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Why Your IFS Truck Needs Aftermarket Underbody Protection

photo by Jason Finn via iStock

Trucks that are used for off-road adventures often get pushed to their limits which increases the chance of breakages and damage.

One of the many reasons we modify trucks is to protect them and there is no better way to do it than with skid plates. 

IFS vehicles will benefit the most from underbody protection and in today’s article, we are going to cover the reasons why.

Why IFS Vehicles are More Prone to Damage

Skid plate

photo by Jason Finn via iStock

IFS vehicles have a lot more moving components at the front than a solid axle truck does. Because of the complexity, it is much easier to damage control arms or even your oil sump when off-road as these parts are hanging down low.

On a solid axle truck, the lowest point is your axle – a solid piece of steel that no matter how many times you manage to bash on rocks you will not manage to break. 

To add to the issue, when an IFS vehicle runs through its suspension travel the ground clearance between the oil sump and the ground gets decreased or increased. You can imagine what will happen if your oil sump hits a rock while your suspension is on its way down. The thin factory skid plate won’t stand a chance and you will probably crack your vehicle’s oil sump. 

In remote areas this is the last thing anyone wants and here is where aftermarket skid plates come into play. 

What are Aftermarket Skid Plates?

Skid plate

photo by Jason Finn via iStock

Aftermarket skid plates are thick pieces of steel with the intention of providing underbody protection to your vehicle when you run out of ground clearance. 

In most cases, they begin with a front piece that protects your oil sump, a middle piece that protects the transmission and transfer case, and a rear piece that protects the fuel tank. 

The protection they provide is vital when it comes to remote travel and avoiding vehicle damage. Even if you do not go out on difficult trails a single mistake could lead to you smashing the underside of your truck, in which case skid plates will be priceless. 

Is Underbody Protection Easy to Install?

SUV on a mountain road

photo by arinahabich via iStock

Yes, good-quality skid plates are very easy to install and will bolt straight into the points where the original thinner skid plates bolted.  

Are There Any Drawbacks to Underbody Protection?

off-roading Jeep

photo by magmarcz via iStock

The main drawback with skid plates is weight. They are thick pieces of steel; therefore, they do add a fair amount of weight. However, the good thing is that the weight is mounted at the lowest possible point and in the center of the vehicle which means it won’t have a big impact on the truck’s driving manners. 

Is Underbody Protection Expensive?

4x4 in the water

photo by Onfokus via iStock

Good-quality kits can be pricey as they are made of high-quality steel that can withstand impacts. However, the price to pay is worth it when you consider the amount of damage they can save you. 

Final Thoughts

4x4 in the rocks

photo by initialsphoto via iStock

Skid plates are the kind of mod not many people do as it doesn’t have an immediate impact on looks or performance. However, protecting the underside of your vehicle can be the difference between finishing an adventure or getting stranded. Therefore, it would be on the top of my list when it comes to must-do modifications.

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