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View Poll Results: Best Bang for Buck Engine/Oil/Tranmission Skid
Rock-Hard 15 22.39%
EVO PROTEC 3-Plate System 22 32.84%
JCR 5 7.46%
Synergy Suspension 1 1.49%
RIVER RAIDER OFF ROAD (RROR) 5 7.46%
SKID ROW 2 2.99%
Rugged Ridge 1 1.49%
PUREJEEP 1 1.49%
M.O.R.E. 4 5.97%
Bacon 11 16.42%
Voters: 67. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-30-2013, 05:16 PM   #1
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Talking JK Skid and Undercarriage Armor Options

I've been looking for a good minimal skids to cover all the spots left uncovered by the factory for a 2012. For the most part that would be an engine/oil/transmission plate that is offered by several companies. That's what this first post is going to focus on at least. If you have pictures, opinions, or things to consider post them up.

UNDERCARRIAGE DANGER ZONES
  • Exhaust loop "bugle" (2012+) - I have concerns with the low hanging bugle part of the exhaust. It is just a bit lower than the frame rail. The "bugle" is connected the the catalytic converter which I hear is expensive to replace. On the other hand it could collect leaves under the skid and be a bit of a fire hazard come fall.
  • Oil pan
  • EVAP-It's basically a charcoal filter for fuel emissions. A skid was added in 2012 that's very thin. With the older 2007-2011 the EVAP needed a skid. Apparently it is about a $40 part and will not leave you stranded. It comes up quite a bit if you do a search as a recommend skid. There are some some relocation kits that put it under the rear axle. Those can cause warranty issues.
  • NOTE FOR 2012+ AUTOS: There is a very exposed cooler line on the transmission.
  • EXHAUST CROSS OVER
  • The CROSSMEMBER is 1/8" plated that gets lots of rock love.
  • LCA- Lower Control Arm attachment point. The weld on variety of skid seems to be the ones most recommended. They can block grease zergs on some aftermarket shocks.
  • Rubicon's Electronic Sway-Bar Motor - There are armor options and you can also rotate it up.
  • STEERING STABILIZER - It can be flipped to the top.
  • ROCKER PANEL - I've got the ace rock rails and they are awesome for protection and as step.
  • TIE ROD - You cannot put armor on it but can get a beefier one.
  • FRONT DIFFERENTIAL COVER/SKID- After seeing PieFace's youTube video I'm less worried about this for the moment. I wonder if a cover or a skid is a better option.


SKID CONSIDERATIONS
CHANGING OIL
Many plates seem to make changing oil and not spilling a good challenge. If you put a Fumoto oil change adapter on that can be over come in some cases. You need the kind with the hose to stop if from dripping on the skid. Being that I have lifetime oil changes at the dealer I wonder if they would figure it out if I put one on there for them.
Fumoto oil change adapter(Pictures not a Jeep)

WILL THE SKID MESS WITH LIFTING / TERAFLEX EXHAUST EXTENSIONS (2012+ ISSUE)-If you have a lift over 2.5" (and perhaps 2") you have to use an exhaust extension or use "aFe Y-pipes" (4dr only). Basically they prevent the front drive shaft from hitting the exhaust. The Teraflex option will often drop the exhaust close enough to hit skid plates if going over a good bump. The motor mounts allow for just a bit of wiggle which creates the problem. Some have used a couple washers on each bolt to shim the issue. One guy used a hose clamp and a wire wool pad (like for dishes).
MANUAL TRANS VENT HOLES
I would also like to cover the vent holes on the bottom of the manual transmission to keep mud out, as much as for rock protection. Maybe having a skid over the holes would hold mud in too and not let it vent? I'm especially thinking that with the closer fitting EVO PROTEK design. NOTE: That vent labeled in the picture above is as high in water as you can go and still safely use your clutch.
WEIGHT AND STRENGTH
There are aluminum and steel options. I have heard that the aluminum perhaps don't skid as well? I'm not sure. I read that the full rock-hard 3 piece 3/16" steel system was around 150 pounds. 3/16" steel seems to be the standard for skids. The River Raider aluminum full skid (1/4") comes in around 75lbs (Aluminium or steel skids?.... weight vs. strength - JeepForum.com).
CLEARANCE
Does the skid droop down lower than necessary.
STOCK GAS SKID AND TRANSFER CASE SKID
I'm drinking WayOfLife's kool-aid on this one and thinking the stock plates will work good enough for my few times a year wheeling.
Project-JK.com - Jeep JK Wrangler Resource » Giving Some Love to JK Factory Skidplates!!


ENGINE/OIL/TRANS SKID OPTIONS

EVO PROTEK $400
MUST SEE THREADS
  • It's a 3 part (PROTEK) system . The oil and cross member skids can bought and used individually, but the transmission is tied to the oil skid.
    MOUNTING LOCATIONS (EVO's DESIGN IS DIFFRENT)
    The EVO's PROTEK 3 plate version mount's its transmission plate to the oil pan cover. So a hit to the transmission plate will transfer onto the oil pans bolts. It has a cover right over the oil pan vs further away design that is common with engine mount locations. The engine mount location may be a better location to transfer repeated force to. The evo's design seems much easier for oil changes, and clearance. The clearance brings up another issue if it is better to have that clearance if your perhaps going to get hung up vs slide over something. I wonder with it's unique approach if it is a better system for more extreme lifts.
  • It looks like it would be easy to change the oil vs most other designs that look like they would be more challenging to not spill.
  • It covers the bugle exhaust.
  • 3/16" steel construction
  • It looks to really reinforce the crossmember which can use the help.
  • Some people have had issues with the EVO powder coating. They may have corrected the issue. It comes in black not red as shown on the adverts. Rustoleum's rattle can "rust reformer" comes in black, so that works for me.

ROCK HARD $380 (Oil Pan, Transmission & Dual Catalytic Converter Skid Plate)
  • This one seems to be the best for more serious rock crawler types.
  • It's a more continuous plate vs having areas were it could catch.
  • The bolts are protected from being scraped down by rocks with their special washers.
  • Stock drive-line clears skid at 40” of flex.
  • I don't think I have heard a bad review about them bending badly.
  • The skid doesn't totally cover the exaust loop.
  • I have heard that changing oil with them can be messy.
The plates cut out is a bit off for the 2012's, and in this thread (LINK> http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/cha...ce-168107.html) they say you cannot use the FUMOTO valve. On another thread, if I remember right, JIMBOX said he uses one with this skid, so who knows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlminh View Post
Hi guys

I have also noticed this design flaw. I have a 2012 and ordered the 2012 version of the skid plate from northridge. As you can see in the picture, the cut-out is forward and off center

Not happy about this, i would have gotten the EVO if I had known . . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineHawk View Post
There are a lot of good ones, I have the three-piece Rock Hard setup.



JCR
It looks like another candidate for the Fumoto oil adapter show above.
Engine Skid $270

Bugle Skid add on + $75 (requires engine skid)


Synergy Suspension-Transmission Skid Plate $500-590
Synergy Suspension 5710-01-BK - Synergy Suspension Transmission Skid Plate for 07-13 Jeep® Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK - Quadratec
They also have different protection levels and a full armor kit. This is more what I'm after for a minimal approach.


RIVER RAIDER OFF ROAD (RROR) - 2dr ENGINE $390 FULL $1,010.00
Skid Plates- Complete System (2 door JK)
They come in aluminum 1/4". It weighs about half what steel 3/16" plates do


SKID ROW- Engine/trans skid $388 - Engine/Transmission Skid Plate - for Jeep JK Wrangler - Skid Row Offroad
There isn't a whole lot off chatter about these, but they are an option. I think this is a 2007 jeep shown below.


Rugged Ridge Engine and Transmission Skid Plate $290
Rugged Ridge 18003.51 - Rugged Ridge Engine and Transmission Skid Plate for 12-13 Jeep® Wrangler & wrangler Unlimited JK - Quadratec


PUREJEEP Engine Skid Plate $350
Seems to minimal for my taste.


M.O.R.E. makes and engine/trans skid for 2007-2011 $309 http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mre-jkopsp/overview/ (sorry I reached my picture limit per post)

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Old 05-30-2013, 07:16 PM   #2
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This is a good thread to check out
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/lis...ks-145114.html

I forgot to mention that the JCR skids come unpainted.

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Old 05-30-2013, 10:18 PM   #3
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Awesome thread Rooster

I learned some info reading this.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:04 PM   #4
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This is the definitive thread. Good job. The pics are great.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:59 AM   #5
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I'm glad you guys liked it. I have been going nuts reading as many threads as I can trying to make sure I get the right skids, and wanted to pass along what I found.

I'M THINKING EVO
I've been going back and forth between Rock-Hard and the EVO Protek. If I spent more time playing in rocks I would go with the Rock Hard. I'm thinking the EVO more and more for my personal needs. My main reasons are that it covers the exhaust loop better. That loop really annoys me how low it sits. Also EVO covers the manual trans vent from mud well, I doubt I will ever hit the trans plate hard with my 2dr, easy oil drain access, and it reinforces my crossmember that's already peppered with dents.

Picture of the Stock Plates from the Passenger Side

The Exhaust Loop

I don't want the jeep pressing down on the vent hole if I'm deep in mud. It's pretty high up, maybe I'm just paranoid.


ROCK-HARD OIL HOLE UPDATE
Apparently Rock Hard Changed the way they do their oil hole. Now instead of a cut out, it is covered with a lid and (non-skid friendly) bolt holding it down. The Rock-Hard website still is showing the old cut out one, but I found a thread showing the new design. LINK> Rock Hard Skid
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:32 AM   #6
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I went with Rock Hard on my 2013. I found the access plate for the oil change more than adequate. I installed the Fumoto valve with nipple and hose. I drilled and tapped the removable plate install a 3/8 inch hose barb fitting with a short hose such that one can reach around the edge of the skid flip the valve open and the oil drains through the hole in the plate. There are no wrenches required.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint_Holbrook View Post
I went with Rock Hard on my 2013. I found the access plate for the oil change more than adequate. I installed the Fumoto valve with nipple and hose. I drilled and tapped the removable plate install a 3/8 inch hose barb fitting with a short hose such that one can reach around the edge of the skid flip the valve open and the oil drains through the hole in the plate. There are no wrenches required.
I'd be interested in pictures if you could swing it.

I just installed the Fumoto valve with the nipple and I'm doing my homework on which setup will work with it. I'm leaning towards the River Raider Off Road skid plates at the moment.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:20 AM   #8
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Why use something so fancy to change the oil? I just fold the oil filter box in half and stick it up into my RiverRaider skids so the oil will bounce down off of it and into the tub. Works like a charme and doesn't spill a drop.

But of course that works for me and my set up. Glad I don't have a set up that requires extra hassle and parts to change oil.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:59 AM   #9
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Throw this in the stickies thing. Rooster kicked ass putting this together.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:04 AM   #10
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Great thread Rooster. I went with EVO Protek when they first came out. Changing oil is easy and so was install. I put the oil pan skid on when I changed the oil so it was empty in case I bumped it. I would invest in a ratcheting wrench set before I started install though.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:19 AM   #11
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I'm the guy with the rockhard skid. There is a newer release for the 2012+ where the hole is replaced with a door. I have the newer one too and it allows JUST enough space to drain the oil without making a mess.

Also, with the teraflex spacers, the exhaust rubs against the skid plate, so I have to use about 2-3 washers to space it out accordingly

Otherwise, it is a great skid and has protected my valuables. Of everything on my Jeep, these skids is what I recommend the most to people.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:08 AM   #12
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Rooster - great piece. Thx for sharing.

Having recently completed the Palo Duro Jeep Jambo with a stock 2013 JKUR with ACE rock rails, here is my experience with undercarriage damage/risk areas from first hand experience:

- Long wheel base and poor breakover angles create challenges. However, stock protection is pretty good overall
- No marks on the oil pan/tranny pan (surprised by this)
- Very minor scape on foward exhaust loop
- Front lower control arm mounts (rear) show signs of rock rash
- Automatic transmission "skid bar" did its job, shows lots of contact, and the outer L/R body mounts show brackets have some minor bending. Overall, it did its job well (considering I was high centered too many times to count). Powering over obstacles became a necessary technique (one that is not a finese manuever). Nothing a lift/tires can't help address
- The main auto transmission lower lateral support is strong and can take a beating
- Transfer case skid plate took a beating, but held up well. No deformation
- Forward section of fuel tank skid plate REALLY took a beating and was mashed in about 1/2 to 1 inch shorter than stock. Damage is in first 12-18inchs of the skid plate, but rock rash continues the full length. This area took more punishment than anywhere under the vehicle
- Evap canister skid showed no signs on damage
- Lower rear shock mounts took some hits
- ACE sliders worked great. Virtually no paint/powder coating left on bottom. Lateral scraps along both sides, front to back. Just cleaned them up + rattle can flat black and they are back to almost new
- Stock front/rear bumper and rear license plate holder significantly damaged (no surprise here)
- Rock rash on the Rubi wheels (the spoke design really does invite damage because they aren't recessed from wheel rim)
- Front and rear lower diff covers show some rock contact, but no deformation.

Overall the stock JKUR is a beast....but suffers mightly from poor breakover angle. Actual trail experience with stocker helps you focus on what really needs to be upgraded from stock. Now.......what lift, what bumpers, etc
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:45 AM   #13
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Great thread. You might want to add a muffler skid to your list...and perhaps rear differential protection. After searching long and hard for a high-clearance muffler that was quiet with decent sound, I came to the conclusion that such an animal does not exist. So I added Mountain Off-Road's muffler skid. It protects the big ugly (but soothingly quiet) muffler and looks great too. So far, I've also installed the Rockhard engine/tranny skid and the AEV rear differential slider...both great products. I'm still deciding what to do with the front differential, if anything.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer2k View Post
I'd be interested in pictures if you could swing it.

I just installed the Fumoto valve with the nipple and I'm doing my homework on which setup will work with it. I'm leaning towards the River Raider Off Road skid plates at the moment.
Didn't vote because they are probably not the best value for dollar per inch of coverage but the RROR skids do a great job including the gas tank which if it gets a hole you are done.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Moabite View Post
Great thread. You might want to add a muffler skid to your list...and perhaps rear differential protection. After searching long and hard for a high-clearance muffler that was quiet with decent sound, I came to the conclusion that such an animal does not exist. So I added Mountain Off-Road's muffler skid. It protects the big ugly (but soothingly quiet) muffler and looks great too. So far, I've also installed the Rockhard engine/tranny skid and the AEV rear differential slider...both great products. I'm still deciding what to do with the front differential, if anything.
The AFE high tuck is a good system, way too loud as purchased but when I added a Vibrant 1141 performance resonator it is now perfect. Stealthy performance that is tucked up out of the way.

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Old 05-31-2013, 04:32 PM   #15
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Have been very happy with my evo protek for my 2012 JKU. Fit and finish was flawless and they are solid as a rock. I have riddler's on the diffs but am switching them out to ARB covers instead (should have done that from the get go.)
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:33 AM   #16
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Have been very happy with my evo protek for my 2012 JKU. Fit and finish was flawless and they are solid as a rock. I have riddler's on the diffs but am switching them out to ARB covers instead (should have done that from the get go.)
I'm curious why you're swapping Riddlers for the ARB covers. Do you have interference problems?

I had Riddlers on my TJ, and they took some serious hits. I'm planning on putting some on my '13 JKUR as soon as it arrives.

Oh, and I voted Bacon. Not the best protection, but if you get stranded comes in very handy!

A another option are Asfir 4x4 aluminum skids. They're fairly well known in the Rover crowd and have a nice looking set of skids for the JK.
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:45 AM   #17
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I'm curious why you're swapping Riddlers for the ARB covers. Do you have interference problems?

I had Riddlers on my TJ, and they took some serious hits. I'm planning on putting some on my '13 JKUR as soon as it arrives.

Oh, and I voted Bacon. Not the best protection, but if you get stranded comes in very handy!

A another option are Asfir 4x4 aluminum skids. They're fairly well known in the Rover crowd and have a nice looking set of skids for the JK.
Im not switching due to strength reasons. I just like the design and I like the dipstick features. The riddlers are still perfectly good covers. Took mine to Moab and had zero issues. The fact that they have no lip of any kind is also a welcome bonus.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:33 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer2k View Post
Awesome thread Rooster

I learned some info reading this.
I'm glad you liked it. I have really enjoyed reading your build thread. You've made great build choices. I'm highly considering copying your PSC brawler light and flip the swaybar motor combo. I'm wondering if you have to cut the crash bar to rotate the motor. I found a write-up for getting the bolt at a hardware store to save a few bucks. http://www.jkfreaks.com/forums/showt...co-flip-(Cheap)

Quote:
Originally Posted by WatchThis! View Post
Why use something so fancy to change the oil? I just fold the oil filter box in half and stick it up into my RiverRaider skids so the oil will bounce down off of it and into the tub. Works like a charme and doesn't spill a drop....
That's a great use of your empty box. I've used aluminum foil while changing my tractors coolant with good results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by txtumbleweed View Post
.,.Having recently completed the Palo Duro Jeep Jambo with a stock 2013 JKUR with ACE rock rails, here is my experience with undercarriage damage/risk areas from first hand experience:
Good stuff, I've read over it a few times. Thanks for all the details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moabite View Post
Great thread. You might want to add a muffler skid to your list...and perhaps rear differential protection. After searching long and hard for a high-clearance muffler that was quiet with decent sound, I came to the conclusion that such an animal does not exist. So I added Mountain Off-Road's muffler skid. It protects the big ugly (but soothingly quiet) muffler and looks great too. So far, I've also installed the Rockhard engine/tranny skid and the AEV rear differential slider...both great products. I'm still deciding what to do with the front differential, if anything.
I'm planning on keeping my muffler skid-less. If it gets messed up I'll go with one of the small aftermarket ones and get extra clearance. I have heard that with the Pentastar they end up sounding ricer.

I've read that the diff covers peeling back can be an issue as well as just direct impact. I took a picture of the stock setup from the side, but I'm on my phone and cannot post right now. It appears the stock cover doesn't have too much if any lip. I guess 2tons scrapping across a rock might not need much of a lip.

Rancho makes a front diff skid that is similar to the AEV one you have on the back. I think I would just get a strong diff cover for the extra clearance personally.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:46 PM   #19
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Great thread. Working on my build and will be heading to Moab and the Rubicon in two summers. Very helpful info to sort out options for making the best decisions.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:30 PM   #20
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Great thread. Working on my build and will be heading to Moab and the Rubicon in two summers. Very helpful info to sort out options for making the best decisions.
x2 Threads like these are why I love the forum
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:31 AM   #21
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I see a name in that poll list that I'm not familiar with - Bacon. I've tried Googling it and can't find anything relating that name to skids. Can anyone steer me in the right direction, please?
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:11 PM   #22
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I have the Evo Protek system and love it. There have been changes since the picture was posted above. The area around the corss-over pipe has been vented to keep debris from accumulating.

Here is a pic of mine, showing the vents.

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Old 01-18-2014, 12:29 PM   #23
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Does your Evo cover the 360 degree exhaust pipe as well?
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:04 PM   #24
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Does your Evo cover the 360 degree exhaust pipe as well?
Yes.
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:14 PM   #25
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I see a name in that poll list that I'm not familiar with - Bacon. I've tried Googling it and can't find anything relating that name to skids. Can anyone steer me in the right direction, please?
It's only available on this special edition Cherokee
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:21 PM   #26
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It's only available on this special edition Cherokee
I just knew I was opening the door to something like this!
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:56 PM   #27
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I just knew I was opening the door to something like this!
Couldn't pass it up. Sorry for the hijack. Now back to the great thread. Subscribed.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:41 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by LemonLite View Post
x2 Threads like these are why I love the forum
Hear, hear! Really really helpful. I'm getting ready to order and have a couple Qs/comments for the gurus here.

The planned skids will go on a 2013 JKUR. Only mods so far are a winch (SuperWinch 10,500 SRI) and front bumper (Rough Country hybrid stubby so the winch can sit low). I eventually plan to go w/ a low lift and/or replacement flares (maybe Metal Cloak) to fit 35s, and stop there. It's a family hauler daily driver so it's not getting 44s or trailered anytime soon.

I was planning on the River Raider complete set until I read all this and found seemingly very good choices, cheaper. However, here are the Qs:
-----------
-Is anyone running a gas tank skid from same company as their front skid, and likes it? So far my OR trips have beat the hell out of the OEM tank skid, but maybe it can take it as explained above in the "some love for OEM skids" link.

-I saw a reco for control arm bracket skids and diff protection, and that seems smart. I'm also wondering about the rear driveshaft skids. Any consensus on what to protect -- minimum or ideally? I'm not above bashing factory metal if it can take it, and I don't want to add any more weight or $ than necessary.

-Surprised that only some skids come with bolt protectors or smooth heads. This seems essential. But there are a lot of Evos out there, so I must be wrong about how much that matters?

Thanks!
-Micah
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:12 PM   #29
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You can add to the Rock Hard 4x4 oil/trans skid info that it comes with a shim now in case you do have the exhaust spacer and need the extra space.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:23 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micahd View Post
Hear, hear! Really really helpful. I'm getting ready to order and have a couple Qs/comments for the gurus here. The planned skids will go on a 2013 JKUR. Only mods so far are a winch (SuperWinch 10,500 SRI) and front bumper (Rough Country hybrid stubby so the winch can sit low). I eventually plan to go w/ a low lift and/or replacement flares (maybe Metal Cloak) to fit 35s, and stop there. It's a family hauler daily driver so it's not getting 44s or trailered anytime soon. I was planning on the River Raider complete set until I read all this and found seemingly very good choices, cheaper. However, here are the Qs: ----------- -Is anyone running a gas tank skid from same company as their front skid, and likes it? So far my OR trips have beat the hell out of the OEM tank skid, but maybe it can take it as explained above in the "some love for OEM skids" link. -I saw a reco for control arm bracket skids and diff protection, and that seems smart. I'm also wondering about the rear driveshaft skids. Any consensus on what to protect -- minimum or ideally? I'm not above bashing factory metal if it can take it, and I don't want to add any more weight or $ than necessary. -Surprised that only some skids come with bolt protectors or smooth heads. This seems essential. But there are a lot of Evos out there, so I must be wrong about how much that matters? Thanks! -Micah
I am running the river raider complete set. They really weren't any more expensive than anything else when you consider the coverage - plus I got a great deal on them. I liked the complete coverage, the way the engine skid mounts & the bolts they use over most others I looked at. They do rattle at low rpms in 2nd & 3rd & it kinda annoys me. Things sure are beefy, no worries of doing damage with them on.

I also have the evo lca & lca/shock mount skids - those parts take a huge beating on the rocks. I run SOLID diff covers too.


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