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Discussion Starter #1
I just installed the All Phase 3/16" belly skid that's been sitting in my garage for two years. http://www.allphaseoffroad.com/products.html?id=5
I decided to finally install it after last weekend (instead of selling it). When I was hung up on that rock at Sevenmile last weekend, I jarred my transfer case drain plug enough to loosen it up. I was horrified when I noticed the leaking on my garage floor. It now occurs to me that transfer case protection is absolutely essential for 120" wheelbase vehicles.
The drain plug got mangled, so I replaced it with a new one and new gaskets from Pedersen Toyota ($8 for everything) and drained and filled the case while I was at it ($8 more bucks).

I had to improvise and create some new holes in the skid, thanks to the inconvenient position of my sliders on the frame. A single visit to Ace Hardware for some misc. washers, and I was good to go. Thanks for the drill, BTW Doug; my battery powered one would have taken a week.


Fully installed, this thing seems tough. I can feel the additional rigidity in the frame while driving. The fit is excellent, the tolerances are beautiful. This is a well crafted piece of powder coated steel. Heck, it's downright purdy.

The low side of the transfer case is a mere 1/4" above the top of the skidplate though, and I wonder if anybody else has such tight clearance with their Budbuilts or what-have-you. Under the truck, laying on the floor, I can hang on the drive shaft and bounce real hard and make the t-case contact the pan. I took the truck through some pretty bouncy terrain and articulated it every which way, and didn't notice any vibration or noise from contact. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous about the possibility of the skid touching the transfer case if I were to, say, catch some air or something.

Any input from anybody? My options are to use a grinder and remove some metal from the skid where it would otherwise contact (maybe dish it out up to 1/8"), or I may install the piece of stout rubber that came with the OEM t-case "skidplate", which will result in constant contact, but cushioned all the while. Any advice is welcome.
 

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I would personally rather have the continuous contact of the rubber, and have the support of it....but that's just me.
 

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sweet jeremy. Im going to put mine on tomorrow (exact same skid). mines only been sitting on my garage floor for about 2 months though :D Its just another one of those things that needs protected in my opinion and I didnt want to do a whole xmember kit or anything. (besides allphase being local made shipping nonexistant) ill get some pics of mine when its on too!
 

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Man your truck is filthy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lol and i thought i was a clean freak! Looks good man. Throw some rubber in there dude. You can grind but you will have a weak spot and more importantly a place to hold dirt lol.
 

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I'm kind of in the same boat. I finally bolted up my Budbuilt belly skid. I like the coverage:


but less then a finger thickness of flex before that t-case hits the skid:


I'm wondering if having a piece of dense rubber would transfer any shock/pressure applied thru the skid to the t-case. With a small gap, nothing would effect the t-case unless that 3/16" steel bent up there, then it would definitely be the full shock (as opposed to the constant reduced shock with having dense rubber there).
 

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Personally, I would leave it. IF it hits, it will only be momentary, and "light" only caused by the torque of the motor.

Compared to the risk of damage from rocks, etc, it will be VERY minor. I see more risk from having something in there and resisting the torque and/or transmitting the force of an impact on the skid into the tcase.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
After driving all around Fort Collins last night and today, including some bad roads and a few curbs (lol, damn confusing parking lots), there was no contact between the skidplate and the bottom of the transfer case. I'm gonna leave it alone for now. I really don't see this skid plate getting bent upward frankly...it's so damn sturdy.

****BTW, AvsFreak, I drilled the drivers side frame rail holes 1/8" lower to address this issue. If I hadn't done that, the skid and the case would be virtually touching. If I were you, I would drill all the frame rail holes a full 1/4" lower than the AllPhase templates direct you to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
And Troy, despite my best efforts, even the most extreme gear shifting, aggressive clutch use, and takeoffs didn't cause contact between the two components. I'm happy.
 

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because of where my plates for the sliders legs were located I only even did one of the bolts on the drivers side. I figure that 5 outa 6 aint bad especially since when I hit it with the floor jack it didnt move enough for me to worry. and I really didnt want to drill a third hole in the side of the skid and relocate the second bolt.

Then the damn sliders got in my way of making a straight shot with the drill which screwed me up a little (had to make one hole from each side. measuring 10 times and drilling once still didnt make the opposite holes line up perfect so the bolts on the passanger side arent completely straight through). but I tested it at a few contact points with the floor jack enough to lift the truck and everything held strong!
 

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so on the drive to school this morning I noticed a lot more vibration than im used to when im off the gas coasting. well I found with the engine breaking the torque of it clocks the case down just enough to contact my skid. Im going to find some small grinding wheels for the dremil today to open the holes downwart just a fraction of an inch and hope this corrects the problem. sitting at idle there isnt a problem and there is only about 1/8" clearance. so jeremy, it looks like you did good by lowering some of the holes. I just hope having an oblong hole doesnt allow the skid to slide upward when its contacted...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Dude, don't elongate those holes, because if you nail that skid hard enough on the rock, your skid will not only contact the transfer case anyway, but it'll do it with some momentum. There's gotta be a better way, but that sounds like trouble to me.
 

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ill think of something...with how high the holes are now I could make entirely new ones below them with about 1/4" solid metal between them. then I could weld shut the other holes eventually...or just weld them shut and start over. we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I even thought of using some washers where the bolts go into the crossmember, but it wouldn't help at all. The hole the bolt goes into is too large.
 
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