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Old 02-07-2013, 08:27 PM   #1
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Shovel replacement

I have a 2004 TJ with a 3.5" Rancho Lift, Rokmen Control Arms, Tallon Double Cardan DS, Body Armor Skids, and Stock skid pan "Shovel".

I want to replace the skid BUT do not want to put on a body lift or beat the channel. What skid do you recommend.

I think my jeep is high enough.

Thanks,
Iwanna

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Old 02-07-2013, 08:44 PM   #2
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I'll be curious what people recommend. I've been looking at:

Under Cover Fabworks, LLC - '97-'02 TJ Transfer Case Skid (No Body-Lift Req'd)(Carbon Steel)

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Old 02-07-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
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X2^^. I've done alot of research and this UCF system is pricey but everyone who reviews it has nothing but positive to say. I bought their aluminum winch plate and the quality and customer support are both good.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
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I didn't see where it says if it will need an SYE. I would think it should but.......
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:38 AM   #5
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I'm running their setup with a 1.5" BL and really like it. I wouldn't hesitate to go with their lower transmission mount and their high clearance skid.

You will probably need a SYE and some adjustable arms to keep your pinion angle in spec. I also ended up needing a Novak cable shifter so I could go through the gears in the t-case effectively.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:44 AM   #6
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Im gonna be running the UCF Ultra high clearance skid, UCF LoPro trans mount and Im gonna be adding it to my 1" motor lift and 1.25" body lift. It says if you use the LoPro mount that you dont need a body lift.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:59 AM   #7
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You should be able to fit the highest skid as long as you use their trans mount. If you don't need maximum belly clearance then use the 2" deep skid.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:00 PM   #8
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I've looked at AEV and Terraflex. Neither requires a BL unless you have a Rubicon in which case Terraflex recommends a 1" BL. For whatever reason my mechanic is partial to the Terraflex. Currently on Backorder from last 2 weeks.

http://www.quadratec.com/products/16192_001_07.htm

AEV Conversions NTH14070AA - AEV Tummy Tucker for 87-06 Jeepģ Wrangler YJ, TJ & Unlimited with Manual Transmission - Quadratec
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
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I have the UCF aluminum no body lift required tcase skid and engine skid on my rig. I also have a UCF winch plate and diff cover. The products are well built and the customer service is impeccable.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:38 AM   #10
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I have the UCF aluminum no body lift required tcase skid and engine skid on my rig. I also have a UCF winch plate and diff cover. The products are well built and the customer service is impeccable.
With this skid do you need their lopro mount? If not how does tcase mount to skid? Did you have to replace 4wd linkage? Gonna order in next couple days and wanna know what I'm getting into. Thanks
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:53 AM   #11
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With this skid do you need their lopro mount? If not how does tcase mount to skid? Did you have to replace 4wd linkage? Gonna order in next couple days and wanna know what I'm getting into. Thanks
Quit thinking in terms of 'do you need' and start thinking in terms of 'what changes when I do this.' Understanding what you're doing and what's changing will make the decision on what else you 'need' pretty clear. For example, the 'no body lift' skid is deep, like 3". That leaves plenty of room for any TJ transfer case to fit while using the stock mount. If you use the LoPro mount, the case will sit 1" lower to the skid, nothing more and nothing less. If you want to minimize required driveline angles (this should always be a concern) then you should always be focusing on how to go about that....the UCF mount allows that over the stock mount. Using the 3" deep skid + LoPro mount would hardly move the t-case output up from its stock orientation, where it will move up about 1" with the stock mount. Just look at the numbers, not 'do I or don't I need.'

The same goes for the linkage--the higher you move the t-case up, the worse the angles on the already-piss-poor stock linkage get and the less effective it is. You'd be very smart to replace it with the Novak cable shifter unless your budget just doesn't allow it. I ran my stock linkage for a long time with a completely flat skid so it can be adjusted to work....but eventually the ends will start failing and you'll get tired of the less-than-ideal shift quality. The Novak shifter is one of the best off the shelf products I've installed--highly recommended.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:22 AM   #12
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Imped: What I wasn't understanding was what type of mount you could use with that skid. I didn't know you could use the stocker. Reducing driveline angle is my primary motive for this upgrade. Just trying to do it right instead of half ass. Here is my plan so far.
What I have: 4" OME lift, 1" tcase drop, stock ds and upper ca's, and aftermarket fixed lower ca's. Moderate vibes, especially during acceleration.
Goals: Reduce drive angle, raise tummy, and avoid body lift.
Budget: Around $1300
Solutions: SYE kit $200 local driveline shop ($75 if I have them install me r/r tcase), CV DS $250 same shop, remove tc drop and install ucf "no bl" aluminum skid $400, ucf lo-pro tc mount $150, Savvy adjustable aluminum upper ca's $300.
Cost: $1375 oh well.
Questions: aluminium vs steel skid and upper ca's.
Comments?
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:37 AM   #13
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Of course you can use the stock trans mount. UCF uses the same mounting method as the factory skid does, as does the LoPro mount. You could run a LoPro mount with the stock skid if you wanted to. There's nothing proprietary about the mounting pattern of the UCF skids or trans mount. I'm not sure why you thought that.

OK, so you don't want to run a body lift. With the addition of a fixed yoke, double cardan drive shaft and adjustable control arms you'll be able to run higher driveline angles with zero vibes so that's not a concern. Matt @ UCF probably wouldn't like me telling you this but as long as you use the LoPro mount and have a 231 t-case, you can run the 1" deep skid without a body lift. I've seen it done on multiple TJ's. I had room to lose my 1" body lift when running my flat skid. It's not that crazy. If you want a little more buffer, go with the 2" deep skid. You'll certainly have no problems as long as you use the LoPro mount.

There's no reason to lose out on belly clearance. You can definitely tuck higher than the 3" skid will allow. Don't forget about the discounts from Savvy and UCF. And lastly, those fixed lowers won't cut it anymore unless you want to deal with some issues you haven't considered.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:28 PM   #14
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Of course you can use the stock trans mount. UCF uses the same mounting method as the factory skid does, as does the LoPro mount. You could run a LoPro mount with the stock skid if you wanted to. There's nothing proprietary about the mounting pattern of the UCF skids or trans mount. I'm not sure why you thought that.

OK, so you don't want to run a body lift. With the addition of a fixed yoke, double cardan drive shaft and adjustable control arms you'll be able to run higher driveline angles with zero vibes so that's not a concern. Matt @ UCF probably wouldn't like me telling you this but as long as you use the LoPro mount and have a 231 t-case, you can run the 1" deep skid without a body lift. I've seen it done on multiple TJ's. I had room to lose my 1" body lift when running my flat skid. It's not that crazy. If you want a little more buffer, go with the 2" deep skid. You'll certainly have no problems as long as you use the LoPro mount. hat I wasn't understanding was what type of mount you could use with that skid. I didn't know you could use the stocker. Reducing driveline angle is my primary motive for this upgrade. Just trying to do it right instead of half ass. Here is my plan so far.
What I have: 4" OME lift, 1" tcase drop, stock ds and upper ca's, and aftermarket fixed lower ca's. Moderate vibes, especially during acceleration.

There's no reason to lose out on belly clearance. You can definitely tuck higher than the 3" skid will allow. Don't forget about the discounts from Savvy and UCF. And lastly, those fixed lowers won't cut it anymore unless you want to deal with some issues you haven't considered.
Hey Imped thanks for all your responses, not just here, they always help. I'm still in the planning stages and I'm not mechanically savvy so excuse my ignorance. But my understanding was that you just needed adj uppers when doing sye and cv ds. I was planning on keeping my stock lowers(I realize they are sh****) just to keep costs at a minimum which is important at college budget. Also what issues are you referring to?
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:40 PM   #15
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There are some great videos on YouTube how to install an sye kit you could save yourself some money there. Even the not mechanically inclined should be able to follow those videos
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:45 AM   #16
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I have the UCF no-body-lift skid (in aluminum) on a stock mount. It did raise my t-case a surprising amount, but if you have a CV shaft and adjustable arms that should be no problem. Everything bolted right up, and it takes all of about 30 seconds to adjust the T-Case shifter. I think I had to pound on an exhaust hanger a bit too - all in all it was a remarkably straightforward install.

Along with gaining an inch or two of clearance, it is very distinctly not shovel-shaped - I don't touch most things I used to "shovel," and I slide over those that I do hit - note the continued lack of shoveling.....

It was a really significant improvement and I've got nothing but good to say about the thing.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:27 AM   #17
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Thanks for the input. Imped, thanks for the advice. I called Matt at UCF and asked about the ultra clearance (1" deep) skid. He confirmed that the early TJs with np231 and sye can use this skid with no BL. This is what I'm going to go with.
I was planning to purchase the Savvy ultimate steering upgrade. There is nothing wrong with my stock system so I'm going to hold off on that. Instead I will add adjustable LCAs and a Novack cable shifter to this project.
As for the SYE install: The only reason I to have the shop do it for $75 was then they would replace any worn parts (at extra cost I'm sure) and warranty the tcase. To save money I'm going to do it my self. I'm a machine mechanic, so shouldn't be a problem. I see Stu Olson has a write up on his site.
Imped, the discount code Matt gave for UCF worked great, 10%. When I tried the two Gerald gave me for Savvy they didn't work. I'll just call or email him today. Thanks for the heads up on the discounts, they save a ton of money
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:33 AM   #18
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The only decision now is steel skid or aluminum for $90 more. Leaning towards aluminum.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:49 AM   #19
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Hey Imped thanks for all your responses, not just here, they always help. I'm still in the planning stages and I'm not mechanically savvy so excuse my ignorance. But my understanding was that you just needed adj uppers when doing sye and cv ds. I was planning on keeping my stock lowers(I realize they are sh****) just to keep costs at a minimum which is important at college budget. Also what issues are you referring to?
Visualize this. What happens when you lengthen the upper control arms? The axle rotates about the LCA bolts, rotates the LCA mount up and forward, and moves the housing itself back a bit due to the now-shorter distance between the frame and axle LCA mounts. The level of severity is a function of how much you rotate the housing, but now you could be dealing with track bar/diff cover/gas tank skid interference, bump stops that miss the lower pad, and rear fender/tire interference. In order to fix this, you actually need to 'split the difference' between shortening the lowers a bit and lengthening the uppers. It takes trial and error to get the axle positioned correctly and it takes 4 adjustable arms to do it. Fixed won't cut it once you start playing with this kind of stuff. Increasing pinion angles, gaining belly clearance, and improving the quality of parts under the Jeep isn't very conducive to a conservative budget so you've got to choose.
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The only decision now is steel skid or aluminum for $90 more. Leaning towards aluminum.
Aluminum costs less to ship, weighs less, doesn't rust and is plenty strong. That's my vote but it's your money.

Something else--I always preach about 'minimizing the amount you raise the drivetrain.' Here's a picture of my old flat skid under its new owner's jeep. That skid + LoPro mount worked great on my manual-trans equipped rig but with the big, fat 42rle auto, the oil pan and skid just make contact. That proves how low I designed that skid to sit the trans mount....low enough that the trans mount bracket bolts sit inside notches cut out of the small raised trans mounts surface. That skid gained ~4.25" over the stock skid while only raising the t-case output ~3". That's efficiency in design.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:03 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by All Terrain TJ View Post
Thanks for the input. Imped, thanks for the advice. I called Matt at UCF and asked about the ultra clearance (1" deep) skid. He confirmed that the early TJs with np231 and sye can use this skid with no BL. This is what I'm going to go with.
I was planning to purchase the Savvy ultimate steering upgrade. There is nothing wrong with my stock system so I'm going to hold off on that. Instead I will add adjustable LCAs and a Novack cable shifter to this project.
As for the SYE install: The only reason I to have the shop do it for $75 was then they would replace any worn parts (at extra cost I'm sure) and warranty the tcase. To save money I'm going to do it my self. I'm a machine mechanic, so shouldn't be a problem. I see Stu Olson has a write up on his site.
Imped, the discount code Matt gave for UCF worked great, 10%. When I tried the two Gerald gave me for Savvy they didn't work. I'll just call or email him today. Thanks for the heads up on the discounts, they save a ton of money
I am thinking about doing the same. Did you get any vibrations at idle with the 1" and low pro?
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:15 PM   #21
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Just ordered everything yesterday. I will let you know when I get it installed
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:43 PM   #22
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Visualize this. What happens when you lengthen the upper control arms? The axle rotates about the LCA bolts, rotates the LCA mount up and forward, and moves the housing itself back a bit due to the now-shorter distance between the frame and axle LCA mounts. The level of severity is a function of how much you rotate the housing, but now you could be dealing with track bar/diff cover/gas tank skid interference, bump stops that miss the lower pad, and rear fender/tire interference. In order to fix this, you actually need to 'split the difference' between shortening the lowers a bit and lengthening the uppers. It takes trial and error to get the axle positioned correctly and it takes 4 adjustable arms to do it. Fixed won't cut it once you start playing with this kind of stuff. Increasing pinion angles, gaining belly clearance, and improving the quality of parts under the Jeep isn't very conducive to a conservative budget so you've got to choose.


Aluminum costs less to ship, weighs less, doesn't rust and is plenty strong. That's my vote but it's your money.

Something else--I always preach about 'minimizing the amount you raise the drivetrain.' Here's a picture of my old flat skid under its new owner's jeep. That skid + LoPro mount worked great on my manual-trans equipped rig but with the big, fat 42rle auto, the oil pan and skid just make contact. That proves how low I designed that skid to sit the trans mount....low enough that the trans mount bracket bolts sit inside notches cut out of the small raised trans mounts surface. That skid gained ~4.25" over the stock skid while only raising the t-case output ~3". That's efficiency in design.
I see you accomplished this on a auto, what was your combination of parts to establish that kind of clearance? I have the 42rle and 241, How is massaging the tub done with little to no room for tools. and intern how does this affect all the plastic covers on the inside? The arms and sye stuff I understand don't need to reiterate on that stuff. I like what you have been able to do very nice work. Its all a numbers game.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:55 AM   #23
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I see you accomplished this on a auto, what was your combination of parts to establish that kind of clearance? I have the 42rle and 241, How is massaging the tub done with little to no room for tools. and intern how does this affect all the plastic covers on the inside? The arms and sye stuff I understand don't need to reiterate on that stuff. I like what you have been able to do very nice work. Its all a numbers game.
The transmission pictured isn't an auto. But that skid is now installed under a TJ with a 42rle.

You want to build the skid with the mount you're using in mind. I suggest the UCF mount. Build the skid to sit the trans/t-case as low as possible. Make it work. You should be able to make it all work just fine with a 1" body lift.

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