Tricker Kicker gets skid plates
An absolute must on Sidekick/Tracker models. -Junior
RENTON, WA. -Thirty-two and thirty-three inch tires arent what they used to be. Four-wheeled enthusiasts, like you and me, are pushing the limits expecting favorable results from these little boxes of joy, the Sidekick. The obstacles are getting larger and so is our desire to keep up with the Jones. The Sidekick and Tracker models are certainly a capable machine, but not without some necessary modifications.
Well start with skids, or belly armor as some might call them. Calmini has gone to great lengths in providing us kick and Track owners a full line of skid plates. Made from 3/16th steel, zinc plated, and laser-crafted for accurate bolt alignment, these simple to install kits are provided with all the necessary hardware. Considering the front axle housing on a sidekick is aluminum this plate is an absolute requirement.
We winched the vehicle across this rock due to a broken axle. Note the a-arms and skid plate taking the bulk of the vehicles weight.
The front plate attaches to the stock cross member and then to Calminis truss bar and steering stabilizer. Mounted between the stock a-arm horns the truss/stabilizer has more than a couple of functions. It provides two mounting locations for the front skid plate, it provides mounting for the steering stabilizer, and finally it serves as a frame brace between the two a-arms.
Additionally Calmini provides transmission and bell housing protection. The larger of the two plates mounts to the stock cross members using four bolts. The smaller of the two is a two part system that clamps to the cross tube and the cross member of the vehicle. Its a clever design and provides the best possible protection.
Finally, we get to the rear axle truss and skid plate. Yes I said truss. Calmini has combined its rear skid plate with a truss system giving this part two valuable uses. If you havent already bent a rear axle tube you will. Unless you elected to install one of these. Like the rest of the plate system by Calmini, this too installs in just minutes.
While in Moab this year, we put Calminis skid plate system to the ultimate test on trails like Cliff Hanger and Helldorado. Not only did they protect vital running gear they allowed the vehicle to slide over rock and other obstacles. Here at home theyre proving to protect and serve all the same.
Putting a crack, or worst yet, splitting the trans or front axle housing out on the trail is not something youd wish on anyone. Imagine the oil spill this makes. If anything protect the environment and preserve our rights to off-road by eliminating the risk of such damage. If that werent enough, add the costly repair bills. An ounce of prevention