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Old 08-09-2011, 08:12 PM   #1
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let's talk about aftermarket gas tank skid plates

As it happens, I now have two reasons to drop my TJ's gas tank--to install a new fuel level sending unit and to complete the installation of my rear bumper's backing plates. The only other reason I would ever need to drop the tank is to install a gas tank skid plate... and since my stock one has already been bent due to rock contact, why not go ahead and install an upgraded one when I drop the tank? So that's my plan.

The driver's end has been munched:


I'd love to hear feedback from you guys who have upgraded your TJ's gas tank skid to something beefier. What brand did you choose, and why? How well has it held up to abuse? I'm curious to hear glowing reviews as well as negative impressions.

Please, speak up.

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Old 08-10-2011, 07:16 AM   #2
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I installed a Skid Row fuel tank skid on my LJ. My particular reason was that it was one of a few that could be installed without requiring a body lift (I don't have a BL and don't intend to install one).
It has held up well, no problems... I can certainly recommend Skid Row.
If I was doing it again today, I'd also consider an aluminum skid from Savvy.

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Old 08-10-2011, 07:33 AM   #3
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www.rokmen.com
www.shrockworks.com
www.kilbyenterprises.com

since your TJ is a 98, you won't need a body lift for any of the gas tank skid plates.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:46 AM   #4
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I thought Kilby went out of business??
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXST8tj View Post
www.rokmen.com
www.shrockworks.com
www.kilbyenterprises.com

since your TJ is a 98, you won't need a body lift for any of the gas tank skid plates.
What makes you say that? Rokmen strongly recommends the use of a BL or their spacer kit in order to run their tank skid.

From rokmen:
- For 97-06' TJ/LJ's NOT running a body lift, the .5" spacer kit is required. Using the ROKMEN skid without a body lift and without the spacer kit on any year vehicle could cause unsafe conditions such as chaffed or damaged fuel lines and is not recommended.

As far as shrockworks, when I pull up the site it says that their are no skid plates available.

The Kilby also states that you must have a BL or a spacer kit to run their tank skid.

So if you dont have a body lift, and still want to run one of these skids you will at least need to get the spacer.

I personally run the Rokmen skid and love it. The skid is shipped bare metal, so you get the choice of colors in which to paint it (if you want to go with a color.) I just painted mine black as I didnt feel the need to have it stick out from the rest of the jeep. It has taken a few hard hits with barely any damage to the skid. The hits pretty much chipped away the paint and left a tiny scratch in the metal. They are strong and will lift your tank up higher than stock (if you have the BL installed). I would definitely recommend this skid. Another option that I have seen (but couldnt afford at the time) are the Savvy skids. They are made of aluminum. They are strong enough to hold up to any abuse you put them through, and they weigh a fraction of what a steel skid weighs.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:57 AM   #6
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Warn also makes one that is pretty bad a$$.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:27 AM   #7
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Teraflex makes a good one
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:36 AM   #8
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I would and am going with Savvy's gas tank skid. It comes with all new hardware, and is adjustable so that it can be used with or without a body lift, allowing you to tuck it up high if you have a body lift and wish to do so. Not to mention it's aluminum, so not only is it strong its very light.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:57 AM   #9
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On a side note: I was looking at skid plates a while ago, most of them do not replace the stock gas tank plate, they just bolt over it. The stock plate has straps attached to it to hold the gas tank in place. These are not good if your stock cover is rusting or severly damaged. You should still replace the stock plate.

Also, I did not look at the specific ones listed, I am just mentioning my experience with searching for a skid plate from last year when I was looking to replace my rusted out plate
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sherpa View Post
I'd love to hear feedback from you guys who have upgraded your TJ's gas tank skid to something beefier.
years ago, I bought a Kilby gas tank skid since that was supposedly the best on the market at that time. Lots of people did the same.

Well, now thats old technology. As I found out - anything flat on the bottom is a problem...the fuel pump gets pushed up into the tank, and you lose gas capacity. You want a skid with a dimple for the fuel pump.

Theres two skids to consider with a dimple. Rokmen and Savvy Off-Road. The Savvy Off-Road skid is only like 4 lbs heavier than stock, so its the clear choice.

I removed the Kilby and installed a Savvy. The Savvy Gas tank skid is the best skid on the market right now...and they include all new hardware - and I mean all new hardware, everything from the plastic christmas trees to new bolts for the frame end.

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Old 08-10-2011, 08:59 AM   #11
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On a side note: I was looking at skid plates a while ago, most of them do not replace the stock gas tank plate, they just bolt over it. The stock plate has straps attached to it to hold the gas tank in place. These are not good if your stock cover is rusting or severly damaged. You should still replace the stock plate.

Also, I did not look at the specific ones listed, I am just mentioning my experience with searching for a skid plate from last year when I was looking to replace my rusted out plate
This is not the case with the Savvy skid; as stated, it uses all new hardware, and the stock skid plate is not used; ie.. can be thrown away.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:24 AM   #12
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As it happens, I now have two reasons to drop my TJ's gas tank--to install a new fuel level sending unit and to complete the installation of my rear bumper's backing plates. The only other reason I would ever need to drop the tank is to install a gas tank skid plate... and since my stock one has already been bent due to rock contact, why not go ahead and install an upgraded one when I drop the tank? So that's my plan.

The driver's end has been munched:


I'd love to hear feedback from you guys who have upgraded your TJ's gas tank skid to something beefier. What brand did you choose, and why? How well has it held up to abuse? I'm curious to hear glowing reviews as well as negative impressions.

Please, speak up.
When I designed the Savvy Gas Tank Skid, you were the person I had in mind and are my perfect customer. Your rig is mildly built and you don't need to start the domino effect of adding weight and then needing to add lift to compensate. You need a product that does what you want without requiring a lot of work or additional stuff to work with your rig as it sits.

All of the higher clearnance tank skids require the purchase of a spacer to drop it for certain years if you don't have a body lift. Ours has a set of holes in the mounting flanges that lets you install it at a lower height and then later as your rig grows and you wheel harder, simply drop the skid, move the flanges down deeper into the skid and re-install it to raise it another inch.

I just helped a friend install one two days ago. He had a BL, so we measured before and after clearance which was almost 2" higher than stock in the upper position. That would also mean 1" higher than stock if you don't have a body lift.

A couple of other key points that set us apart of the other offererings are being able to push the skid back further to gain some diff and trackbar clearance. That's due to me designing our own tank straps. The stock straps have an offset bend in them to hit the flat mount flange that is UNDER the rear crossmember. When you raise the tank, that offset hits the flange that hangs down under the tailgate and pushes the tank forward into your diff and trackbar. With ours, the tank itself touches that flange and if it's touching, that's as far back as it will go.

The rear mount flanges are also wider than most to support the rear crossmember as much as possible. We've seen far too many of the C shaped crossmembers back there bent to crap from folks slamming the stock skid into stuff that we decided it needed as much support as possible.

Of course, there's the dimple and my logic there was that if the factory thought the tank needed a dimple, who am I to try and outsmart them?

And finally, the holes in the rear crossmember are barely slotted and that's only because the bolts get pointed oddly sometimes when the crossmember is distorted. They are not slotted like the rest because I don't want you to push the tank forward and I don't think you want that either. My slots are in the front flange under the tub in case there are any variances from Jeep. The front slots also let you wedge the flange back and bolt it in place in case you are running the stock trackbar with a low lift height and need just a smidge more clearance up there.

In other words, I let the rest of the aftermarket build skids for 11 years in hopes they would finally get one right. When they didn't, I built it.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:29 AM   #13
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Don't forget Under Cover Fab Works. They make a full line of skids in two different thicknesses of both steel and aluminum. I have their skids in 1/4" aluminum and they are well built and tough.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:29 AM   #14
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years ago, I bought a Kilby gas tank skid since that was supposedly the best on the market at that time. Lots of people did the same.

Well, now thats old technology. As I found out - anything flat on the bottom is a problem...the fuel pump gets pushed up into the tank, and you lose gas capacity. You want a skid with a dimple for the fuel pump.



Savvy Offroad
The really bad part about that is I had many conversations with Brad about copying the dimple the ACF skid had. He could never understand that the pump is fully compressed on it's springs when it's installed from the factory and if you push up on the dimple with a flat skid, you're loading the lock ring which can lead to a Gross Evap Leak or worse like some we've seen, a fuel leak.

Also, if you can install a raised skid without a body lift, you're giving up clearance that you shouldn't be.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:10 AM   #15
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I just installed a Savvy skid a couple of weeks ago on my stock 98 Sahara, and I have to say that thing is built like a tank. It's very light, but extremely solid. The install was straightforward, and I did notice that it increased my ground clearance. I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone looking to replace theirs
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:14 AM   #16
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I converted my aftermarket steel gas tank skidplate to Savvy Offroad's aluminum skidplate several years ago and I couldn't be happier with it. It's lighter (a very significant benefit), won't rust, and holds up to the toughest trails in the U.S. Mine has been slammed onto the rocks hard enough that it hurt my teeth yet there's not even a single small dent in it. It has some scrapes and gouges in it (which won't rust) but that's it.

Click on Savvy Offroad to see it...
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:15 AM   #17
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When I designed the Savvy Gas Tank Skid, you were the person I had in mind and are my perfect customer. Your rig is mildly built and you don't need to start the domino effect of adding weight and then needing to add lift to compensate. You need a product that does what you want without requiring a lot of work or additional stuff to work with your rig as it sits.

All of the higher clearnance tank skids require the purchase of a spacer to drop it for certain years if you don't have a body lift. Ours has a set of holes in the mounting flanges that lets you install it at a lower height and then later as your rig grows and you wheel harder, simply drop the skid, move the flanges down deeper into the skid and re-install it to raise it another inch.

I just helped a friend install one two days ago. He had a BL, so we measured before and after clearance which was almost 2" higher than stock in the upper position. That would also mean 1" higher than stock if you don't have a body lift.

A couple of other key points that set us apart of the other offererings are being able to push the skid back further to gain some diff and trackbar clearance. That's due to me designing our own tank straps. The stock straps have an offset bend in them to hit the flat mount flange that is UNDER the rear crossmember. When you raise the tank, that offset hits the flange that hangs down under the tailgate and pushes the tank forward into your diff and trackbar. With ours, the tank itself touches that flange and if it's touching, that's as far back as it will go.

The rear mount flanges are also wider than most to support the rear crossmember as much as possible. We've seen far too many of the C shaped crossmembers back there bent to crap from folks slamming the stock skid into stuff that we decided it needed as much support as possible.

Of course, there's the dimple and my logic there was that if the factory thought the tank needed a dimple, who am I to try and outsmart them?

And finally, the holes in the rear crossmember are barely slotted and that's only because the bolts get pointed oddly sometimes when the crossmember is distorted. They are not slotted like the rest because I don't want you to push the tank forward and I don't think you want that either. My slots are in the front flange under the tub in case there are any variances from Jeep. The front slots also let you wedge the flange back and bolt it in place in case you are running the stock trackbar with a low lift height and need just a smidge more clearance up there.

In other words, I let the rest of the aftermarket build skids for 11 years in hopes they would finally get one right. When they didn't, I built it.
It's cool to read about why you made them how you did and for what reasons.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:29 AM   #18
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What makes you say that? Rokmen strongly recommends the use of a BL or their spacer kit in order to run their tank skid.

As far as shrockworks, when I pull up the site it says that their are no skid plates available.

The Kilby also states that you must have a BL or a spacer kit to run their tank skid.
Oh dang, you're right about Shrockworks. For some reason I was thinking they released a gas tank skid. I think they planned to some time ago.

The Rokmen site used to say the body lift was only needed for 03-06 TJs. The 97-02 TJs did not require a body lift or spacer to fit the skid. I guess they have changed that up.

The Kilby site says that you must have a BL or spacer for 03-04 TJs, no BL is needed for 97-02.


If you're looking for an aluminum skid, I would look at the Undercover Fab skid. It is more visually appealing than the Savvy (cleaner lines), offers the clearance gain with body lift, is lighter, is a couple dollars cheaper, and they offer it in a thicker 1/4" alum (+$100).

UCF 20 lbs (3/16")
Savvy 32 lbs

I'm not knocking the Savvy skid, but the UCF seems like the better option to me.


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Old 08-10-2011, 12:35 PM   #19
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Oh dang, you're right about Shrockworks. For some reason I was thinking they released a gas tank skid. I think they planned to some time ago.

The Rokmen site used to say the body lift was only needed for 03-06 TJs. The 97-02 TJs did not require a body lift or spacer to fit the skid. I guess they have changed that up.

The Kilby site says that you must have a BL or spacer for 03-04 TJs, no BL is needed for 97-02.


If you're looking for an aluminum skid, I would look at the Undercover Fab skid. It is more visually appealing than the Savvy (cleaner lines), offers the clearance gain with body lift, is lighter, is a couple dollars cheaper, and they offer it in a thicker 1/4" alum (+$100).

UCF 20 lbs (3/16")
Savvy 32 lbs

I'm not knocking the Savvy skid, but the UCF seems like the better option to me.
It's a better option if you don't need to push your tank back as far which is why we make our own straps. As far as cleaner lines, I don't like bisecting the back edge of the tank which is rounded with two straight lines, not to mention, it takes away clearance. The highest clearance you can get is to follow the radius of the tank perfectly and we did that by making our own dies for the press brake.

You also picked the worst picture possible to make your point. If you use the upper holes in the Steel Mounting flanges and have a rear bumper, you have to get down on your hands and knees to even see the bolts..

If you you look at this pic, you can see how high the tank is relative to the rear bumper and what you would have to do to see the bolts.



We also used steel flanges for two reasons. The factory crossmember back there is an open C channel. It needs a lot of support because the two vertical members where you get the strength to withstand the forces of bashing the tank on stuff are opposite each other and you need the strength of steel right there to stop from bending the crossmember upwards. The second reason is you can't put a tight 90° bend in 6061-T6 without cracking it and you can in steel. That tight bend is also key in letting you slide the tank back the furthest it can go.

[/QUOTE]
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:12 PM   #20
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If you're looking for an aluminum skid, I would look at the Undercover Fab skid. It is more visually appealing than the Savvy (cleaner lines), offers the clearance gain with body lift, is lighter, is a couple dollars cheaper, and they offer it in a thicker 1/4" alum (+$100).

UCF 20 lbs (3/16")
Savvy 32 lbs

I'm not knocking the Savvy skid, but the UCF seems like the better option to me.
I'm not the biggest Savvy fan, but the savvy skid is WAY better than the UFC Al skid. Aluminum is stronger than steel by weight. If your aluminum skid weighs half of the stock skid, you are going to have a much weaker skid vs the stock one. My favorite is the rokmen skid. $100 less than savvy and 3/16" steel instead of aluminum.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:12 PM   #21
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I'm not knocking the Savvy skid, but the UCF seems like the better option to me.
The Savvy's the better option. Better design and most importantly for some - all new hardware, and thats including new stainless steel straps. You guys in the rust belt will appreciate that since the stock straps suck.

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My favorite is the rokmen skid. $100 less than savvy and 3/16" steel instead of aluminum.
I was fan of Rokmen's stuff when Sean worked there, great guy. I run a lot of Rokmen's stuff, they're local to me, and I've gotten some good deals through Sean. But when I replaced the Kilby skid, I looked over the Rokmen skid pretty closely...and still went with Savvy. It's a better skid all around even regardless of the weight savings. Both skids are nice...but the Savvy's the best
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:14 PM   #22
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Aluminum is stronger than steel by weight. If your aluminum skid weighs half of the stock skid, you are going to have a much weaker skid vs the stock one.
You're a little confusing here; are you stating that the lighter Savvy skid will be weaker than the stock skid?
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:43 PM   #23
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You're a little confusing here; are you stating that the lighter Savvy skid will be weaker than the stock skid?
As normal with Joe, he's just confused. The Savvy skid is very much stronger than the factory skid and we have a guarantee that if you can make it fail offroad, we'll replace it for free as long as we get to use the pics of how you did it and where you did it to show folks just how far you have to go to tear one up.

So far, no one has been able to take us up on the warranty.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:45 PM   #24
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I'm not the biggest Savvy fan, but the savvy skid is WAY better than the UFC Al skid. Aluminum is stronger than steel by weight. If your aluminum skid weighs half of the stock skid, you are going to have a much weaker skid vs the stock one. My favorite is the rokmen skid. $100 less than savvy and 3/16" steel instead of aluminum.
If you're gonna buy a steel skid, you may as well go with the one from EMP. All steel skids are about the same with the same drawbacks, so why pay more?
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:46 PM   #25
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As normal with Joe, he's just confused. The Savvy skid is very much stronger than the factory skid and we have a guarantee that if you can make it fail offroad, we'll replace it for free as long as we get to use the pics of how you did it and where you did it to show folks just how far you have to go to tear one up.

So far, no one has been able to take us up on the warranty.
Oh I fully understand that, I was just hoping he did. I really didn't want to have to post pics of my pathetic stock skid to show how weak it is.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:00 PM   #26
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You're a little confusing here; are you stating that the lighter Savvy skid will be weaker than the stock skid?
The savvy skid is not lighter. 4# heavier as stated above.
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As normal with Joe, he's just confused.
Nope, not confused one bit Blaine, but you'll never pass on a chance for a quick jab.
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If you're gonna buy a steel skid, you may as well go with the one from EMP. All steel skids are about the same with the same drawbacks, so why pay more?
The EMP is flat bottom.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:05 PM   #27
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The savvy skid is not lighter. 4# heavier as stated above.
Right, so still not seeing your point about an aluminum skid plate that is half the weight of the stock skid, unless you're still trying to say that Savvy's skid is not heavy enough to be stronger than stock.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:36 PM   #28
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I'm not the biggest Savvy fan, but the savvy skid is WAY better than the UFC Al skid. Aluminum is stronger than steel by weight. If your aluminum skid weighs half of the stock skid, you are going to have a much weaker skid vs the stock one. My favorite is the rokmen skid. $100 less than savvy and 3/16" steel instead of aluminum.
I have the Rokmen skid and like it. However, I wish I had done better research because if I had, I would have gone with the Savvy skid. My old stock skid was so rusted that when I removed it, it practically
disintegrated. Even the straps were toast causing me to buy a set of new ones. By the time it was all said and done, the difference in cost was negligible. I also had to sand and paint the new skid as well.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:50 PM   #29
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Im just going with a cell when my stretch is done, or I would go with the Rokmen, or Savvy.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:54 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by IndyJeepMan View Post
Im just going with a cell when my stretch is done, or I would go with the Rokmen, or Savvy.
Psh...this guy...

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