TRD Pro Skid Plate for Non-KDSS and an overview of modifying the skid plate
When it comes to protecting the undercarriage of your 4Runner, the TRD skid plate is a good option. Whether the plate came stock on your TRD Pro, or you are looking to mount one on your SR5 or Off-Road, this is a good addition to the 4Runner. Made from powder-coated aluminum, the skid helps protect your vehicle from general trail damage.
Part Number & Ordering:
- TRD Pro Skid: Check Today’s Price
If you have KDSS (Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System) equipped, you may want to think twice about purchasing the TRD skid. There is a big difference between mounting this skid on an SR5 and mounting one that needs to be modified for KDSS.
If you have KDSS, you will need special modifications to allow correct fitment. With that being said, if you are looking for a skid plate that is KDSS compatible, and you are uncomfortable with making modifications, this may not be the best option for you.
Trail & TRD Off-Road are equipped with KDSS and the SR5/ Limited is not
Stock Skid Plate (SR5)
If you are one of the rare breeds of 4Runner owners with the Trail or the Off-Road, odds are you have KDSS in which you will need special modifications in order to mount a TRD skid.
If on the other hand, you have an SR5, you will not need modifications. For the SR5, pop a couple bolts, pop off a few brackets and you are good to go. Installing this skid on an SR5 is easy.
TRD Off-Road is equipped with KDSS and the TRD Pro is not (2017+)
The skid plate mounted above is on a 2017 Cement TRD Pro without KDSS. Note the difference between the newer 4Runners.
The TRD Off-Road is equipped with KDSS and does not come with the TRD Pro skid.
The TRD Pro does not come with KDSS and is equipped with the skid.
Modified TRD Pro Skid for KDSS
Because the KDSS stabilizer bars cross directly through the TRD skid, you need to cut both sides with a sawzall or grinder in order for the KDSS bars to pass through.
There is no “set” template for cutting so this is much more of an eye for cutting out a section that will work for your KDSS. As you can see from the photos above, customizing your skid is a little different for everyone. Some follow a certain guide but there really is no guide or “right” way to cut.
You can see in the images above that you can modify the plate however you would like. You can cut straight down and straight across or you can cut a U shape into the plate to have the bars pass through. I like the look of the straight down and straight across.
UPDATE: After a few months of hitting trails with our plate mounted, we noticed some rubbing on the plate from the KDSS stabilizer bar. Nothing major, but we cut it all the way down to prevent this from happening any longer.
Other Skid Plate Options
You don’t have to settle for the TRD Pro, but it is one of the cheapest and best-looking skids out there. But, is it the most durable? With many other well-established manufacturers of skids, it might be hard to pick out the right one
Aluminum or Steel?
With skids, you have the option of aluminum or steel. Aluminum has a tendency to slide easier across rocks and terrain as well as being more light. While aluminum is light, steel is heavy duty and will provide better protection for your undercarriage.
If you don’t plan on wheeling that often, you may want to grab an aluminum skid plate as they won’t bog you down as much and they have fewer issues with rust. Either way, skids get destroyed over time, so the choice is yours but aluminum seems to be the popular choice among daily drivers and occasional wheelers like most of us.
Top Brands for Skid Plates & Full Skids
- TRD Pro
- RCI Metal Works
- C4 Fabrication
- CBI Off-Road
These are going to be the most well-known and well-trusted name brands on the market. 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 skids, it really comes down to how much and how hard you are going to wheel.
If you are an occasional wheeler (80% road/ 20% off-road), then a TRD skid might work for you. They serve the purpose of most off-road use while being affordable.
Other aftermarket skids that range from $500-$2000+ (higher range being full-length protection) for a set are for serious off-road/overland addicts. If you spend every weekend exploring off-road, then a more robust setup may be for you. 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.
The TRD PRO Look
The TRD Pro skid has to be one of the most affordable armor mods for us. 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.
We will be installing the TRD skid soon, so stay tuned and check back to see what happens when we attempt to cut apart the skid to accommodate KDSS.