock engine skid. I took my OEM skid through the Rubicon. Looked like a raisin by the end. But - it did it's job just fine. Nothing inside it was damaged. It actually did better than the aluminum TRD Pro skid. The OEM steel one is a better skid than the aluminum one functionally. It just doesn't look as nice.

If you are mostly concerned with function if you hit a rock - keep the oem one. If you want to drag it across rocks consistently, then it's probably a good idea to consider an upgrade.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:53 AM #7
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I had a 03 Tacoma and destroyed the stock skid on a boulder hidden in the snow so I'm a looking for something that will take a hit better than stock, I like the PRO skid but don't like having to remove it to do a oil change.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:00 PM #8
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I've got the RCI skids, although mine is KDSS. They work fine, just make sure you put anti-seize on all the bolts before you put them in. I've got aluminum which is fine for what I do especially with a 3 inch lift.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:41 PM #9
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Tbh the stock steel skid was fine for me (i also have steel diff, tcase and trans plus alloy fuel tank) but wanted easy access to the filter so I got the rci alloy front skid. Does the job well and i can hammer out the dents (doing that right now)
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:39 PM #10
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Another vote here for the aluminum RCI.
Mine has had a few hits and it holding up just fine.
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:45 PM #11
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Primarily bought the RCI skid for easy oil drain access..haven't been offroad with it yet, but I like the looks and have no doubt it will hold up well to whatever I throw at it..

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Old 01-09-2020, 02:13 PM #12
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Granted, I did not have the fancy factory skid plates, just SR5 4WD model, but I banged my front skid plate pretty good fairly quickly to the point that it had to get notched and beat to put it back on after an oil change. The next skid plate that took a beating was the gas tank skid plate and I wish I had a rear diff skid plate shortly after that as I partially destroyed the drain bolt.

I went with RCI Steel, partially because I was going with what my guy carries, and Id seen good reviews and feedback on both the aluminum and steel. I went with steel because I do get on rocks and things like that.

Steel may be overkill for what you need especially if stock suspension (as alluded to above).But armor is better to get before you need it. Ive learned that one and you can learn from me.
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:30 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAST4R View Post
Yes, so long as you use the stock springs, you will hit. It is inevitable with any frequent offroading. You cannot always be 100% on long days or with frequent trips and the stock suspension leaves no room for error.

My RCI 3/16 steel skid has done the job. While it leaves the alignment bolts exposed, I have had no issues with that (over 100 trails between 4x4 and dirt roads).

That said, I don't just have a dent, I completely caved half of it in. Sure, I was testing new springs and found them softer than expected...but I already had real damage to the skid from another hit, which is the kind of hit you are trying to protect yourself from.

So in the Southwest, I would not personally spend 1 cent on an aluminum skid for a 4Runner (had one on a Subaru). In a state like Montana, on the other hand, where 4x4 trails are few and far between (and where speeds are very low) and where smooth dirt roads are plentiful, aluminum might make perfect sense. Here in the desert, my worst hits come on easy trails (high-clearance trails, neither dirt roads, nor 4x4 trails). They can be very long and generally ok to drive a little faster but they always have tricky spots.

Another option is to get a better suspension and keep the stock skid plate. There is a lot of air behind it (which is why I have not replaced mine now that it is caved in) and the front skid has very nice design. The curved radiator supports carry much of the load during a hit. So I would stay away from designs that remove those supports.

Another point: skids and suspension are in the same conversation.

Lots of people including myself until recently, attribute too much to ground clearance as measured in the garage and to skid plates. The reality is that a stiff enough suspension does a better job at preventing hits offroad than a ground clearance increase that preserves the stock suspension.

In other words, you can do skids, or suspension, or both, depending on need. But a single skid upgrade is not necessarily the best answer. Consider that the three front skids necessary to slide/drag with peace of mind cost as much as a solid suspension upgrade that also yields 1.5" of lift.
Check these beefy plates out!
Metal Works Fabrication on Instagram: Had a chance to install some Marlin Crawler HD LCA frame brace on 5th gen 4runner. The braces are heavy duty and reinforces the oe



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Old 01-09-2020, 02:33 PM #14
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Alum has been holding up well. You can see the dent on the right side. Will likely replace it with steel later in the year as my wheeling habits have changed lol




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