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Kilby TJ Steering Gear Box Skid Plate

By Shawn Pagan

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Kilby Steering Box Skid Plate with hardware

It almost seems like everyone these days makes a steering box skid plate. I did a search using a popular search engine and got more the 100 hits by at least 20 different manufacturers. For the most part, each one of them would do their jobs ok - protect the leading edge of the steering gear box from getting hit by rocks, stumps or branches while driving, giving the driver one less thing to worry about.

To be honest, I was already running a Tomken Steering Box plate when my Editor passed this new Kilby Steering Box Skid Plate on to me and said to give it a test. Okay, I said, as I figured this would be a pretty simple task.

The Kilby Steering Box Skid Plate is basically the same design as many of the other ones on the market but as I found out it may have actually had a lot more thought put into it than the others when it came time to bend metal and put something new on the market. That is to say that while two designs may appear similar and perform the same job, in reality, one may do it much simpler, with better thought and function.

The first problem I ran into was getting the Tomken plate off. Tomken used a nut placed inside the factory frame hole to secure a bolt that came up from the bottom of the plate into the frame. This sounded like a great idea at the time and worked alright, but it provided me with two issues. First, I could catch the head of the bolt which it appeared that I did more than once, thus bending the bolt. Secondly, because of the way the frame was designed, dirt and mud and other yech filled the cavity where the nut was, making it virtually impossible to remove the nut by normal means. I ended up having to grind the head of the bolt off to get the plate off. When I did get the nut out of the frame it was well rusted onto the end of the bent bolt - or at least what was left of it.

Kilby Steering Skid Plate
The original Tomken plate installed
Kilby Steering Skid Plate
Notice the damage at the front of the bolt

Of course the other thing that one notices almost immediately in comparing the two skid plates is that the Kilby plate does not stick down as far as the Tomken plate. If you look at the next picture it should give you and idea of how much more clearance exists with the Kilby plate.

Kilby Steering Skid Plate
You can see how much taller the Tomken plate is

Also note the side protection (and obvious self-promotion) on the Kilby Plate

 

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