sixity how-to repair guides

How To Replace and Install an ATV Skid Plate

When to Install a Skid Plate on an ATV

Every ATV, except one, comes with some version of a skid plate to protect the "vital organs" of your machine. Skid plates are primarily under body armor that protects the investment you have made in your machine. The problem is not all skid plates are created equal.


Some stock skid plates only cover the frame and a-arm while others cover the full chassis, engine, a-arm and differential. They also come in different materials and grades of materials meaning they will offer up different levels of protection when the bottom of your ride is suddenly introduced to a tree stump or boulder.


And then there is your style of riding. If you only travel on well groomed trails you probably don't need a skid plate. However if you like going up or down rough terrain and sliding over obstacles, then you are going to want the best protection you can get.


Things You'll Need:

Aftermarket skid plates are manufactured for specific brands and models so there is rarely a need to make modifications (drill) to install them. The exception to that rule is where the replacement skid plate covers more areas than the stock plate. When this is required it will be spelled out in the installation instructions so you are not left in the dark as to where to drill. Typically the kit will also include the correct sized drill bits as well.


  • Automotive stand
  • Replacement skid plate kit
  • Socket set and ratchet wrench
  • Power drill and bits

How To Install an ATV Skid Plate

The big challenge here is working under the vehicle with large panels to hold in place with one hand while you drive screws/bolts with the other. If you are using a stand make certain that it can take the weight and is secure.


An alternative approach is to carefully lay the ATV on its side which gives you easier access and better light. If you go that route pinch off the fuel line to prevent leaks/spills. Use wood blocks to keep the body of the ATV from coming into direct contact with the floor.


The instructions that follow are general in nature but include all the steps required to install a full chassis engine skid plate.


  1. Open your skid plate kit and inventory the hardware to ensure you have everything you need to successfully install the plate.
  2. Remove the old skid plate and set the bolts to the side as you will reuse them to install the new plate.
  3. Installing a skid plate is like assembling a three to five piece puzzle so in every instance when you are bolting on a piece keep the bolts loose so you have wiggle room to align one piece with another. When all the pieces are in place you can go back and tighten the bolts.
  4. Your installation instructions will advise you when and what size new hardware to use rather than the old bolts.
  5. Start with the rear differential plate. Identify the holes on the undercarriage and then attach typically using 4 bolts.
  6. Next is the rear chassis piece. Again identify the mounting points and then loosely drive the bolts.
  7. Next is the front chassis piece. Follow the same procedure as the rear. Some models will have an interlocking tab connecting the front to the rear. Make sure the tab is properly aligned.
  8. Last to go on is the front differential piece and in many cases this will require drilling some holes. Your installation instructions will detail where the holes should go and what size bit and hardware are required.
  9. Wiggle the pieces so they all fit flush where they meet and then give the entire skid plate a final tightening down.
  10. If you have placed the ATV on its side to perform this task, carefully right it and remove the pinch on the gas line.

Installing skid plates really doesn't take any special mechanical skills. The key is to make sure you have all the parts before you start and then pay close attention to the sequence and special instructions in your installation guide.


- End of Procedure -


Return to all Repair & Install Guides

How To Replace and Install an ATV Skid Plate

When to Install a Skid Plate on an ATV

Every ATV, except one, comes with some version of a skid plate to protect the "vital organs" of your machine. Skid plates are primarily under body armor that protects the investment you have made in your machine. The problem is not all skid plates are created equal.


Some stock skid plates only cover the frame and a-arm while others cover the full chassis, engine, a-arm and differential. They also come in different materials and grades of materials meaning they will offer up different levels of protection when the bottom of your ride is suddenly introduced to a tree stump or boulder.


And then there is your style of riding. If you only travel on well groomed trails you probably don't need a skid plate. However if you like going up or down rough terrain and sliding over obstacles, then you are going to want the best protection you can get.


Things You'll Need:

Aftermarket skid plates are manufactured for specific brands and models so there is rarely a need to make modifications (drill) to install them. The exception to that rule is where the replacement skid plate covers more areas than the stock plate. When this is required it will be spelled out in the installation instructions so you are not left in the dark as to where to drill. Typically the kit will also include the correct sized drill bits as well.


  • Automotive stand
  • Replacement skid plate kit
  • Socket set and ratchet wrench
  • Power drill and bits

How To Install an ATV Skid Plate

The big challenge here is working under the vehicle with large panels to hold in place with one hand while you drive screws/bolts with the other. If you are using a stand make certain that it can take the weight and is secure.


An alternative approach is to carefully lay the ATV on its side which gives you easier access and better light. If you go that route pinch off the fuel line to prevent leaks/spills. Use wood blocks to keep the body of the ATV from coming into direct contact with the floor.


The instructions that follow are general in nature but include all the steps required to install a full chassis engine skid plate.


  1. Open your skid plate kit and inventory the hardware to ensure you have everything you need to successfully install the plate.
  2. Remove the old skid plate and set the bolts to the side as you will reuse them to install the new plate.
  3. Installing a skid plate is like assembling a three to five piece puzzle so in every instance when you are bolting on a piece keep the bolts loose so you have wiggle room to align one piece with another. When all the pieces are in place you can go back and tighten the bolts.
  4. Your installation instructions will advise you when and what size new hardware to use rather than the old bolts.
  5. Start with the rear differential plate. Identify the holes on the undercarriage and then attach typically using 4 bolts.
  6. Next is the rear chassis piece. Again identify the mounting points and then loosely drive the bolts.
  7. Next is the front chassis piece. Follow the same procedure as the rear. Some models will have an interlocking tab connecting the front to the rear. Make sure the tab is properly aligned.
  8. Last to go on is the front differential piece and in many cases this will require drilling some holes. Your installation instructions will detail where the holes should go and what size bit and hardware are required.
  9. Wiggle the pieces so they all fit flush where they meet and then give the entire skid plate a final tightening down.
  10. If you have placed the ATV on its side to perform this task, carefully right it and remove the pinch on the gas line.

Installing skid plates really doesn't take any special mechanical skills. The key is to make sure you have all the parts before you start and then pay close attention to the sequence and special instructions in your installation guide.


- End of Procedure -


Return to all Repair & Install Guides