How to Install ATV Skid Plates

How to Install ATV Skid Plates
Saddled up on an ATV as you whip across rugged terrain, your vehicle's tires kick up rocks, twigs and other debris on the ground. But what does protect your ATV's fragile front-end parts, including its oil cooler? The skid plates. Skid plates can bolt to the front of your ATV or they can cover the entire underside of the vehicle. How can you install them? It's actually not too difficult a task.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Skid plate kit
  • Ratchet
  • Four bolts
Step 1
Obtain the appropriate skid plate kit. This will depend on two variables: your ATV type and the type of skid you want. Different ATVs require different sizes of skid, so be sure to consult with your ATV's user manual or the store's consultant to be sure you get the right one--meaning the one that fits! Skids come in heavy-duty plastic, diamond-plate aluminum or even steel.
Step 2
Locate the existing skid plates on your ATV. Skid plates are located in front of your ATV, generally right in the center. A second type of plate may be located on the bottom of your ATV, running almost all the way from front to back, along the center line of the vehicle.
Step 3
Use a ratchet to remove the bolts holding the old skid plate in place. There are typically four bolts on all front-side skid plates. Underside skid plates generally have more. Remove them all.
Step 4
Set aside the removed bolts in a safe place (like a tool box). These will come in handy--either immediately, to attach your new skid plates, or later, as extra bolts in case you lose one from your ATV.
Step 5
Use the ratchet to attach the new skid plate using new bolts. It you don't have new bolts, you can use the old bolts to attach the new plate. Attach both a front-side skid plate and an underside skid plate, though for the latter you may want to position your ATV on its rear end, with the front facing the sky. Once the bolts are in nice and tight, you are finished.

Article Written By William Jackson

William Jackson has written, reported and edited professionally for more than 10 years. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, high-level government reports, books and online. He holds a master's degree in humanities from Pennsylvania State University.

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