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Old 11-17-2010, 02:32 PM   #1
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Unhappy HELP! Fuel tank support

The other day I looked at my 1999 Wrangler from the back and found a piece of rusted metal hanging off the fuel tank skid plate. I crawled underneath and found that the front of the skid plate, just before it curves upward is one big rusted crack!!!

It's the middle of November in Minnesota...getting cold! I really don't want to replace the skid plate this time of year because I know it means dropping the whole tank. What I need to know is are there straps inside the skid plate that are still holding my gas tank in place or am I in danger of dropping the whole gas tank if the skid plate rusts all the way across????

I'll replace the skid plate next Spring. Just want to get through the winter without worrying about losing my fuel tank.

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Old 11-17-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
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Sorry to tell you but the straps are attached to the skid and then the skid is attached to the jeep. Your going to have to replace the skid ASAP.

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Old 11-17-2010, 03:29 PM   #3
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Yup. At best u could rig a support strap under the tank using existing bolts but u still may run into rust puncturing ur tank. Bundle up and replace it
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:11 PM   #4
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I can see where the straps are attached to the skid plate...the two long bolts on the back side. I also remember from when I dropped my tank in 2006 that everything came down when I unbolted the skid plate from the frame.

The upper part of the skid plate is solid where the straps bolt to it and it's solid where the skid plate bolts to the frame. So what I'm trying to figure out is do the straps go under the tank...between the tank and the skid plate?

My whole skid plate isn't shot, just the bottom toward the front.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:22 PM   #5
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No, the straps start in slots in the skid plate in front of the tank, and run over the top of the tank, and come down and the two bolts attach to the rear of the skid. So the strapped in tank comes down as the skid drops. Don't drop it too far before you unplug the lines and electrical plug, or they will stretch tight. After the whole package is out, then unstrap the tank out of the skid. It helps if the tank is mostly empty first, then you aren't lifting all that gas weight down. When re-installing, turn the straps over so that the seam doesn't rub against the tank like it might as installed stock.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:34 PM   #6
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^^^ As he said ^^^^ I'd do it now before it gets any colder or you loose the whole thing.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:49 PM   #7
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I just replaced mine - $45 for the plate (used) and did it in an hour. Advice - have an empty tank of gas!!!! Much easier to manage it.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:13 PM   #8
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Thanks for the help guys. I'm going to start today. Mostly I'm worried about breaking plastic clips, etc. in the cold. Oh yeah and fighting with 11 year old rusty bolts that haven't been off in 4 years.

I know from dropping the tank in 2006 that an empty tank is best. Unfortunately, it's over half full and I'm afraid to drive it much the way the skid looks. Hoping to empty the tank once I lower it with the jack. Mostly you just need it empty to get it back up and align the bolts, right?

Last time I dropped the tank I couldn't get the filler and vent hose off at the tank. Had to disconnect them from the top, by filler cap. Any trick to getting them off at the tank???? Last time I loosened the hose clamps but the hoses wouldn't come off, just turned.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:35 PM   #9
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Just remove it from the top as you did before. I've never removed it from the tank when I've dropped my skid/tank in the past. Just take off the cap,remove screws from filler neck, remove ground clip, lower tank (a floor jack and a friend helps if tank 1/2 or more full), disconnect lines/clips if they need to be (mine are long enough, didn't need to be disco'ed), remove straps,remove old skid.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:59 PM   #10
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a motorcycle jack is very helpfull here..
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:42 PM   #11
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Replace the stocker with a Savvy aluminum skid tucks it up an inch or 2 depending on if you have a body lift or not and never worry about rust again.
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:27 PM   #12
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Well, the tank is off! Only one minor casualty...a y-shaped hose connector that connects the hoses to the rollover valves (I think they're called) on each side of the tank. Cold weather, old plastic...could have been worse.

My problem now is I can't get the strap bolts loose. I shot them with some Liquid Wrench and some 3-in-1 oil and will try again tomorrow. I assume new straps come with a new skid plate since they look permanently attached on the front side.

I really like the look of the Savvy aluminum skid plate. Can I assume that doesn't bolt on using the factory bolts? Looks like more bolts across the back than the factory 4. Not sure I want to get into anymore work than necessary as it was only 32 degrees out today but I'll definitely check into it for the future.
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:48 PM   #13
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Nope it includes all new grade 8 hardware but uses the same factory mount points. The bolts that you see across the rear are for setting the height of the tank dependent on if you have the room from a BL or not.

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