Thinking about skid plates.... - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 12-15-2004
John Moorehead's Avatar
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Thinking about skid plates....

Seriously...

I know the FX4 comes with a frontal one, and a gas tank one, maybe one extra somewhere...(oil pan?).

Since I'm doing the SCCA Autocross events, I figured that it might be a good idea to have some underside protection for the instance of either high curbing (white and red curbing on inside of turns on a speedway) or loose debris, i.e. cones, Honda kits that have fallen off, etc.

I've done one event, loved it, and immediately found the major weaknesses in my truck:

1) Engine...no comment necessary.

2) Rear suspension desperately needs a swaybar, traction bars wouldn't hurt as I have a lot of wheel hop coming out of a 7/10ths turn...

3) I need to upgrade ALL suspension rubber to the Poly stuff made by Energy Susp.

4) Need bigger front brakes. 10.28" doesn't cut it....Working with Brandon Miller at RPS to fix that.


Anyways, where would be a good place to locate these skid plates?
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2004
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you'd probably have to custom make them....i dunno if the FX4's have the same frame/mounting setup as u're truck, so the skids might not line up.

so my opinion is hook up with a metal fabricator or etc. and make 'em

BTW....awesome u're going into autocross, cudos man!!!
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2004
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Yea John - FX4 only have transfer case and fuel tank skids.
Level II's have the front engine and radiator skid plate added for a total of 3 plates under the truck.

I would go to a custom fabricator and have them make it.
If you make templates out of cardboard and bring them in they just have to cut, bend, weld and drill - it will be much cheaper.
3/16 inch steel should do very well.
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  #4  
Old 12-15-2004
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I would think plates would be a bad idea for autocrossing. You're on pavement the whole time, no? Is the added weight worth it? I never knew anyone who autocrossed w/ plates. Then again, I don't know anyone who's autocrossed a pickup either! .. Now if you're talking hill climbs or rallys maybe..

I heard talk of some rangers coming w/ plastic plates. Maybe it was the regular FX4 (previously known as the ORP: off road package). Wasn't one of the steps up on the LII full metal plates? Maybe plastic ones would give you the coverage/protection you need against flying crap (branches, etc) and soft things (cones).. ..Other than that I'd just say look where you're freakin' going!
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2004
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There are actually 2 metal plates: carbon steel and stainless. I have the stainless one on my truck. It's thinner, but SURPRISINGLY strong. I've tested it SURPRISINGLY hard, lol!
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2004
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Mine is painted steel. Works though, I've also 'tested' it..
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2004
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I believe I've witnessed some of that "testing", lol! :)
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2004
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Yes you have.. but sad to say not the worst of it!

When I was a kid I was big into scouts. We went to camp every year (it was the big thing for the year). One year I was in the senior council and went up early w/ the scout-master and his family. My folks dropped me off in the lot as usual. It was a good mile or so hike up-hill to the site. The scout-master decided that he didn't want to walk, since we were there early, they had all the access roads open and told us we could take the truck up there to deliver all the gear we came w/. Well he'd hever been there before and drove right up the walking path instead of going around to the access road. There we are in a mini-import pickup crawling up this path! They cut ditches running diagonally across the slopes to prevent erosion. Later we walked down the path on our way to chow and there were flat spots across the tops of each of the mounds between the drainage channels! He literally slid up the path on his plates!

That day taught me the significance of having good plates on a 4x.. This is part of why I found it so amazing that Ford would put PLASTIC plates on a 4x truck..
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2004
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Cool story. I know it sounded a little strange, but as I mentioned, doing 85-95 mph around a roadcourse with ~6" clearance under the truck, and hitting ANY foreign object would not be pretty.

Basically, I'm just being overly cautious. BTW, most of the people there racing with me were driving cars, but they thought it was neat that I was competing, and they loved the truck. The Mustangs were untouchable, as I expected. :o But there was a Toyota MR-S that I hung with pretty well, sometimes passing him. There was also one Viper present.....not pretty. Gorgeous car, but he mauled everyone EXCEPT for a 2003 Cobra with a KB blowzilla...that Cobra was badass.

So I'm leaning towards the 3/16" stock. Now to find a welder....
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2004
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You run brackets, or whatever the heck it's called w/ autocrossing, right?!

My uncle does SCCA events in Mass. He runs a pretty-much 100% stock Hundai Tiberon, which is also his daily driver. He gets his *** handed to him usually, but he is in his 50's and claims his reflexes simply aren't what they used to be. He keeps talking about the guys that trailer some sweet stuff in. From what he was saying, Miatas seem to clean up on thier course. People drive them in and then swap tires and just haul. Wheel/Tire swaps are alowed and you're still within what they call 'street-stock', or something like that. His plan for last season was to beat this guy who ran a Focus hatchback. .. Not sure if he managed to or not. .. He did have a guy at his track running an S-10 aparently, no Rangers though. Most of the exotic stuff they see are custom one-off frame-built cars, very few exotic production stuff.
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Old 12-15-2004
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I race in SOLO 2, specifically the SM2 class (Street-Modified 2). In this class, EVERTYHING is allowed, with the exception of a pure race car (i.e. open wheel, etc.). SOLO is the autocross/road course events set up with pylons, or, in our case here in TN, we use the road course inside Nashville Superspeedway. Best time wins.

The axle swap, believe it or not, booted me out of Street Stock. The good thing is, now that I'm in SM2, I can run my Whipple, juice, even a V-8 swap (ain't happening). So I'm not "capped" and restricted from running certain things.

Miatas probably make up 25% of the cars, simply because they are cheap, lightweight, and relatively quick. I did compete against a mid 90's S-10, and proceeded to put him in my rearview pretty quickly. Cobras (all years) are HUGE, there are always one or two Vettes, and the same for Vipers.

The rest are road course "freaks" that utilize tube chassis, window nets, etc, that are built STRICTLY for autocrossing.
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2004
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i defantly wanna get some skid plates fabed up for my truck... just dont know where to go
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  #13  
Old 12-16-2004
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I need a skid plate for my truck... just the one for the motor cuz i already have the gas tank and the trans case.
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  #14  
Old 12-16-2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Moorehead
The axle swap, believe it or not, booted me out of Street Stock. The good thing is, now that I'm in SM2, I can run my Whipple, juice, even a V-8 swap (ain't happening). So I'm not "capped" and restricted from running certain things.
Ahh. Might it have been a better plan to start w/ a truck that had the 8.8 stock and go from there? Or were you after the discs?
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Moorehead
Miatas probably make up 25% of the cars, simply because they are cheap, lightweight, and relatively quick.
It's the same 'round here. I don't know much about autocrossing now, but my folks were big into it when I was young. Dad was even pres of the NH SCCA chapter for a few years way back when. Both mom and dad ran moderately compeditively. The story goes that when my sister and I were young mum would watch us while dad raced in the AM, then dad would watch us in the afternoon while mum ran. Mostly they ran our family sedan, a string of late 70's / early 80's VW Rabits. Dad used to run his '65 Austin-Healey Sprite if the weather was good. Most of the competition was similar cars. Lots of Saabs and Subarus in our area. Nowadays I hear things like the WRX, smaller 3-series BMWs and even Focci are popular. Like I said, my uncle's mission has been to beat the guy in a ZX3 because he almost bought one of those instead.


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Moorehead
I did compete against a mid 90's S-10, and proceeded to put him in my rearview pretty quickly.
I'm confused, I thought these SCCA events were timed. You trade paint? Yowsers!
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Moorehead
The rest are road course "freaks" that utilize tube chassis, window nets, etc, that are built STRICTLY for autocrossing.
Ha! That's my uncle! Or at least what he aspires to be. He used to run a cart w/ a home-made frame and a Saab 3 cyl engine. He always bragged because he got a hydrolic disc break system off something in the junk-yard and started kicking everyone's asses. This was probably in the 70's though. Mom, Dad, and my uncle were real low-buck in those days, mostly out for ***** and giggles. He's talking of building something up again. He knows he probably can't be all that compeditive as everyone seems to have real deep pockets these days. But he figures it'd be fun. I keep meaning to offer to help him out w/ that. They live just 30 min from me now that I'm here in Nashua.

Anyhow..
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2004
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Sorry for the confusion on the S-10 part....I meant rearview in a figurative way of speaking...it did sound wierd now that I look at what I typed. My bad. You're absolutely right, SOLO events are just that, solo. I'd have to go into one of the pro leagues and acquire better insurance to be able to trade paint.

Sounds like an awesome family history you have going. I'd love to have a car strictly for autoX, but it may be a while.....

I'd try to either get a Mustang and gut it, or use a Focus hatch and throw the Euro mods to it....
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  #16  
Old 12-17-2004
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Yeah, I kinda figured you meant it that way. When my father talks about his autocrossing days he mentions when they started trading paint. He said that's about when he really started to loose interest in it. He says he had no interest in doing that.

Jim (my uncle) has a pretty weird setup. He's got a thing for old Saabs, unfortunately he has neither the time nor the real motivation to do what he should w/ them. Most of the stuff really is junk, and my aunt's been on him for years to get rid of it. But he's got this 60's Saab Sonnet that my father and he just about cream their pants over everytime the tarp comes off. Of course it's burried in the back of his garage under about 4-5" of dust!
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  #17  
Old 12-17-2004
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The Sonnet's were really pretty. I love those things. Underrated and almost unknown to most folks.
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  #18  
Old 12-17-2004
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Pretty? Sure, whatever floats yer boat.. Personally I think it's like disco, afros and the big collars: you really had to be there.. (..And I wasn't!)

Edit: After some searching, I think Jim's might be a 1970+ Sonnet, probably a Sonnet III, like this except green:
Gotta say, I'd probably think more of the car if his looked like this. However his does NOT! It is in a million peices and the body has inches of dust on it, as I mentioned..

Last edited by NHBubba_Revisited; 12-17-2004 at 05:53 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-17-2004
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What you posted above is what I was thinking of. I still like them -- and I hated disco...
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