Prep work

  1. Check and inventory parts


Plus miscellaneous hex head bolts, carriage bolts, washers, and lock nuts.

  1. Clean all steel pieces with brake cleaner and wiped clean.
  2. Wearing rubber gloves, I washed all steel pieces with Dawn and warm water to remove any remaining dirt and grease
  3. Towel dry with gloves still on.  Don’t touch the bare metal with your bare hands until its primed
  4. Spray 1-2 coats of etching primer (Sherwin-Williams Automotive).
  5. Spray 1-2 coats of Rustoleum automotive primer
  6. Spray 1-2 coats of top coat (I used black semi-gloss).
  7. Let dry.



  1. Remove OEM front and middle skids.  Each has 4 12mm bolts holding it in place.  Set aside.
  2. Place a piece of 2x4 lumber on your floor jack (approximately 2-3’ piece of wood).  Place the IFS skid on the wood so that it is mostly balanced, with the wood approximate 1/3 of the way from the rear of the skid.
  3. Raise the rear of the skid up toward the mounting holes.  When the skid plate holes make contact with the bolt holes on the truck, stop.  Get under there and align the holes.  Loosely screw in a 13mm bolt and washer on each side of the skid plate.
  4. Continue jacking up the skid, raising the front toward the bolt holes.  Note the placement of the front holes on the skid, and allow them to rest on the support clips.  Align the front 2 holes, and screw in a 13mm bolt and washer on each side.


Once everything is lined up, tighten the 4 bolts in place
  1. Next, place the middle skid on the 2x4 wood on the jack.  Note the position of the oil drain plug hole on the skid plate for orientation.  Slide the skid plate immediately behind the IFS skid, and slowly raise the front part up into place.  Note the metal support tabs on each skid plate – use these to balance the front end of the middle skid on the IFS skid.
  2. Raise the rear of the middle skid up toward the frame, and begin to align the skid plate mounting holes with the OEM holes on the truck.  When you make contact with the truck, stop and align your holes.  The rear mounting screws are recessed several inches into the skid plate, so use a 3” extension on your ratchet to set the bolts (13mm bolts and washers) loosely into place.  Now align the front two mounting holes, and loosely screw 2 13mm bolts into place to support the front end of the middle plate.


  1. When everything is aligned, tighten the bolts.
  2. Next, place the trans skid on the floor, and put the Budbuilt cross-member on top of it.  Using 3 of the short carriage bolts and lock nuts provided, loosely mount the cross-member to the skid plate.  The cross-member should be oriented so that the cross bar is toward the front of the vehicle.


  1. Place the skid plate and cross-member assembly on your 2x4 / floor jack, and slide it under the truck just behind the middle skid.
  2. Raise the front end of the skid plate up toward the middle skid, placing the trans skid on top of the middle skid.  Align the front 2 holes in the trans skid with the rear holes in the middle skid.  Place one of the short carriage bolt and washers through each hole, and loosely secure it with a lock nut.
  3. Now raise the rear of the skid plate up toward the truck.  Grab your tube spacer bar, and slide it on top of your skid plate so that it aligns with the transfer case cross member immediately in front of your exhaust.  Once in place, continue to raise the skid plate so that you are nearly in contact with the frame.  Check alignment of the holes for the spacer bar, and make sure your BB cross-member rests securely on the frame immediately adjacent to where the boxed frame transitions to C-channel.  The L-bracket for the cross member should butt up against the frame where the box ends.
  4. Jack it up flush against the frame, applying some pressure.
  5. Place 2 13mm bolts through the L-brackets on the cross-member, and thread them into the supplied clamping bars.  Tighten securely.


  1. Tighten the 3 carriage bolts that mount the skid plate to the cross member.


  1. Tighten the 2 small carriage bolts that secure the trans skid to the middle skid.