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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just installed the Heavy Duty Ricochet skid plate (bash/engine) the other night. I happen to have the diff drop installed and ran into a bit of head scratching, so I thought I would start a quick write-up of my install.

If others have experience with installing this with a diff drop, please feel free to add any tips or tricks.

First off - some pictures of the product pre-install.

You'll notice that the newer versions have the passenger side center bolt spacer edges ground off. This is to alleviate any possible interference with a bolt head on the frame.





On to the install.

Since I already had the diff drop, I told Brad, and he shipped me 2 longer bolts for the 2 center mounts.

Typically on my previous Ricochet skids, I had (4) 1/4" spacers and longer bolts on the 2 rear bolts of the bash plate and the front 2 bolts of the engine skid at the crossmember location. (This is the same cross member position that the new HD skids have only 2 long center mounts.) ---So I was starting with (4) 1/4" spacers to use if needed.


But just using (2) of those 1/4" spacers on the center bolt locations, I could not get any bolt alignment in the front 2 bolts. I had no luck using the 'center to diagonal front' method in the install instructions.

I ended up having to slip the rear of the HD plate under the trans skid (hanging loose, because it shares the rear HD mount bolts. - Assuming you already have the Ricochet Transmission skid -) AND I had to re-use the existing longer bolts I previously had my rear engine/front trans mounted with. (I did not re-use the 2 spacer washers though)

You are supposed to mount the HD over the transmission skid front, but if you are doing this solo...good luck. Slipping it under allowed the trans skid to hold it up in place while you get the bolts in. I may try re-installing the HD skid over the transmission skid front next time I have it pulled and have some extra help.

Rear HD Mount (Pass Side):
Trans skid over(left) - HD skid under(right)


After barely starting both the rear bolts I could align the passenger side center bolt. (longest bolts w/ 1/4" spacer) For me, this bolt had been the hardest to align...so I figured get it in first out of the 4 front bolts.

Long Center (Pass Side) Bolt w/ Spacer:
(Notice ground edge of spacer and bolt...not as much a concern w the 1/4" spacer added)


I then could get the other long bolt center DRVR side...then used the longer of the 4 short bolts provided and 1/4" spacers and bolted up the front. (That left me w/ the 2 shortest bolts provided unsused.)

Front Mounts w/ Spacers:



So after using the spacers to clear the diff drop, you will notice a 1/4" gap below the crossmember and the HD reinforcing.



Some finished pics:




I hope this helps someone out, as this took me several tries with and without the spacers before I got it on.

I can't wait to get out and put it through the paces!

As always, a big thanks to Brad for a great product...and the all the PM help with my install questions!!!
 

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HEck yeah! The HD skid looks awesome! Thank you for the write up!
 

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Question for BC Indiana,

Ive wondered if the bash plate/ front skid will be less likely to support a frontal hit since the ribbing underneath does not contact the support cross bars as intended (only the small contact with the bolts). Does anyone know if this is the case. I also have a diff drop and wanted to keep it but I'm also looking at skids now.

Thanks in advance- Old Cruiser
 

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Discussion Starter #4
^^ well, that is a good question.

I was thinking about getting a spacer plate made that would fill that gap (if Brad will make me one)...but after thinkng about it more I may not.

The regular version of the bash is flat...so it can bend easily if enough force is applied to one spot.

The HD has side bracing welds - as well as the HD reinforcing welded to the backside (this is the bracing that does not touch the cross member with spacers installed) I think it would take a lot of force to bend this bash portion of the HD skid.

I am not too worried about it, but a plate spacer may be the solution. The question is - how do you keep it in place? It would need to sit atop the HD reinforcing. There are no bolts. It could be pinched in place...but I would fear it slipping out if the skid flexed at all.

Maybe Brad will weigh in...after all he designed them - he probably has thought about all of this.



-brian
 

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^^^ That would actually be pretty easy to do. You could just use a nut and bolt to hold the piece on to the weldments. I agree it probably isn't a huge issue, but it wouldn't hurt to close up that gap. :cheers:
 

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Great write up, I made up a spacer to fill in the space, I have yet to fit it, it may require a bit more grinding.

1129812
 
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