392 Skid Plates - Any recommendations and/or advice

Which 392 skids have you installed?

  • MetalCloak

  • Next Venture

  • Rock Hard

  • Running bear balls

  • Other


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ozon8r

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In need of recommendations from fellow 392 owners.

With two weeks of ownership (2400 miles of smiles on the ODO already), I spent the first weekend modding and installing 37" tires and wheel spacers, TeraFlex Alpha HD Tailgate Hinge and Tire Carrier along with a Warn Zeon 10S winch and PowerTank for air (phase 1a - BIG RUBBER AND RECOVERY) and second weekend wheeling on moderate trails here in Colorado (Phase 1b - had to scratch the itch BAD).

Time to start phase 2 -SKIDS, focused on mods to alleviate the HIGH anxiety of ripping off the oil drain plug (that thing sticks down like a sore thumb) and protecting the undercarriage in general.

LCA/Diff skids may come later (maybe phase 3) but not on the radar just yet.

Here is what I am considering in order of interest:
#1 Metal Cloak full skid system including muffler - $1900, metal, cool raw color, 149lbs, great reputation
#2 Next Venture Motorsports full skid (no muffler) - $2500, aluminum, 104lbs (nice), reputation not known but may be fine
#3 Rock Hard full skid system including muffler - $1940, metal, powder coated, 275lbs (yikes, but is that weight right?), 392 users praise on FB
M.O.R.E - nothing available yet (Sep 2021)
EVO - nothing available yet (Sep 2021)
Artec - nothing available yet (Sep 2021)

Unlike my 14' JKUR built for rock crawling, I DO NOT plan to run Pritchett (Moab), or Spring Creek/Holy Cross (Colorado) with my 392. But I want to have it ready in case I venture out to trails like Golden Spike/Gold Bar Rim/China Gulch/Kelly Flats for example.

Appreciate 392 owners research, recommendations, additional vendors to consider, and experience if any with skids installed on your 392s.

Cheers!
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Monster1926

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I’m curious myself, I’ll probably go with metal cloaks skid and their 3.5 game changer lift for my 392. They just ran a 10% off Labor Day sale.
 
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ozon8r

ozon8r

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I’m curious myself, I’ll probably go with metal cloaks skid and their 3.5 game changer lift for my 392. They just ran a 10% off Labor Day sale.
What is the code for the labor day sale? I may try that.
 
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ozon8r

ozon8r

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Philip

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I ran RH on my 2019 JLUR, and went the same direction for my 392. Took 3 months to get them… but I know they will hold up without issue.

I wheel almost every weekend, in Colorado, and I can tell you that Aluminum doesn’t slide as easily as steel. I would only go this route if you planned on covering them with some uhmw (like a buggy).

As for the MC vs RH… I’m certain either would work for moderate to hard wheeling… but comparing MC @149 lbs vs RH @250 lbs… I would not expect MC take the beating that RH can.
 
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ozon8r

ozon8r

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I ran RH on my 2019 JLUR, and went the same direction for my 392. Took 3 months to get them… but I know they will hold up without issue.

I wheel almost every weekend, in Colorado, and I can tell you that Aluminum doesn’t slide as easily as steel. I would only go this route if you planned on covering them with some uhmw (like a buggy).

As for the MC vs RH… I’m certain either would work for moderate to hard wheeling… but comparing MC @149 lbs vs RH @250 lbs… I would not expect MC take the beating that RH can.
Excellent feedback.

I had a 14 JKUR with EVO steel skids and a 19 Land Cruiser with Bud Built beefy steel skids also and never thought about the issue of aluminum not sliding as well. Damn good catch. My son's 19 4Runner has steel too.

I didn't mention in the original post that I plan to flat tow the 392 behind a motorhome and trying to be as weight conscious as I can given the heft of a 392 stock. So, I may go the MC route so I can use the 100 lb difference on other mods.
 
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ozon8r

ozon8r

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I pulled the trigger and ordered the MetalCloak UnderCloak Armor system including the muffler skid and will consider the the diff covers and skids later in the build. I'll post pics once I receive them in 6-8 weeks and have installed.

Here is what influenced my decision. The MetalCloak provides a balance of strength of metal plates while not introducing a significant amount of additional weight. Also influenced by the color and not needing to worry about painting after each wheel trip. The price was mostly a wash between the options, but all in and the inclusion of a skid for the muffler, the MetalCloak was the lowest price compared to RW and Nextventure options.
 
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ozon8r

ozon8r

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I’ll be going with Next Venture’s skid system & diff guards. Keep us posted on the MC skids once you get them installed & used on the trails.
What influenced your decision to go with Next Venture? Your thought process might help others on the forum use your info to help them on their build journey.
 

Outrun

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I’ll be going with Next Venture’s skid system & diff guards. Keep us posted on the MC skids once you get them installed & used on the trails.
This is what I am going to use too. Very proven system.
 

MSparks909

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Can’t say which one is better than the other as I have no experience with either but I personally like their skid design the best and it’s aluminum. Might not slide as good as steel but I’ll take that trade off for the weight savings. Also like their diff skids the best out of all offerings. Plan on ordering the NV components by the end of the month.
 

alksion

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Following. Making the same decision shortly.
 
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ozon8r

ozon8r

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Just finished installing the MetalCloak engine/oil Pan and tranny skids along with the muffler skids. Even though MetalCloak included the gas tank skid, going to hold off installing that for a bit. The instructions are pretty good and the fitment was almost spot on. The oil Pan brackets attach to the engine mount. You have to remove the 13mm bolt (not 18mm MetalCloak if you are watching) from the top of the engine mount which was a pita and reinstall with the bracket in the opposite side.


I also had to use a pry bar and a BFH to influence a stubborn bolt over a skid slot, I trick I learned wrenching on myJK.

Using a floor jack and my son on occasion, this was about a two hour job.

Glad to have the oil drain plug protected. Felt like I was riding a go cart with my jewels hanging just off the pavement going down the road.

here are some pics:

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dgerb

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I ordered the MC skid plates a couple of weeks ago....hope to get them sometime soon....messing around with the motor mount nuts/bolts doesn't sound like fun...
 
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