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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thunderhawk Performance has just released our vented rear mud guard kit for the Mid-Size Ranger. These mud guards are designed to maintain air circulation and allow hot air to escape from the engine compartment (under the seat). This kit also includes a cargo bed seal to block the gap between the cargo bed and seat-back to keep heat away from the driver & passenger. With the engine operating near 190 degrees, and the exhaust pipe generating heat at over 700 degrees, simply enclosing the rear wheel openings to block mud creates the dreaded “Ranger Hot-Seat”. Thunderhawk Performance has spent considerable time on the design and testing of this mud blocker kit to assure that it would not retain excessive amounts of heat. Testing with this kit installed showed slight increases in temperatures, with increases between 0 - 10 degrees in areas with rider contact, and 2 - 15 degrees in areas without rider contact. Unfortunately, it is not possible to accomplish zero temperature increase when enclosing the engine compartment, but Thunderhawk's numbers are far less than the typical 30 - 50 degree increases encountered with non-vented mud-blockers. All heat testing was done on our Mid-Size 800 (they have a reputation for the most heat). Full details from Thunderhawk's temperature testing are posted in the "Tech" section of our website - click here for testing details.

We have a kit for the 2011-2013 Mid-Size 500 & 2013-2014 Mid-Size 800, that is in-stock now. Another kit for the Mid-Size 570's should be available in a few weeks. With the 570 engine set-back under the bed and the exhaust pipe moved back (but still under the seat), the Mid-Size 570 does have less engine heat on the riders when it is stock. But, when you add a rear mud-blocker to a Mid-Size 570 the exhaust heat still gets trapped under the seat if the mud guard is not vented to allow this heat to escape. Both Thunderhawk mud guard kits (500/800 and 570) feature the same design to reduce heat build-up under the seat. We do not recommend any rear mud-blocker for the Ranger 400, as even minimal additional heat build-up can cause vapor-lock on these carbureted engines when operated in hot weather. We also do not recommend any rear mud blockers for Rangers with snorkels, as the snorkel has eliminated engine compartment air circulation by moving the transmission belt fan discharge and any enclosure will cause significant increases in temperature.

These vented rear mud guard kits are now listed on Thunderhawk's website, and we have many pictures on the website showing the mud guards and cargo-bed seal installed. Here's a link to the: Thunderhawk vented rear mud guard kit on our website.

Here's a picture of the Thunderhawk mud guard kit on our Ranger. The venting and cargo-bed heat seal are not visible in this photo, but can be seen in other photos on our website.
PL5406-101BK_500.jpg
 

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So, basically your venting the engine bay area up into the front channel of the bed correct? Judging by pictures, that how it appears.

ALso, cant tell really clearly, however will this kit be compatiable for owners who use a soft cab? It appears as if the "Cab seal lip" Pushes against the cross memeber that the rear half of the cage attatches, Or where the seatbelts bolt down.. In the 2 soft cabs that i own, velcro is attatched there in order to seal them. Will this kit cause an issue with cabs of that nature? Not sure about hard cabs, but im sure they'd seal in a similar fashion. Can you give us any insight and clearer pictures of how tight that seal really is?

THunderhawk, Im not trying to tear yinz apart by anymeans. I like your products alot, yinz do good clean work...i just wanna make sure of stuff before me or any other member buys it then they're sadly dissappointed and end up complaining about your products. Kinda trying to cover yinz too if ya think about it. lol Help us all out please! Thanks!

-Zac
 

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Ill let ya know how it fits with a canvas cab, I spoke with harry from Thunderhawk and the cargo bed seal does not have to be installed if your cab wont allow.
 

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@ Thunderhawk: We need mud blockers for the underside of the bed box. These should be simple to make.
 

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As you said, simple to.make. go to hardware store and get rubber mat, cut to fit, and fasten. Very simple.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The cargo bed seal does seal against the frame cross bar where the roll cage is mounted. If you have a cab, the seal is not required. Every cab is different, but the easiest thing to do if you install a cab only for winter would be to first remove the ribber bulb seal from the mounting bracket on the bed and check that the seal mounting bracket clears the cab when you raise the bed. Otherwise, remove the mounting bracket and seal when the cab is installed. If anyone keeps their cab installed year-round, call us and we can split the kit so you don't have to buy the cargo bed seal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
We have built under-bed covers for testing. Believe it or not, there's a bit more to designing them than just screwing a panel to the bottom of the bed. I'll start a new thread to discuss these under-bed panels, to avoid confusing their design issues with these mudguards.
 

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I can't wait for the 570 panels!!!!!!
 

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As you said, simple to.make. go to hardware store and get rubber mat, cut to fit, and fasten. Very simple.
I sat in the shop drinking a cold one the other night pondering how to fab up some mud guards and under bed guards. I have ⅛" conveyor belt material. I have a plan for the under seat mud flaps thanks to the ideas on here. The problem I am seeing with the under bed material is how do I attach it to the honeycomb? Thinking maybe aluminum "L" brackets screwed to the inside of the honeycomb, then screw the belt material to them?
 
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