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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question for you that have the solid UHMW skid plates. How do you handle fluid changes? Do you drill a service hole for the oil and other fluids to drain through? Or do you remove the skid plate when doing fluid changes? From the photos it looks like an awful lot of bolts to remove.
 

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The main skid had holes in the right places already. The front skid needed a new hole, which I drilled in it.
I intend to cut a bunch more holes to allow rocks and dirt to fall out on the trail and while I am washing it. I get a lot of accumulated crap on the skid.

Removing the skids is a pain, not just because of the number of bolts, but also because of the thickness of the metal they are threaded into - it's pretty thin and easy to over-tighten and strip out, so I tend to want to install the plate once, and then leave it there forever.

Cutting holes is the UHMW skids is easy work with these:
http://www.alltradetools.com/catalog/2130-2322-thickbox/841040-wood-boring-spade-bit.jpg

Cutting more holes in the skid may allow stuff to poke up through it, but the ACE kicks up a lot of rocks anyway, and I think that making it easier for stuff to get out will be a net positive.
I already cut more holes in the rear A-arm guards and was rewarded for it when washing after the next ride - it was WAY easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Scoundrel, thanks for the reply. I have been postponing installing these plates because I somehow thought they were completely solid. This helps a lot.
 

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Today I took my skid plate off to poke some more holes in it.
Take a look at how much mud was on it. That's only the amount that survived all of the vibrations and movement of taking it off. There were a dozen good-sized rocks in there was well, and some more mud.
When it came off, a lot of crap fell off of it. What was left weighed 10 pounds. I weighed it with the crap on it, then washed it off and weighed it again. Without the crap, it is 15 pounds.

Then I drilled a crapload of holes in it. I spaced them out to hopefully not weaken the structure, and I used smaller holes under the fuel tank and some coolant lines and wiring.
I didn't do this to make it lighter, but I figured if I did not weigh it again afterward, someone would ask. The additional holes reduced the weight another 2.5 lbs.

Does this make the underside of the ACE more vulnerable? Yes it does. But I think it's still better than the stock skid plate by far, and I don't want to carry so much mud and rocks around.


View attachment 2965 View attachment 2966 View attachment 2967
 

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BTW, if you do cut holes in your skid plate, a stepping drill bit is much easier than a blade bit. However, you gotta take it slow or you'll burn out your drill.
My drill was a crappy recent model Black and Decker (they have really let themselves go), which had already suffered some abuse.
It started slowing down, getting hot, and not being able to cut as well. So I put it away and got out a larger drill.

View attachment 2968
 
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