Car Trim Home TRD Skid Plate Review & Step-By-Step Install For 5th Gen 4Runner
One of the most important things to do to prolong the life of our 4Runner’s is to protect them!
There are several ways to do this, such as regular maintenance, proper driver training, and installing armor for when you’re off-road. In this article, I’ll be highlighting a newer option for a skid plate from Car Trim Home.
They now offer an imitation TRD Pro skid plate for one of the best prices I have seen. It is an aluminum plate, finished with a grey paint job, and comes with red TRD letters, just like the original. The big difference though is that they offer two styles: the standard style you would find on the TRD Pro and a KDSS version. This allows those who have KDSS the protection and styling of the OEM style plate without having to take a grinder to a $300 skid plate.
I’m glad Car Trim Home kept this modification in mind.
Find It Online
Out of the box, it looks almost identical to an OEM TRD skid plate. The Car Trim Home plate is ¼” thick aluminum like the OEM one. The finish is very similar in color and texture as well. The main difference is that the sides are cut down to about ¾” tall to allow room for the KDSS.
Another minor difference is the holes in the letter cutouts, which essentially force you to put in the letter inserts, unlike the OEM skid plate which can be run without them. The quality seems on par with the OEM skid plate so far. I haven’t put it to the test out in the field, but the design and material seem pretty solid.
The Car Trim Home skid plate is very easy to install. Depending on your 4Runner trim level, you may have different stock skid plates to remove. My SR5 had a plastic guard and a very thin skid plate to remove.
Step 1. Remove Plastic Guard
The plastic guard has six bolts holding in place. (Mine only had five so I think the prior owner lost one.) Remove the bolts and set aside the guard.
Step 2. Remove Stock Skid Plate
The stock skid plate has 4 bolts that need to be removed. Make sure to hold onto the skid plate so that it doesn’t swing down onto you when the bolts release.
Step 3. Remove Frame Support Bolts
The new skid plate will bolt into where there were already bolts before. You’ll need to remove the four bolts on the frame supports. You’ll have four new bolts going in their place. And don’t worry, the frame supports don’t move after the bolts are removed.
Step 4. Install New Skid Plate
The new skid plate comes with four new bolts, washers, and two spacers.
Two of the bolts are slightly longer, those will go in the front, just under the TRD logo. The two shorter bolts and spacers will go in the back. The photos on their website show the bolts and spacers on the front location, but with the bolts, they provided it wouldn’t have fit in that orientation.
I really like the look of the TRD Pro skid plate. With the Car Trim Home skid plate being an almost identical match for a better price, it was a no-brainer. I’m still getting the same protection and aesthetics of the Toyota skid plate, but saving at least $30-50 depending on what prices you can find for the OEM version.
It’s also really nice that they offer two styles, with a version for those with KDSS. Unfortunately, I don’t have KDSS to vouch for the fitment, but the fact that you can get the “OEM look” without the hassle of measuring and cutting is a major bonus for choosing Car Trim Home’s skid plate. I also thought the letter inserts benefitted from having the pegs and cutouts. It allows for a “straightforward” fit, but it also helped when I painted the letters.
Personally, I didn’t want bright red letters, so the pegs kept the letters up off the cardboard when I sprayed them, keeping the fresh paint from sticking on the visible parts. Overall, if you’re looking for an upgraded skid plate, this one is at a great price, has the OEM look, and provides options regardless of your 4Runner’s trim level.