4Runner Armor, 5th Gen Mods, Install, Off-Road, Overland, Skid Plates

RSG Offroad Skid Plate Install & Review

Updated 1/11/21 / Read Time: 6 mins

RSG OffRoad Skid Plate on 5th Gen 4Runner

One Piece Engine + Transmission Skid Plate: RSG Offroad Steel Skid Plate Install & Review for 5th Gen 4Runner

When it comes to Toyota armor, RSG Offroad (also known as RSG Metalworks) is one of the most well-known brands in the Overland and Off-Road community.

RSG has made dependable rock sliders for years available for many platforms; 4Runner, Tacoma, FJ, Lexus GX, etc. and have recently introduced their new skid plate for the 5th Gen 4Runner. Jason, the owner also has a pretty rad 5th Gen SAS build which is a showcase of their outstanding work alone. You can see those shots all of his personal shop build, on Instagram.

After previously installing their KDSS skid plate on our Trail Edition 4Runner, we were eager to get the installation of their front + transmission skid plate going.

RSG Vs. Other Skids

RSG Offroad Skid Plate Install & Review for 5th Gen 4Runner

While some other skid plates on the market come in separate pieces; front, transmission, transfer case, etc. the RSG Offroad plate combines the front and transmission into one incredibly strong steel plate.

That’s right, the new skid plate from RSG Offroad was designed to be both the front skid and transmission skid plate in one.

This adds increased strength and rigidity for the protection of your crossmembers, front differential, transmission, and oil pan. And, made of steel you know you can push this plate around on the trail.

Find it online: 

  • RSG Offroad Skid Plate: Check Price
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 60lbs
  • Protection: Engine + Transmission

Tools and Materials:

  • RSG skid plate
  • Metric Sockets
  • 6″ Extension
  • Jack or lift
  • Optional: Loctite

This is a really straight forward, well-designed, and extremely strong bolt-on skid plate. If you are looking for a skid plate that you can push through some extreme terrain and rocky sections, this is a pretty solid option to consider.


RSG Offroad Front + Transmission Skid Plate 5th Gen 4Runner

The skid comes in high strength steel and gives you the options of a stainless steel logo or powder-coated logo which you can add for 20 bucks. If you want to black-out the skid plate, you will want to opt for the black powder-coated logo.

The plate has a removable access point for easy oil change services without removing the entire plate. To top it off the RSG Offroad skid comes in a durable and high-quality black powder coat finish.

If you see a gap from the crossmember to the radiator, that’s because I went from the TRD Skid plate to the RSG Offroad skid and tossed the factory filler piece. I called my local Toyota recycler, and they had a replacement for $40 or you can find one online (Toyota Part: 52129-35030). If you are going from the TRD skid plate, you may want to grab this filler plate. If you are going from the factory skid to this, you should already have it. If you do have it, leave it installed as it will protect your radiator from common road debris.


RSG Offroad Skid Plate Installation

The installation of the skid plate is pretty straightforward. You utilize all OEM mounting points for easy installation. This is a plug-and-play install using all existing factory bolt points, and no drilling is required. All hardware along with instructions are provided, however, the install is so easy you might not even need to use the instructions.

For this install, we took the 4Runner to Stellat Built in Sacramento. Stellar Built it a great option if you live within driving distance of Sacramento. They specialize in just about everything Toyota.

We had to go down for Stellar to weld plates on our body mounts for Jade (our 2016 TEP), so we figured while we were there, we would get the 4Runner on the lift for some better photos of this installation process. You don’t need a lift to do this install, I just thought it would make for better photos. Although you don’t need a lift, you may want a helping hand, a jack, or possibly both.

If you don’t have friends or a jack, take your truck to a shop and have someone help you out. This plate is pretty heavy for a one-person install.

Step 1. Remove factory skid or current skid

Remove factory skid or current skid

Remove your factory or current skid plate setup. If you are running a TRD Skid, you may be missing the plastic filler piece (Lower Bumper Cover – Toyota Part: 52129-35030). This part is also referred to as the Front Bumper Lower Cover Air Dam Valance. If you are missing this piece, you can buy it OE or find them on eBay used for around $20.

Step 2. Remove Support Brackets

Remove Support Brackets

In order to install the RSG skid plate, you will need to remove these two support brackets running from the crossmember to the radiator support. The new skid plate will essentially act as new support brackets, and much stronger ones at that since the skid a one-piece steel design.

Step 3. Remove Transmission Skid Plate

Remove Transmission Skid Plate

After you remove your skid and bottom filler plate, remove the transmission skid.

Step 4. Prep RSG Skid Plate

Prep RSG Skid Plate

Here is the bolt installation overview. The front bolts, mid bolts, and rear long carriage bolts are pretty self-explanatory. RSG ships this plate with 3 extra bolts (the ones towards the back of the plate). Those are not used for our install here. If you are running a transfer case (t-case) skid plate; you may utilize these bolts. We are saving these for when we grab a t-case skid for this 4Runner.

Carriage Bolts with Square Washers

Carriage Bolts with Square Washers

These are the long carriage bolts with massive heavy-duty square washers that bolt through your crossmember.

Step 5. Carriage Bolts with Square Washers over Crossmember

Carriage Bolts with Square Washers over Crossmember

Now is where a couple of friends, and a jack will help for threading down the carriage bolts and front bolts at the same time.

Step 6. Front Crossmember Bolts

Thread down front bolts (x4)

While the jack is being lifted into place, and someone is installing the rear carriage bolts, you can install the front bolts and washers. If you want to take it a step further, add some Loctite on the bolts.

Step 7. Two Bolts through the center plate

Two Bolts through the center plate

View from directly underneath the skid plate.

Two Bolts through the center plate

View from in between the skid plate and the bottom of the 4Runner.

Step 8. Double Check all Bolts

RSG Offroad Skid Plate Installation

Once the skid plate is in place, retighten all bolts down.

Final Thoughts

ARB's OME (Old Man Emu) BP-51 Suspension Lift Kit

WOW. First of all, that was a really simple and straight-forward install. Second, this skid plate is a BEAST. Being a one-piece steel design for the front and transmission, this plate can take some serious hits and protect your truck. I am not worried about the rust or weight for now on this plate. I live in the central valley of California where rust on steel skids are rare.

To top it off, this is one of the best looking skid plates I have seen to date. It flows well will the lines on the front of the 4Runner, and looks REALLY GOOD.

I think this is a great option if you are looking for something incredibly strong along with an easy install all while looking pretty badass.

Questions or Comments? Leave them below!

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Raphael Maldonado
Raphael Maldonado
August 23, 2020 7:29 pm

Anybody have a link to the product? I was not able to find it directly on the website. Thanks!

August 28, 2020 12:33 am

I also would like to know! Was just getting ready to purchase with their sliders but it doesn’t seem to exist now

Tom A.
Tom A.
July 28, 2020 5:49 pm

You forgot the step where we have to remove these bars from the radiator support and frame. Also, no torque specifications for bolting to the frame.

Last edited 7 months ago by Tom A.
J Bones
J Bones
June 28, 2020 8:27 am

This skid plate lowers ground clearance from factory slightly by about 1 – 2 inches. The review is correct that it’s a total beast. It increases the weight of the front of the vehicle noticeably over the factory skids, which impacts road handling and probably tire wear in the front, but that’s going to be the case for any steel skid that size. RSG says the reason for the additional room under the skid (check out that 2-inch spacer in the photo above) is to accommodate the moving parts of the KDSS and other equipment when the vehicle is lifted.… Read more »

Richard Kroll
Richard Kroll
July 15, 2020 2:22 pm
Reply to  J Bones

I was just about to hit the button on this skid plate, but the ground clearance thing really concerns me! Do you really lose 2″ of clearance? I have a TRD Pro, so its NON-KDSS. Is there a NON-KDSS option, or is this one size fits all?

J Bones
J Bones
July 15, 2020 3:19 pm
Reply to  Richard Kroll

I think it works with both KDSS and non-KDSS but check with Jason or Justin at RSG to be sure (720-519-3300). The folks at RSG told me about 1″ less clearance and I think this extra room behind the skid becomes more critical for running a 3″+ lift that RSG frequently installs where the wheel travel is far greater than stock 4Runners. In that case, ground clearance would not be an issue. Back story is that I put this skid on my stock 4Runner Trail w/ KDSS and was disappointed to measure only 7.5 inches of ground clearance. I then… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by J Bones
July 15, 2020 8:11 pm
Reply to  J Bones

Thanks for the support and running our products and answering questions!

– Jason

July 15, 2020 8:10 pm
Reply to  Richard Kroll

Hello! Our skid plate is designed for use on modified suspension vehicles which usually includes a front differential drop kit that relocates the front differential down lower from the stock position which putting a skid plate underneath lowers the ground clearance a little.

June 15, 2020 8:28 am

Thank you for this Great review! Title of the post says the product is one piece engine+transmission skid plate but in the RSG website, nowhere on there says it’s engine+transmission skid plate. Does it cover the full transmission? How long is the skid plate? THANKS!!

June 13, 2020 12:25 pm

I would have liked to see the oil filter and drain plug access.

June 16, 2020 5:01 pm
Reply to  Lost-Again


The skid has both access points.
Oil filter access door under the logo and there’s a hole for the drain plug.

Tom in SoCal
Tom in SoCal
June 10, 2020 1:52 pm

Hey thanks for the article – looks great! Do you recall what the lead time is for these? Also any issues with KDSS equipped Gen5 models?

Jason @ RSG
Jason @ RSG
June 11, 2020 9:57 am
Reply to  Tom in SoCal

We currently have them in stock ready to ship!

June 16, 2020 4:29 pm
Reply to  Jason @ RSG

Jason, does the skid plate allow for the central front lift point?

June 9, 2020 2:50 pm

Another one well covered my guy. Any idea when RSG plans to launch their t-case skid or if they are going to at all? Thanks.

Jason @ RSG
Jason @ RSG
June 11, 2020 10:00 am
Reply to  Dax

We’re working on the transfer case skid as we speak.. Not 100% on a release date at this time.

Scott Swartzbaugh
Scott Swartzbaugh
June 9, 2020 5:16 am

Hey Brenan, great write up. I have a question (that RSG might need to answer), when I looked up the skid plate online, it’s only for the 2014+ models. Any insight as to why it wouldn’t fit 2010-2013 4Runners?

Ryan Gibbons
Ryan Gibbons
June 9, 2020 11:10 am

I’ve seen this before… even Toyota says that their own TRD skid plate won’t fit the 10-13 models, but we took a chance and it fits ours just fine. The only difference I can see is between KDSS and non-KDSS, but that’s about it.

Jason @ RSG
Jason @ RSG
June 11, 2020 10:01 am

We’ve never tried it on an OG 5th Gen, my guess is that it works.

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