Adding skid plates to 2018 Limited with tow package?

Discussion in '4th Gen - 2018 - present' started by scottdm, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. scottdm

    scottdm Full Access Members

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    I have a 2018 Limited with the tow package and was curious if anyone has investigated adding the OEM skid plates from the FX4 to a Limited? Mine is a short wheelbase like the FX4, so I would think the fuel tank skid plate should work as well. I wouldn't mind the additional under body protection for running in sand dunes, or at the beach, if it was a reasonable addition. It's a shame that Ford doesn't offer the FX4 package on higher trim levels like they do on the F150.
     
  2. KenK

    KenK Member

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    I recently bought a 2018 XLT Max with the tow package and also want to add skid plates but have not yet found the Ford parts online.

    Attached are pictures I took of Expedition FX4 skid plates, generally they do not look all that substantial.
    The one under the intercooler appeared to be steel, under the engine aluminum, under transmission appeared to be aluminum with that fiber stuff on it, transfer case plate was steel, and the gas tank shield was plastic.


    I contacted RCI for heavier duty aftermarket plates and here is their response:

    Thank you so much for your interest in our products. We manufacture a front skid plate in steel and a transmission skid plate in steel or aluminum. Unfortunately not a transfer case skid plate.
    The 09-14' F150 happens to share some similarities in the frame with the Expedition. So, that's why we sell the front and transmission skid plate.
    We only manufacture the skid plates for the 09-14'/F150 in steel. However the transmission skid plate is the same for all 09-19' F150s. That is why we have one in aluminum that fits the Expedition.
    I'd be happy to place an order for your directly or feel free to place one at the website and let me know if there is anything else that I can help you with.
    Thanks again and have a great day.
    RCI OFFROAD
    P: 970.797.3089
    [email protected]

    Ford Expedition FX4 Skid Pan Transmission Case.jpg

    Ford Expedition FX4 Skid Pan Transmission.jpg

    Ford Expedition FX4 Skid Pan Gas Tank.jpg

    Ford Expedition FX4 Skid Pan Intercooler and Engine.jpg
     
  3. scottdm

    scottdm Full Access Members

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    Thanks for the photos. Did RCI say that their skid plates for the engine & transmission would be easy to bolt on? Just curious if existing bolt holes and weld nuts exist to bolt everything on without major modifications.
     
  4. scottdm

    scottdm Full Access Members

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    Talked with my dealer and got a quote for roughly $500 for all the parts and fasteners to replicate the FX4 skid plates (engine, intercooler, transmission, transfer case, fuel tank). I ordered the transfer case skid plate (part 7E063 below) to see how easy it is to bolt everything on (RCI doesn't make the transfer case skid plate), and then will decide if I end up doing OEM or RCI skids for engine, transmission, and fuel tank. Some part diagrams are below for illustration.




    Front Skid Plates_cropped.JPG Fuel Tank Skid Plate_cropped.JPG
     
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  5. KenK

    KenK Member

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    The RCI stuff looked to be of good quality and easy to install, not cheap, but not crazy expensive.

    Thanks for the diagrams with the factory skid plates. $500 doesn't sound too outrageous including all the hardware.
    I'm having a little trouble figuring out from the from the diagram what hardware is needed for the gas tank skid plate.
    We definitely need the tank straps because they have the studs mounted on them to attach the big plastic skid plate.

    I like the idea of just doing a piece at a time like you are doing with the transfer case.
    Let us know how it goes.
     
  6. scottdm

    scottdm Full Access Members

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    On the fuel tank diagram, it looks like the new fuel tank straps have short studs welded to them and then the "HN3" nuts hold the fuel tank skid plate in place.

    On the other skid plates, I'm interested to see what the "HN1" nuts look like and how they mount to the frame. The frame is fully boxed and has holes pre-drilled, but no existing weld nuts on the inside of the boxed frame. I'm thinking it's something similar to a drywall anchor that expands on the other side of the hole when it's tightened down, but not sure what would keep the nut from spinning since it's a round hold in the frame. I'll try to take some pictures when the hardware arrives and I install it.
     
  7. Artie

    Artie Full Access Members

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    Would these just bolt in without any fabrication? I want some for the Navigator but idk if I want to go with the Fx4 ones or wait for some kinda after market ones. I’ve seen mixed reviews for the Fx4 ones but I’m not looking to do anything crazy but I go get off pavement and want some kinda protection.
     
  8. scottdm

    scottdm Full Access Members

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    The theory is that everything should bolt up, but we'll find out when the transfer case skid plate arrives with the hardware. Thought I'd start small and see how things work out with the install before deciding which skid plates to use for the remaining areas. The only aftermarket option that I'm aware of is RCI, and their components look more stout, though are also more expensive.
     
  9. Trainmaster

    Trainmaster Old School Member

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    The third generation trucks used the slip on threaded inserts (speed nuts) for the front two skid plates, along with metric bolts. If there are rectangular holes in the frame next to round holes then the plates are installed with speed nuts. The nuts are clips with threads.

    The fuel tank shield used a mix of standard nuts and speed nuts.

    The skid plates on the third generation police vehicles are good quality (about 12 ga. steel, plastic on the tank) for everything but perhaps rock climbing and are money well spent in my opinion. I'm on the beach often, and I've heard these plates deflect lots of stuff. The RCI ones are much heavier (choice of 1/4" steel or aluminum, I think).

    A long-shot may be finding a wrapped up SSV police Expedition. They have the full set of plates and junkyards generally give you all three for $100.

    This is a $3 Speed Nut.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  10. Artie

    Artie Full Access Members

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    The RCI site is only showing options for 3rd gen unless I’m missing something. Those look pretty tough tho and quality isn’t something I mind paying for. How do they compare to the Fx4 plates?
     

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