Step-by-Step RCI Off-Road Front Skid Plate (KDSS Specific) Installation on 5th Generation Toyota 4Runner
Simply put, skid plates help protect many undercarriage parts of your truck. If you start beating up your factory skids you can expect more than just skid damage. Weak factory skids can lead to structural damage, and other critical working parts like hydraulic lines, gas tanks, radiators, and much more.
Do your truck a favor and protect it with a set of upgraded aluminum or steel skid plates.
If you are looking to see what the installation process is going to take for a full set of skids, this is a good place to start. Our goal is to install literally every skid possible on the 5th Gen. We will be updating this post as time goes on.
RCI Off-Road makes a “Full-Set” that includes the Front, Transmission, and T-Case skid. For most drivers, this should offer plenty of protection but we are going the extra mile here.
Just remember to order the KDSS version if you are running KDSS.
If you order the non-KDSS version for a KDSS truck, the plate won’t mount up because the KDSS sway bar will be in the way.
Jump to another installation:
If you are looking for more information on the different brand options available, check out the skid plate buyers guide.
- Full Set: Check Today’s Price
- Front: Check Price
- Material Options: 3/16” Steel or 1/4” 5052 Aluminum Alloy
- Powder Coat Options: Black powder coat or bare metal
- 3/16” Steel: 40lbs
- Aluminum: 20lbs
Installing the front skids is very straightforward. Complete Installation for the front took under one hour while the remaining five skids, took just over six hours.
We did need to modify our C4 Fab rock sliders in order for the lower link skids to fit so that’s what took us a little longer. Depending on what skids you install, you may need to modify your rock sliders in order for different skids to fit.
In our install example, we are using all RCI Off-Road.
Step 1: Jack Stands
Lift the front of your 4Runner with a floor jack, and place front tires on ramps, blocks or jack stands.
Do not use front cross members as a jack point, this may interfere with the installation.
We jacked our truck up and we used a set of homemade wood blocks (jack stand risers) for trucks with higher lift kits.
Step 2: Remove Factory Skids
Remove OEM skid or any other aftermarket skid currently installed.
Note these factory mounting points as the RCI skids will bolt to the same location.
Step 3: Position RCI Skids into Place
Using two people or a floor jack, lift the RCI skids into place and loosely install the 40mm bolts with washers into the center mounting holes (the holes with the skid plate risers).
Step 4: Mount the rear bolts
Once the skid is self-supported, install the remaining 40mm bolts with washers.
Install the half-inch nylon spacers on top of the skid plate and then thread the bolts through and into place.
Adjust the plates with the bolts are near as possible to the center of the mounting holes.
Step 5A: Crossmember Supports
If you are installing your RCI skids with factory skids mounted, you will have a simple plug-and-play kit.
Because we previously installed the TRD skid, we removed the factory frame tube mount spacer brackets (pictured above).
If you are installing the RCI skids with factory skid plates currently installed, you will retain the use of these spacer brackets and it will be a very easy plug-n-play bolt-on install.
Step 5B: TRD Pro Conversion
If you do not have the tube mount and bracket mentioned previously, the front of the RCI skid will sit about 1″ away from the recommended mounting point on the cross member.
The recommended factory mounting point per the instructions is to mount to that tube mount bracket, so with the bracket gone, you need to add a spacer of your own.
Instead of mounting this bolt to a bracket, there is a hole that goes straight through the cross-member. This allows you to slide the bolt all the way through and secure the nut on top.
We found an extra set of nuts, bolts, and spacers provided from our previous install.
If you don’t have anything lying around, go to ACE Hardware or Home Depot and find any 1″ spacer and if it’s not perfect, you may need to add washers to make up a 1/8″ or so difference.
Step 6: Transmission Skid
If you are installing the transmission plate supplied from RCI Off-Road in addition to the front skid plate, you will need to leave approximately a 1/2″ of rear bolts unthreaded to allow the transmission skid to slide and lock into place.
Step 7: Check the fitment
Check the fitment and clearance and proceed to fully tighten all bolts with a 13mm wrench to OEM torque specifications. 23ft lbs.
The front RCI skid plates feature an oil filter access port, check and ensure these bolts are tight.
Proceed to the transmission skid plate install page.