5th Gen 4Runner TRD Front Skid Plate

 In 4Runner Armor, 5th Gen Mods, Accessories, Off-Road, Skid Plates, TRD

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 TRD Skid Plate KDSS Cut Options

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

  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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Durango MaxJimRick BowersBrenan - Trail4RJon Recent comment authors
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Bill Strumfels
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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

Jon
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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… Read more »

Kevin S.
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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?

Josh
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Josh

Did you ever figure out the skid with a diff drop? I’m trying to find out as well

Bill
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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
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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
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Rob

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

Scott Pringle
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Scott Pringle

I have the same question, and hope there is someone who can supply an answer. Love the look of the TRD front skid, but not sure I want to attempt the modifications to put it on my TRD Off Road Premium with KDSS.

Magi
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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… Read more »

hugo p torres
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hugo p torres

Will TRD PRO be customizing skid plates for 4 Runner with KDSS.or is someone else is making them.

/

Kent
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Kent

The RCI looks like a plug-n-play option for the KDSS equipped Trail (2015). A little boxy, but I’m not tooled up for cutting. What could possibly go wrong, right?

Q: Is it easier to install a skid plate after having a lift kit installed; or does it not matter?

Thadd
Guest
Thadd

A little hint when installing, You’ll need to re-use the spacers for the back two holes (the front two spacers come with the skid plate. Also, start the back two bolts first. It’ll make it easier. I’ve had mine on and off a couple of times.

Jon
Guest
Jon

I just wanted to jump in here real quick and give some additional feedback. I installed this plate on my 2019 Off Road with KDSS. When I got the plate I trimmed the whole side wall down to about 1/2″. Ran with that for about 5000 miles, and just recently started to notice that the clamp around the KDSS Stabilizer joint rubber boot was starting to come off. Turns out that even the 1/2″ remaining on the skid plate can cause a little bit of rub on the KDSS stabilizer. I would highly recommend complete cut off of the sidewalls… Read more »

Rick Bowers
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Rick Bowers

Great article – great site. Thanks for all the amazing information here! I’ve got a question on the TRD install and wondered if you or anyone else ran into this problem. I installed a TRD Skid Plate (PT938-00140/PTR60-89190) this past weekend on my ’18 SR5 4WD (obviously non-KDSS). The plate comes with 1″ bolts for the rear of the plate which bolt into the member braces. I absolutely could not get those to fit – they were too long. I re-used the 1/2″ bolts that came out of the member braces. Anyone else have this issue with this install or… Read more »

Jim
Guest
Jim

It is most likely debris in the threads. Run a tap through to clean them out.

Durango Max
Guest
Durango Max

Great information but wondering if anyone has fit the TRD or other skid plate with a differential drop? I am lifting my 2016 with KDSS 2.5″ and adding a 1″ differential drop to mitigate the change in the CV angle. Once I complete the suspension mods I will have a better idea of how that might impact a skid plate but was wondering if anyone else had encountered this already. Cheers

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