What to Look Out for When Buying Polaris Ranger XD Skid Plates?
Build Materials and Durability
The first consideration should always be the material of the Polaris Ranger XD skid plate as this is going to determine how well-protected your Ranger XD 1500 truly is. While plastic skid plates are lighter, they can't match the protection of aluminum or steel, and shouldn’t be used for more serious obstacle driving. Aluminum skid plates strike a balance between weight and protection, being resistant to corrosion. Steel, on the other hand, offers unmatched durability but can be prone to rust, hence it may require additional coatings or treatments.
Protection Coverage & Compatibility
Ensure the Ranger XD 1500 skid plate kit/rock sliders offer adequate coverage for vulnerable areas like the A-arms, differentials, and the vehicle's underbelly. What you don’t want is to go ahead and buy skid plates that aren’t even able to protect the areas you want to protect, so pay close attention to this. It's also pivotal to confirm the skid plate's compatibility with the Ranger XD 1500 model to ensure a snug fit with all of the other upgrades and modifications you plan on doing.
Installation & Maintenance
The ease of installation is another significant factor, especially for DIY enthusiasts out there. Some Polaris Ranger XD skid plates might require professional installation or additional tools. It's beneficial to opt for ones with clear instructions and preferably a quick-release mechanism for easy maintenance access. Either way, if you are not 100% experienced with how to do this, always contact a professional and ask for assistance.
While skid plates provide essential protection, they shouldn't compromise the Polaris Ranger XD's performance, especially regarding ground clearance. Check the thickness and design of the skid plate to ensure it doesn't significantly reduce the Ranger's ground clearance, especially if you're into off-roading. This would be counter-beneficial as true off-roaders require as much functional ground clearance as they can get.
Ranger XD Skid Plate Type & Additional Features
Understand the various skid plate types – from full kits that offer comprehensive protection to partial kits targeting specific areas such as the differential or the A-Arms. Additionally, features like Nerf bars not only offer side protection but also enhance the vehicle's accessibility. Investing in skid plates with added features like rock sliders or Nerf bar steps can provide multifaceted benefits. As such, try to think about what makes for a good setup for the environment you tend to drive your Ranger XD 1500.