Goat Truck Off-Road Magnetic Armor: Form, Function, Or Maybe Both? Product Review & Install Overview For the 5th Gen 4Runner
All it takes is one trip into the wild and you’ll realize very quickly that your meticulously kept 4Runner will never look the same again.
Mother nature can be a bitch; piss her off and she’ll dig her claws into the sides of your 4Runner. Serves you right for thrashing your rig into her bosom! But look on the bright side; you’ll have some really rad pinstriping on the sides of your truck.
Everyone wants that, right? “But Ryan,” you say, “I can’t afford a new paint job and getting my rig wrapped in vinyl will cost an arm and a leg! Whatever will I do?”
Paint jobs are expensive and you’re only going to just scratch it up again. Wraps are cool and you have lots of options, but they too last only so long before you need to have it redone. They also can run a pretty penny.
So, what options do you have at this point that can help dress up your rig, protect it and won’t break the bank? Goat Truck Armor. Quite simply, they make laser-cut magnetic armor panels with an endless amount of design options.
From camouflage to the heritage Toyota stripes, you can completely change the appearance of your rig for just a few hundred bucks in a non-permanent way.
Goat Truck Magnetic Armor Panels… The New 4Runner MAG Armor On the Market
Goat Truck Armor wasn’t the first to hit the market with magnetic armor panel kits.
In fact, Smittybilt has been making MAG Armor for quite some time, but only for Jeeps… a resounding theme for the 4Runner community. Smitty’s R&D department confirmed with us last year that they were going to start prototyping MAG Armor for the 5th Gen 4Runner. Then came the Jeep Commander and Smitty quickly scraped the project dedicating all their time to “that thing”.
While that sucked for us, Goat Truck Armor was already making magnetic panels for the 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma and decided to start designing them for the 4Runner. They slapped a prototype on a white 4Runner this past June, took it to “the gram” to spread the word and the fanboys like myself were buzzing.
Designed + Built by Off-Road Enthusiasts in the Toyota Community
To say Goat Truck Armor was an overnight success would quite frankly be offensive.
Matt and Cannon are the brains behind these kits; Cannon is just 6 years old and Matt (a smidge older) has spent the last 20 years designing and building off-road and overland vehicles.
Whether building a rig for a friend, a customer, or ripping apart his own brand new Land Rover, Matt has been an avid member of the off-road culture for years with Jeeps, Land Rovers, and now Toyotas. And, he knows exactly where it’s lacking. That’s why he took matters into his own hands and built a company that focuses on Toyota’s magnetic armor panels… because nobody else would.
Lucky for us, he decided on the 4Runner as his next project and they’re now available.
Product Features & Price
The product itself is straightforward but the customizations are where the fun begins. At the end of the day, it’s all a matter of your personal preference while balancing form and function.
- Pattern or no pattern? Some of you may opt to purchase the kit with a plain finish and no design elements. Others may opt to dress their 4Runner adorned with Goat’s arachnid sinister or brusHEX inferno patterns. The options are endless. We’ve seen Goat take a request for a new pattern/color combo and make the design available for purchase on their site the very same day! Goat’s design engine seems to be working on all cylinders. At the end of the day, it’s your choice, but we recommend marrying your base color with one of their many patterns. As shown in the pictures, we opted for the Toyota heritage racing stripes (yellow, orange and red) with the black base in a gloss finish. Nothing says “OG” like those heritage colors.
- Gloss or matte? Again, another option you have is with the actual finish of the armor in either gloss or matte. Since we wanted our armor to hold up to the harsh conditions we’d run it through and blend best into our shiny black body, gloss seemed most fitting.
- Delete the goat? The goat head is becoming iconic with 4Runner magnetic armor and comes standard on all kits. But if you really want to go stealth and remove the goat head altogether, you have that option. We left ours on because it looks tough and we need all the help we can get.
When you order your Goat armor, you’ll receive a pretty significant cardboard tube that you’ll need to sling over your shoulder.
Do a few squats with it as well and really work up a sweat because the install itself takes just a few minutes. Each 5th Gen 4Runner kit comes on a few printed magnetic sheets laser cut and meticulously labeled (i.e., passenger side quarter panel upper, lower, etc.).
What’s in the very heavy tube?
- Four (4) fender pieces (two per side)
- Four (4) front door pieces (two per side)
- Six (6) rear door pieces (two per side)
- Six (6) bed rear quarter panel pieces (two per side)
In terms of the price, Goat’s magnetic armor comes in at $495 plus shipping. Check out today’s price!
Limited 20% Off Group Buy
While the normal kit runs $495 plus shipping, Goat is knocking about $100 off for the first 25 people who jump on the deal using promo code T4RGOAT20 at checkout. To get the full kit for $396 plus shipping, you need to be part of the first 25 who place an order using that promo code.
Once the 25 order mark is met with the code, Goat will run the orders, process them for production and the promo code expires. Credit cards will be charged once the 25 is met, but not before. If you’re using PayPal, they will charge your card immediately.
If you miss the deal, don’t stress because it’s not like there’s a limited production run; you just lose out on saving 100-fat ones!
Installation & Other Considerations
If you’re new to modding, never did a mod before or you’ve done your own body mount chop, it doesn’t really matter. The kit is self-explanatory and it’s just a matter of lining the pieces up accordingly.
All the magnetic panels themselves are clearly labeled, so dropping them into place is a breeze. Having a second person there to help wouldn’t hurt, but it’s not necessary at all. The fun part is watching your 4Runner transform right in front of your eyes.
What Goat does recommend though is starting with the cleanest surface possible. Make sure any waxes, surface paints, and clear coats are hardened/cured. If you thought adding a large magnetic panel to a wet paint surface was a good idea, please exit this page and do not purchase this kit. You’re probably the reason why dress shirts have a label telling you not to iron your shirt while wearing it.
You can find a whole list of precautions and recommended installation steps on Goat’s website, but here’s the skinny:
- Apply to clean, dust and debris-free hardened/cured surfaces only
- Do not install on your truck if the body temperature exceeds 140-degrees or falls below 15-degrees
- Install the magnet with the pattern-side out (can’t believe we had to say that)
- If you feel like it didn’t lay properly or you somehow captured an air bubble underneath the surface, remove the magnet and reapply (do not try to shift the magnet around in place as it could potentially cause some surface scratching)
- Slamming into a body of water at high speeds could shift and even remove the magnet(s) altogether, so just take it easy and remove some of the smaller panels if you plan to #sendit
- Remove the armor weekly and keep all surfaces clean
- As you learned in elementary school, magnets only work on metallic surfaces, so those of you with fiberglass fenders are out of luck for now
- Lastly, it might be a good idea to remove the armor after one of your adventures and clean it thoroughly
Have an ARB Safari Snorkel?
Goat took those of us with a snorkel into consideration, but this is where it becomes a quick DIY exercise. All you’ll need is a pair of scissors and a flat surface to trace the template onto. Then, make your cuts and install the magnets around your snorkel.
As of right now, they don’t have a template for the TJM Airtec or Dobinsons snorkel but don’t be discouraged; cutting the magnets is easy and it might take a few passes to get it just right.
Fortunately, the TJM snorkel sits a bit further back on the fender, so it shouldn’t be hard to cut.
If you do this on your own with the TJM or Dobinson snorkel, we recommend reaching out to Goat directly so they can get the measurements and offer a cut template for that model snorkel to future customers. Pay it forward!
What About the Badges?
We opted to remove our highly coveted aftermarket TRAIL letters, but we plan to move one of them to the right rear side of the liftgate. And we all know, you TRD Pro guys love to flash that badge, so Goat has a solution for you as well; either cut it out of the panel or don’t use the upper panel piece.
We saw that as a bit of a waste and not using the upper panel provides less protection to the uppermost part of your 4Runner, but that’s up to you.
Soon, Goat will have the measurements for where the SR5 and Limited badges land, should you decide to leave them in place and cut your brand new armor.
For now, below are the measurements they have to offer for those of you wanting to perform magnet surgery:
- TRD Pro
- TRD Off-Road
STORAGE For Your Magnetic Armor
Whether you’re a hoarder or you’re lazy and haven’t gotten around to throwing away the cardboard shipping tube your magnets came in, we suggest that you keep it.
The panels look insanely good on and off-road, but you’re going to want to store them eventually and laying them on the floor of your garage or attaching them to that old fridge might not be the best option.
If you’ve already thrown it away, you should be able to find a mailing tube at your local Office Depot. Displays2Go has a large plastic graphics tube that comes in 44” and 55” which may do the trick if you’re looking for something more indestructible!
Check out today’s price on the tube
A cheaper DIY option for storage would be to grab two (2) 6” PVC tubes (one for the driver side and one for the passenger side). Make reapplying the magnets easy on yourself and label them accordingly; the panels on each side are flipped around and you don’t want to make this easy install process a puzzle every time!
However, Goat does plan to offer a storage tube next year with each order.
From start to finish, we were really happy with this product.
The price was right, the design options seemed endless, the product shipped quickly and the magnets themselves are made with high-quality materials (right here in the USA). When we received our heritage stripe kit, one of the rocker panel magnets was a duplicate of the other side. We reached out to Goat and the replacement arrived almost immediately. So, from a customer service perspective, 5-stars!
The thing we found most interesting about Goat is that they’re the only company right now to make this product for the 5th Gen 4Runner that we could find.
Smittybilt and Rugged Ridge make magnetic armor panels, but only for Jeeps. So while Goat could take the easy route and offer a small handful of options because they’re the only shop in town, that’s not the case; from gloss to matte, plain to insane, you can get really wild and customize the armor designed to protect your rig.
On top of that, they seem really open to new design options. So, if you have a good idea that doesn’t involve printing male genitalia on the magnets, reach out to them!
Lest we forget, the product has a functional element to it.
We took our fancy new armor off-road to see how it would hold up to the elements. If you’re familiar with Northern California right now, it’s very dry and we don’t have a lot of soft leaves on trees to cushion the inevitable brush alongside the 4Runner. To say the armor held up and protected the body would be an understatement. It simply protected the body from pinstriping and even small rocks kicking up against it.
When it came time to clean the magnetic armor, we used a garden hose with normal PSI, washed off the dust and debris, then removed the panels and laid them down on clean towels. We then used a little bit of dishwashing soap and water, sponged them down, towel-dried them and once completely dried, reapplied the magnetic armor. Good as new.
Buy a set and see for yourself. You won’t regret it.
Great write up on these. I’d be curious to get your thoughts now that you’ve been using them for a while? Specifically, have you had any issues with dirt and dust getting sandwiched between the armor panels and paint?
Thanks again for the information!
So full disclosure, Goat sold quite a bit of the heritage strip armor for black 4Runners and my unique looking rig quickly became not-so-unique! I switched it up about a month after writing this article with the “Gibburnz” pattern – a custom military color pattern Matt and I worked on. If you go to the GOAT site, you’ll see it under 5th gen 4Runner.
I’ve used the new kit for a few months now and no issues. I did leave mine on once beyond the suggested times (think it’s 2 weeks) and noticed a little dirt/dust underneath the magnets, but only on the edges. That was also after a cross-country trip and some muddy trails. 🙂 But, a quick car wash and the rig looks brand new.
The one thing I noticed is that the surface needs to be super clean and super, super, super dust free. The slightest spec of dirt or dust will show as a bump on the magnets surface. You just pull the magnet back and wipe it off the surface and all is well, but it looks like pubescent acne if you don’t wipe it off. Ha!
Besides that, it’s a dope product.
I ordered a set, being in AZ everything pinstripes your vehicle. Anyone else order a set? Will Trail4Runner.com get 25 from the community to step up?
GOAT Truck Armor hit the 25 mark this past weekend, so it sounds like orders will be processed now, CC’s charged and hopefully you will all receive shipping notifications soon enough! Make sure to post pics on your social media pages with #goattruckarmor!!!
Last I heard, they had about 21 orders. That was earlier today.
I saw in some of the Jeep sites that people complained about the mag armor peeling after extended time in the sun. I’ve had some sports magnetic decals that have done that. Anyone comment about the longevity of these panels?
The magnets are intended for protection when off-roading. There is obviously a style and aesthetic value to them and they can be worn regularly, but it‘s important to break the contact every week or two, and more frequently in high heat conditions. I should heed my own advice though; I’ve had mine on for about 4 weeks in a row now but I can attest to having no issues with them.
Goat’s got some care instructions on their site you might want to check out.