Project 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner: Part 2 – Got Armor?


“Clearance is NOT the most important thing under our trucks: smooth sliding surfaces are.  No flat vertical surfaces to catch on like other skids. No holes for catching on. No exposted hardware to catch on. No welded bolt rings to catch on. Overlaps go in direction of driving, no catches designed in. We use flat head or carriage bolts. Use all factory mounting locations, with grade 10.9 metric or grade 5 SAE hardware. Stainless hardware is NOT as strong so not used for sliders. OK for skids, usually.”

Front skid: “Wide enough to protect the rad and condensor and all suspension adjustment points. The skid keeps adjusters from rock and obstacle damage and vents to mimic factory vents. Vertical slots so air flows in them, not laminar flow off horizontal slots. There is a removable door to allow access to oil filter. Edges formed upwards for greater support of weight and impact. Ties factory crossmembers together with formed fitted front mount. This plate provides MUCH thicker mounting points and support built in.”

Mid skid:  “attaches to factory threaded holes and has holes for prying CV shafts out of the differential. If you break an axle out on the trail, a pry bar can be inserted in the hole and the shaft removed without having to remove the skidplate. It stops halfway down the transmission where it bolts to the transfercase skid. BudBuilt split there to avoid the oversized/overweight shipping charges. It saves an average of $70 per set.”  

Transfer case skid: “Bolts to factory crossmember with spacer plates that help reinforce the skid where the side reinforcing lip cannot be there due to interference with the factory tubular braces. They also space the skid down to avoid rattling on the exhaust crossover pipe. Angles upward toward the gas tank skid for another smooth transition.” 

Crossmember: “(upper left) Made of 1/4″ thick wall DOM tubing for maximum strength.  Allows the whole vehicle to slam down on it without crushing.  Used with all materials for the skids as they need the extra support, esp the thinner steel and weaker aluminum.  Once again, you can see how smooth the transition over these skids is; even the bolts are smooth.  These skids intend to make an impact!”


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