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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

In case you didn't get a chance to read it, here's a link to the initial test of the RZR 4:

Like all vehicles you purchase for normal every day use, the stock protection is not quite up to the task when vehicles are subjected to hardcore off-roading. In our case, the RZR 4 was no exception. Although the stock skid plates provide ample protection for mild off-roading, we needed something to withstand a constant beating over a long period of time. The most important thing is to protect all the expensive components that sit directly above the skid plates.

To start, we opted to install 3 primary protection components: skid plates, a-arm guards, and a roof. Although there's a constant discussion between what's better to use, UHMW or aluminum, we opted once again for aluminum because of its impact resistance and rigidity. There are a lot of expensive components sitting just above the skid plates, so having a material that doesn't limit ground clearance and is rigid enough to withstand repeated impacts was critical. Having been very impressed with Dirt Performance, Inc's skid plates before on a race RZR build, we contacted them again to see what they had in store for the all-new RZR 4. As with any new vehicle, Rylan hadn't got his hands on a new RZR 4 to mock up all the products he had planned for it. So, being only a short distance away, we brought the RZR 4 up to him to begin the process of measuring and creating 3D models of the skid plates, a-arm guards, and roof. And, let's just say we had no idea what it really takes to design and build these parts that's for sure.

To start, we watched Rylan Bowlin begin to take measurements of the undercarriage of the RZR 4. After identifying the exact measurements, he moved to his computer to begin the design. Rylan uses 3D modeling to make sure that when duplicating each part hundreds of times, every angle, bolt hole, and cut are precisely where they need to be each and every time.

After the design phase is complete, he uses the 3D model to begin mocking up the first pieces.

Once Dirt Performance has complete the manufacturing process, they send them off to be time-saved (brushed) to give them that finished look. So, now it's time to begin the installation process. To start, you begin by installing the rear center skid plate using the supplied backing plates. Then, using the self-tapping screws, install the two rearmost mounts into the frame.

Make sure to use a blue or red Loctite on each of the fasteners, so they don't back out with repeated use.

Next we move to the rear belly skid by lining up the 3 large holes towards the front and begin hand threading in the 5 rearmost fasteners.

From there, tighten everything up and move on to the smaller of the two remaining rectangular skids.

Once again, line up the 3 larger holes towards the front and begin hand threading the 3 dimpled holes in the rear of the skid. Tighten everything down and move on to the larger rectangular skid plate.

Line the large holes up front and tighten the 6 fasteners and move on to one of the side skids.

To install the side skids, you first install the angle brackets to the frame using the round and elongated holes for mounting to the frame, not the two smaller holes.

The two smaller holes are used for mounting the skid plates to the brackets.

Next, you install the side brackets by removing the T30 Torx bits from the plastics and re-installing them with the supplied side brackets.

Now, you're ready to install the rearmost side skid, which is the one with the bracket protruding out from the front edge.

One thing to remember is to leave all of the bolts slightly loose, which will make it easier to line everything up. Once all of them have been inserted, tighten them down and move on to the front side skid.

Don't forget to install the fastener on the top of the side skids, as well.

· Registered
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
From here, repeat the same process for the other set of side skids. Next, install the front center skid just as you have on the previous ones.

Next, finish up the installation with the center differential skid plate. Make sure to slide the backside of this skid underneath the front edge of the front center skid plate. Using the supplied fasteners, flat washers, and locking nuts, install the front two first.

Using a ¼" drill bit, drill into the factory tab to allow for the rear mount of this skid.

Next, it's time to install the a-arm guards. First, you will remove the black plastic boot guards using a torx bit.

Next, slide the center edge of the front a-arm guard up above and flush to the bottom of the a-arm. Line up the holes and insert the 1-1/2" ¼-20 bolt out near the spindle first, then the remaining 5/8" ¼-20 bolts using the lock nuts on the top side. Repeat the same steps for the other side and then move back to the rear a-arm guards.

First, remove the black plastic boot guards using a torx bit.

Next, place the Dirt Performance a-arm guard up flush against the bottom of the a-arm and secure using the 3 supplied bolts and lock nuts.

Repeat the same steps for the opposite side.

To view the comprehensive installation videos, visit the following two YouTube videos:

Skid Plates -
A-Arm Guards -

Now that the installation is complete, there are a few noteworthy reasons why we chose these skid plates over the competition:

1) Entire Skid Plate System is constructed out of 3/16" thick aircraft grade aluminum. Many other available kits are a combination of 3/16" and 1/8" thick aluminum, which we don't think is quite enough protection.
2) Strategically placed drainage holes = This makes cleaning mud out of the skid plates a lot easier. Just angle the RZR up slightly in the front and spray water rearward, and most of the mud will easily drain out. Plus, with these drain holes located where they are, there's a lot more solid aluminum underneath instead of numerous holes to help scoop up mud.
3) Dimpled Mounting Holes = No more tearing off factory bolt cups and bolt heads making the skid plate hard to remove.
4) Side Skids = Rock slider that prevents body damage by sliding you away from the rear quarter panel of the body.
5) Side Steps = Rock slider doubles as a nice step to get in and out of the RZR.
6) Bent Edge of Rear A-arm Guards = Brake lines don't rub against a rough edge

After having the skid plates on for multiple rides, so far we've pounded them hard in Moab UT, Evarts KY, and Windrock TN with little to no noticeable damage to the skids, let alone the machine's crucial components. To me, the slight advantage of sliding over rocks with UHMW doesn't surpass the importance of true protection that 3/16" aluminum can provide from big impacts. I've tried both, and with UHMW you have to run ½" material to compare to the impact resistance of 3/16" aluminum and that's 5/16" less of ground clearance that you need every bit of in the RZR 4 due to it's extended wheelbase.

Next, we installed the Dirt Performance RZR 4 Roof.

Rylan really takes his time to produce the best looking, most functional roofs on the market. He constructs all of his roofs out of 1/8" diamond plate aluminum to not only withstand sliding across trees but to look sharp too.

Plus, with this roof for the RZR 4, he designed in drip rails that we put to good use this past weekend in Oliver Springs, TN at Windrock OHV. It rained most of the day, and the roof kept 90% of the interior space dry. The only real wet part on me was my left leg due to me hanging it out the side window nets a tad. Overall, I believe this is the sharpest looking and most functional RZR 4 Roof on the market.

To install the Dirt Performance RZR 4 Roof, it's pretty simple. Just place the roof over the roll cage and use the supplied clamps to install it where the holes are pre-drilled in the roof. Once installed, you'll quickly find that there are no creaks or weird noises from the roof rubbing on the roll cage. In fact, when you tighten everything down, it pulls itself away nicely from the cage keeping this from happening. Overall, we're very pleased with the fit, appearance, and function of the Dirt Performance RZR 4 Roof.

To find out more information regarding these modifications, watch the following installation videos:

Skid Plates -
A-Arm Guards -

For more information, visit:

Dirt Performance, Inc.
Dirt Performance Website
423-569-DIRT (3478)

Stay tuned for the next issue when we install and review the following aftermarket products for the RZR 4:

1) Warn Winch
2) Brand New Warn HID Lights
3) Warn Front Bumper
4) Dirt Performance Rear Storage Box
5) Dirt Performance Doors

In addition to this, we're going to give you a full review of the Rockers, the latest UTV tires to hit the market from PitBull.
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