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Old 09-11-2012, 06:56 PM   #1
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What have you replaced the front plastic valence panel with?

Everybody complains about the plastic panel below the front bumper, but I haven't seen any good alternatives. I want to keep the factory front bumper, I like the looks & I'm only an occasional off roader.

This question came to mind last weekend, after I hit the panel a good wack trying to climb a step grade at a ORV park. The panel did surprisingly well considering how hard it got hit. There is a hole in the right side and both right rear clips came off. The clips were easy to replace, but now I want a little armor there.

What's everyone else doing?

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Old 09-11-2012, 07:02 PM   #2
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Not sure if you mean the air dam, but I planned on trimming mine when I installed my lift. After I took it off, I liked the look much better, so it's sitting in my attic.

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Old 09-11-2012, 07:05 PM   #3
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The only reasonably priced replacement for the lower air dam that I found is, Skid Row lower front skid plate. they make it in Black and silver. The black looks sharp. I saw it on a jeep a short time ago. They retail for around $70 bucks.
Rugged ridge make a heavy duty one but it's a bit pricy at $179. Otherwise check the junk yards or a jeep garage for a cheap used OEM takeoffs.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:08 PM   #4
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Body armor makes one also at about 70 on autoanything and amazon, have it on mine bolts on the crossmember only, I have their fron bumper also so bracketed the two together for a little more strength
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:37 PM   #5
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Ripped mine off backing off a rock. Threw it in the dumpster at a gas station on the way home. Never looked back.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:16 PM   #6
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I've been looking in the Quadratech catalog, my bible, I see the Skid Row front chassis skid plate for $75 and one by M.O.R.E. for $180. I've also seen the one by AEV for $300, but apparently that can't be used with the factory bumper.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riccochet
Ripped mine off backing off a rock. Threw it in the dumpster at a gas station on the way home. Never looked back.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:20 PM   #8
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I hade a windshield whistle silent after removing the air dam..... Weird
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:24 PM   #9
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Have the Body Armor front skid. Impressed with how beefy it is for $100. You'd really have to hit something hard and fast to damage it. Have to cut it up now to fit it with my new bumper.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:39 PM   #10
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I took mine off. I didn't like it hiding my front dif now it looks like a 4x4 and that flimsy piece of plastic isn't going to protect anything anyway.

If you Youtube the 2012 Chrysler testing for the journalists on the Rubicon trail everyone of the Wranglers has the front air dam removed. I guess Chrysler didn't want to explain to the journalists why there was black plastic all over the place after they went over some rocks...lol
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:18 AM   #11
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Took mine off to install the grill guard. Never put it back on.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:37 PM   #12
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A real steel skid plate. There are alot of good ones.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VansMudder View Post
If you Youtube the 2012 Chrysler testing for the journalists on the Rubicon trail everyone of the Wranglers has the front air dam removed. I guess Chrysler didn't want to explain to the journalists why there was black plastic all over the place after they went over some rocks...lol

From what I understand, the intent is that it's supposed to be removable for off-road to prevent just that from happening and then they intend for you to put it back on. Not really sure what removing it permanently might affect on a Wrangler. I know on some vehicles they use the air dam to improve airflow for cooling or mpg or something.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:58 PM   #14
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I don't have a recommendation for what to replace the air dam with but I do have one for what you can use it for. Works pretty good as a sleigh during the winter.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:05 PM   #15
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Keep meaning to put the rugged ridge skidplate on cause I have their bumpers, but because the jeep looks awesome without it I keep forgetting to buy one, and not having a lift at the moment is also pushing it to the back of my mind haha
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:23 PM   #16
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I want to replace the factory plastic with something substantial, after the hit last Saturday. I don't like the idea of the lower cross member becoming a skid. The Engineer in me thinks the Skid Row plate will deform easily because of the laser cut lettering. The M.O.R.E. skid plate is substantial but weighty. I'm leaning in the direction of "substantial". I'm going to look at the Body Armor skid for comparison.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stans1stjeep
Everybody complains about the plastic panel below the front bumper, but I haven't seen any good alternatives. I want to keep the factory front bumper, I like the looks & I'm only an occasional off roader.

This question came to mind last weekend, after I hit the panel a good wack trying to climb a step grade at a ORV park. The panel did surprisingly well considering how hard it got hit. There is a hole in the right side and both right rear clips came off. The clips were easy to replace, but now I want a little armor there.

What's everyone else doing?
Haha, Bundy Hill casualty huh?
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by kjwhite622

Haha, Bundy Hill casualty huh?
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:27 PM   #19
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Haha, Bundy Hill casualty huh?
Yep! I had a BLAST!

Bunged up the plastic, climbing a dirt step. It was a good hit & I was surprised that the part stayed on the Jeep.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:28 PM   #20
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Come to think of it I initially clicked on the thread because I wanted to know what a "valence" was
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:46 PM   #21
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I saw on the Body Armor website where their skid plate only works with their bumper? Can anyone confirm?
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
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I saw on the Body Armor website where their skid plate only works with their bumper? Can anyone confirm?
x2; stalking the thread ...
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:50 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinion View Post
From what I understand, the intent is that it's supposed to be removable for off-road to prevent just that from happening and then they intend for you to put it back on. Not really sure what removing it permanently might affect on a Wrangler. I know on some vehicles they use the air dam to improve airflow for cooling or mpg or something.
Yeah I'm sure it's for a combination of better on road fuel economy and looks. I can't see one getting much more than a couple of drops of fuel saved with it and it really covers up the under carriage of the Jeep hiding all the goodies, this is the part I don't like. I want to see the front dif and steering stab etc. The CJ's YJ's and TJ's never had their front ends covered up, it was all out in the open for one to see just the way I like it.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:04 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by SilverSport View Post
I saw on the Body Armor website where their skid plate only works with their bumper? Can anyone confirm?
This is a misconception. I have it on my '11 JK with stock front bumper and it looks awesome. It is an easy bolt-on, 20 minute mod with the help of another person to steady it since you will need both hands to handle the bolts and nuts.

Also...this is really cool as well if you want to add some additional features to personalize it. I got a piece of plexi-glass from my local hardware guy and had him cut it to fit inside the area where the 'BODy ARMOR 4 X 4' is cut out. I painted one side of the plexi-glass the color of my jeep with a couple coats of cheap paint from Lowe's. After it dried, I plasti-dipped over the paint to protect it. Then, I used JB Weld to attach it to the inside of the skid plate so that the colored paint shows thru the cut-out letters.

It looks freakin awesome
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:14 PM   #25
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I saw on the Body Armor website where their skid plate only works with their bumper? Can anyone confirm?
It probably won't work with other aftermarket bumpers-but as stated it works on the stock just fine. The skid goes "up" into where the bumper sits- chances are it will hit any bumper unless its Body Armors. It does not fit with the Rampage bumper-my neighbor works at a machine shop and is cutting it to fit. Crossing my fingers.
The front skids are a hit or miss as far as fitment unless you order a bumper from a company that also makes a front skid (or recommends one). I think there is a Rugged Ridge (?) front skid that covers less and is very simple in design. I'd say it has the best chance of fitting a replacement bumper but I wasn't thrilled with it because it didn't look as beefy and doesn't cover as much.
If I have a chance this evening I'll try and post pics of the Body Armor plate when it was installed on my stock bumper. Right now its sitting on the side of my house waiting for surgery.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:13 PM   #26
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Body Armor Skid Plates - Skid Plates - Skid Plates - Armor & Protection - by 4 Wheel Parts

Just to confirm what others have said, the 4wheelparts website notes that it will fit both B.A. and stock. That said, I have no personal experience, but would like to replace the plastic someday as well. My list is getting longer by the day...
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:28 PM   #27
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Replaced mine with a Rigged Ridge Skid plate and a filler plate made of 1/8 inch steel primered and coated with spray-on bedliner.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:42 PM   #28
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I took mine off after I hit a quail running across the road. I was doing about 50 and then Thud! All I saw was feathers and dust! The little guy tried to run across the road and then realized he wasn't going to make it and tried to take off. He took off alright, right into my Jeep. It put a dent in the plastic, and when I pushed it back out, it left some white marks, like when plastic bends back and forth.



I get much better mpg now since it allows more air under the jeep, I am seeing gains almost as good as the guys who installed those stinger bumpers....
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:46 PM   #29
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I get much better mpg now since it allows more air under the jeep, I am seeing gains almost as good as the guys who installed those stinger bumpers....[/QUOTE]


One of my favorite threads ever.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:59 PM   #30
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I replaced mine with a Curie Enterprise plate called Rock Jock, that is made to hook my tow bar to so I can tow it behind my Motor Home its very well built and fairly easy to put on.

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