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2021 Forester Touring
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone tell me the weight of the steel and alloy skid plates that Subaru offers for the 19+ Foresters? Any advantage of one over the other? Will not be used for any offroading, just general under engine protection.
 

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2004 Forester XS
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36 Posts
So, I took a look about, and could not find the exact weights. However, to provide a little context I am running a primitive racing skid plat under my SG. It is aluminum, and weighs in the ballpark of 17lbs. That being said it is probably less involved than the ones on the 2019+ models taking a look at the pictures side to side. Saying that the Aluminum plate for your vehicle is gonna be about 20lbs does not seem unreasonable to me.

As steel is more dense than Aluminum, if they are designed the same the steel will be heavier, probably to the tune of 25->30 lbs.

For the use case of just under-engine protection, anything is better than the plastic especially if you're expecting some level of road debris. From a weight and payload standpoint, the aluminum is probably the best bet, and you'll be thanking yourself if you have to remove it for maintenance.. As is 17lbs sucks for my oil changes.

For a more definitive answer, why not reach out to the parts counter to see if they can give you the weight of the items?
 

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2021 Forester Touring
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99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the response. The OEM steel is 2mm and the OEM alloy is 3mm. I agree, just having something under there is better than the plastic. There is an approx $100 price difference between the two of them. I don't want to go with something like the Primitive. For me that is an overkill. With the OEM's, you transfer the plastic oil change cover from the plastic to the metal skid plate so oil changes should be the same.
 

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2019 Sport CVT
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798 Posts
I have the OEM AL plate on my '19. It doesn't need to come off for oil changes
 

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2010 X Limited, 2.5L NA, 4AT. Purchased as the second owner in 2020 with ~126K miles.
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127 Posts
If you can find a retailer on the internet (ebay, Amazon, etc), you may find shipping weight. Not exact but pretty close.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... For the use case of just under-engine protection, anything is better than the plastic especially if you're expecting some level of road debris...
The plastic under tray is not designed to physically protect the engine. Its purpose is to shield the lower engine against road dirt, splashes of mud and salt, and perhaps to help draw airflow from the radiator through the engine compartment to under the car. It is easily damaged, and is an expensive part that should be protected from contact with the ground or snow banks or debris.
 

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2020 Forester base model.
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16 Posts
I have the Subaru steel plate on my 2020 and as I recall it weights about 29 pounds. The Subaru aluminum one weighted about 15 pounds. A year ago the price difference was around $50 so went with the steel one. If I wanted to go with the lighter aluminum type I would but the Prime Racing one even though it is a lot higher priced as thicker than the Subaru ones.
 

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2019 Forester Sport Lineartronic® CVT
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351 Posts
Any weight added in a skid plate is just gonna lower the center of gravity as well as increase understeer, but not likely noticeably. We used to add plates under our slot cars ... but they steered via slot ... but the lowered center of mass did help keep them on track better.
 

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2021 Forester Touring
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99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have the Subaru steel plate on my 2020 and as I recall it weights about 29 pounds. The Subaru aluminum one weighted about 15 pounds. A year ago the price difference was around $50 so went with the steel one. If I wanted to go with the lighter aluminum type I would but the Prime Racing one even though it is a lot higher priced as thicker than the Subaru ones.
This is very helpful. Thanks. Even with the price difference, 50% weight savings and not having to worry about it rusting, looks like the alloy one might be the way to go. Thanks!
 

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2020 Forester, CAD Touring, Horizon Blue
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82 Posts
This is very helpful. Thanks. Even with the price difference, 50% weight savings and not having to worry about it rusting, looks like the alloy one might be the way to go. Thanks!
I went alloy for the same reasons. Just had it installed a while back and really like it. Had the dealer install it and took about a half hour. Would I do again....in an instant. I am slowly turning my Forester into a Wilderness trim.
 

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2020 Forester Touring
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10 Posts
I went with the aluminum one for the rust reason. I drive a lot on the beach here in jersey. Salt air, etc. I bottomed out a few times driving in other peoples ruts and was just fine.
 

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2021 Forester Touring
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great. Thanks for the feedback. Good to know. Will order one tomorrow.
 

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2015 Forester
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209 Posts
FYI. Steel weighs 2.9 times more than aluminum. Since the aluminum is 50% thicker, this would make the plate that weighed 17 pounds in aluminum almost 33 pounds in steel. (aluminum weight X 2.9 x 2/3) assuming the same geometry.
 

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2021 Subaru Forester Touring
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The plastic under tray is not designed to physically protect the engine. Its purpose is to shield the lower engine against road dirt, splashes of mud and salt, and perhaps to help draw airflow from the radiator through the engine compartment to under the car. It is easily damaged, and is an expensive part that should be protected from contact with the ground or snow banks or debris.
I had the aluminum plate installed by the dealer as part of the original order on my 2021 Touring (I had 50% off on accessories and half-price labor for accessories installation as part of the purchase deal, so why not?). My thought was to provide better protection for the engine from road debris, but if I ever decide to do any light off-road driving, I'll feel a lot safer for having made that purchase.

BTW, I still have the stock (brand new) plastic under cover. I wanted to see what it looked like, and, well, I had paid for the thing. I was surprised to see when I just checked that it's only a couple of dollars cheaper than the steel replacement. :confused: Seems like an awful lot to pay for just plastic.

If anyone has cracked theirs, but's been hesitant to pay the cost of a replacement, I'd be glad to figure out a cost+shipping on this one that would be no more than half of the OEM retail price. If you'd be interested in helping me save the planet ;) (and unclutter my garage), PM me.
 
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