Gas skid plate | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Gas skid plate


Well-Known Member
October 14, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
Plymouth, MN
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 LTD '10 LTD V8
Do I really need the skid plate? I never plan on going off road.. Its just my winter beater. Any ideas what I should do. Is it safe driving without one. I can always hit the junk yard. Thanks

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You are definitely going to have to replace the tank strap!

Yikes! that's some rust.

The tank strap is probably just as bad. There is a strap on the front but the rear is a bracket that is molded into the tank. Might want to have a close look those before you continue driving it.

You can get the front strap from LMC Truck:

You can get a generic tank strap kit from your auto parts store if the rear needs to be shored up. You would just have to drill into the floor pan or frame at some point to engineer your own strap. Not a biggie though. Totally doable.

For street use you will be fine without the skidder.

Many vehicles have urethane tanks with no skid plate.

Rockauto sells tank straps as a set for a lot less than LMC Truck:,carcode,1119631,parttype,10321,a,

It might be even cheaper/easier if you can just pull the skid plate and straps from the salvage yard and then you don't have to deal with the "what if" of not having a skid plate.

If you don't go off road, you don't really need a skid plate (lots of the 2WD Explorers never had them), but it is still nice to have as a safety feature even for pavement driving, since random objects that would just dent a metal fuel tank will crack/puncture a plastic tank.

If you can find one at the salvage yard, especially for not much dough, I'd say it's worth it, especially on a 4WD.

Also looks like those driveshaft u-joints need to be replaced.

Must be all the salt on the roads rusting away your vehicles. I think its good to have some protection around the gas tank even if you don't go off road. You can still run over metal debris on the pavement. I would hate to have my gas tank punctured any time.

Actually that skid plate is also apart of the tank support.There are two small straps under that plate,one under the front and one supporting the middle but all the holds the back part is that skid plate.The other two straps will hold it but leaving the skid plate off permanently is iffy in my opinion.In rust country it doesn't take long for those little straps to be eaten away and then all thats left to hold the tank is that plate.With no skid plate obviously once the straps get weak/break the tank will drop down to the road.I have seen two explorers burn up from this and this is where the nickname "exploder" came from.