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Old 01-19-2014, 11:40 PM   #1
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Removing stock skidplate? Is it safe?

I have had nothing but problems with the stock exhaust. Given its a 93 it should have been expected.. but this many problems is pushing it..

I've been through 3 rattle fixes/breaks. In three different locations.

But this one is new, my exhaust just started rattling this morning, and it's a really bad loud rattle. I went under to check it out, after tapping around, the noise came from the exhaust/cat converter area. Right under the stock skidplate where the transmission bolts on.

My question is if I am going to go under there and fix this, I am going to need to take that plate off to see what I am up against and to fix it. But I honestly dont know if that plate is the sole thing that is holding the transmission in place. I have never dealt with that kind of stuff myself.
So if I go under there, and remove that plate, is the transmission going to come crashing down? I do not have the proper jacks and equipment to lift that beast back up.

Help!

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Old 01-20-2014, 01:23 AM   #2
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Yes that plate holds the weight if the trans and TC. You will need a jack to hold the weight I the drivetrain so removing the skid plate will be easier. The skid plate itself is about 50-60lbs is say. I would spray the bolts with some break free spray ie WD-40 or PB Blaster at least a couple days before you decide to start removing them.

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Old 01-20-2014, 03:52 AM   #3
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Like AllMudd has mentioned, you'll need to put a jack or jack stand on the transmission to keep it in place while you have the plate out. When I did my clutch job, I put one on the oil pan & one on the tail shaft housing. I don't like the thought of all the weight being on the tail shaft housing. It's better to use two jack & disperse the weight between the motor/tranny.

Remember, if you take the skid plate down & let the tranny fall to far down, there's a good chance you'll tear a motor mount.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:28 PM   #4
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Speaking of motor mounts. I wonder if yours are already shot leading to all of your exhaust issues.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:18 PM   #5
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Also check the tranny mount. A soft tranny mount & worn motor mounts will reek havoc on the exhaust.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:20 AM   #6
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It's something to check out! Hopefully doing an engine swap this summer, so the motor mounts will be changed out anyways.

So how do I go about dropping that plate? Without damaging/removing the transmission.
All I need to do is fix a rattle on my exhaust that is hidden up under that plate.
I understand there's 6 frame bolts, and of course bolts into the transmission. I'm not worried about bolts breaking, I just need to figure out how to get that plate off within removing any transmission parts.

Like where do I put the jack and stuff? I'm pretty new to stuff down there, so all advice and pictures will help.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:24 PM   #7
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Very simple. You'll need two jacks, one under the skid plate, one somewhere on the transmission itself to support it while you have the skid plate off. With the transmission supported in its normal position, put the 2nd jack under the skid plate. Try to center it in the middle of the plate. Unbolt the tranny mount, then unbolt the skid plate. Use the jack you positioned under the plate to slowly lower the plate to the ground.

That's how I do it. You could also use a jackstand to support the transmission if you don't have two floor jacks. Either way, keep clear of the skid plate should something slip. You DO NOT want to be directly under it should whatever is supporting it decide to fail.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:02 PM   #8
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Very simple. You'll need two jacks, one under the skid plate, one somewhere on the transmission itself to support it while you have the skid plate off. With the transmission supported in its normal position, put the 2nd jack under the skid plate. Try to center it in the middle of the plate. Unbolt the tranny mount, then unbolt the skid plate. Use the jack you positioned under the plate to slowly lower the plate to the ground.

That's how I do it. You could also use a jackstand to support the transmission if you don't have two floor jacks. Either way, keep clear of the skid plate should something slip. You DO NOT want to be directly under it should whatever is supporting it decide to fail.
Seems simple enough, why exactly is there one under the plate though if you dont mind me asking? Is that plate really heavy? I understand the one underneath the transmission! That thing is a beast! AX15.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:23 AM   #9
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Also check the exhaust mount that attaches by the tranny mount. It may have failed.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:52 AM   #10
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Thanks all!
I will hopefully tear into it this weekend to see what is going on down there!
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:45 AM   #11
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The plate isn't all that heavy, but it's kinda bulky. If you put a jack under it, you can bring it down in a controled manner.

Just go slow, take your time & be carefull taking it down. It's holding up a heavy component of your rig.
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:47 PM   #12
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Uh u do have a floor jack right? I would absolutely not use something cheap like the stock underhood jack. Im just making sure because u said u havnt done something like this before.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:13 PM   #13
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I've had mine off at least 6-8 times in the last couple months for my '93. And it is very simple. I put one jack stand on the back of the back of the transmission where it meets the rear drive shaft, this spot is actually the back of the transfer case. With that jack stand (or jack) in place, you can safely take out the two 9/16" nuts from the transmission mount. Next, place your jack directly under the middle of the skid plate and raise the jack to just barely touch the skid plate. Now, with the first jack stand holding the weight of the tranny, and the skid plate not going to fall on you, you can safely begin to remove the six 3/4" bolts from the frame rails. This is the only time you might get a headache. Like mine, this hardware is prone to rot on the inside of the frame rail. If you can not break them loose, or if they start to simply "free-spin", they you'll need to cut them out with a die-grinder, sawzall, or acetylene torch. Three of mine did this, and I used a sawzall. I know how to weld, so I reemed out the holes and welded in new nuts for new bolts. I hope you don't have to go through that. Be sure to take a few days and hit the bolts with PB Blaster a couple times a day and let it do it's job. An air impact gun or a large breaker bar is almost a must. Once they all come out, just lower it down with the floor jack.
Reinstalling it is just the opposite. Be sure that you line up the holes in the skid plate to the studs from the transmission mount as you raise the plate back up. A drop light or flashlight is all you need to see. BTW, for no particular reason, I always lower mine with the jack on the passenger side. Maybe because I had more room in my garage on that side, but it's very easy to see everything from there. I'll try to attach some pics, but not sure if they'll go through. Good luck, and keep us posted!

UPDATE:
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Ok, I hope this helps, because it's like 4 degrees outside at my house in CT and I just crawled underneath to take these pics. They are all taken from the passenger side. The first two are looking up from under the exhaust. The second two are from over the top of the exhaust. It's VERY important to put the jack under the back of the transfer case and NOT the drive shaft. Again, good luck and keep us posted!!
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmaxaholic View Post
Ok, I hope this helps, because it's like 4 degrees outside at my house in CT and I just crawled underneath to take these pics. They are all taken from the passenger side. The first two are looking up from under the exhaust. The second two are from over the top of the exhaust. It's VERY important to put the jack under the back of the transfer case and NOT the drive shaft. Again, good luck and keep us posted!!
This is FANTASTIC!
Thank you very much for doing that! I know the cold sucks.
I have a buddy who is going to help me take everything off, but we will be following this! Thank you much!
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:27 PM   #15
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No problem, Huntsman!! I myself am a new Wrangler owner, but I have already found that we are all part of a fraternal family, and I love that!! Glad to help out!
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Old 01-26-2014, 04:55 PM   #16
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No problem, Huntsman!! I myself am a new Wrangler owner, but I have already found that we are all part of a fraternal family, and I love that!! Glad to help out!
Yeah we all have to stick together! And never forget to waive! Update on the project! Click image for larger version

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ID:	705033 That little bugger inside the cat tube was rattling around. It looks like honeycomb, must be internal parts of the cat that fell apart. I didn't end up taking the plate off at all, found it easier to just cut the exhaust pipe where it was visible on each side to remove and fix the rattle. $13 fix. For pipe and two clamps! Money well spent!
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:05 PM   #17
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Good deal. I love an easy fix. For some odd reason, I don't have any easy fixes anymore. lol. They all turn out to be major projects.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:15 PM   #18
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First of all, DO NOT REMOVE THE SKID PLATE WITHOUT A JACK UNDER THE TRANSMISSION!

Unless of course you want to be picking up the transmission off the floor and reconnecting your drive shaft to it.

Also the rattling sound is your exhaust hitting against the tcase or transmission (mine was tcase last time). I fixed it by getting a pipe and moving the exhaust around with it. Stopped making the sound after that.

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