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Skid Plate

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Underbelly Armor: Installing a Skid Plate

A skid plate is a must for any off-road vehicle since it protects the undercarriage from damage. Without it, going over rough terrain can be quite daunting since at any time a rock or debris kicked up by your tires could puncture components like your gas tank or oil pan. Installing a skid plate is a relatively easy task that can be done with a few simple tools.

Required skill level: Intermediate

Needed tools and materials

  • Floor jack
  • 4 Jack stands
  • Wheel chocks
  • Socket set
  • Skid plate
  • Setting up your vehicle for installation

    Place the wheel chocks behind the rear wheels of your vehicle and use the floor jack to lift the front end. Have the front end rest securely on two jack stands.

    Prepping the skid plate

    Position the other two jack stands under the engine of your vehicle. Set your skid plate on top of those jack stands, with its mounting holes lined up with the pre-drilled holes in your vehicle's frame.

    Installing the skid plate

    Use your socket set to bolt the skid plate to your vehicle's frame. You can also use the mounting hardware that came with the skid plate.

    Cleaning up

    Remove the two jack stands under your vehicle's engine. Use your floor jack to lift the front of your end a bit so you can remove the other two jack stands. Lower your vehicle to the ground. Remove the wheel chocks. Stand back and admire your work.

    Tips and warnings

    • Make sure your vehicle is securely resting on the jack stands before you place yourself under it. It is best to work with your vehicle parked on level ground and after its engine has cooled.
    • This guide was written with a Ford Ranger in mind. The instructions may be somewhat different for other vehicles.