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Thread: Recommendations for skid plate and other off-road mods?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBLXX View Post
    I recently googled "Mazda CX-5 Brush Guards" and got a huge return of options.

    FYI
    I'm sure there will be quite a few... but how many are serious? Most of this stuff sold is suitable for cosmetics: thin metal attached with sheet metal screws. That Kaddis kit in the above pictures could be the same 'Mall Cruiser' grade for all we know. I seem to remember that Japanese are famous for that kind of thing anyway.

    I don't consider it 'useless weight' if it protects $10K of engine and transmission when it slips off a rock and settles onto the skid plate. I never considered myself a particularly risk-taking trekker but I did that plenty enough times to appreciate it's worth on my Rodeo.
    Last edited by Buddywh2; 09-11-2015 at 04:55 PM.

  2. #17
    i-ACTIV AWD Aficionado Kedis82ZE8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM. View Post
    The best off-road mod would be anti-sway bar brackets with quick disconnects. That would actually improve the off-road prowess of the CX-5 without giving up the sporty street performance or tacking on a bunch of useless weight.
    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.
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedis82ZE8 View Post
    Maybe something like the Jeep system?...
    All that's needed is disconnect one side of the stabilizer (a common practice in the off-roading community) and that shouldn't be too difficult on the CX, both front and rear, even as a field mod before you start wheeling. The only thing to look out for is make sure the bar end or the link doesn't interfere with anything: remember that the disconnected end will travel up and down freely with the opposite side wheel.

    But it makes little to no sense to me making it more capable in extreme situations when the underbelly is so exposed.
    Last edited by Buddywh2; 09-12-2015 at 08:07 AM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddywh2 View Post
    All that's needed is disconnect one side of the stabilizer (a common practice in the off-roading community) and that shouldn't be too difficult on the CX, both front and rear, even as a field mod before you start wheeling. The only thing to look out for is make sure the bar end or the link doesn't interfere with anything: remember that the disconnected end will travel up and down freely with the opposite side wheel.

    But it makes little to no sense to me making it more capable in extreme situations when the underbelly is so exposed.
    Sorry.. I'm going a little OT...

    I disconnect the end links on one of my quads and it does greatly enhance articulation. Of course I have full underbody skid plate package as well... it can take on some gnarly terrain but obviously a single track motorbike will go further.



    If you really want to get to far reaches with something motorized a Rokon can't be beat. Power to front wheel as well. Design hasn't really changed in forever. They are made to allow for repairs on the trail though.

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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedis82ZE8 View Post
    Looks like company in Russia makes one for the front splash shield area.

    http://www.protex-karter.ru/eng/stee...1-_carter.html
    I got curious so sent them an email on availability outside of Russia. Not sure one could even buy direct now with current sanctions.
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  6. #21
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    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

    "
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedis82ZE8 View Post
    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

  8. #23
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    Adding a more aggressive set of tires can make a difference in the performance of your CX5 off the road.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by karlmagnum View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Buddywh2; 09-17-2015 at 07:54 AM.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedis82ZE8 View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Buddywh2; 09-17-2015 at 07:59 AM.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddywh2 View Post
    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
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  12. #27
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    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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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM. View Post
    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,....
    Maybe I should stay off the streets around here...

    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...FZJSkgodRN0OvA

    It CAN be expensive... it doesn't HAVE to be time consuming. But then, some people tend to project their own limitations on others.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedis82ZE8 View Post
    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?imgurl...&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.
    Last edited by Buddywh2; 09-18-2015 at 07:21 AM.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedis82ZE8 View Post

    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.
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