Whether you’re overlanding or rock crawling, adding underbody protection to your HiLux can be extremely beneficial to your experience, and it can be a lifesaver not just for you, but for your HiLux as well. Underbody protection is especially important if you’ve lifted your HiLux, as you’ve now made it more susceptible to damage. While HiLux does feature a stock bash plate, it is comically thin, so you shouldn’t expect to get much protection out of it. And what many people don’t realize, is that the radiator, driveline, and sump are all located on the underside of the HiLux, meaning that alongside the front, it’s a pretty important part of the HiLux you need to protect.
That being said, a HiLux bash plate offers a wide range of benefits for your vehicle, and it’s an affordable investment that can potentially save your life, and save you money that you’d otherwise have to spend on repairs in the long run. A HiLux bash plate can help absorb shock when riding in rough terrain, which improves your riding experience and safety.
Furthermore, bash plates protect your vehicle’s chassis from any damage. The bash plate is attached to the frame using bolts, and generally, you can easily unbolt the bash plate if you need access to the components of the structure. Bash plates can also cover the front underbody part of your vehicle where your steering components, gearbox and engine are, meaning they help preserve your entire vehicle.
Bash plates are typically made of aluminium or stainless steel. Aluminium bash plates are lighter in weight, but they are less durable than stainless steel plates. With that said, you’ll have to decide what matters more to you when picking between the two types. Some people prefer the extra protection from stainless steel, while others prefer the lightweight properties of aluminium. Regardless, both materials are extremely corrosion and rust resistant and you’re better off with either one than not having a bash plate at all.
To sum it up, bash plates can be an incredibly valuable investment for your HiLux if you’re venturing off the beaten trail, and even more so if you have installed a front-end suspension. They add to the overall safety and improve your riding experience dramatically. Additionally, they protect some of your HiLux’ most valuable parts which are located in front of and under the vehicle. In turn, you lose a little bit of clearance and add some extra weight.