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Controlled Insanity
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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe this has been beat to death, but I have seen all kinds of threads with people spending good money on LW skid plates. My question is why?

I removed my skid plate when I put my cam in about 16k miles ago. The car is my toy, but it gets driven in just about all weather conditions and on all road surfaces. The car is raced, both street and strip and soon to be on the road course. I live in NJ about 10 minutes from center city Philly and no one can tell me that we do not have some of the worst roads in the country. For all the time and miles that I've driven without the skid plate on there, I have NEVER had the slightest issue with my filter (I'm running the longer 6.0L version) or my oil pan.

I do not believe that the plate provides any structural rigidity whatsoever to the front end of the car...if I am wrong, someone tell me. So, why are people spending good money saving ten pounds by swapping the plate vs. just unbolting the damn thing and saving 15 for free? Besides if you did hit something hard enough to punch a hole in your oil pan it would probably blow right through the LW skid plate anyway.
 

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Est. Apr 2004
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The plate is not a structural member its there to protect a low and "fragile" aluminum oil pan. There has been a lot of debate on running with or without one. I run with mine most of the time but occasionally I take it off for track days. There was a story here awhile back about someone who smacked their oil pan and cracked it. When they hit something in the road. Its not an easy or cheap repair since its part of the engine structure and you have to yank the motor or drop the whole front suspension.
 

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Controlled Insanity
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Discussion Starter #3
I understand the steel unit that comes with the car will afford a good amount of protection against a piece of road debris causing any damage. In the unlikely event that it would even happen. However, my post is more directed toward the crowd running the LW plate. The SLP unit is a joke with it's tubular construction as far as protection goes and many of them are rather flimsy pieces of stamped steel. There are people even discussing to be careful when handling them because they can bend easily. Anything that you can bend with your hands isn't going to do much to protect your oil pan from a hard hit from road debris or a pot hole.

If you want the weight savings, remove the plate. If you are worried about damaging your car, leave it on. Spending any amount of money on the LW pieces seems like a waste of time and money.
 

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I have been debating the same. My factory plate has a nice mark from a piece of re-tread that a truck in front of me once threw (avoided the 4 larger pieced but couldn't dodge the fifth). IF someone made a LW plate that was also strong i would take but until them i am keeping the factory.
 

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berjet said:
I have been debating the same. My factory plate has a nice mark from a piece of re-tread that a truck in front of me once threw (avoided the 4 larger pieced but couldn't dodge the fifth). IF someone made a LW plate that was also strong i would take but until them i am keeping the factory.
the holden plates looks good and its 5lbs.
i'm all about lite but teh stocker is doing something and i dont feel spending money on lite parts until the suspension and engine are done
 

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smurfin' fly-by...
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Someone on here had the BMR skidplate and ran over something I can't remember, but it did protect his oil pan from damage. It's aluminum, but not some thin piece of metal; it is lighter and at least provides some form of protection over not having one at all. It's really a compromise decision, reduction in protection for savings of weight. Anyways, the skid plate is there to prevent scrapes and small objects/light impacts from damaging the pan. Taking the skid plate off completely is the extreme...
 

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I wasn't in my goat, but a while back I ran over a rock in a sedan. Punched a whole the size of a softball in my oil pan.
 

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I think I am going to go with the lightweight holden skid plate since it is way cheaper than the BMR unit and looks to be pretty solid. And as far as running without one, like stated above it is not worth a severly damaged motor due to a hole in the oil pan or snapping the oil filter off and loosing oil pressure almost immediatly.
 

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Controlled Insanity
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Discussion Starter #10
Did anyone even consider for a moment that F-bodies and Corvettes run without skid plates? Are we then stating that the oil pan or filter placement is in such a location on those vehicles as to not cause an issue. I can assure you that the oil pan on a Vette sits a lot lower to the road than the one on the GTO and the oil pan on the F-bod is not nearly as well protected by the engine cradle as it is on the GTO. There are 10's of thousands of Vette's and F-bods on the road and I do not here endless horror stories of ripped off fuel filters and punctured oil pans.

Who knows why they put a skid plate on the GTO. I would assume it is do to what may be far more severe conditions on Aussie roads than anything a normal driver in the US would encounter.

I suppose it is a personal choice, but one I don't think a lot of people have thought through. It seems like people have no problem second guessing the engineers when they are modding there motors, suspensions and electronics, why assume that the skid plate, that no other LS1 powered car has is a necessary piece?
 

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Est. Apr 2004
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NJGOAT said:
Did anyone even consider for a moment that F-bodies and Corvettes run without skid plates? Are we then stating that the oil pan or filter placement is in such a location on those vehicles as to not cause an issue. I can assure you that the oil pan on a Vette sits a lot lower to the road than the one on the GTO and the oil pan on the F-bod is not nearly as well protected by the engine cradle as it is on the GTO. There are 10's of thousands of Vette's and F-bods on the road and I do not here endless horror stories of ripped off fuel filters and punctured oil pans.

Who knows why they put a skid plate on the GTO. I would assume it is do to what may be far more severe conditions on Aussie roads than anything a normal driver in the US would encounter.

I suppose it is a personal choice, but one I don't think a lot of people have thought through. It seems like people have no problem second guessing the engineers when they are modding there motors, suspensions and electronics, why assume that the skid plate, that no other LS1 powered car has is a necessary piece?
F-body and Vette oil pan has the sump in the back. GTO oil pan has the sump in the front so yes it is more vulnerable than the F-body and vette.

Heres a pic of the GTO pan


Here are pics of aftermarket pans for f body

Fbody

Vette:

Notice the skinny end is on the front. More or less protected by the front subframe cross member which is pretty even with the bottom of the sump.
 

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Controlled Insanity
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Discussion Starter #12
Well, if you've ever looked under an F-body or a Vette, you can see the exposed sump area. The flat part is covered by a cross member / K-member, but it is still exposed and would present the same supposed vulnerability as the GTO setup. For that matter the GTO subframe does wrap around the oil pan in the front, it's just that our engine cradle runs through the center of the pan. Anything that could damage the GTO pan could just as easily damage the pan on an F-bod or Vette, yet they have no skid plates.
 

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For the most part mine stays one, but I do remove it along with a few other things that provide extra weight when I go to the track, they can be put back on just as easily.
 

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NJGOAT said:
Well, if you've ever looked under an F-body or a Vette, you can see the exposed sump area. The flat part is covered by a cross member / K-member, but it is still exposed and would present the same supposed vulnerability as the GTO setup. For that matter the GTO subframe does wrap around the oil pan in the front, it's just that our engine cradle runs through the center of the pan. Anything that could damage the GTO pan could just as easily damage the pan on an F-bod or Vette, yet they have no skid plates.
not really. sliding into curbs on ice, parking on top of the concrete curbs in parking lots, flying rebar on hiway (long story about friend w/ 00 SS, rebar hit k-member), etc.
 

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Mugwump
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I have the BMR. Its aluminum and very rigid. It’s not going to bend. Its about 5lbs. I live in Pennsylvania and the roads are very bad. All the malls have speed bumps I swear are 12 inches high. All it takes is one hit and you’ll be spending 4 times what a skid plate cost to replace the oil pan.
 

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Controlled Insanity
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Discussion Starter #16
berjet said:
not really. sliding into curbs on ice, parking on top of the concrete curbs in parking lots, flying rebar on hiway (long story about friend w/ 00 SS, rebar hit k-member), etc.
My point wasn't to say that it never happened, just that it wasn't something common. I was responding to the other posters belief that the Vette and F-bod don't have skid plates because there is no chance of anything happening and that the GTO is more vulnerable so it needs one.
 

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Controlled Insanity
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Discussion Starter #17
canttouchthis said:
I have the BMR. Its aluminum and very rigid. It’s not going to bend. Its about 5lbs. I live in Pennsylvania and the roads are very bad. All the malls have speed bumps I swear are 12 inches high. All it takes is one hit and you’ll be spending 4 times what a skid plate cost to replace the oil pan.
I live in NJ near Philly and we have the same issues. However, my car has been skid plate free for a long time with ZERO problems.

To each their own. IMO if you want weight savings rip off the stock piece, if you want protection leave it on there.
 

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NJGOAT said:
My point wasn't to say that it never happened, just that it wasn't something common. I was responding to the other posters belief that the Vette and F-bod don't have skid plates because there is no chance of anything happening and that the GTO is more vulnerable so it needs one.
I assume that was targeted at me. I never said the F-bod and Vette were invulnerable however they seem to be a bit more protected by the K member. Bottom line is the car is from AUS which is known for some pretty crappy roads outside the cities so more than likely its just a left over from the Aussies "over protecting" their cars.
 

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99% Stock
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I would just go on a diet and lose 15 lbs rather than removing my skidplate.
 

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Note to self: be sure to install baffling in that oil pan to reduce rearward travel of oil away from sump under acceleration.
 
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