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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the market to possibly replace all the skid plates under my Pro-4x with some Hefty's or some Shrock Works skid plates. I've been eye balling the Hefty set for $580, but I'm not sure I need all those. Which ones do you all think are the most important for rock crawling? I'm leaning towards the front diff/engine one first since that is the lowest point, but I want to hear all your opinions.

Thank you!
 

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If you wallet can handle it get them all, it offers a lot of peace of mind!
 

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Only 2 I regularly make contact with while wheeling out here in Colorado is my rad and fuel tank skid. Those will be what I order after new tires and then a break from spending money on the truck...
 

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If you get all of them you will feel the weight. The only aftermarket skid I have is the front diff/engine one. Gets beat plenty. The stock gas tank skid does a good job. You do have to beat it back out so it doesn't rub on the tank. The stock rad skid is heavily dented but I've never busted my rad. The t-case skid could have done a better job the one time I really smacked it but still ok, this is the next skid I get. Never even came close to touching the transmission. I think the MT sits higher than the AT.

Oh you didn't mention sliders. These get used plenty too.

I would get in this order:
Engine
sliders
t-case
gas tank
 

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Broke drain plug off of transfer case, re shaped cross member. Bent brackets holding radiator. Had to replace upper pan.Harder on vehicle than most.
Yes, steel skid plates are heavy. Going to change to aluminum when I am well enough to make them.
 

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If you get all of them you will feel the weight.
The truck weights like nearly 5k lbs i dont think you are going to feel 200lbs slung on the bottom... in fact go up a few tire sizes and you have already added more critical weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll look into the Hefty aluminum ones then. I was leaning towards engine, tcase and rear diff. The diff is hard though because I have read so many mixed reviews about the BTF and Ballistic covers and they seem to be the only real choices besides ARB.

I have White Knuckle sliders right now, only "real" mod so far.
 

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If you can find a 2nd stock radiator skid cheap, buy it and double them up. It all depends on the trails you run. I have hit my Hefty radiator skid hard enough (several times) that I would have destroyed the stock skid and damaged the radiator. Since I wheel on trails that are inaccessible by AAA, I'm not willing to take that chance.

Another thing to consider is the full set creates a consistent surface to slide on. If you skip the trans skid, there will be a large hole in that surface that you can get hung up on.

The aluminum skids are lighter and do not require painting but they are also much more $$$.
 

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I'll look into the Hefty aluminum ones then. I was leaning towards engine, tcase and rear diff. The diff is hard though because I have read so many mixed reviews about the BTF and Ballistic covers and they seem to be the only real choices besides ARB.

I have White Knuckle sliders right now, only "real" mod so far.
I have this PRG aluminum diff cover and am very pleased with it
PRG Products
Was tired of removing my old diff cover to beat it back into shape and seal it. After a couple of times I could no longer get it to seal. The beef diff cover is not a skid, but I don't drag my diff on rocks that much.
 

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On a budget aftermarket in order of priority
Front diff/engine
Sliders
Transfer case
Stock
Metal radiator skid
Gas tank

Personal set up for the driving i do.
Sliders
All steel aftermarket skids except gas tank which is stock
In the future i plan to add a rear diff cover. Lift is on the way.

If i was doing over in all one step and new
Lift
Sliders
Stock rad (would do alu if had money)
Steel diff/engine
No trans (would do alu if had money)
Alu transfer case
Stock gas tank (would do alu if had money)
Rear diff

Sorry for weird formatting, sent by iphone

I defininitely feel the 300-350lbs of armor on the truck, sags the truck down.
 

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I did engine first then t case. Being a LB i needed it. Even the shorter box trucks suck a break over, if you have any of that i would recommend those 2 first.
 

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I have the Hefty steel skids: engine, trans, t-case and gas tank. That almost 400 lbs of weight is noticeable. Shortly after I bought my truck I swapped from the stock 265/70-16 to 265/75-16 tires, you can see the difference in clearance in the wheel wells. After bolting on the hefty skids and hefty sliders, it's even more noticeable, had many people ask if my truck was lowered, in fact you could look at my lower control arms and tell they were not level or even angling downward. Now, an upside to those hefty skids, it "tightens" the truck, with all the frame mounting points, it ties the truck together and it handles differently, you can tell it feels more planted. That said, if you have the money, go with the Hefty aluminum skids, in hind sight I wish I would have.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've done a ton of reading over the last week. I think I'm just going to suck it up and buy the whole aluminum set. They are expensive, but I don't want any regrets about the weight of steel down the road.

I'm still not 100% convinced I need the fuel tank skid though!
 

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Thinking about doing the same except I don't need the gas tank skid.
I have steel "SkidRow" skids on the truck now. Will sell cheap when I get the aluminum ones. Transfer case skid is a Shrockworks.
 

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I have a full set of Hefty Aluminum.

What you need is dependent on what you're doing in your truck.
When I first got the skids&sliders I was doing light trails (NH Class 6 public ways) these are abandoned old "roads" and while some of them can get pretty aggressive, its not the same as a terrain park. For that stuff an engine skid and tank skid sufficed. I think I touched my xfer case skid once that year and the stock radiator 'skid' was still pretty much in 1 piece. The sliders were doing their job protecting the rockers, however.

Since then I've been going to more private properties.... EVERY ONE of my skids have been touched. Hard. The stock rad skid is a shadow of its former self. And I approach obstacles carefully. The stock rad skid acts more as a bell or stick protection than anything else.

If you currently or plan to wheel hard you want full armor, including rad (or just get a bumper from Hefty or Shrock and it comes with one) Also be prepared for a new rear bumper and modified rear fenders...
 

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Order of priority for me, and what has seen the most abuse.

Engine/transfer case skid
Rock Sliders
Transmission Skid
Radiator skid
Differential cover

I've seen very little contact on my gas tank skid, but I'm glad I have it just in case.
 

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2015 Nissan Frontier SV Crew Cab LWB 4x4
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I have the Hefty steel skids: engine, trans, t-case and gas tank. That almost 400 lbs of weight is noticeable. Shortly after I bought my truck I swapped from the stock 265/70-16 to 265/75-16 tires, you can see the difference in clearance in the wheel wells. After bolting on the hefty skids and hefty sliders, it's even more noticeable, had many people ask if my truck was lowered, in fact you could look at my lower control arms and tell they were not level or even angling downward. Now, an upside to those hefty skids, it "tightens" the truck, with all the frame mounting points, it ties the truck together and it handles differently, you can tell it feels more planted. That said, if you have the money, go with the Hefty aluminum skids, in hind sight I wish I would have.
I know I'm replying to an older post here...

Just put an aluminum Hefty engine skid on my 2015 SV. It seems to hang down lower than I expected it to, definitely affecting ground clearance. I haven't taken measurements yet but I plan to. I was trying to get the job done in a short amount of time so I didn't bother to take more than pictures.



Basically it kicks down in the front despite there already being welded-in spacers at the center fasteners (the ones that presumably are for a factory Pro4x skid), and kicks back up again at the rear. I'd bet it's the better part of an inch of ground clearance lost with this skid compared to no skid. That inch may mean that the skid gets struck while having no skid might have cleared.

As for driving characteristics, the truck feels like it has more wind resistance (haven't gone through a full tank of fuel to confirm any change from aerodynamic drag or not) and it also feels a lot more sure-footed on the road. Vibrations like we have lots of complaints of with these trucks have largely gone away, and it feels like it handles just a little better. I suspect that there's just enough flex in the front end between the mounting points for the lower control arms that the skid's outer four attachments stiffen to make it better.

We'll see if after a couple of tanks if the fuel economy seems impacted or not. If it does then I might reconsider it, or I might try to mock-up something temporary to reshape how the factory radiator "skid" sits (it's steeper-pitched on account of the new engine skid) and see if that reduces any fuel economy penalty. We'll just have to see.

I'm admittedly half-tempted to buy a piece of plate aluminum and just cut a flat piece in the outline of this curved skid to see if it would fit and clear everything on the truck with more ground clearance than the Hefty skid offers. The Hefty skid is 0.20" thick, basically 5mm, so going with something more like 3/8" (just under 10mm) might give both more clearance and more strength, while still being no heavier than a steel skidplate.
 
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