Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Desert Hot Springs, CA
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Re: Which order to buy skids? Also compatibility questions.
If you cant buy the whole set at once then cover the most expensive and lowest hanging parts first. Since the motor is the pretty expensive to repair should a rock take out the oil pan that woiuld be my recommended first part to replace. The transmission is tucked up and out of the way, so that would be the last part of the drivetrain I'd do after the transfer case and exhaust crossover skid. As for what skids to use, thats personal preference - me, I prefer the All Pro units for these reasons:
Steel is stronger - All Pro uses steel and steel protects things. When was the last time you saw an aluminum or poly roll cage or bumper? Its also beefy, thick 7ga steel, unlike the thin soup can factory skids.
Minimalist approach - All Pro only covers whats in danger of being hurt. Since you're using heavier steel material, keep it to a minimum so you dont add unnecessary weight to the vehicle. This also means easier inspection and maintenance from underneath than a full frame-to-frame style skids that are adding extra weight protecting open space.
Easy bolt on design - the engine and transmission skids bolt on with no drilling or fabrication. The transfer case skid only requires drilling 2 holes. 3 Skids cover your entire drivetrain.
Clearance - All Pro skids tuck up as high as possible to give you the maximum amount of clearance under the vehicle. While a flat bellypan sounds good on paper, many drivetrain components are much higher than the frame. Following the contours of these components gives maximum clearance, especially important when running smaller 265-285 tires. If it isnt there, it cant get hung up & high centered.