TNF Rear Shock Skid Plates (Shock Guards) for the 6th Gen Bronco – Simple Bolt-On Overview & Review
The rear shock mounts, lower links, and the link mounts on the 6th Gen Bronco hang down pretty low.
The rear lower shock mounts specifically are one of the lowest hanging pieces of steel hanging off the bottom of the Bronco. The shocks and shock mounts are one of the most vulnerable areas when it comes to common trail damage; sliding over large rocks and/or dropping off large ledges. If you don’t protect this area, you risk folding the side of the shock mount which can likely penetrate the shock body or at the minimum, the shock guard.
Rear shock skid plates, also called “shock guards” are bolted to the outside of the mount and shield the shock/mounts from hard hits and debris. Simply put, these skids will retain the integrity of your factory shock mounts all while providing a sliding ramp up and over obstacles.
We decided to install the True North Fabrications rear shocks over a few of the other options because of the design, price, and size of the steel used.
Find it online:
- True North Shock Skids: Check Price
- 3/16″ Steel Plate (5mm)
- Protects rear shocks & mounts
- Compatible with most aftermarket shocks
- Compatible with most aftermarket lift kits (ARB Nitrochargers pictured)
- Choose from satin black powder coat or raw steel
- Simple bolt-on installation
- Does not require removing the factory shock bolt
Why Install Shock Skids?
This is why you install a set of shock skids. Look at how the outer piece of steel has folded into the shock. With a set of skids bolted through that hole, this amount of folding would have been prevented or at the minimum, would not have been as severe.
Step 1. Remove the Rear Tire (optional)
Removing your tires is optional, however, it might give you a little more room to install the shock skids. Park your Bronco and set the e-brake.
Step 2. Position Skid & Insert Inner Bolts
The hardest part of the installation was getting the skid plate to fit over the mounts. The tolerances on the skids are very tight. For my installation, I needed to hit the side of the shock mount with a 4 lb sledgehammer. You can also use a c-clamp if you don’t have a large hammer. I knocked it in about 1/16″ and then the skids slid right into place. Once the skid was set, I positioned the two inside bolts in place.
Step 3. Insert Outside Bolt
Thread on the smaller outside bolt.
Step 4. Tighten Down on Bolts
Proceed to tighten all bolts on the inside and the outside. Check the bolts after about 500 miles.
True North Fabrications does not use the factory shock bolt to mount this skid plate due to the flex in the mounts. The shock mounts flex inward to meet the misalignment spacers of the shock. When you unbolt the shocks, the mounts separate out about .5″ per side. If you utilize the main shock bolt to mount shock skid plates then the shock skid would need to be able to flex out with the shock mounts when installing – which would make for a more challenging install and doesn’t add any structural rigidity.
This was a very simple install. No problems at all.
The weld quality on these skids is clearly of high quality and the 3/16″ steel is plenty thick enough to protect our shocks once we start slamming or sliding these on rocks.