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So you've heard that upgrading your motor/drivetrain mounts is an important mod, but you never actually thought about it before or had one out and looked at it. Well you have come to the right place!
The purpose of a motor mount (and transmission mount) is to securely hold the drivetrain in place, attached to the vehicles frame. OE mounts generally consist of stamped sheet metal, or cast iron halves held in the middle by a soft rubber puck or block. The rubber serves as a flex point and a harmonics dampener for the quietest possible stock-like ride on the road. This is fine for the 99.9% of new car and truck buyers that will only use their vehicles to drive to work and back, the grocery store, shopping mall.
However, on a truck or SUV that gets driven off road, this is not ideal one bit. OE factory mounts are one of the weakest links in your vehicles construction and are often one of the most overlooked parts when building a more capable off road truck (or even a street/strip/track truck) and subsequently, one of the most important parts that you cannot afford to have fail.
So all of our motors will torque to the right (pass side) when power is applied. This is the rotating mass of the motor attempting to lift itself off the frame from the power it produces. Doing this over and over isn't necessarily a bad thing if it is occurring on the flat street. However, doing this over and over again on un-even, rugged tooth rattling, unpredictable terrain is a different story. Now you have a drivetrain trying to twist off the chassis and the whole truck being tossed around, shaken, vibrated and possibly taking hard impacts that send shock through the whole vehicle. Increasing vehicle speed over this type of terrain greatly accelerates these factors. Any axle wrap and moments of traction loss from the tires leaving the ground adds to the formula as well.
This is instant death for your OE stock engine mounts, or if you are lucky, a cumulative degradation over time. The weak stock mounts essentially allow your motor to become a 400-600 pound slide hammer beating the frame into submission as the OE mounts stretch and rebound and eventually tear themselves apart. The more the drivetrain flexes and rebounds the faster it tears itself apart.
How quickly this happens, varies from truck to truck. Factors include OE mount age, driving conditions, driver driving style, and modifications to the vehicle.
The kinds of damages you want nothing to do with! The most commonly seen types of damage from OE drivetrain mount failure are:
Solid Offroad custom fabricated drivetrain mounts are a complete re-design of the weak OE factory mounts. Instead of a spongy, soft rubber vulcanized puck holding your drivetrain to your chassis, we have designed a fully fabricated boxed steel, gusseted, double shear design mount that utilizes a tried and tested polyurethane bushing that is much stronger, denser, and will last longer than anything stock. Because of these upgrades, there is very minimal flex, and if the engine cannot over flex, it cannot begin to tear the drivetrain mounts apart. There is no rebounding effect, no slide hammer effect. Your drivetrain stays mounted firmly and held securely in place.
When your drivetrain is over-flexing and rebounding because of the weak OE rubber mounts, what its actually doing is trying to twist off the chassis. Thats right, your motor is attempting to lift off the frame with the power it generates. In other words, you are experiencing a decent degree of "parasitic" power loss through your drivetrain as lost energy that isn't making it to the ground. So if a good amount of the engine's generated power and torque is being wasted in the action of the drivetrain flexing, its not being sent to the tires for forward propulsion.
With Solid Offroad drivetrain mounts, your drivetrain is being held securely to the chassis, and that generated energy is being sent down the drivetrain, to the driveshaft, to the differentials, to the axles and to the tires. So in essence, you aren't making "more" power, but you are losing much less power and making more efficient use of the applicable power on hand produced at the flywheel. This effect is especially noticeable in an offroad situation where there is uneven terrain with many moments of lost and gained traction especially at higher speeds.
This is a very common misconception and mainly thrown out by "car guys or jeep guys" (no offense haha)
In the almost 2 decades of building custom drivetrain mounts with our proprietary polyurethane bushings, I've found from personal use and customer feedback that any extra harmonics or "vibration" is barely noticeable, if noticed at all. An aftermarket throaty exhaust system puts more harmonics and tone resonance into the cab and the drivers senses. Same with larger aggressive off road tires, and upgraded suspension that utilizes non-factory uniballs (spherical bearings) and also polyurethane bushings. Ive never had a customer tell me that they felt any kind of added vibration through the steering wheel either. On the contrary, I have customers message me weekly raving about how much better their truck rides, shifts, and feels after installing Solid Offroad mounts.
Given the positive gains in performance and strength, any potential trade off is definitely worth it. However if you do not use your vehicle off road, and prefer your truck or SUV to have a 100% stock OE ride and feel, then upgrading the motor mounts may not be for you.
No it is not necessary to upgrade the transmission mount at the same time. This is because the motor mounts control 90% of the drivetrain flex. However - you MUST upgrade the motor mounts first. Upgrading the trans mount only, and leaving the motor mounts stock is a disaster in the making. What this will do is hold the light weight aluminum transmission tight, while the much heavier motor is allowed to flex all over on those weak OE rubber mounts. This will cause the trans mount to experience massive amounts of force and deflection eventually causing the transmission housing to crack or rip out of the threaded bolt holes.
You must secure the motor first - it is the heavy end and it is the part of the drive line that moves the most. With a secured engine held tight by Solid Offroad motor mounts, and an OE trans mount in good shape, you will not see any problems. We have team members running off road races with just our motor mounts and a stock OE trans mount.
Short answer - no.
Long answer - I do not sell weld-it-yourself kits because all Solid Offroad drivetrain mounts require their unique weld fixture (jig) to be properly assembled and welded. Also, without the fixture to hold the welded-together mount with exact pre-determined tolerances, the mount would warp and twist as it cools down and the chances of it bolting into your truck after all that deformation would be slim to none.
Also, I cannot control the quality assurance of any Solid Offroad product if it is assembled and welded by a 3rd party.
Short answer - no.
Long answer - I stopped powder coating these parts years ago. Reason being, it adds a significant amount of cost to the overall process that I had to pass along to the customer. Powder coating also adds a minimum of an extra week of lead time, and presents issues when dealing with an outside processor (they tend to "misplace" a lot of parts because the kit pieces are small). Also, it just didn't really make sense to powdercoat a part that isn't highly visible, and isn't in an area that is vulnerable to sandblasting and rock chips offroad, like suspension and bumpers.
Solid Offroad uses a 2-stage outdoor enamel high temp primer & paint, which looks great and has proven itself all over the planet in extreme environments.
Every Solid Offroad drivetrain mount kit is assembled and welded up by me…yep I’m a one man operation in the shop (working in unison with my amazing suppliers of course)
These are not pre-assembled kits that are ordered overseas, or from another manufacturer with cheap labor and quality control – 100% custom made in house and made in the USA!
Very rarely do I have a welded ready-to-go kit in stock, 99% of the time every kit is built as ordered, and I do my very best to build every kit in the order that I receive payment from the customer. So if a customer were to order a kit today, they will receive their kit before the customer that orders a week from now. This is why I always stress – send me an order at least 2-3 weeks before you plan on needing the kit. In the world of custom off road manufacturing, that lead time isn’t too shabby.
Once you order your kit, the order is assigned an order number and it is put into the build schedule. You will receive a confirmation email and your order will be completed as soon as possible. Again, place your orders ahead of time as far out as you can, that will lessen the lead time. If you require a rush order, please email us and we can discuss options!