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Best Option for Fuel Tank Skid Plate

Bill K

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Just got back from Bronco Off Rodeo here in Texas and my son and I really enjoyed it. Nice to have all of the features demonstrated instead of trying to wade through the 600 page electronic owner's manual trying to figure them out.

When I asked our trail guide which skid plate he would recommend adding first, he didn't hesitate to cite the fuel tank. The other guide chimed in and said he ruined his for lack of a $40 piece of steel. I've fixed a tear in a plastic tank on my daughter's car likely due to a careless service tech somewhere and don't care to repeat that.

Fortunately, Ford recently replaced my plastic front and under engine bash plates with steel ones as part of a recall on my '23 Big Bend. Have read a few posts on the protective plates to add, but thought I would ask about this one first. Which did you add, and why do you like it?

Also, I seem to remember at least one of the rear factory lift points being pretty close to the fuel tank. Does the skid plate you added get in the way of that? Thanks.
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bdunk

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I have a 23' Wildtrek and was surprised to see it had no fuel tank skid. So one of the very first things I ordered was a fuel tank skid from RCI. I've since added the RCI sliders and the rest of their skid plate package. I can't recommend their products enough, everything was great and easy to install.

Their skid plates and sliders are built very well and were easy to install. I did it in my driveway on my back without anyones help. Just do it with a low volume of fuel in the tank and make sure you have some ratchet straps to support the tank while you install it.

I went with aluminum since I don't get a chance to do severe off roading, plus I wanted the rust resistance.
 
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Dadsquatch

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I went RCI fuel tank skid as well.
 

RC Bronco

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Some members on here really vouch for the one piece OEM fuel tank skid because it doesn’t have a leverage point that could bend if you were sitting on a rock with the weight of the vehicle on that rock
 

msujay2012

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I have a 23' Wildtrek and was surprised to see it had no fuel tank skid. So one of the very first things I ordered was a fuel tank skid from RCI. I've since added the RCI sliders and the rest of their skid plate package. I can't recommend their products enough, everything was great and easy to install.

Their skid plates and sliders are built very well and were easy to install. I did it in my driveway on my back without anyones help. Just do it with a low volume of fuel in the tank and make sure you have some ratchet straps to support the tank while you install it.

I went with aluminum since I don't get a chance to do severe off roading, plus I wanted the rust resistance.
Did you get the full skid package?
 

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bdunk

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Did you get the full skid package?
Yes, everything except shock and differential skids. I even added the cross member skids and the catalytic converter pieces as a theft deterrent. I’m waiting to see who has the best shock option for the Fox shocks on the HOSS 3.0 suspension. Most current options aren’t made for that.

And for the post that referenced the one piece OEM skid vs the a two piece aftermarket, in my opinion the two piece I have from RCI is a much better, stronger option then OEM. The RCI attaches to the frame in more places and the two pieces also bolt to each other. I have no concern about its ability to support the full weight of the vehicle.
 
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Bill K

Bill K

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I have a 23' Wildtrek and was surprised to see it had no fuel tank skid. So one of the very first things I ordered was a fuel tank skid from RCI. I've since added the RCI sliders and the rest of their skid plate package. I can't recommend their products enough, everything was great and easy to install.

Their skid plates and sliders are built very well and were easy to install. I did it in my driveway on my back without anyones help. Just do it with a low volume of fuel in the tank and make sure you have some ratchet straps to support the tank while you install it.

I went with aluminum since I don't get a chance to do severe off roading, plus I wanted the rust resistance.
Thanks - I'll look in to this one. Aluminum is definitely a plus for weight reduction.
 

msujay2012

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Yes, everything except shock and differential skids. I even added the cross member skids and the catalytic converter pieces as a theft deterrent. I’m waiting to see who has the best shock option for the Fox shocks on the HOSS 3.0 suspension. Most current options aren’t made for that.

And for the post that referenced the one piece OEM skid vs the a two piece aftermarket, in my opinion the two piece I have from RCI is a much better, stronger option then OEM. The RCI attaches to the frame in more places and the two pieces also bolt to each other. I have no concern about its ability to support the full weight of the vehicle.
I should have been more clear. Did you get the full skid package from the factory?
 
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Bill K

Bill K

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Thanks - I'll look in to this one. Aluminum is definitely a plus for weight reduction.
Unfortunately aluminum not available for the 2 door... Bummer.
 
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Bill K

Bill K

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I have a 23' Wildtrek and was surprised to see it had no fuel tank skid. So one of the very first things I ordered was a fuel tank skid from RCI. I've since added the RCI sliders and the rest of their skid plate package. I can't recommend their products enough, everything was great and easy to install.

Their skid plates and sliders are built very well and were easy to install. I did it in my driveway on my back without anyones help. Just do it with a low volume of fuel in the tank and make sure you have some ratchet straps to support the tank while you install it.

I went with aluminum since I don't get a chance to do severe off roading, plus I wanted the rust resistance.
Thanks - good information. I just crawled under and looked, and to my amazement, I have the factory steel skid plate for the fuel tank on my Big Bend - OOPS... I would like to get the transmission one though with the plastic pan on the bottom of it. I'll explore this option as it looks like the RCI one is compatible with the OEM plates.
 

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CarbonSteel

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I have a 23' Wildtrek and was surprised to see it had no fuel tank skid. So one of the very first things I ordered was a fuel tank skid from RCI. I've since added the RCI sliders and the rest of their skid plate package. I can't recommend their products enough, everything was great and easy to install.

Their skid plates and sliders are built very well and were easy to install. I did it in my driveway on my back without anyones help. Just do it with a low volume of fuel in the tank and make sure you have some ratchet straps to support the tank while you install it.

I went with aluminum since I don't get a chance to do severe off roading, plus I wanted the rust resistance.
@bdunk - I am seriously looking at RCI since they have a sale happening right now. A couple of questions if you don't mind:

-- How do you like the engine skid?
-- Does it cover as much as the OEM?
-- What about oil changes, do you have to pull two skids (main front and smaller rear) or just the smaller rear?

TIA!
 

Alanp970

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I put the JCR Off-road fuel tank skid on my Base model but I actually think I would prefer the OEM since it’s one big piece. I don’t like the other OEM skids but that tank skid is pretty stout
 

Aman

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Thanks - good information. I just crawled under and looked, and to my amazement, I have the factory steel skid plate for the fuel tank on my Big Bend - OOPS... I would like to get the transmission one though with the plastic pan on the bottom of it. I'll explore this option as it looks like the RCI one is compatible with the OEM plates.
From what I recall, all 2-door models come with the fuel tank skid plate from the factory. Most of the other skids I have are RCI, but the factory tank skid is solid, so keeping it.
 

bdunk

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Thanks - good information. I just crawled under and looked, and to my amazement, I have the factory steel skid plate for the fuel tank on my Big Bend - OOPS... I would like to get the transmission one though with the plastic pan on the bottom of it. I'll explore this option as it looks like the RCI one is compatible with the OEM plates.
Well that's a happy surprise! And I definitely didn't love the exposure of so many parts on my Wildtrek. I didn't get the factory skid option partly because I knew I wanted the RCI. But I also believe Ford limits certain option combinations due to weight. So with some of the other options I was ordering for mine, I couldn't get the factory skids even if I wanted to.
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