with Bill Johnston
My favorite places to go and exercise my Zook, all have one thing in common - Rocks! And while rocks are fun to play in, they can really shorten your day in a hurry when they whack the transfer case and spill parts all over the trail. What can we do? Cover that thing!
Tim Porter of Hardcore 4x4 makes a skid plate that fits like a glove and is strong enough to keep the transfer case safe.
I found the installation simple and easy enough for one person to do in less than an hour. The trick is to have a floor jack tall enough to reach your transfer case. All of the hardware is included. (Except for the new air ratchet pictured here - Thanks Santa!) Tim Porter builds his skid plates using computer controlled machining techniques to insure that all of the critical specifications are exact. When I first placed the skid plate under the frame rails, I thought it would never fit... I was very wrong! After lifting the skid plate to the frame rails, I gave the jack handle an extra pump. The plate "popped" into place. I then dropped the jack and the skid plate stayed in place on it's own. I replaced the jack just to be safe during installation. Although it stayed in place on it's own, the mounting bolts MUST be used to insure the skid plate stays with the vehicle while on the road or on the trail... The four brackets rest on top of the frame rails and two bolts hold each bracket in place. On three of the four corners, there are actually two mounting positions to allow you to position the mounting bracket where it will fit the best. On the passenger side of the vehicle there is a transfer case bracket that is welded in as part of the frame. This is not something that is removable, so the skid plate has a cut-out to go around it. There are also cut-outs front and rear for the drive shafts and the stock catalytic converter. The skid plate is accessible enough for cleaning the mud out with a hose, but does not lower the vehicle clearance more than an inch. As you can see by the photos, I haven't lost much! The skid plate is barely seen when looking at it from any normal angle. If they can see your skid plate, you are having too much fun! (Sounds like a goal to me!)
The transfer case skid plate was quick and easy to install. The strength and quality of the unit was better than I had seen on any other unit of this type. If you have invested in a quality transfer case or pricey low end gears for your stock case - you can't afford to pass this one up.
Time to hit the trails and see how this baby "skids"!Stay tuned for an action update. Las Cruces here I come!
Source: Tim Porter Hardcore 4x4 and Custom Fabrication 26 Second Ave. Mount Sterling, OH 43143 (740) 869-4830
Check out the product review for this component!