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Old 04-04-2019, 06:06 PM
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After market skid plate suggestions

Surprised I couldn't find a thread after searching. I am wheeling more over rocks and want to begin protecting the undercarriage more. My transmission crossbar has been dented twice now and worried about oil pan next. I can't drop $1k right now so looking a base package that I can add on to. I was looking at quadratec aluminum system for $500 and the Evo Manufacturing for $420. So many choices I'm lost and wanted to see if others have recommendations.

Quadratec reviews seem like they don't hold up for those who offered. Evo seems like a PIA to install. Thanks for any input.

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Old 04-04-2019, 06:20 PM   #2
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I would do steel if you're wheelin over rocks, it slides much better than aluminum. Check out RockHard 4x4 skid set. Very similar in design and coverage to the MetalCloak system but you can buy it in pieces rather than the whole system at one time.

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Old 04-04-2019, 06:44 PM   #3
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Rock Hard 4x4. I opted for the RHX 1/4" oil / transmission.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:46 PM   #4
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Steel underneath. Rock Hard. Also, replace that whimpy factory cross member when you do skids.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommymallcrawler View Post
Steel underneath. Rock Hard. Also, replace that whimpy factory cross member when you do skids.
I'm sure the answer is "it depends", but do you think an aftermarket crossmember is necessary if you go with the rock hard skids? Rock hard themselves suggest that the skids provide a lot of extra reinforcement to the factory crossmember, so that an upgraded one may not be necessary. I'm thinking about adding the rock hards, but wasn't planning on the crossmember to save some weight and cost. Although I also wouldn't say my use is as heavy as some, in terms of the amount of hard rock bashing I do.
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:32 PM   #6
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I have a rockhard trans-oil pan skid. I used it with the factory crossmember for a while. After several hits to the rockdome washers, the weld nuts on the factory crossmember break loose and cause rattling. I replaced it with one from Evo. No problems since.
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Old 04-04-2019, 09:08 PM   #7
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I installed a full set of steel Rock Hard skid plates on my Rubicon JKU. On my first trip with them on the Rubicon Trail, I bent up the oil pan skid at the beginning of the trail at Gate Keeper. This caused the skid plate to contact the exhaust pipe. I have Teraflex exhaust spacers, so I installed a shim when installing the skid plates to provide what I thought was sufficient space between the skid plate and the exhaust figuring I might bend it a bit, but it bent more than I thought.

I guess the skid plate served its purpose, but I now I need to figure out how to straighten the skid plate, and perhaps restraighten it every time I go on the Rubicon Trail. I did not expect to have to do this when I bought the skid plates.

If I had to do it all over again, I would consider the skid plates from Synergy Manufacturing. They are the same thickness as the Rock Hard skid plates, but it appears the way the edges are bent upward and the better mounts would make them less prone to bending.
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:12 PM   #8
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@DesertRubi - the stock crossmember is absolute tinfoil. You attach steel skids to/over it. It is going to taco. Replace it right out the gate.
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:42 PM   #9
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I went with the ACE Engineering set up, covers the trans, oil pan and transfer case. Is Steel, made in America and has a Lifetime Warranty and comes powdercoated for cheaper than bare options from some others. It also replaces the factory crossmember and is amazing compared to stock, though that doesn’t take much honestly. I had dented the cross member, dented the trans pan and bent the supply line so I had to replace those at the same time.



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Old 04-05-2019, 01:05 AM   #10
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I have a full set of rockhard 4x4 plates. They are awesome and have been well used. As others have said, replace the cross member at same time. The plates do not protect the ends of the cross member, they will get crushed playing in the rocks. Only issue about them I don't like are the rockdome washers. They will get mushroomed over, making the skids difficult to remove due to not being able to get a socket on the bolt. Only remedy I found that works is use a small chisel between bolt head and rock dome washer to open it up. Then a socket with some friendly persuasion with a hammer.
I've met the owner of RH 4X4 a few times, very nice man and helpful.
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Old 04-05-2019, 01:13 AM   #11
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Definitely Rock Hard steel, front to rear. I'm not protecting a $38k Jeep with cheap Chinese crap.
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:29 AM   #12
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I would replace the factory cross member before upgrading the skids. In fact, I did replace the factory cross member and have not yet upgraded the skids. The cross member is what most of the skids bolt to. The extra strength of a better cross member (we went JCR) added a lot of strength to the crappy stock skids. At some point we will upgrade the skids, but upgrading the skids and bolting them to that tinfoil stock cross member makes no sense.
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