February 25, 2020 6 min read

When shopping for ways to protect the rig you're investing in, there are plenty of options out there, and plenty of things you need to think about. From skid plates to rock sliders, there are tons of products available that will provide protection while traversing difficult trails. Below is a list of common modifications and how they can help avoid costly damages. 

 

Skid Plates

 

Skid plates are an easy and affordable way to protect the most critical part of your truck: The engine. The factory skid plates on the 4Runner are flimsy and provide little to no protection while off-road, making it easy for unseen rocks and obstacles to puncture the underbelly of your engine, leading to thousands in repairs and an inconvenient end to your trail run. Skid plates also help on the pavement, as they protect the underbelly from any debris or shredded tires you may come in contact with. Not only does it protect your engine bay, it prevents foreign objects from entering and causing damage from below. 

After multiple redesigns and improvements, we’ve refined our skid plate design design to be built tough, and protect your engine and radiator supports from those unavoidable rocks. It’s one of the most important, easy, and affordable mods you can install to protect your investment. It features recessed mounting locations, preventing the bolts from getting sheared by rock impact. On top of that, it's CAD designed and laser cut to precision, so the fitment would be on the dot.

These RRW Skid plates even come in two options: 1/4” Aluminium (15lb), and 3/16” Steel (33lb), both laser cut and CNC formed. For heavier offroading, the steel plate is ideal, as it won't be as soft as aluminium, preventing rocks from deforming it after many impacts. For lighter offroading, the aluminium plate offers ample protection while staying light weight, at less than half the weight of steel. 

 

Rock Sliders

While offroading, you run into tight trails and tricky obstacles. Leaving the sides of your truck unprotected could lead to your rocker panels getting dinged up, your wheels being damaged/scratched, and even your rear end taking damage. When you're maneuvering through obstacles, sometimes it's hard to see where the rocks will end up, or where the rig will end up after going over said rocks. There's a good chance your car could angle towards the wall, smashing the door panels and causing tons of damage. Instead of asking whether you need rock sliders, you should be asking which ones are best for your 4Runner. 

The RRW bolt-on rock sliders for the 4Runner have taken countless months of research and development to perfect, and have been designed for ultimate protection. With a blend of box tubing where strength and rigidity are required, and round tubing where catch-less smooth slide-zones are required, these sliders are the product of multiple revisions. We've found the ideal design to provide structural integrity compared to non other. With each leg of the slider being gusseted for additional strength, and every angle on the slider being measured and tested, we created a tough product that will withstand countless impacts on the gnarliest of trails.

The slider also features a plated rear kickout, which will push your 4Runner away from obstacles you slide over, preventing them from rubbing up and damaging your rear wheels, or even your rear bumper. This is crucial for a rock slider as it provides the ability to reposition your vehicle without having to back off an obstacle. The kickout also doubles as a sidestep, helping with getting gear off the truck, or setting up that fancy rooftop tent you're thinking of getting. Built with heavy-duty (.120) steel tubing and 3/16” frame mounting plates, these sliders can be used as a hi-lift jack point anywhere on the main bar. 

 

 

Armored Bumper

The front end of the 4Runner can catch on rocks and damage the front bumper while offroading. With the stock approach angle, you're bound to come into contact with everything from brush and vegetation leaving scratches on the car, to rocks puncturing holes in that shiny new bumper. To prevent this, we've developed our 5th Gen 4Runner Stealth Bumpers:

Designed to maintain a sleek looking front end, the RRW stealth bumpers provide many of the offroad features you need on your rig, without adding the bulk that you don’t. Replacing your center valance, this bumper adds crucial protection while also maintaining the high-end aesthetics of the 4Runner. It also increases your front-end clearance and approach-angle, improving offroad capability.

Reinforced honeycomb structural plating helps avoid weighing down the front end while still providing the strength to protect against unforeseen impacts. The bumper also adds the ability to house a 20” light bar under the removable honeycomb protection plate, providing ample lighting on the darkest of nights. An optional top-hoop will add extra protection to the front grille, helping prevent vegetation scratching on the trails, and minimizing damage from wildlife collisions on the road. 

Meticulously designed and fabricated specifically for the 4Runner, this bumper takes into account everything your vehicle needs in a bumper: keeping it lightweight, additional lighting, built-in hidden winch mount, heavy duty clevis mounts, and providing the rugged protection you need on your adventures.

 

Upper Control Arms

While not normally considered a modification that will protect your 4Runner, the Upper Control Arms are a critical modification on any lifted truck. Using factory upper control arms with larger tires can cause rubbing issues, throw off your alignment, and restrict travel / articulation.

The RRW billet UCA is designed with a much stronger uniball, which increases travel by allowing more droop angle. This results in a drastically noticeable change in how plush your ride is, especially offroad. Adjustable rod ends also allow for greater caster and camber adjustments, solving common alignment problems with lifted vehicles. 

Not only are you getting more adjustment, travel, tire clearance, and a comfortable ride, you’re also getting a much stronger suspension component. These arms and dust caps are manufactured by CNC machining solid 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminium, which has a tensile strength of 42,000 psi — over twice the strength of regular 6061 aluminium. Combine that with all American-made steel components, and you get a UCA that’s built tough, and built to last. While not a modification that will protect your truck in impacts, this will extend the life of your tires, improve your performance off-road, and provide more suspension travel to conquer tougher trails. 

 

 

Seat Covers

With the exterior of your truck protected, you're going to start looking into protecting the interior. After all, that's where you spend most of your time, and where most of that dust on the trail will somehow end up. The cloth seats on a 4Runner are like magnets for dust and other particles, making it very costly and difficult to keep clean. Not to mention all the bacteria that can grow in the seat fibers! Whether it's the dust on the trails, or your kid's lunch all over the back seats, it's a good idea to upgrade your interior before it gets dirty. 

We’ve developed an OEM-replacement seat cover, that looks, feels, and performs, better than OEM. The seat covers are made with our SoftTouch synthetic leather, which isn't as porous like leather, so food or liquid that is spilled onto it can be easily wiped off. This makes our covers easier to clean and keep clean, without the need for specialized cleaning chemicals and supplies that end up becoming a clutter in your trunk.

 These covers make your seats more comfortable too. They’re lined with a medium-density foam, to provide additional comfort and insulation. Don’t worry about those occasional spills or stains, and enjoy the comfort of your interior the way you’ve always wanted it to be. The seats are available with multiple stitching colors as well, so you can add that custom touch and added value to your interior. 

You worked hard and spent quite a bit on your 4Runner, so it's smart to protect it for years to come. With the products listed above, you can prevent small accidents from costing you more than you'd expected, while also adding utility, ability, and a sleek rugged look to your 4Runner. Below is a link to our 4Runner products we discussed today, and you can use code 4X4DISCOUNT at checkout on any of these items for an additional little discount on top of the current sale pricing. 

 

Click here for the full 4Runner product line from Relations Race Wheels. 


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