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Bash Plate



Drivetech 4X4 x Rival bumper bull bar

Bash Plates and Underbody protection for 4WD and off-road vehicles are essential to protect the undercarriage of a vehicle from rocks and particles on the ground.

Front End Plate Protection:

The Front-End Plate Protection is ideal for protecting heat exchanging elements under the bonnet, such as Air Conditioning Units, radiator and intercoolers, transmission and transmission sumps. Exposed areas are prone to damage from flying rocks and debris which can severely impact the operation of the vehicle.

The moments where protection is needed the most are usually when the driver’s off-roading or going on loose trails with dirt and unpredictable conditions. Incurring damage in a remote location can be an extremely difficult situation to be in as there would be minimal assistance in remote areas.

Toyota Hilux Diesel Avalanche Wheels Lift Kit, Rival Bar Toyota Hilux Bumper Bar Front Close Shot March 2018

Low hanging electronics are also protected with a Bash Plate or Underbody Protection as lights, wires and electrical components (as well as mechanical) are protected. Underbody Protection isn’t completely necessary when driving on well-travelled tracks where other vehicles have cleared a path, however discovering new trails and going off-track would require protection for the undercarriage of the vehicle.

Types of Protection Underbody Protection:

Differential Protection:

Differentials are large mechanical components in a vehicle that converts rotating energy into lateral energy which helps rotate and drive the wheel. It is part of the drivetrain, as a combustion engine produces energy, the energy is then transferred into the driveshaft which is linked to the differential. It is a vital component of every vehicle and ensuring its protection is critical. Underbody Protection Bash Plates protect differentials as it prevents rocks from shooting up and making the impact with the differential.

Side and Underbody internals:

Bash Plates can also protect the sides of the vehicle as it provides a tough surface for loose rocks to ricochet off and land back on the ground, preventing it from shooting high up into a vehicle or body component. Underbody protection can prevent damage to the bottom of the doors of a vehicle and the chassis/frame. Rock Sliders/Side steps are also a great way to provide underbody protection and add extra functionality.

Sump Guards/Bash Plate:

The Bash Plate or Sump Guard focuses primarily on the front end of the vehicle and protecting drivetrain components. It is vital for loose debris and rocks that may fling up under the bonnet. Under the bonnet are the most moving components that are sometimes bare, depending on the manufacturer and the method by which the vehicle was made.


Ironman bash plate accessories full shot

Loose/unprotected components include the radiator, steering columns/racks, power steering units, air conditioning units are all usually exposed or having exposed moving components that require protection. Belts and chains that are impacted by moving debris can severely impact the operation of the vehicle, even causing it to stop completely.

When off-roading, it is entirely likely that obstacles that are hard to see will be driven over, however, small mistakes like this could become costly and require assistance. Bash Plates protect the majority of the front end of the vehicle as it covers the undercarriage of whatever is under the bonnet.

Drivetrain (Engine and Transmission):

The Bash Plate and Underbody Protection protects vital components required for function operation of a vehicle. The drivetrain has many exposed moving components such as chains, belts and shafts which all are necessary for a vehicle to move. Having a sharp rock or stick interfere with the rotation or movement of one of these components will heavily damage the part and any relating components. Bash Plates and Underbody Protection provide a protective layer of Steel or Aluminium between the object and your vehicle.

Ironman bash plate accessories side under shot

Fuel Tank:

Factory fuel tanks are durable and can withstand anything that will be encountered on normal roads. However, when offroading, unpredictable driving conditions are obstacles are found. Sharp rocks and sticks can puncture a fuel tank which would stop the operation of the vehicle immediately and can even become a life-threatening situation. Underbody protection provides added protection to the fuel tank of a vehicle as it provides a thick layer of protection in-between loose dirt and rocks and your fuel tank. Ensuring it takes more than a rock or sharp stick to penetrate through the Underbody Protection.

Ironman bash plate accessories under shot

Bash Plate Construction:

4X4 enthusiasts usually state that Bash Plates and Underbody Armour should be between 3-6mm depending on what material is chosen. The most commonly used materials are Mild Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminium.

Materials used on Bash Plates:


Mild Steel:

Mild Steel is a type of carbon steel with low amounts of carbon. It has a high amount of iron and ferrite making it magnetic and can be finished in either a powder or zinc coat for improved corrosion protection. The thickness usually ranges between 3-4mm and provides great protection from rocks and sticks.

Drivetech Rival Bull Bar and Underbody Armour togehter.

Stainless Steel:

Stainless Steel Bash Plates are the most popular Underbody Protection option, besides Aluminium. It provides the perfect balance between strength and weight and are made between 3-4mm. Although they are more expensive and are just as heavy as Mild Steel and Aluminium, they are rust-proof and will not corrode. Where aluminium is subject to failure under extreme conditions, stainless steel isn’t. Best used for rock crawling, drag, slide and bounce movements.

Volkswagen Amarok Rival Bumper bottom view march 2018


Aluminium plates are usually lighter but need to be thicker for the same durability and strength as Steel plates. The Aluminium Bash Plates tend to gall or stick when dragging over rocks however the cost and availability of Aluminium Underbody Protection make them an obvious choice for light off-roading as they are more than capable for less extreme tasks. They can be a little thicker to compensate for the strength and durability of Bash Plates made from other materials.