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Good morning, folks.

I've been sitting on our new skid plate for a few days but had to get over a bad case of the backdoor trots before I could hop out of bed and install it.

Anyway, to my knowledge Primitive Racing are the only folks making aftermarket skid plates for our Imprezas. Even then, it took them some modifying of an existing product to get the bolt holes to line up correctly. I can say that they succeeded as it installed without a hiccup.

Without further ado.

1. Lift the front of your car or pull up on some ramps.
2. Grab a thin, straight screwdriver and 12 mm and 13 mm sockets with wrench.
3. Start popping out the plastic retaining pins that hold the factory lower engine cover. The thin screw driver should be adequate for this task. There are about 20 of these guys. Don't forget the ones on either side of the engine that are up and inside the engine compartment as they are easily overlooked.
4. Remove the four 12mm bolts.
5. Lower the plastic skid cover and set aside.
6. Take the two specialty bolts that Primitive shipped with the skid plate and thread them into the radiator mounts. These are the same holes the front retaining bolts came from. Note: these bolts are difficult to misidentify as they have nuts welded to them. Use these nuts to tighten the bolts. Do not exceed 18 ft/lbs when tightening.
7. Grab the new skid plate and hold it in place while hand starting the nuts to the front.
8. Start the two rear bolts.
9. Use the 13 mm socket to tighten the fasteners.
10. If desired, you can reinstall some of the plastic retaining pins.


Thoughts...

1. Having installed an after market skid plate on my KLR650, I expected there to be more engine noise reflected towards the top of the engine. But I don't think that is the case. It didn't sound that much louder to me at idle.
2. The oil hole (extra charge) is large enough to access the drain plug. However, I think that it should be moved another 1" closer to the center to insure that the oil drains without splashing inside the skid plate. I will be installing a Fumoto drain valve when I change oil at 1000 miles. After that, I will probably use some tubing to make sure that I don't make a mess.
3. The factory engine cover provided excellent coverage and didn't really leave any voids. However, there's a 1" gap between the top of the skid plate and the bottom of the front cowling. There's also about a 3" gap on either side of the skid plate. I'm not sure what, if any, effect that will have on aerodynamic drag and subsequent fuel economy. I would like to see future versions of this skid plate fill those gaps if, for no other reason, to deter dirt and mud intrusion. But I doubt we will see those changes. I suspect the market for such things is way too small to justify a complete redesign.
4. Those factory push pins are flimsy. I can't imagine that they will last long even if one never touches them.
5. Even if there is a small hit on the fuel economy and it doesn't fit as well as the factory plastic cover, one has to remember that this is a proper skid plate. It's intended to provide protection to the bottom of the engine and radiator in the event that you hit some road debris or encounter rough terrain. I also didn't want to risk having the drain valve get sheared off by a wayward rock.
6. Although it's nice having a engine protection, the transmission appears to be the most vulnerable component. Primitive Racing has no immediate plans to make on. They do make a rear differential guard, but I don't see the need. It's tucked away nice and tidy as it is.
 

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I just installed my Primitive Racing skidplate. At first I was worried it was going to stick down several inches lower, but when installed I saw that it mostly tucks up into place nicely. The front could be angled up a little more. I may consider making that modification later. The installation instructions mentioned that some people choose to trim the plastic cover and reinstall the side splash deflector part. I did that and it can be seen in the photos. I think I actually could have just cut out the 4 bolt mounting points from the plastic cover and reinstalled basically the entire plastice without interfering with the skidplate.

I also installed their rear differential cover. They had a 10% discount if you bought both, so why not?


 

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Nice writeup :) when I installed my primative pan I trimmed off about 1/2 inch of the front spacers and it tucked up nicely. I also hacked up the stock plastic pan and incorporated the sides of it back onto the car tucked in above the primative pan so the gaps are filled.
 

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I put skid plates on a Forester I had because I used to drive it down fire roads a lot.

What is the point of putting it on an Impreza?
 

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Similar reason. We periodically have crap on local roads and you can't always avoid it. The plastic tray I replaced had evidence of having had some debris strikes. My 240z took a hit to the oil pan several years back from a chunk of asphalt. I pulled over immediately and shut down. It quickly made a 5qt puddle in a parking lot.
 

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I could see me getting this for winter, when there are those 6-8 inch chunks of ice that fall off people’s cars. I always clench when im about to drive over one.
 

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Nice writeup :) when I installed my primitive pan I trimmed off about 1/2 inch of the front spacers and it tucked up nicely. I also hacked up the stock plastic pan and incorporated the sides of it back onto the car tucked in above the primative pan so the gaps are filled.
 

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I intend to get these for my Impreza eventually. Seems like an easy install. I was on the Primitive site and they recommend for best protection to get it without a drain valve. How quick would it be to take off and put back on after the initial install?
 

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I wouldn't want mine without the oil drain hole. I think removing it for every oil change would almost guarantee over time that threaded mounting holes get stripped out and it gets installed loose, which would be terrible if it came off while driving. I also wouldn't want it without the fumoto valve that has the extension spout for attaching a hose. I changed the oil once with just the drain plug and the skid plate installed using the hole and it made a huge mess.

Mine hangs a little lower in the front than the plastic oem skid plate. I do occasionally scrape, even with my lifted car. I need to address that at some point.
 

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I squirrel ran under my car while driving 30mph on my way home today. I felt the thud and heard it smack into my skid plate. It managed not to get squashed under my wheels and ran off. I was happy to have the skid plate to deflect it down and away from the engine bay.
 

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I squirrel ran under my car while driving 30mph on my way home today. I felt the thud and heard it smack into my skid plate. It managed not to get squashed under my wheels and ran off. I was happy to have the skid plate to deflect it down and away from the engine bay.
LOL that is great.
 

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Thanks for the advice! I will definitely get one with the drain hole and get a fumoto valve. I think I would be too lazy to remove it every time anyway and it doesn't look like that large a hole. I wouldn't be too worried if a stray rock or object somehow launched right into the hole.
 
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