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
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.
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.
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 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
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
After you remove your skid and bottom filler plate, remove the transmission skid.
Step 4. 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
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
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
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
View from directly underneath the skid plate.
View from in between the skid plate and the bottom of the 4Runner.
Step 8. Double Check all Bolts
Once the skid plate is in place, retighten all bolts down.
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.