TRD Skid Plate 5th Gen 4Runner

 In 5th Gen Mods, Accessories, Off-Road, TRD

5th Gen 4Runner TRD Front Skid Plate

5th Gen 4Runner TRD Front Skid Plate

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:

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 5th Gen 4Runner Skid Plate

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+)

TRD Pro Skid Plate (TRD Pro Model)

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

5th Gen 4runner (With KDSS) TRD Skid Plate_01

5th Gen 4Runner TRD Skid Plate KDSS Cut Options

Because the KDSS stabilizer bars cross directly through the TRD skid, you need to cut out a section on both sides 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 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

  1. TRD Pro
  2. RCI Metal Works
  3. ARB
  4. Shrockworks
  5. Procomp
  6. Smittybilt
  7. C4 Fabrication
  8. Budbuilt
  9. 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

2017 TRD Pro Cement TRD Skid Plate

TRD Pro Skid Plate (TRD Pro Model)

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.

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Showing 13 comments
  • Bill Strumfels

    What is the bottom line on this skid plate fitting 2010 and up trail 4 runners. One or two places says yes many say 2014 to 2017 only

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      That is a good question about the 2010 4runner TRD skid plate. I know a few people that have installed the TRD skid plate on the 2010-2013 model 4Runners without cutting. But, if have KDSS on your 2010 4Runner, you will need to cut it to fit. If you do not have KDSS on your 2010-2013 model 4Runner, yes it will fit.

  • Jon

    I have a 2016 Trail model with Kdss, went with the Trd front plate because i got it for a great deal new and it looks better than most aftermarket front skids in my opinion also seemed solid enough for my needs the rest went i went with RCI skids. Performed the necessary cutouts no problem’s with the actual swaybar contacting the Trd skidplate. Contact comes from the front mounting bolt on the hydraulic side of the kdss swaybar mount. Literally the head of the bolt makes contact with the skidplate, even adding thick washers on top of the aluminum spacers on the two front bolts of the Trd skidplate. There will still be contact. Mind you this is on rougher trails. Mostly when the front tires are on uneven rocky or rutted sections. You will notice the contact from the banging noise on out on the trail and visually notice it when you remove the plate for an oil change. After adding additional washers I did spray paint that section black just to see if there would be contact next time out there was fresh bolt shaped gouging in the plate etc. I’m no rock crawler or avid offroader this is my hunting truck. Just going where other hunters wont usually means jacked up trails. Eventually ordered the Rci front skid. KDSS models should go with another option. I’d post up pics of the contact but not sure if I can on a reply.

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Thanks for the info. We are building out a forum section right now that will have image upload features (different than other forums). The images will be hosted on our servers, so they will never break. In any case, thank you for the input. Very strange that you are making contact. We clear that section just fine on our 2014 TEP with KDSS. I would love to see some shots and compare the two (ours and yours in the same location). RCI is a solid route for sure, especially for the KDSS system because they make skids just for KDSS, I agree with you there and this might be our next route for skids. If you can send us an email with the pics, we can get them posted up on this page or in a staging section of the forum. Thanks!!

  • Kevin S.

    You mentioned that people have mounted the TRD plate to 10-13′ SR5’s, do you know if mods were needed to make that happen or if a diffdrop or swaybar relocate kit will cause issues?

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Not sure of exactly what needs to be done but if you dig around, you will see a few guys that have made it work.

  • Bill

    Curious, does the TRD Skid Plate model on Amazon you listed “Genuine Toyota (PT938-00140) Skid Plate, Front” fit the 2018 TRD Off Road model (besides having to make the necessary adjustments to the fit the KDSS)? On Amazon when I select my 4Runner year it says it does not fit. Just wanted to confirm before ordering.

  • Tinydancer

    TRD skid on 2018 SR5 was a super easy install, I am OK mechanically, don’t go much deeper than changing light bulbs and simply stiff on my cars, definitely don’t change my own oil and I was able to do the install in about 30-mins.

  • Rob

    I really like the look of the TRD pro skid, is there another one that is already modified for KDSS that looks similar?

  • Magi

    About a month away from driving our 2018 SR5 home from Colorado and keep “discovering” awesome things the salesman told us about but we are now actually using!! Moved from a 2005 VW Golf TDI, 2005 Jeep trail rated diesel and 2013 Eco Chevy Cruz-traded them all for this Big Blue Bear! I am sure the hubs can write something for you as he is a Master Tech and former NAPA tech of the year! He writes for automotive technical journals, formerly wrote curriculum for our state college automotive tech programs.
    Looking forward to driving this SR5 on the interstates and getting on some dirt roads!

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Wow, how cool and congrats on the new 4Runner. Yeah, absolutely, we are always looking for new content!

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