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Old 07-14-2013, 03:14 AM   #1
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Question Moab/AEV bumper skid plate reattachment after adding winch

My 2013 2dr Moab originally, from the factory, had 8 bolts holding the front skid plate to the bottom of the AEV bumper and frame.

Six (6) of the bolts were along the leading edge of the skid plate and attached to the front bottom of the bumper using 6 U-Nuts on the stock AEV bumper. The other two bolts went through the bottom of the skid plate a few inches further back, through a hole in the cross frame member and then into a lockwasher and nut. These two bolts held up the rear portion of the skid plate since the other six were all attached to the front edge of the skid plate.

Now, I've added a winch after installing the AEV "Call of Duty and Moab" winch & fairlead bracket kit. And, it appears to me that the winch base plate now covers any access to the two nut locations for these two rear skid plate bolts.

The AEV instructions tell you to discard the 6 U-Nuts and use their supplied self tapping bolts to reattach the front edge of the skid plate to the bottom of the AEV bumper. But, the instructions make no reference to the other two bolts further back on the skid plate.

Without these rearward bolts I think the skid plate will suffer metal fatigue along its front lip bend since it does flex up and down with mild hand pressure.

I'm sure there are others here that have thrown the AEV winch/fairlead brackets into their MOAB's and C.O.D. JK's... how did you guys reattach the skid plate? Are you only using the six self tapping bolts on the front edge of the skid plate?

Perplexed....

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Old 07-14-2013, 05:26 AM   #2
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Unfortunately I didn't install mine myself. (I had to warranty out the bumper so it just worked out to have the shop throw the winch in while they were at it.) So I can't tell you exactly how it was done.

But just for fun I just went out and scoped it out and I can tell you the bolts are definitely in place and there is definitely no flex at all. Looking it over, it almost seems like you'd need to attach the skid with those two bolts while everything else is still apart and then build around it.



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You're right that there is no access to get a wrench in there, but what you might be able to do as a last resort would be to shove the nut in that triangular hole and then manipulate it with a rod of some sort through the round hole to line it up with the bolt as you screw it upward. You'd never be able to get it cranked down but since it is a lock washer type nut (whatever those are called), with enough downward force (using the aforementioned rod through that round hole) you could probably get it on there good enough. Some red lock-tite would keep it from vibrating off and since it's not really supporting any weight, that might be good enough. But that would take a lot of patience. I think I'd probably start over if it were me.

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Old 07-14-2013, 11:10 AM   #3
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LameStory,

Thanks for your reply! You definitely confirmed my thought that these two left over bolts I'm looking at belong exactly in the location you photographed (one on each side of the skid plate). I hadn't photographed it before I took it apart but came to this conclusion by seeing the washer marks on the skid plate paint.

I'm just kinda perplexed as to why any mention of these remaining two bolts were completely excluded from the AEV instructions. I even referenced AEV's "Premium Front Bumper" installation instructions and they don't even mention the skid plate...<sigh>...

So, a call to the AEV tech support folks is definitely in order come Monday morning...

Come to think of it, I now have the perfect ~excuse~ for one of those fiber-optic cameras to snake in there and further scope the issue. Ya gotta love it when necessity becomes the mother of acquistion!!! (Did I get that right?)
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:32 AM   #4
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That's hilarious! I actually bought one of those cameras specifically to look inside the bumper, too!

Unfortunately I've come to the realization that pretty much every aftermarket part out there is gonna have terrible instructions. The good news is that AEV had excellent customer support, both on the phone and through email. Good luck!
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:52 AM   #5
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Found you some more help in this link and one that you will be led to through this one.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/aev...on-217475.html
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:04 PM   #6
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Well, I got tenacious yesterday and finally got the bolts in. I used a short piece of #14 electrical wire, bent at the end to hold the nut as I passed it through the triangular hole you photographed above.

My first attempt let it fall into a large square hole in the cross member and onto the skid plate, but was able to retrieve it by pulling down on the skid plate.

Next time I made a point of pushing the nut further in along the 45 degree sloped front plate of the cross member until I was closer to the through hole for the bolt. I then used the same wire to push the nut back toward the inserted bolt. Once in the neighborhood, I pulled out the bolt, slid the nut back the rest of the way and was able to thread into it as I lightly pushed the bolt upward to meet the nut. Finally, a pry bar (or was it a large flat head screwdriver?) inserted through the side hole, wedged between the nut and the back vertical plate of the cross member held the nut stationary enough for the bolt to tighten.

Lather, rinse, repeat for the other, tougher side since I'm soooo right-handed.

Guess it took me the better part of an hour to do both locations (but I'm old and slow).

If only I had a third hand to hold the fiber optic camera (whose LED light really helps us guys with the cheater glasses) while manipulating the wire pushing the nut with one hand and turning the bolt with the other. My camera (Harbor Freight) has a little pen-clip like slide on magnet but it wasn't really strong enough to give the nut the control I wanted.

Maybe I need to upgrade to full arthoscopic instruments so I'd have grabbers, scissors, staples, diamond bone saws and full vacuum extraction equipment when "on the inside". Do you know any retiring micro-surgeons?

Then I see your reply from the wee hours this morning pointing me toward the AEV forum. Thank you so much for your kindness in further researching my problem!

So, I'm guessing the skid plate we have is actually provided by AEV (at least initially, before being mass produced by Jeep?). I say this because yes, the skid looks like the AEV pictured one, except mine doesn't have the handy cut outs for the Hi Lift Jack tongue... bummer.

And, as for the guy on the AEV forum that said he lowered the nut in from the top with a double flexi-double extension (is that legal? )... I saw that access hole too, but my nut with its integrated washer (what's the tech name for these?) wouldn't fit through that hole to get it down to the target position.

And another guy that said he drilled a 7/8" hole in the side plate of the cross member--jeez-- I don't have HSS drill bits bigger than 1/2" -- I guess that's another thing to add to the tool collection, much to my wife's chagrin--she already thinks I have way too many tools until one of my obscure ones is instrumental in repairing her adjustable watch strap's skinivity pin.

I'll keep all of this on file should I have to remove it again in the future... God knows by that time I may have acquired one of those nifty neuro-controlled third hand attachments that connects to the multi-pin fiber optic socket I've heard you can have inserted into the base of your brain stem...

Thanks again LameStory !!!
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:51 AM   #7
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No problem! I'm glad you got it finished, even though it sounds like it was quite a pain! If nothing else, maybe this thread will help a few more people in the future.

As I understand it, yes, AEV does produce all of these parts for Mopar, but with a few Mopar requested differences from their normal runs, just so Mopar can put their own part # on there and double the price! - The hood being thinner material and not having the vents, the front bumper having a different winch plate setup, the rear bumper not having the water tank or spare carrier attachment point. And I only just noticed the missing Hi-Lift points in the skid plate the other night as well when I took those photos. One more thing to shake my head at...

On a slightly related note, when I warrantied out my original bumper they told me after the fact that if I'd have had to pay for it, it was almost a $3700 job!! And when I was chatting with the body shop about cutting the vent holes in the hood before I found out it can't be done, he showed me on his computer that our hood costs $1700, unpainted! AEV sells theirs with the vents for $900! The good side of that though would be if you ever had anything damaged in an accident you could get insurance to pay Mopar's replacement cost but then get your body shop to order the cheaper, better AEV parts, and maybe walk away with some money in your pocket.

Of course those prices were told to me before they started making the MOAB edition, when I'm told you actually needed to prove ownership of a COD edition in order to order any of the COD specific parts. Maybe they've lowered the prices since they opened up ordering to anyone.

Edit: of course it's entirely possible I'm wrong about all of that, but that's the way I understand things...
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:57 AM   #8
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I wonder how much of the Mopar "mods" to AEV parts are dictated by product liability. Scenario: Joe Schmo sticks a jack into skid pan holes of AEV skid pan. Joe drops Jeep on his head. Joe's estate sues Jeep for millions. Jury finds in favor of Joe's estate because Jeep put the holes in there to use the Jack thereby implying that jacking up the vehicle must be safe. Jeep's lawyers tell production to eliminate the holes for 3rd party jack equipment.

I've read about many very silly (stupid) things being done by people that shouldn't be allowed to walk and chew gum at the same time and then successfully litigating against the manufacturer when an accident occurs. Plus the trial lawyers enjoin every Tom, Dick and Harry into the suits (particularly the ones with deep pockets) even if they're quite remotely connected.

The current state of our litigious society is really out of hand.

<steps off soap box>
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:00 AM   #9
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You're probably exactly right!
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:53 AM   #10
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Dear God, I have this problem too! I'm going to have to go to the hardware store I think.
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:11 PM   #11
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Here's how I put the two bottom bolts in. Skid plate. 3/8 ratchet with 3" ext, put some tape in socket to hold nut, put ratchet through high lift jack opening center over hole in cross brace. Insert bolt and tighten up. Works great...
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkuone View Post
Here's how I put the two bottom bolts in. Skid plate. 3/8 ratchet with 3" ext, put some tape in socket to hold nut, put ratchet through high lift jack opening center over hole in cross brace. Insert bolt and tighten up. Works great...
There is no high lift jack opening on the Moab version of the bumper.
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornfedksboy View Post

There is no high lift jack opening on the Moab version of the bumper.
Well dang it that sucks.....
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:01 PM   #14
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Funny you should post this today, I just re-tightened those two today, must not have gotten them on the winch install and lost a nut. Anyways it's a PITA to get a wrench on top of the bolt but not impossible, you can stick a 15mm through a slot and tighten the nut from the bottom. You kind of need to be a contortionist but it's doable.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2013 Moab View Post
Funny you should post this today, I just re-tightened those two today, must not have gotten them on the winch install and lost a nut. Anyways it's a PITA to get a wrench on top of the bolt but not impossible, you can stick a 15mm through a slot and tighten the nut from the bottom. You kind of need to be a contortionist but it's doable.
Going to get an extension and attempt next Saturday. I did get my Warn 9.5 cti installed though!
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:43 PM   #16
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No i don't think you'll fit a socket and extension down there but maybe, I was referring to a 15mm open end wrench, sorry should have been more descriptive. I was just able to fit it down through that slot and get the points of the open end on the bolt head to hold it enough to tighten the nut.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 2013 Moab View Post
No i don't think you'll fit a socket and extension down there but maybe, I was referring to a 15mm open end wrench, sorry should have been more descriptive. I was just able to fit it down through that slot and get the points of the open end on the bolt head to hold it enough to tighten the nut.
I couldn't get my 15 mm in there. Going to have to play with it some more. I had to stop today to mow before the rain came in, plus I was a little exhausted from the install.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:57 PM   #18
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I put the same winch in, I haven't used it in desperation yet, only used it in a simulated stuck scenario, it's very nice and have no fear of when I do need it for real. good luck with yours.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:52 PM   #19
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I got mine back in though some serious contortion and willing to lose some skin on my knuckles, but it was definitely the lest fun part of the job. And lucky me, I got to do it twice since I installed the bumper without the winch last year, the added the winch a couple weeks ago.
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornfedksboy View Post
I couldn't get my 15 mm in there. Going to have to play with it some more. I had to stop today to mow before the rain came in, plus I was a little exhausted from the install.
i was able to get a snap-on 1/4 drive 15 deep well on them to hold while i tightened it from below.
i removed & installed skid on 10x rubicon & it had u nuts in frame.
check out these install directions.
http://www.quadratec.com/Assets/Installation/77023.pdf
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:44 PM   #21
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Check out theses directions from AEV. They show you where to trim the compatibility beam to make the installation easy for 2010+ jeeps. These directions differ from the ones previously posted.

http://www.aev-conversions.com/ishee...SKID_PLATE.pdf
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:38 PM   #22
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Thanks everyone! I have a couple of options it looks like. I'm going to try taping the nut to a 15mm wrench and setting it gently in place and then lightly threading the bolt up. Will do later this week and let you know how it works. I've never taped so many nuts to wrenches as I have done this week!

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