Thursday, March 24, 2011


Zuks Off Road sells a nifty item called a "crab."  Basically, it's a weld-on mini-skid plate for your differentials.
The aftermarket has a lot of different protection gear for differentials.  Some Zuk owners cut a large pipe cap in half and weld it to the lower part of the housing.  We've looked at all the alternative and decided Myron's crabs were the best available technology.  Ideally, someday somebody will develop a bolt-on protective device but who know how long that might be.  We went over to Myron's Place on a rainy March day and quizzed him about the physics of the crab and so forth and he gave us very straightforward answers and showed us the type of abuse a crab can take.  It was very impressive.

There are three main areas were skid plate protection is essential.  The front diff  is point #1.  The t-case is point #2 and the gas tank is point #3.  We will soon be getting a bolt on skid plate for the t-case from Trail Tough.

Anyway, we decided to buy a crab for our front diff first.  That's the the thing we worry about the most.  It's the first point of impact if we goof up and misjudge the size of a rock or mess up and get our wheel placement wrong.  (NOTE: Wheel placement is a big deal.  Most wheeling people can see where their wheels are in their sleep.  What we do occasionally is put a lot of empty aluminum cans on a gravel road and make a slalom course.  The goal is to have the tire precisely covering a can.  It sure helps improve your wheel placement.)

Myron said he would install a crab for $20.  So, we took SuziQ over to Myron's March 23rd and had him put on the crab.  His $20 fee was an amazing bargain as it took him and a helped danged near 45 minutes to get the crab on properly and make sure there was clearance for a socket to pull the filler plug.  The total "out-the-door" bill came to $52 for everything.  Myron is an amazing person and the more I deal with him, the more impressed I am.  THANKS, Myron!

Click here for ZOR's online description of the crabs.

Below the photos are additional comments.
Myron's bulldog "Big" checks out the Rust-Oleum Hammertone paint job for the inside of the crab.
Myron doesn't hesitate to dive right into a job.  He reminds me of a professional wrestler in a lot of ways.  Watching him work is a lot like being ringside at a wrestling match.  One of Myron's wintertime employees is a professional hunting guide, Marco.  He's a hoot and is Myron's right hand man.
Here's the crab before Marco shot it again with more Hammertone.  Myron had to burn out the access hole a little bigger because it didn't align right for a socket to loosen the filler plug.  We are VERY pleased with this new addition to SuziQ.  It's going to reduce our anxiety when we encounter tall rocks in the trail.  Our clearance from the bottom of the diff is 8.375 inches.  We often get into discussions that go like this, "You think that rock is 8 inches?"  "Naw, I think it's only 7."  "Well what if it's 8 or more?"  And on and on and on it goes.  Now, we're not going to worry about splitting hairs (or diffs)--we've got some margin-of-error literally built into the Zuk.

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