Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,288 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A few months ago I saw a highly modified '08 FJ with an OEM Toyota aluminum rear skid plate, covering the entire area under the rear cargo compartment. I had never heard of the existence of a "factory" rear skid plate, and had never seen any discussion or photos of this part on any FJ forum. As far as I can tell, these were installed only on a limited number of 2008 TTSE's, but I don't know if they were "port-installed" or dealer installed.

All FJ's distributed in North America have two emission control components (charcoal canister and canister filter) mounted under the floor of the cargo area, just behind the rear axle. These plastic components are completely exposed and have absolutely no protection from rocks or kicked-up branches. After I learned that the replacement cost of these components was very close to $1,000 (list), I thought it might be a good idea to install one of these skid plates on my '14 Iceberg.

I bought a new skid plate kit through eBay, but found a problem during installation. On the '14 (and probably the '13) models, the ECU for the two-speed fuel pump is attached to the LH frame rail, just behind the frame's rear crossmember.

The front of the skid plate is attached to a new steel-channel crossmember that gets mounted between the frame rails with two heavy U-brackets. Unfortunately, the fuel pump ECU is located right where the LH crossmember bracket needs to mount. So, the ECU needs to be relocated to clear the bracket. Since the ECU wiring harness is only about 10" long, the options for relocating the ECU are pretty limited unless you want to rework the harness also. It's got to clear all possible axle movement, as well as some limited movement of the body relative to the frame, while at the same time being as protected as possible from trail damage. Given the JF's fording capability, I can't believe that Toyota didn't locate this critical component up inside the cab somewhere.

Eventually I decided to move the ECU up and forward slightly, and fabricated two new brackets to allow it to be mounted directly to the inner face of the frame rail. I installed (4) #10-32 RivNuts in the frame, which provided a more secure and vibration-free mounting scheme than the original setup, which used only two screws.

Here's the skidplate installed:


Here are the $1K worth of plastic emission control boxes under the cargo area:


Here is the skid plate itself (made in Canada, eh?):


Here is the skid plate label, attesting to the fact that it's a genuine Toyota part, crafted somewhere in Canada:


And here's the skid plate with its part number. Is "3 51 07" the date code, indicating the 3rd day, 51st week of '07 ? This seems appropriate for an accessory intended to be installed on 2008 TTSE models:


Here is the fuel pump ECU in its original location, mounted on a bracket that's bolted to the bottom of the LH frame rail. The ECU is mounted to the bracket on only one edge, using two screws, and is not attached to the inner face of the frame rail in any way. Note the ECU position in relationship to the welded rear crossmember immediately to its right:


Here is the original ECU bracket, which in my opinion provided a less-than-optimum "edge mount" for the ECU:


Here is the ECU with the new steel mounting brackets installed:


Here are the (4) new RivNuts installed in the LH frame rail, which allow the ECU to be moved forward, rotated 90 degrees, and mounted directly to the face of the frame rail. This is actually a more protected location than the original bracket provided. Also shown is the new crossmember bracket (with white label on it) to the left of the RivNuts:


Here is the ECU in its new location, temporarily secured by some Phillips screws. I'll use stainless-steel socket-head cap screws for final mounting.


And a close-up:


Here is the new crossmember that the front edge of the plate is bolted to:


The sides of the plate are secured to the underside of the frame rails; here's the RH side, same attachment is used on the left:


Finally, this is all that is visible of the skidplate from the rear:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
826 Posts
Very clean and detailed work.........looks great thus far!
 

·
Wanderlust
Joined
·
4,154 Posts
...
All FJ's from 2010 onward have two emission control components (charcoal canister and canister filter) mounted under the floor of the cargo area, just behind the rear axle. These plastic components are completely exposed and have absolutely no protection from rocks or kicked-up branches. After I learned that the replacement cost of these components was very close to $1,000 (list), I thought it might be a good idea to install one of these skid plates on my '14 Iceberg...
Nice detailed post. Just want to clarify that all FJ's for North American market since MY2007 have the emission control (charcoal and filter) canisters. :cheers:
Edit: added photo of my 2007 FJ cargo area with the two canisters.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
672 Posts
I am subscribing to this thread. I also have the aluminum rear skid plate still to be installed in my 2014 FJ. Since I encountered this issue of the ECU needing to be relocated, my install is still pending. Thanks for this information. Would really appreciate seeing more photos and your description of the install.

And my first question: you did drill those 4 holes in the frame, am I correct? And the basis of such is your fabricated mounting brackets?

That I need to have alternatives if any.

More power! Regards.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,711 Posts
A few months ago I saw a highly modified '08 FJ with an OEM Toyota aluminum rear skid plate, covering the entire area under the rear cargo compartment. I had never heard of the existence of a "factory" rear skid plate, and had never seen any discussion or photos of this part on any FJ forum.
...
I bought a new skid plate kit through eBay, but found a problem during installation. On the '14 (and probably the '13) models, the ECU for the two-speed fuel pump is attached to the LH frame rail, just behind the frame's rear crossmember.
Are you sure this is a factory part, meant for the rear of a US-spec FJ? Maybe it's an armor plate for the optional secondary gas tank that they put in this spot on non-US FJ's? It's possible that somebody in another country made it for theirs, but I doubt that this is a factory part meant for our trucks. The fact that it doesn't bolt right up is the biggest red flag in my book.

Ricochet Offroad makes a rear bumper skid for our trucks, which (as a former owner of one) is great protection for the stock bumper. But I've never seen anything like what you linked here for a US-spec truck.

All FJ's from 2010 onward have two emission control components (charcoal canister and canister filter) mounted under the floor of the cargo area, just behind the rear axle. These plastic components are completely exposed and have absolutely no protection from rocks or kicked-up branches. After I learned that the replacement cost of these components was very close to $1,000 (list), I thought it might be a good idea to install one of these skid plates on my '14 Iceberg.
I've only ever seen or heard of one of these charcoal canisters being damaged while offroading, and it happened right after I took this photo of Beach Cruiser on Spring Creek:



And that ^^^ was a total fluke. Thing is, it would take the absolute perfect rock/stick etc to reach up in that spot behind the differential and do damage here. The frame rails protect that area on the side, the bumper on the back, the rear diff on the front. There's so much air under there that it's high enough for me to sit up under the truck while I'm installing a diff skid or the trailer wiring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,288 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Are you sure this is a factory part, meant for the rear of a US-spec FJ? Maybe it's an armor plate for the optional secondary gas tank that they put in this spot on non-US FJ's? It's possible that somebody in another country made it for theirs, but I doubt that this is a factory part meant for our trucks. The fact that it doesn't bolt right up is the biggest red flag in my book.
It's a genuine Toyota OEM skidplate, Part Number PT212-35073.

It SHOULD bolt up perfectly on ALL year model FJ's except the '14 (and probably the '13), which have the fuel pump ECU mounted where one of the skid plate brackets needs to be installed. So, they are a direct bolt-on fit for 2007-2012 years. TRDParts4U has a few in stock, and there are a few still available through eBay.

The shot-blasted, silver anodized finish on the aluminum skid plate itself is absolutely identical with the finish on the current TRD aluminum front skid plate.

And, the skid plate kit came in a very large Toyota box, with the original Toyota P/N label on it, so there is no question that its a genuine Toyota part.

It's apparently just a very rare item, with little information available on the web. The production tooling required to fabricate the skid plate itself must have been very expensive; it's a very large piece of 5mm thick aluminum with a complex shape that could only have been formed with a large die set in a large press.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,288 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
What did that plate cost, test?
Is that you relocation bracket design?
The complete skid plate kit is currently $325 on eBay, including shipping.

I fabbed the brackets from .50" x .50" x .125" CRS angle, then added multiple coats of primer and matte black enamel, oven-baked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Are you sure this is a factory part, meant for the rear of a US-spec FJ? Maybe it's an armor plate for the optional secondary gas tank that they put in this spot on non-US FJ's? It's possible that somebody in another country made it for theirs, but I doubt that this is a factory part meant for our trucks. The fact that it doesn't bolt right up is the biggest red flag in my book.

Ive got the rear skid. It came factory on my 2008 Trail Teams. I believe it was only an option on the 07-08 fj's. Its a direct fit on the older models.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
753 Posts
What did that plate cost, test?

FJ Cruiser Rear Skid Plate PT212-35073

Description from the TRDParts4u site:

FJ Cruiser Rear Skid Plate (PT212-35073)

This is the special edition rear skid plate which came on a few Trail Team FJ's back in 2008. They can be used with only the factory trailer hitch # PT228-60060.
These are NOT compatible with the aftermarket or dealer installed hitches that hang below the rear bumper.

This part fits the following vehicles:
Toyota: FJ Cruiser 2007 - 2009

List Price: $520.11
Our Price: $375.23
You Save: $144.88 (28%)​
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,711 Posts
It's a genuine Toyota OEM skidplate, Part Number PT212-35073.

It bolts up perfectly on ALL year model FJ's except the '14 (and probably the '13), which have the fuel pump ECU mounted where one of the skid plate brackets needs to be installed. So, they are a direct bolt-on fit for 2007-2012 years. TRDParts4U has a few in stock, and there are a few still available through eBay.
Understood, thanks for the clarification :bigthumb:.

So the mounting points: bumper in the back, side frame rails on the sides, frame cross-member in the front.

We should get a few people to verify the location of that fuel pump component that's blocking your install for each model year to get an exact answer on which years this thing will fit on. Based on your install, how hard would it be to redesign that mounting bracket around the ECU and charcoal canister for the current truck? This seems like the kind of thing where they just moved stuff around and didn't test this part for compatability.

I wonder if Toyota made thousands of these expecting higher demand and then sold hardly any...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,288 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Understood, thanks for the clarification :bigthumb:.

So the mounting points: bumper in the back, side frame rails on the sides, frame cross-member in the front.

We should get a few people to verify the location of that fuel pump component that's blocking your install for each model year to get an exact answer on which years this thing will fit on. Based on your install, how hard would it be to redesign that mounting bracket around the ECU and charcoal canister for the current truck? (snip)
At the rear, the skid plate mounts to a formed and gusseted plate that in turn is bolted to the bumper.

Toyota released a technical document highlighting the differences between the 2012 and 2013 FJs, and that is the first mention of the 2-speed fuel pump that I can find. So, I am assuming that only the '13 and '14 models have the fuel pump ECU that would require relocation.

My first approach was to try and design an ECU bracket similar to the original Toyota bracket, but just moved forward a few inches. However, there aren't any additional weld nuts along the bottom of the frame that would (easily) allow this, and to make a plate that was gusseted or reinforced to provide adequate stiffness would have taken a lot of cutting, forming, and welding. I'll post a photo of the original bracket later tonight.

The dual-bracket approach was relatively easy to fabricate, provided a much more secure and vibration-free mounting scheme (4 screws vs 2), moved the ECU up into a more protected location, and eliminated a bracket hanging down below the bottom of the frame rail.

One observation: the Toyota frame rails are extremely hard material. When marking the holes for the RivNuts, a large, sharp automatic centerpunch left a barely detectable impression that needed to be deepened with a several heavy hits with a solid center punch and a hammer. I used brand-new premium-quality US-made drill bits, and it sounded like I was trying to drill through a file, very "crispy", with tiny chips generated. The material was far too hard to generate a typical spiral chip that you get when drilling aluminum or soft steel. I sequentially used four different bit diameters to get the RivNut holes to final size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,088 Posts
FJ Cruiser Rear Skid Plate PT212-35073

Description from the TRDParts4u site:

FJ Cruiser Rear Skid Plate (PT212-35073)

This is the special edition rear skid plate which came on a few Trail Team FJ's back in 2008. They can be used with only the factory trailer hitch # PT228-60060.
These are NOT compatible with the aftermarket or dealer installed hitches that hang below the rear bumper.

This part fits the following vehicles:
Toyota: FJ Cruiser 2007 - 2009

List Price: $520.11
Our Price: $375.23
You Save: $144.88 (28%)​
Thank you, I have an aftermarket hitch on my 2010. I bought it from Toyota but realized that it was not the OEM hitch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,088 Posts
One observation: the Toyota frame rails are extremely hard material. When marking the holes for the RivNuts, a large, sharp automatic centerpunch left a barely detectable impression that needed to be deepened with a several heavy hits with a solid center punch and a hammer. I used brand-new premium-quality US-made drill bits, and it sounded like I was trying to drill through a file, very "crispy", with tiny chips generated. The material was far too hard to generate a typical spiral chip that you get when drilling aluminum or soft steel. I sequentially used four different bit diameters to get the RivNut holes to final size.
High carbon hardened steel I'd imagine. Commercial truck frames I've worked on very often have a placard not to weld to the frame because it will ruin the heat treatment and weaken the frame members.

More pressure and slower tool speed. It must be like drilling stainless steel. Lots of cooling fluid (water, antifreeze, oil, WD -40 or cutting oil...

I once ran a 2" hole saw through 3" of hard steel on drill press @16RPM. It only took one blade to cut it, but it took several hours and the supervisors never thought I could get it done. I save the day with that though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,085 Posts
Great find and write up FJtest. The details are very well thought out.

Never have heard of this before and I had a 2008 TT.

What is the next mod?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,288 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Great find and write up FJtest. The details are very well thought out.

Never have heard of this before and I had a 2008 TT.

What is the next mod?
Five BFG KO2's are waiting for their Method NVs at the local Discount Tire, and an ARB compressor, a pair of Bilstein 5100 adjustables, and auxiliary transmission and PS coolers are sitting on my workbench. Just not enough time ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,288 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Nice detailed post. Just want to clarify that all FJ's for North American market since MY2007 have the emission control (charcoal and filter) canisters. QUOTE]

Thanks! I corrected the original post.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,085 Posts
Five BFG KO2's are waiting for their Method NVs at the local Discount Tire, and an ARB compressor, a pair of Bilstein 5100 adjustables, and auxiliary transmission and PS coolers are sitting on my workbench. Just not enough time ...
Yep, you have a few days of work ahead of you.

I have done the ARB. Mounting was my biggest challenge.

Did you do the twin?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
924 Posts
Looks good on there, great job!

One question, where does the trailer plug for the factory hitch remount, I assume it would be accessible through one of the small square holes?

thanks
Shawn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,288 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Looks good on there, great job!

One question, where does the trailer plug for the factory hitch remount, I assume it would be accessible through one of the small square holes?

thanks
Shawn
Yes, the trailer connector gets relocated above the skid plate, and mounts on a new bracket that orients it vertically over the square opening on the LH side of the plate. Your trailer's connector plugs straight up into the vehicle's connector.

This is a much more protected location than was provided by the bracket supplied with the factory hitch/wiring harness kit.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top