Reinforced belly pan - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-10-2012, 06:01 AM
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Reinforced belly pan

I've damaged a few belly pans on some of my vehicles before and when I looked at the one on my RAV, it seems flexible enough to resist the tough winters we have here North of the border; I'm only worried that it may break when backing up from hard packed/iced snow as the back edge of the pan can act as a scoop, bend and break. I searched the forum but I did not find anything.

Any of you experienced damage to the plastic OEM belly pan? Is it worth to get an aftermarket metal one? I don't go off road but enjoy parking in snow banks where the average Joe would get stuck

2012 Sport V6 Classic Silver no option
1999 Lexus RX300 Pearl White base gone
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Last edited by Freedom55; 11-10-2012 at 06:01 AM. Reason: Typo
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 08:55 AM
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I guess I should have used "skid plate" in the title as I found a thread on it but it seems that only one supplier has one in North America, Rasta and they are expensive. Why are no REAL skid plates available?

I don't need the bull bar with the front skid plate which is available in the U.S.. Perhaps I will just reinforce the existing soft plastic pan myself with a sheet of galvanized steel and a few pop rivets.

For the record, if my memory serves right, my 1972 Corolla had the factory (slightly rusted) steel belly pan with a few slots for cooling and it never failed even driving through huge snow banks; I put two 60 lb bags of gravel in the trunk to increase traction in winter as this was the only way back then to increase traction if you did not have chains, FWD or 4WD/AWD the latter two not being very common back then...

2012 Sport V6 Classic Silver no option
1999 Lexus RX300 Pearl White base gone
1972 Corolla 1200 Yellow 4 speed manual long gone
Others too many to mention!
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 05:11 PM
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From my experiance with belly pans/skid plates, it is not eh plate itself that rippes off. It is the attachement points. I have ripped off most stock plastic splash shields in other vehicles doing exactly what you discribed.

The RAV4's sstock skid is pretty well tucked up in there. We'll she how she does this winter. Might conside making on when/if I rip this one off.

2012 4wd i4 3rd row
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 01:33 AM
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I successfully ripped the plastic belly pan loose while backing up in snow so deep I had two friends pushing me backwards. It ended up laying on the snow in front of the RAV still connected by the front 3-4 attachment tabs now bent forward.
To me a skid plate is a heavy duty metal or composite plate made to eat rocks. This plastic thingy is what I'd call a dust cover. It now hangs on a hook in my garage (which also makes oil changes easier).

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#5 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 08:02 AM
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I call it an engine splashguard...not really designed for my snow country but Toyota is not the only one as it's a general thing across most manufacturers.

I guess what I'm looking for is somewhere between a soft plastic belly pan and a real McCoy skid plate for off-road...that's why I think I will reinforce the OEM one and/or attach it towards the engine a bit more. It's kind of loose near the reinforcement for the floor jack.

2012 Sport V6 Classic Silver no option
1999 Lexus RX300 Pearl White base gone
1972 Corolla 1200 Yellow 4 speed manual long gone
Others too many to mention!
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#6 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 08:14 AM
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The engine under cover aids in improving aerodynamics. Mine sags in spots.

2009 V6 4wd Base
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#7 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom55 View Post
I call it an engine splashguard...not really designed for my snow country but Toyota is not the only one as it's a general thing across most manufacturers.

I guess what I'm looking for is somewhere between a soft plastic belly pan and a real McCoy skid plate for off-road...that's why I think I will reinforce the OEM one and/or attach it towards the engine a bit more. It's kind of loose near the reinforcement for the floor jack.
Agreed, the front tucks in nicely so you'd have to do real damage to force it loose.
The back is just waiting to grab something that would get that high. About the only situation one could get into and have to back out of short of a crash is deep snow. The same would be true on many brands. What's unique to the RAV4 is the vapor recovery module mounted exposed under the left footwell. I'd put more effort into protecting it than the plastic splashguard.
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#8 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 09:43 AM
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The engine under cover aids in improving aerodynamics.
Yeah, I thought of that - and keeping salt spray off the drivetrain & supports. I really should resurrect it and put it back on for winter.
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#9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 06:26 PM
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Thanks for the advice Dr. Dyno I'll have a look soon again under the vehicle and assess the situation!

2012 Sport V6 Classic Silver no option
1999 Lexus RX300 Pearl White base gone
1972 Corolla 1200 Yellow 4 speed manual long gone
Others too many to mention!
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#10 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 06:51 AM
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Yesterday, I crawled under my RAV as I was too lazy (and sick with a cold) to drive it up my ramps and I attached the belly pan at 3 different points using existing drainage holes. A wide zip tie on the left rear side, a modified black rubber bungee cord near the front jacking point with ss bolt, self-locking nut and washers and a smaller bungee cord somewhere between the first two spots! Not pretty, but very functional as the edges are now curling up a bit so I'm confident it will be just fine.

I did not take pics as I did not have enough room, but if I drive on my ramps one day, I will post some.

Dr. Dyno, my vapor recovery module is covered with a black plastic shield and next to it there is a metal cover to protect hoses and other stuff. I did not take the covers off but perhaps this is a recent modification Toyota decided to make (2009+?). Seems quite sturdy to me...What year is your RAV?

2012 Sport V6 Classic Silver no option
1999 Lexus RX300 Pearl White base gone
1972 Corolla 1200 Yellow 4 speed manual long gone
Others too many to mention!
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