Driver side of transfer case skid plate is welded? This can't be stock? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:20 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Driver side of transfer case skid plate is welded? This can't be stock?

Thanks to the advice y'all gave in another thread of mine about some driveline vibrations, I've decided to try dropping my transfer case skid plate a little bit until my MML arrives.

I ordered a rugged ridge kit on Amazon since I knew I could rush shipping for this weekend. Unfortunately the mailbox was empty on Saturday (no MML, boo), but Fedex delivered the t-case lift so I figured I'd be wise to install that so that I don't cause any major damage to my driveshafts or transfer case due to misalignment.

I pulled the Jeep in the garage and turned on the little propane heater, started getting all my tools together and p-blasting all kinds of stuff... then this happens:

Is this OEM!? It looks to me like the entire side is welded so I can't drop it.

I figured I'd start on it anyhow so that I could at least take the grinder to cut that piece ... but then I wrench on the rear driver-side bolt and the entire metal area around the bolt (on the skid plate) warps and torques with my wrench. It was rusty but I didn't know it was in that bad of shape.

Really starting to feel kinda bummed about all this rust under here

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Old 02-09-2014, 02:31 PM   #2
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definitely not factory. When I removed the t-case skid to replace my transmission every single bolt holding the skid plate broke. I had to grind/saw each one out and well new nutserts into frame.

You can do it, just takes patience and time.

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Old 02-09-2014, 02:36 PM   #3
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That looks like someone welded a homemade transfer case drop in there. Bolted it up then sealed the deal by welding it in place. Best bet would probably be to just cut it out of there. Hopefully it doesn't damage your skid plate in the process. As for your bolt that snapped the head off, I'm thinking that once you get that mess cut out of there and the other bolts out there should still be a decent length of the bolt's shaft left to get it out with some vice grips and a lot of penetrating oil.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:38 PM   #4
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Oh my...! Is that home made piece welded to what's left of the frame as well as the skid, or are there through bolts that go to the top of the frame? What a mess..! It looks like your transfer case is already dropped a little from the stock height. I think you need some frame repair.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:38 PM   #5
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Thanks. Been reading up for the last half-hour on how to do that. Glad (for lack of a better word) to hear this is a problem for lots of others. I am not alone! Haha. Looks like i'll need to invest in some more grinder wheels.

It looks like this has everything I need: 87-06 YJ and TJ Nutsert Replacement Kit
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:41 PM   #6
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All of the bolts are in the skid plate. The front 4 bolts (2x driver 2x passenger, closest to engine) look decent, but the 2 rear bolts on either side are surrounded by like 1" of rust. If the bolt is a nipple ... well you get the idea. The rest is all rusted haha.

I really wish I had some welding skills and a lift. I am the kind of guy who will remove EVERYTHING and cut out chunks of frame, replace, etc...
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:57 PM   #7
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Someone welded it up on you, all you gotta do is use a cut disk and grind / cut the weld. I'd say it was easier for someone to weld it they thought then to just reapair with nut serts !No big deal, don't worry about it , at least your skid plate wasn't going to fall off haha!
Always the one with the most carnage, most stuck
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:33 PM   #8
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Might make replacing a clutch or removing tranny and TC case a little problematic

Not a real well thought out plan to just weld it on
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:38 PM   #9
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As already mentioned, your tcase appears about 1" lower than stock. Before you start hacking up your frame and tcase skid I suggest installing the MML to see if that corrects your driveline vibe issues. What does the other side of the tcase skid look like?
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:44 PM   #10
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they probably welded the t-case in because the nutserts were broken or the frame is rusted out.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:16 PM   #11
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The other side of the skid plate is not welded on. I'm gonna order that nutsert kit and once it comes in i'll go to town on cutting the crap off.

Also, the photo might be a bit deceiving or perhaps I am not seeing what you guys are seeing, but upon closer inspection it looks like the skid plate is at the normal height (not dropped). But if you guys are right and only one side is dropped ... maybe that is part of my problem with the driveline vibes?

I need to call brown dog tomorrow to check on the status of the mounts. They told me via email that it was being shipped on the 31st of Jan but it's been 9 days!

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