Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
4-Corners Moderator
Joined
·
4,863 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yesterday I had the opportunity to install some brand new skid plates from Ricochet Offroad right here in Utah. Just figured I would mention a couple notes about the install process to help those doing future installs.

1117378

1117379


So the instructions are pretty good that they give you but one thing I am so glad I got before starting was a tap and die kit from Harbor Freight. It had the necessary M8 x 1.25 tap necessary to run through all the holes. Luckily all the holes on the frame that you use are the 8mm x 1.25, so you really dont NEED a whole kit, you could possibly get only the part you need from Amazon or something.

For me, since most of my bolt holes were super stripped or cross threaded, chasing out the frame threads was super important to the success of the install. And even then I had 3 that were too stripped to thread bolts into, including the two front-most welded frame nuts. Luckily the bolts provided ARE long enough that I could thread them through the frame and use a nut on the opposite side of the frame since the frame is narrow enough right there. I actually used the nuts originally from the gas tank skid since they have an incorporated washer design that works well for that application.

Speaking of the gas tank skid, just make sure you only undo the fuel tank ground strap at the front of the tank and then the 4 bolts that are on the bottom of the factory fuel tank skid. Do not undo the straps to the side of the tank that actually hold up the fuel tank... or else the fuel tank drops on you and the plug on top of the fuel tank comes undone. Don’t ask how I figured that out haha

The hardware comes in a bunch of different plastic bags with different numbers and letters that I imagine mean something but don’t really help you with the install. The one with the HD on it is probably front main skid plate. The one for me that had ExpOne on it was for the filler plate, then the others had letters like B, C, D and those were sort of in order of the skid plates as you go from front to back. You’ll figure it out one way or another. Haha.

Also, the instructions do not mention what to do if you have a filler plate for an aftermarket bumper, such as an Expedition One Bumper in my case. I was having trouble getting the holes to line up and I even went as far as loosening the bolts for the bumper so I could sort of shimmy the bumper around. It wasn’t until I called Brad at Ricochet the following day that I discovered you need to put the filler plate up IN the bumper vs trying to bolt it from the outside. After that it fit like a glove!

Here is a before and after of what I did. Silly me.

1117376

1117377


Also, there is a steel supporting crossmember that comes unfinished from Ricochet and needs to be prepped and painted in order to avoid rusting. I just got some paint+primer from the store and gave it a matte black finish. Just keep that in mind in case you open up all the boxes with the intent of installing it all at once but then realize some painting is required. Luckily I got some quick drying paint and I would paint a coat on and then work on the installation of some of the skid plates and then paint another coat and I just keep doing this until I got to the point where I had to install it. You start from the front skid plates and work your way back and if you are like me and are taking your time then you’ll have time to paint it as you work and let it dry if you don’t put it on too thick.

When it comes to the catalytic converter protector tubes that are removed but then reinstalled, you reinstall them with rock blocks and countersunk bolts that fit in between the flanges on the cat. converter protector tubes. I found that my flanges were a bit too tight for the blocks, if I had a bench grinder I would have taken off a little material on the sides of the blocks to make them fit just fine, but seeing as I didn't have that I took some vice-grip pliers and widened up the flanges by prying them outwards. It worked from what I could tell.

And finally, I installed the lower control arm skids last and found no problem installing it on the factory LCA. But one of my LCAs is actually a Moog LCA and one of the holes that a bolt is supposed to run through was ever so slightly too small. So you could either drill it out slightly to make it large enough or do what I did and run the 8mm x 1.25 tap through it and then thread the bolt though. It was simple and worked! So it is nice to know that even with non factory LCAs, the skids still work almost perfectly.

Well hopefully this helps someone in the future, I’m going to bed!

1117380

1117381

1117382
 

·
A-Team Moderator
Joined
·
8,643 Posts
Exp-1 Kodiak bumper owner here. Thanks for clarifying the filler plate, I've been researching this lately. I need new skids and the Rico's look like the way to go with an Exp-1 bumper.
 

·
Admin
Joined
·
6,704 Posts
Another note:

Use an anti-seize agent and coat EVERY bolt going in.

ESPECIALLY to the bolts that go into the rock blocks....
You will see the bolts rust-bond exceptionally well to the rock blocks.... I had to actually weld a steel rod to a bolt to remove it from the rock block one time.
IMG_20140621_124454.jpg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,980 Posts
I've been using my Ricochets for 10 years and still love them. The bash plate is the only one that i changed last year because it could not be straighten up anymore. Great product, sur it won't |slide" on rocks like metal ones, but they do the work on medium-heavy rock trails perfectly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Nice write up. I also recently installed a full set on my 2014. The cross member was a real pain to install. As you point out, you need to clean and paint. I painted mine red and then worked like crazy to nudge it into place. After pounding with a rubber mallet without success, I used the winch to bump it slightly into place while crossing my fingers that this would not be some stupid story I ended up telling about trying to use the winch before causing massive damage. It worked like a charm and bumped it right into place. It's not moving. Tapping the holes are key as you note. It's a great product and the company was super helpful in giving guidance when I had questions. We went through some mud last week and the plates were definitely used. There is pretty good access to clean out the mud, so didn't find that mud getting captured inside was an issue. Super pleased with the product. A few pics below were before installing the LCA plates which are at the end.

IMG_0371.jpg
IMG_2458.jpg
IMG_2460.jpg
IMG_2464.jpg
IMG_2465.jpg
IMG_2521.jpg
 

·
Mean Time Moderator
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
Good info.

If I recall right the instructions tell you to fit the front plate first and work back. Or at least that’s what I did. But actually it is easiest to fit the rearmost plate first and work forward as the overlap is then over the previous plate not under it. (The front plate is one top’ so that they can’t catch on the overlap edges when moving forwards).
 

·
4-Corners Moderator
Joined
·
4,863 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Some additional notes to add. Went offroading yesterday in Moab and found out if you have a Metal Tech rear long travel kit (with no sway bar at least) your drive line can scrape against the gas tank skid plate when articulating.

So I will have to trim off a little so it doesnt happen in the future.

1118777

1118779

1118780

1118781
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
695 Posts
I got mine second hand but he had Everything for the install. The instructions are good but I decided I was smarter. So the instructions were put aside and I winged it.
By the third time I installed the plates I was very impressed with the fit. I always think I'm smarter and I always end up doing things two or three times....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,431 Posts
I have the engine and transmission Ricochets. I have a love/hate relationship with them, I love them when I am wheeling, hate them when it is time for an oil change.

I looked at 2010+ skids from other manufacturers at Summitt, but the necessity for the oil filter hatch to be right in the middle of the main crimp in the skid really compromises strength so I haven't talked myself into changing to something else yet.

And yes, definitely anti-seize everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
I got tired of the Ricochet front skid removal gymnastics every oil change, so to make it a bit easier I installed threaded studs in the middle 2 mounting bolt locations, using jam nuts to hold them tight on the frame-threaded holes. Had to back-drill the long standoffs on the skid plate to clear the nuts. Now, the skid plate goes right into position (mostly) with the studs for guides. The real solution is a remote oil filter, but I can't find a suitable location to mount the remote filter/holder. That's another thread, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Not sure I understand the need to remove the plates for an oil change. I just had my oil changed without a problem. Access is built into the plate. Maybe there was an older version without this feature??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,151 Posts
Not sure I understand the need to remove the plates for an oil change. I just had my oil changed without a problem. Access is built into the plate. Maybe there was an older version without this feature??
If you've got a 2010 or later FJ with a removable oil-filter access cover in your skid plate, you don't have a Ricochet skid. Perhaps you have an RCI, or some other brand?
 

·
4-Corners Moderator
Joined
·
4,863 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
More pictures showing my drive-line contacting the fuel tank skid. Again, this is only occurring since I have the Metal Tech long travel kit in the rear and no rear sway bar. I need to get under there with an angle grinder and trim a bit of metal off. Hot sparks next to the fuel tank, sounds safe huh? 😂

1120273

1120274

1120275
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
Although it's a PITA (don't ask how I know) maybe it would be wise to pull the skid after marking it, do the cutting/grinding elsewhere...?
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top