One of the most annoying things about the Tundra is that you have to remove the factory skid plate every time you change the oil to access the oil filter. On our truck, we had lowered the front differential to take the stress off of our CV joints and we had to use spacers to slightly lower the skid plate for clearance. This made oil changes more annoying because we would have to fiddle with the spacers every time we changed the oil. To make things worse, we bashed the factory part when going off-road which bent it and made it harder to get the lash up of skid plate and spacers quickly on and off when changing oil. We turned to the folks of RCI Metal Works to get us a skidplate that made maintenance a lot easier as well as giving us much better protection for the expensive parts of the truck’s underside.
Our skidplate is made of 1/4″ thick 6061 Aluminum. You have the option of aluminum or steel when ordering. We selected aluminum because it is a lot lighter and doesn’t rust. Due to the light weight of the material, it can be made thicker to still offer good protection and strength. We have always been aware of excess weight on our truck as we have offroading friends who literally add over a thousand pounds of stuff on their trucks like full-coverage thick steel skidplates, super heavy-duty bumpers, guards, rail sliders, Overlanding stuff, and racks. This weight really hurts handling and performance and can make the truck so heavy, even serious off-road suspension can be overpowered.
The RCI skidplate fits 2007-2021 Tundras covers more than twice the area of the OEM plate and completely protects the power steering rack, front differential, front cross-member, engine, engine bay, and radiator. No part of the truck hangs lower than the skidplate assuring good protection of the truck’s undercarriage. You can buy an optional extension to cover the transmission and transfer case as well if you desire.
The bashed and battered stock skidplate only extends to about half of the engine and doesn’t cover the sump of the oil pan. We hadn’t even realized that we had hit it so many times in our off-road adventures! All the oil residue is from trying to just tilt it down to remove the oil filter instead of taking it all the way off, either way, it was making our oil changes take 4x longer than they should.