Skid Plate Question

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018 1:34pm

If you were buying engine, transmission, and transfer case skid plates for a stock (unlifted) vehicle, and your two choises were 3/16" thick steel or 1/4" thick 5052 aluminum (at a slightly higher price), which would you choose?

Thank you.


1996 Jeep ZJ Grand Cherokee

Join Date: June 2010

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 4:13pm

Buy steel. It bends but can be hammered back into shape. (Fargo fixed his that way) Aluminum can crack and then you're done. Aluminum also persipitation age hardens as the years go by, thereby predisposing it to cracking. Impervium and unobtainium are better but aren't readily available to the sport market. :) I'd buy steel.

1991 Jeep YJ

Join Date: May 2003

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 10:11pm

Roughly speaking, aluminum is half as strong but 1/3 the weight as steel. So a 3/8” aluminum plate is close to the strength of 3/16” steel, With a weight savings of 1/3. 1/4” aluminum would be less strong than 3/16” steel. As Bruce said, Steel is more malleable and can take reforming/shaping, aluminum fatigues with bending. Just my two cents

1998 Jeep TJ

Join Date: June 2010

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 10:41pm

I have aluminum and they have had a workout. I am happy with them and have not had any problems.

Slim Jimmy
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 10th anniversary

Join Date: February 2019