Feature Friday: 8 Front Skid Plate Setups For 5th Gen 4Runner

C4 Fabrication Skid Plates on 5th Gen 4Runner

We Asked 8 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner Owners What Aftermarket Front Skid Plate They’re Running & What They Like Most About It: Here’s What They Said!

This Week’s Topic: Aftermarket Front Skid Plates

Welcome back to another Feature Friday! If you missed last week’s FF, we looked at winch options for the 4Runner. This week, we will be looking at several aftermarket front skid plate options for the 5th Gen 4Runner.

Obviously, getting a full skid plate package is the most effective way to protect the underbelly of your 4Runner. The only problem with this is that it can get a bit pricey. A full skid plate package will easily creep into the $1K+ range depending on the material and brand. If you are off-roading on a budget, then going with only a front skid plate replacement is the best bang for your buck in terms of undercarriage protection.

The OEM front skid plate on the 5th Gen 4Runner is mediocre at best and more suited for very mild off-roading. Your factory skid plate likely won’t cut it for anything technical. Upgrading to an aftermarket front skid plate offers much better undercarriage front-end protection.

An aftermarket front skid plate will help protect the front crossmember, oil pan, front differential, and in some cases, bits of your transmission. In comparison, the OEM thin sheet of stamped steel barely protects anything and won’t withstand bigger hits on obstacles.

Proper aftermarket front skid plates range in price from $250-$600+. While not cheap, that’s much less than full underbelly protection. It’s a worthwhile investment as it only takes one big hit on a trail obstacle to ruin something underneath, far outweighing the cost of a skid plate.

If you need several more options than listed below, then take a look at our complete guide to 5th Gen 4Runner skid plates.

As always, feel free to DM the owners on IG to ask any additional questions about their setup if needed.


Top Products Featured:

1. Sean Migoné (@mig_rnr) – RCI Off-Road

5th Gen 4Runner with RCI Aluminum Front Skid Plate

Skid Plate Details

  • Model: Front Skid | Aluminum
  • Price: $420

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

This skid plate is a direct replacement for the OEM TRD Skid plate. You can either choose 1/8” Steel or 3/4” aluminum. I chose aluminum because of its low weight. Most of my off-roading does not involve anything like rock crawling, so I knew that aluminum would be more than enough to protect the bottom of my rig for overlanding and the trails I ride.

I live in Florida, so any type of steel here that isn’t protected will rust very quickly. Aluminum was my first choice because of this. RCI has been around for a while, the quality, and look of this skid are top-notch. Also, having access doors for oil and filter changes adds to its appeal. I actually purchased the complete skid set up and I’m super happy with it.

2. Jon Gangloff (@trd.jon) – Car Trim Home (CTH)

Cavalry Blue 5th Gen 4Runner with Car Trim Home TRD Pro Style Skid Plate

Skid Plate Details

  • Model: “TRD PRO” Skid Plate | Aluminum
  • Price: $250

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

I like that this skid plate is essentially the same as the TRD Pro skid plate that came with my 4Runner, but with some much welcomed added features. My skid plate from 2018 did not come with the red lettering like newer model TRD Pro 4Runners do. This front skid plate by CTH already comes with red lettering to allow the TRD lettering to truly stand out.

The second feature is the addition of the oil filter cover plate, which allows me to access the oil filter with ease vs. taking off the whole skid plate for a simple oil change. If any of you have taken off an OEM TRD skid plate, you know how much of a pain in the butt it is to get back on without stripping bolts.

3. Kate Hatch (@thekateoutdoors_) – RSG Metal Works

RSG Metal Works Front Skid Plate For 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner

Skid Plate Details

  • Model: Front Skid Plate | Stainless Steel & Powder Coated
  • Price: $600

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

The RSG skid plate functions very well for front-end protection. The skid plate was straightforward to install and looks great. RSG’s craftsmanship is excellent, and it can take a beating.

The installation was simple as it uses the factory mounting points and requires no drilling. RSG also gets bonus points for the removable piece over the oil pan. If you live in Colorado, you can pick it up for free!

4. Rich Dorsey (@tn_patriot) – LFD Off-Road

5th Gen 4Runner with LFD Off-Road Aluminum Front Skid Plate

Skid Plate Details

  • Model: Front Skid | Aluminum
  • Price: $350

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

My aluminum front skid from LFD Off-Road is paired with their steel transmission and transfer-case skid plates. I used to have the steel LFD Off-Road skid plate but went aluminum to reduce weight.

I like how this skid plate is strong yet light. It’s easy to change the oil with the access panels and made by a good group of guys in North Carolina. Despite being aluminum, it’s survived trips to Windrock with ease. 

5. Kevin Huynh (@panda_t4r) – RCI Off-Road

5th Gen 4Runner with RCI Front Engine Steel Skid Plate & King Shocks

Skid Plate Details

  • Model: Engine Skid Plate | Steel
  • Price: $400

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

What I like about the skid plate is how simple yet protective it is. The full steel skid ensures that everything under the engine will be protected. The best thing about the RCI skids is the cut-out for the oil drain plug and the oil filter!

6. Philip Sandlof (@psandlof) – LFD Off-Road

LFD Off-Road Front Skid Plate For 5th Gen 4Runner

Skid Plate Details

  • Model: Front Skid | Standard Width | Steel
  • Price: $250

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

This skid has held up to three years of abuse. From East Coast rock crawling, to family beach outings, and all of the way to Moab, Utah. The skid plate is definitely showing its battle scars but it has yet to fail me.

7. Ryan Lau (@4runnersaurus) – CBI

5th Gen 4Runner With CBI Front Skid Plate Aluminum

Skid Plate Details

  • Model: Front Skid | Aluminum
  • Price: $640

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

I have not taken it easy on this skid plate. I probably drive a little faster than I should through ruts and definitely have a few love taps on it. So far, I only see paint scraps and deeper gouges in the aluminum, but not actual deformations in the skid plate.

I really like the extra wide front coverage of the CBI skid plates, and appreciate all of the water drainage holes. The only downside to CBI products is that with living in the PNW, freight shipping is stupidly expensive. Luckily, I found mine on a local sale through OfferUp. If you don’t mind the shipping charges or find a killer deal, CBI products are a no-brainer!

8. Brenan Greene (@Trail4R) – C4 Fabrication

Moab 4Runner - C4 Fabrication Skid Plate

Skid Plate Details

  • Model: Front Skid | Steel
  • Price: $640

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

Jade (our 2016 TEP) has been through quite a few trails including many of the trail systems in Telluride and Ouray; Black Bear Pass, and Imogene pass among others. Here she is on Hells Gate about mid-way through before Hells Revenge. Although we didn’t hit much on some of the South West Colorado trails, the C4 Fabrication steel skid plate took a massive hit ramping up a rock at the entrance of Hells Revenge (you can see that reel over on my IG). The skid plate does have a pretty deep dent from the knock but nothing that has affected the integrity of the plate overall. After our trip out to Colorado and Utah, I dropped the skid plate, re-painted it because I wanted to change the color, and re-mounted it. Everything bolted back up into place just fine as it did from the box. This is the second 5th Gen 4Runner I have run C4 Fabrication skid plates on and both sets have survived everything I’ve needed them to. Highly recommend C4 Fabrication as do many in the community.

Final Thoughts

5th Gen 4Runner With LFD Off-Road Front Skid Plate & LFD Front Bumper

Which aftermarket skid plate are you running on your 4Runner? Are you in the market for one? If so, I hope this his week’s Feature Friday article helped you out with your future purchase. Leave us a comment letting us know what brand you went with and why.

We want readers to get inspired by a variety of rigs/products. Submit your build for Feature Friday here to get featured. Next week we will be showcasing rigs with Window Tint, to help inspire your future tint purchase. If you would like to submit your build for next week, include your setup details and an awesome photo that shows it off.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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1 year ago

I ran RCI aluminum for a few years and they were great but the first time I hit a big rock, they folded. I have since switched to C4 steel plates and have also hit a couple big rocks with those. Regardless of who you go with, if you actually see rocks, just go with steel. The more you explore, the more you see intense terrain and the more intense terrain you see, the more big rocks you encounter. Do the math, eventually everyone upgrades to steel.

1 year ago

Best skids is LFD. well built and the transfer case skid unlike anyone else’s.

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