Recommendations for skid plate and other off-road mods?

MikeM.

MoMo
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2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD 2.0L
Maybe something like the Jeep system?

Not sure how profitable it would be for Mazda but a "Jeep Trail Hawk" version of the CX-5 is bound to have some appeal.
Well, seeing how the CX-5 is not really an off-road vehicle (above average ground clearance notwithstanding) you're probably on the right track when you wonder whether it would make financial sense for Mazda. Personally, I think not. But as someone who learned the ropes off-road with vehicles that had manually locking hubs, and who has stood almost knee deep in muck to engage said hubs, I would be happy with aftermarket manual quick releases on the anti-sway bars. The sporty sway bars are what reduce off-road performance on the CX-5 and having an inexpensive manual quick release could substantially increase traction wherever a lot of articulation is desired (as the following video link will illustrate).

As to the skid plates, the look like they might benefit your quad but, on a CX-5, I'm afraid they would be in the way more than they helped. I took the following video yesterday when I spotted this little hill climb created by off-road vehicles. I think if I had full skid plates they would have hindered more than they helped. My first attempt I high centered and had to back down for another run. It was quite rocky and had a very steep lip at the top and is much steeper than the photos make it appear. If you look at my first failed attempt, you will see that I slid about 6 feet backwards as soon as my front wheels fell off the lip. All four wheels were locked up (on the brakes) but with wet tires (large puddle at the bottom), worn out OEM Geolanders, and loose, uneven surface, there was very little purchase. What this shows is the AWD did it's job and there was no issue with lack of torque to the rear wheels (because they were spinning). Without the anti-sway bars or with better tires (or dry tires) the first run would have been successful.

In any case, I made it the second try without getting a run at it (going too fast is the number one mistake of off-road beginners).

https://youtu.be/bZCROYEK1DM
 
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2011 M3 Touring / 2014 CX-5 Touring
Adding a more aggressive set of tires can make a difference in the performance of your CX5 off the road.
There also looks to be enough room in the wheel opening to pick up another inch or so of ground clearance with a taller profile. But that kind of misses the point: skid plates (or sliders, nudge bars, bull bars, etc.) are about increasing the odds of returning it to garage without damage, especially to your vehicle's high-cost components. As noted before the weight of these things can be quite a lot (a solid bull bar setup can weigh 500-600 lbs alone) so performance (or looks) is totally not the purpose for me.

Even so, a modest and well located skid plate set up doesn't have to be so very heavy to be effective and would make me a lot more comfortable about dragging bottom on rocks like that video above (which always seems to happen with you don't expect it should). I've seen some other you-tubes where there are parts hanging off the bottom of a CX-5 after dragging it through some sand and mud. All I could think of was how fun it would be if it's not mine to worry about fixing afterwards.
 
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2011 M3 Touring / 2014 CX-5 Touring
Corksport does sell some skid plates but nothing for CX-5. They stated the following:

"We are not currently developing a skid plate for the CX5.

You should fill out this form and maybe we can get the engineers to develop one!

http://corksport.com/product-ideas.html

"
After watching and reading some Australian CX-5 reviews I think there will be mods coming out to make it more Outback ready. I'd be really interested in those if they get imported affordably. A skid plate set up was first on their list.
 
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MikeM.

MoMo
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2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD 2.0L
All I could think of was how fun it would be if it's not mine to worry about fixing afterwards.
If you're worried about fixing things, don't go off-road. Things break all the time, it's an expensive and time consuming hobby, especially if the driver don't know how to drive off-road. Skid plates are not the panacea. If you're serious about going off-road, you might want one of these:


http://www.youtube.com/embed/GzXVLbs41Ew
 

Kedis82ZE8

Contributor
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'15 CX-5 GT AWD
Mike,

Thanks for video... I've had my share of off-road adventures over the years and undoubtedly you have had more than me. I generally take my Wrangler on the real rough stuff. I am a little interested though in a skid plate for stuff like this to protect the oil pan. I could have a long adventure and just this short little stretch that doesn't even need AWD.



Even a lightweight aluminum plate would be something.

EDIT: I could get my lazy ass out and move the affected rocks but I don't always seem up to it. :)
 
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2011 M3 Touring / 2014 CX-5 Touring
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2011 M3 Touring / 2014 CX-5 Touring
Mike,

Thanks for video... I've had my share of off-road adventures over the years and undoubtedly you have had more than me. I generally take my Wrangler on the real rough stuff. I am a little interested though in a skid plate for stuff like this to protect the oil pan. I could have a long adventure and just this short little stretch that doesn't even need AWD.....
That is almost exactly the kind of situation that I wanted protection for. The roadbed seems perfect for a CX-5, but if I confronted something like that even with a proper setup I'd usually turn back and find another trail to explore. I even would when I was trekking in a very capable Rodeo.

But we'd usually have our problem returning after a week of camping in the mountains:

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgur...qFQoTCIPYx4u5gMgCFdIVkgod2fQKUg&iact=c&ictx=1

Not us... but we frequently had something like that to deal with. You've no choice: forestry service doesn't maintain these roads so they're not going to be there to help you. You clear as best you can and rely on protection for the rest. Not everyone of us are expert and brilliant off roaders, but that doesn't mean we should shun adventure.
 
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MikeM.

MoMo
:
2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD 2.0L
Even a lightweight aluminum plate would be something.

EDIT: I could get my lazy ass out and move the affected rocks but I don't always seem up to it. :)
Regarding the rocky slide debris, if you would need to remove rocks to get through without a skid plate, you would need to move at least as many to get through with a skid plate (because skid plates always reduce ground clearance). Thinking the bigger rocks could just bash the skid plate with no harm done is just plain wrong. You are likely to get high centered on the skid plate.

The real problem with putting skid plates on a CX-5 is it's uni-body construction. Skid plates are more effective and easier to engineer for body on frame vehicles. Say you mount the skid plate solidly the uni-body frame members on either side of the chassis. Then you bash a few rocks with it. A light aluminum plate is either going to transmit the forces straight through to the components you are trying to protect or, it's going to bash up into a hollow area of the underbody. This will try to pull the frame members together. Remember, loaded up with people and supplies for a trip into the back-country your CX-5 is going to be well over 2 tons. Aluminum alloys don't have the impact resistance of steel but they can exert substantial tensile forces in this kind of application. If the skid plate is solidly bolted to the chassis, this can cause the vehicles chassis to deform which will mess up your alignment and cause a whole host of other very serious issues. If the skid plate is not bolted solidly to the chassis (say by mounting it through slotted holes) it's just going to deform that much easier and transfer the impacts directly to the components you're trying to protect.

And the bottom line is a skid plate is not going to eliminate the need to get out and move the rocks that are too large to clear.
 

maxwax

CX5 Road Tripper
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2014 Sky Blue Touring AWD
0) Don't try to turn the CX-5 into a Jeep. It's not a Jeep. It never will be. And if you raise it and put monster tires on it and all sorts of stuff, a lot of the highway/crossover traditional benefits of a CX-5 go away. If you really need that, get a used Jeep.

Having said that..

1) All Terrain Tires. I bought Yokhoama A/T-S last year and went on some roads that looked similar to that rock slide road shown early in this thread. Aggressive tires give you confidence in driving but they don't replace the need for smart driving and slow, cautious driving when on rocks. I was tempted to splash about in dirty mud puddles but avoided it most of the time.. the fear of hitting something that someone had thrown in there earlier which is now hidden in murky brown water kept me responsible. Most of people I saw doing that had vehicles which were already beat up.

2) Spare shovel. The only time I've gotten stuck is when I high-centered my CX-5 while testing brand new snow tires. Doesn't matter how good the tires are, if you pack enough snow under a CX-5's belly, it's not going anywhere.

3) Gear to walk yourself out. If you're really adventurous, then one of these days something is going to break and you need to be ready to walk our and/or stay and survive.

4) Rack rails and cross bars and a cargo box. Going remote? Bring more gear in that cargo box to survive and put some repair tools in the trunk area.

5) Full size wheel and another A/T-S tire in the trunk area. I used blocks of carboard to raise the trunk cover an inch or so in order to fit a full size spare. So when that spare gets punctured, I can change it. I also bring a foot-long slab or plywood so I can lay that down on rocks, then use a jack to lift the CX-5 up to change a tire.

I'm shopping for tires tonight and I probably won't get A/T-S this year. I expect to be on the highway more, this year, but when I do go out in the woods, I think smart, careful driving, thick tread and 2-5 above are going to keep me pretty happy.
 

Kedis82ZE8

Contributor
:
'15 CX-5 GT AWD
My biggest concern is something tearing into the oil pan on a poorly maintained forest service road. I do have a '00 wrangler for the rough stuff but the CX-5 is far more enjoyable off-road.
 
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2014 Mazda CX-5 Akera AWD 2.2 litre TTD
That's defo improving things. I've also seen some Australia sites selling nudge bars and stuff, but is anybody importing?

The lift is intriguing: I wonder what all it entails, how much articulation was achieved and how extreme the angles are on the CV joints.
There's a company called http://www.ecb.com.au that make/supply a couple of nice looking bars for the CX-5. I'm looking to pick one up for mine later in the year.
 
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CX5 GT-R
Just buy a second vehicle. This is absurd. 4.0 4WD Cherokees are cheap and available and nothing you can do to your CX5 will make it half as useful off road as one of those right out of the box.
 

Kedis82ZE8

Contributor
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'15 CX-5 GT AWD
Once my warranty expires at end of July I'm gonna pursue replacing the plastics over the drivetrain with skids available in other markets. One could take a CX-5 into some pretty dicey stuff if they added some extra protection. No need for a winch as I have a portable Honda capstan rope winch.

 

Kedis82ZE8

Contributor
:
'15 CX-5 GT AWD
Old thread resurrection

Might pick up this CX-5 skid plate from Europe. Shipping won't be cheap though but used to it buying Prado items for my GX 460 from Germany, Japan and Australia.

Vendor response:

"Unfortunately we don`t ship to the US at the moment. We haven`t found a cost effective way to make it. At this point the shipping itself exceeds the price of the products almost two times.

If still interested, please send us your exact shipping details so we can make you an exact quote"

https://www.skid-plate.com/mazda-cx5-skid-plate

 
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