Skid Plates for Ford Escape

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Skid Plates for Ford Escape

Postby fugitive - October 15th, 2016, 5:43 pm

Last year I installed skid plates on my 2005 Ford Escape 4WD. I know there are some folks that have an interest in this. I posted this info in another thread on Escapes driving in sand, but have moved most of it to this new thread to continue the conversation.

***************************************************

I have the FTS skids on my ’05.

http://www.fts4x4.com/en/products/?method=detail&aid=37

Pros:
-The 2 steel mounting bars make for a robust assembly. (They look a bit like leaf springs for the skids).
-The two piece skids make for a more manageable assembly.
-Easy to remove just the front skid for an oil change.
-Provides nice protection for oil sump and transmission/transfer case
-The only off-the-shelf skid plates I could find ANYWHERE on earth.

Cons:
-The steel mounting bars came up just a tad short to their mounting bolts under the bumper. The bars have a slot, not a hole and I was worried they might pop loose under stress. I remedied this by placing 2 large diameter washers on the head of each mounting bolt. This seems to relieve any concerns of it coming off.

-For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to install the small rear steel mount that supports the back side of the transmission skid. I looked at the pics and crawled around underneath for hours and never figured it out. :?

Instead I had a shop weld two nuts over pre-existing holes on the rear of the sub-frame. I drilled two new holes in the rear of the skid plate to match the nuts. Then I screwed it in with two new bolts/washers. Simple and solid!

I like and recommend the FTS skid with the caveat that you will either have to figure out how the rear is supposed to attach, or do an end run and weld some nuts and drill a couple of holes in the rear skid. Hopefully they still have a set or two in stock.

I’ll dig around and see if I can find some pics of my installation. Cheers, TR
Last edited by fugitive on October 16th, 2016, 1:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Skid Plates for 2005 Escape

Postby fugitive - October 15th, 2016, 5:45 pm

Escape94 wrote:Please, please, PLEASE post some pics of the skid plate and it's mounting points. I have been telling people that I'm 95% sure it'd fit the US escapes despite being made in Taiwan. I would love to see some pics. Great that you actually got it installed! :yahoo:


I found the factory pics from FTS. Just an appetizer till I find my own install pics. Cheers, TR

Image

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Last edited by fugitive on October 15th, 2016, 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skid Plates for 2005 Escape

Postby fugitive - October 15th, 2016, 5:47 pm

Very good to know it fits (mostly)! The main reason I want the skid plate, is to aid in keeping water out of my alternator. Or at least keep the majority of it off. I be very greatful if you could let me know how well it keeps water out! All my buddies go up to big falls a lot and there are 7 creek crossings to go through if i remember correctly. I definitely need a solution for the poorly thought out alternator mounting point.


There are vent slots in the skids, so some water will get through. If you drive at the proper speed to create a bow wave in front of the escape, the skid may help the effect and reduce water in the lower engine bay.

Years ago I read about a bunch of Escape's having alternator failures after playing off road. The guys with the failures were driving in muddy/soupy water. The guys that stayed out of the nasty stuff were OK. I personally haven't heard of failures due to driving through clear water, but it is a possible problem.

Last winter I drove around Lockwood Valley (Los Padres NF) after a big storm. There were many roads where the runoff water is channeled right over the road. I drove through a half dozen of these water crossings 6-8" deep with no ill effects. The water was fairly clear. Without the skids there would have been a fair amount of water splashed into the lower engine bay. The skids probably reduced this (no way to know without a video cam under the hood). Hope that helps.

TR
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Re: Skid Plates for 2005 Escape

Postby fugitive - October 15th, 2016, 5:51 pm

Explanation of the problem I had with installing the rear of the second skid.

Pic of the kit:

Image

The steel plate (#3) has two holes. Rear of skid (#5) has two holes. The plate bolts to the skid.

Image

This leaves nothing to bolt the plate and skid to the chassis. The steel plate should provide some additional stiffness to the rear of the skid, but I just didn't see anyway to attach it to the chassis. The pic shows the plate bolted to the skid, but does not show any attachment to the chassis. The back of the skid just hangs in the air.

I gave up and welded two nuts on the chassis. Drill two new holes in the skid and it bolts right up.

I'll probably put the plate back on the rear of the skid just to help reinforce it.

Cheers, TR
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Re: Skid Plates for 2005 Escape

Postby fugitive - October 15th, 2016, 5:52 pm

AusEscape wrote:Thanks for the pics. I am hoping to build some and this helps.
I like the idea of the support bars that works well with the ideas I have.
Hope to do it soon and try to document.


AE, You're welcome.

The support bars add additional strength and resilience to the light weight aluminum skids. I consider it a brilliant solution and seems to be unique. All the skids I have seen for other solutions on small rigs (Subaru etc) seem to be just an aluminum skid bolted up to the chassis.

Best of luck with your homebrew skid project. I look forward to your progress.

Cheers, TR
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Re: Skid Plates for 2005 Escape

Postby fugitive - October 15th, 2016, 5:53 pm

The FTS pics were the best regarding the installation. (They had the advantage of putting the Escape on a lift).

Here are a few that will show my mod to the install and the finished product.

Image

This is the driver side, viewed looking towards the rear of the vehicle.
The observant among you will notice 2 nuts welded to the chassis. When I was crawling around under my Escape I picked what seemed the best location for the nut. Rather than marking it ahead of time, I trusted my feeble memory. Upon arriving at the welding shop, they pop the Escape up on a lift and asked me to point to the location. Well, there are three holes there and standing under the lift (as opposed to laying the opposite way under my Escape), I confidently pointed to the wrong hole. Arriving home, I smugly bolted up the two skids only to discover the freshly welded nuts lay beyond the end of the skid plate.

:wall: :rant: :bang: :cuss: :censor: (a simple Doh! just didn't seem enough).

I went back down to the welding shop with a fresh box of donuts, and an apology. They welded up two more nuts (no charge).

Image

This is the same setup on the passenger side (looking to the rear). The bolt is in the nut, in the correct location. (closest to the front)

I arrived back home and everything bolted up nicely. I am pleased.

2 pics of the completed skid plate install.

Image

The small front air dam almost perfectly covers the front of the skid for a stealth look. Nobody knows you are a lean, mean, off-road machine!
If you want to show off your skid, just remove the air dam.

Image

This is a look from down under (not to be confused with Australia).

Image

Here is the "fugitive" in action with freshly mounted skids, exploring the great outdoors.

Hope this is helpful to those looking to skidify their Escapes.

Cheers, TR
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Re: Skid Plates for 2005 Escape

Postby AusEscape - October 15th, 2016, 6:09 pm

Good info. Great pics. A pic tells a thousand words.


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Skid Plates for 2005 Escape

Postby AusEscape - October 15th, 2016, 11:02 pm

fugitive wrote:Last year I installed skid plates on my 2005 Ford Escape 4WD. I know there are some folks that have an interest in this. I posted this info in another thread on Escapes driving in sand, but have moved most of it to this new thread to continue the conversation.

***************************************************

I have the FTS skids on my ’05.

http://www.fts4x4.com/en/products/?method=detail&aid=37

Pros:
-The 2 steel mounting bars make for a robust assembly. (They look a bit like leaf springs for the skids).
-The two piece skids make for a more manageable assembly.
-Easy to remove just the front skid for an oil change.
-Provides nice protection for oil sump and transmission/transfer case
-The only off-the-shelf skid plates I could find ANYWHERE on earth.

Cons:
-The steel mounting bars came up just a tad short to their mounting bolts under the bumper. The bars have a slot, not a hole and I was worried they might pop loose under stress. I remedied this by placing 2 large diameter washers on the head of each mounting bolt. This seems to relieve any concerns of it coming off.

-For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to install the small rear steel mount that supports the back side of the transmission skid. I looked at the pics and crawled around underneath for hours and never figured it out. :?

Instead I had a shop weld two nuts over pre-existing holes on the rear of the sub-frame. I drilled two new holes in the rear of the skid plate to match the nuts. Then I screwed it in with two new bolts/washers. Simple and solid!

I like and recommend the FTS skid with the caveat that you will either have to figure out how the rear is supposed to attach, or do an end run and weld some nuts and drill a couple of holes in the rear skid. Hopefully they still have a set or two in stock.

I’ll dig around and see if I can find some pics of my installation. Cheers, TR


That link is worth checking out.
They also sell snorkels, lift kits, and these cool rear control arms with a bend to give more clearance.
Along with the skids.
I sent a msg about the skids so will see if they are still in business.
Image
ImageImage
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Re: Skid Plates for 2005 Escape

Postby fugitive - October 16th, 2016, 1:14 am

http://www.fts4x4.com/en/products/?method=detail&aid=37

That link is worth checking out.
They also sell snorkels, lift kits, and these cool rear control arms with a bend to give more clearance.
Along with the skids.
I sent a msg about the skids so will see if they are still in business.
Image


Those rear arms are very tempting. They look strong and the upward curve would enlarge the ground clearance "sweet spot".

When I initially asked FTS about skid plates I used the "contact us" link. I don't know where those messages go, but a month later... nothing. I think I later tried the "inquiry" link and finally received a reply.

They replied to me using fts.fts@msa.hinet.net this address is also now located at the bottom of their web page. My advice is to skip the "contact us" or "inquiry" options and just use their email address.

If you they contact you back, see how much those sweet rear control arms sell for. I can already picture them on the back of my escape. :)P
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Skid Plates for Ford Escape

Postby AusEscape - October 16th, 2016, 6:07 am

I sent a msg through "contact us". Thanks for the heads up, when I get a chance I will msg for prices on the rear arms and I want to price skid plates(right price save me making).
The pic on the site with the rear arms fitted looks like a good clearance gain.
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