The Cali Raised LED Catalytic Converter Shields Universal Protection For The 5th Gen (2014-2023) 4Runner: Install & Review
With the unfortunate spike in catalytic converter theft in recent years, it’s no wonder why the advent of catalytic converter shields has become necessary. Combine that with a lifted truck, and you’ve suddenly become a prime target.
The average cost, including labor, to replace 5th Gen 4Runner catalytic converters is around $2,000. At a fraction of that cost, the Cali Raised LED catalytic converter shields are probably a wise investment for your truck. That holds especially true if you live in an area that is prone to catalytic converter left.
While any metal can be cut through, these stout shields should change the minds of any potential thieves and make them move on. If your truck is not an easy target, chances are that you won’t have issues.
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- Cali Raised LED Catalytic Converter Shields (5th Gen 4Runner): Check Price
The shields are machined out of American 12-gauge 304 brushed stainless steel. This should ensure optimal cut and corrosion resistance once installed. They come unpainted, but in my opinion, the brushed stainless steel looks great out of the box. If you do decide to paint yours, be sure to use high-heat-resistant paint.
Catalytic converters generate a lot of heat when your vehicle is in use. Because of that, Cali Raised LED has included a ton of vent holes. These will ensure excellent heat dissipation and that your catalytic converters don’t overheat.
What I like most about these shields is their universal compatibility. Cali Raised LED states that they are compatible with 99% of skid plates on the market with regard to fitment. Best of all, they don’t actually require that you have aftermarket skid plates to install them. If you’re running the factory skid plates, these shields are still 100% bolt-on.
They install high and tight and are unobtrusive. Unless you’re intentionally looking under the truck (like a thief would), you won’t notice they’re there.
Cali Raised LED provides all necessary hardware, including tamper-resistant security bolts.
Note: The Cali Raised LED catalytic converter shields are only compatible with 5th Gen (14-23), V6, 4WD, A/T transmission 4Runners at this time.
To install the Cali Raised LED catalytic converter shields, you’ll only need a few simple tools and about 30 minutes.
- x2 14mm Wrench
- 14mm Socket & Ratchet
- Universal Screwdriver (That accepts bits)
- Bottle Jack (Optional)
Step 1. Remove Frame Crossbraces
There are (4) 14mm bolts for each cross-brace. Remove both the driver and passenger side braces.
Note: If you have full skid plates with a transmission skid plate, you may have already removed these. In this case, skip this step.
Step 2. Remove Transmission Crossmember Bolts
On each side of the vehicle, there are (2) long 14mm bolts that go through the transmission cross-member. You’ll need to use a 14mm wrench on the rear-facing side to hold the nut in place while you loosen the 14mm bolt from the front-facing side.
Note: You may need to use a bottle jack to help prop up the cross-member. Once you remove the first bolt, the cross-member may sag and force the bolt hole to become misaligned.
Step 3. Install Provided Bolts
Cali Raised LED provides (4) new bolts and washers, two for each side. Loosely install these bolts where the factory ones were removed. One flat washer and spacer should be on the front-facing side and one flat washer and nylon locking nut on the rear-facing side.
Step 4. Install Rubber Stopper
In each shield, there is a hole cut out in the corner. Cali Raised LED provides a rubber stopper to install into this hole to prevent any metal-on-metal contact with the frame that can cause rattling. It may help to use a small pick to get the rubber stopper through the hole.
Step 5. Position Cali Raised LED Catalytic Converter Shield
The shields have laser cutouts for their respective sides on the corner. They are designated as “D” for driver and “P” for passenger, respectively.
Make sure the loosely installed bolts are pushed as for forward as possible. The shield has two slots for the cross-member bolts that will slide down between the flat washer and spacer.
Step 6. Reinstall Crossbraces & Security Hardware
Replace the factory cross brace over the shield and use the included screwdriver bit to loosely install (2) security bolts into the frame. Leave these loose enough for final adjustments.
Note: If you have full skid plates with a transmission skid plate, you may no longer use these cross braces. In that case, just install the security bolts through the shield, and into the frame.
Step 7. Tighten Transmission Crossmember Bolts
Use two 14mm wrenches to fully tighten the new cross-member bolts and you’re all finished!
Note: The driver’s side has much less clearance due to the exhaust pipe hanger.
I definitely have more peace of mind when I leave my 4Runner parked in public now, especially in the city. Just like any personal property security measure, these probably aren’t full-proof. However, they would definitely slow down a thief, and that may just be enough to make them move on. Catalytic converter thefts are a game of speed, and these shields slow that process down considerably.
As the cherry on top, they also look awesome. This is totally unrelated, but I honestly enjoyed photographing these during the installation process.
The Cali Raised LED catalytic converter shields are stout, easy to install, look great, and are less than 10% of the cost of having to replace the actual catalytic converters; that’s a win-win in my book.
Just finished on a 2022. Regarding the length of the security screws…if you tighten the cross member bolts “loosely” (most of the way before contact to cross member), it helps hold the shield in place. Then get the security screws started without the rear OEM bolts on the cross braces installed. It is much easier to push up on the cross brace to align and start the rear OEM bolts than forcing the front end of the cross brace to align for security screws. Also, when installing the crossmember bolts you don’t need a jack to align the outer “tight” bolt – just use a screwdriver to lift the crossmember. This also makes removing the outer bolt a breeze. By the way, anyone know the torque specs on the bolts? I saw 53 ft-lbs for the crossmember bolts and 24 ft-lbs for the cross brace bolts, but would like confirmation.
I noticed you didn’t reinstall the frame crossbraces. Was that on purpose? Or did you put them on later?
I’m having rattling/vibration issues with the driver side cover, and the suggestion from Cali Raised was to lower the cover down some. But with the crossbraces in place, it’s difficult to gain enough clearance AND to rescues the crossbraces with the 2 bolts and 2 security screws.
Chuck B. is correct – with most (if not all) aftermarket transmission skid plates, you don’t reuse the factory braces.
Looks like he has an aftermarket trans skidplate that doesn’t use the braces.
Yup, screws for the fwd part of the brace are not long enough. They need to provide additional, longer hardware. Hopefully they will address this in future orders. Guess it’s my own fault for being an early adopter.
Good feedback! I didn’t reinstall the factory braces so I wasn’t aware of that.
If you start with the “security bolts” when reinstalling the crossbraces then you don’t need to go get longer ones
Heads up – these are shipping without the required transmission crossmember bolt spacers, and the “security bolts” on the forward part of the shield are at least 10mm too short. When you receive your order, make sure you have the 4 spacers. And go buy 4 M8 x 40mm x 1.25 thread pitch SS bolts to replace the “security bolts” that are too short.
Uh oh, I hope CR fixes that issue going forward!
So I guess I was the guinea pig. These DO FIT a 2WD despite being listed as only fitting 4WD. Chatted with Cali today and the reason it’s listed only for 4WD is that they’ve not tried yet to fit them on a 2WD. I installed them on my 2020 2WD and they fit perfect, aside from needing the security bolts replaced with 10mm longer bolts.
That’s awesome! Glad you were able to confirm that for 2WD owners 🤙
I sprayed mine with rustoleum truck bed liner. Now I’m worried about the heat cat converter generates. Should I be concerned?
Yeah, that’s a valid concern, I believe it’s advised that you use high-temperature-resistant paint since the cats get so hot.
any overheating issue so far?
does it rattles? I read review on Tacoma Cat shield and saw some over heating and rattling issue. Just wondering
Happy to report that I haven’t had any of those issues so far!
Thanks for the write-up! I ordered a set on Thursday. Question, where did the spacers go in Step 7? Are they between the shield and the cross-member? In the Final Thoughts image the shield looks to be flush with the cross-member.
I live in SoCal, so I’d rather be “safer than sorry” and put these on. These are certainly the most economical way (and stylish, sounds funny since it’s under the truck) for me to have a little piece of mind. Like you said at the beginning, it sucks that we even have to consider doing this.
Thanks for reading! The spacers in step 7 go between the shield and the cross member. The cross member has an indent and the spacers help the shield clear it.
Thank you Ryan! 🤙🏼
Dang where do you live? Sucks that you have to put that on.
I live just outside Eugene Oregon and the crime has been getting progressively worse. It’s not as bad as Portland and Seattle but with crime on the rise and general downtown chaos that happens after 9pm – it’s safe to say this is a no-brainer mod for me. Someone is always looking to make a quick buck – especially along major cities on I5. It sucks that we have to buy these things but its peace of mind where we live. I love Washington, grew up in Portland. Bummed that our cities are coming to this. Glad that Cali Raised made this though. It’s a really nice unit.
Did they defund the police up there.
Great writeup, I purchased the RCI cat guards to go with my trans skid because these were not offered at the time, but it’s nice to see a true bolt in option and I always support Cali Raised. Looks like a great product and a very easy install
Thanks! I hate that we even need these, but grateful these companies are giving us easy DIY install options.
Ryan, do you think these will work with CBI full plates? Do I need to drop middle plate to install these cat covers?
Hey Maxim, I think the CBI rear skid plate covers the cats so separate cat shields shouldn’t be needed in your case.