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-   -   Armor Advise Please (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/armor-advise-please-24417.html)

G54 12-26-2008 01:35 PM

Armor Advise Please
 
I'm adding a JKS BL/MML soon. I'm planning to get it from Rokmen as a package with some armor. I was planning on getting the BL/MML w/ Tummy Tuck package and adding the engine/tranny skid at the same time - cost about $858. The other option is to get the full up armor package which includes everything above plus the gas tank skid for $1014. If I get the gas tank skid later it will only cost me an extra $63 or so above the package price. Rokmen site: Rokmen - TJ/LJ High Clearance Skid Plates, Up Armor Package

So, the question is - since I already have a stock gas tank skid, would I be better off waiting to see how it holds up, and replace it as needed, or just get the Rokmen skid right away. In other words, how bad are the OEM skids? I will be doing mostly moderate trails. Basically places like Raush Creek, Painted Rock, Jeep Skool, etc. and I have no problem bypassing sections that are too hard for my modest built rig. Our club is cool about that.

One other thing - how vulnerable are the OEM LCAs to serious damage that would make it hard to get home? Would upgrading those to the Rokmen or JKS arms be the next best mod ya think? Thanks for any advise - I'll try to follow it this time. :)

jgano23 12-26-2008 01:56 PM

IMO, i would hold out on the gas tank skid for now. i've been to rausch creek and have never had any problems banging around the gas tank sikd there. plus the stock skid plate is pretty good. i would wait until you need to replace it. just my .02 though

MoA 12-26-2008 02:20 PM

armor up now.. before you break something..

id rather replace a gas tank skid now than wait until you do something to the gas tank and have to replace both the skid and the tank..

my factory tank skid allows rocks or logs to hit the corners of my plastic tank.. the skid isnt very thin too.. the gas tank skid is the NEXT thing i get for my jeep..

and the tummy tuck requires a SYE

distortedtj 12-26-2008 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoA (Post 298338)

and the tummy tuck requires a SYE

May not ...Gus has an Unlimited.

But I'd go ahead and do the Tank skid. With the longer wheel base your my likely to "bang" it going up some obstacles.


Good luck with what you chose and be sure to do a right up on the installs. :wavey:

Jerry Bransford 12-26-2008 03:39 PM

Older TJs like mine came with a thin sheetmetal gas tank plate that wasn't enough. I added my Tomken gas tank skidplate soon after getting my '97 TJ. However, later model TJs have a much heavier skidplate for the gas tank and not many have seen the need to beef them up except perhaps for maybe some pretty extreme rock crawling. I'd think he could delay if not entirely avoid that part of his beef-up program and concentrate on the other areas for now. :)

G54 12-26-2008 04:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoA (Post 298338)
and the tummy tuck requires a SYE

I only have a 2" spring lift, and I'm doing the MML with the BL for a total of 3 1/4" on 32s. Would I still have to do a SYE? If so, the whole thing just got the kabosh.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford (Post 298351)
Older TJs like mine came with a thin sheetmetal gas tank plate that wasn't enough. I added my Tomken gas tank skidplate soon after getting my '97 TJ. However, later model TJs have a much heavier skidplate for the gas tank and not many have seen the need to beef them up except perhaps for maybe some pretty extreme rock crawling. I'd think he could delay if not entirely avoid that part of his beef-up program and concentrate on the other areas for now. :)

That's kind of what I was thinking too. The OEM plate seems pretty decent on my '06, and since the savings of the package deal isn't that much, I may wait.

What about the CAs? Will the OEMs hold up to moderate wheeling OK?

BTW - this Jeep will see its first offroad use this spring. The cherry is soon to be popped.

Jerry Bransford 12-26-2008 04:29 PM

Surprisingly, the OE control arms actually hold up pretty darned well for many needs. They look cheap but they are made from stamped sheet metal formed into a u-shape for a reason... they flex pretty darned well in stock form with that design. There are a few aftermarket control arms like Tera's first generation arms that don't flex as well as the OE arms do. :)

G54 12-26-2008 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford (Post 298362)
Surprisingly, the OE control arms actually hold up pretty darned well for many needs. They look cheap but they are made from stamped sheet metal formed into a u-shape for a reason... they flex pretty darned well in stock form with that design. There are a few aftermarket control arms like Tera's first generation arms that don't flex as well as the OE arms do. :)

Cool! You're saving me money! At least for now.

Moxie 12-26-2008 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldgus (Post 298363)
Cool! You're saving me money! At least for now.

Disclaimer: I like spending other people's money.

One advantage of the Rokmen gas tank skid over the oem that I didn't see mentioned above is that it does provide additional clearance when combined with the BL. I have a swb TJ and the Rokmen skid made a big difference in no longer dragging the rear over obstacles. My oem skid held up nicely, but it was battle scarred and bent from constantly dragging across rocks.

With 32" tires and a lwb TJ, I'd recommend the tank skid.

As to the oem control arms, the arms themselves held up to a lot of abuse, but the bushings were worn out and the holes in the control arms were egg-shaped after a couple years of trail use. If you can spring for the upgraded arms, and with the armor you're getting, you'll have a very competent jeep.

distortedtj 12-26-2008 05:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldgus (Post 298358)
I only have a 2" spring lift, and I'm doing the MML with the BL for a total of 3 1/4" on 32s. Would I still have to do a SYE? If so, the whole thing just got the kabosh.

The body lift will not add into the lift height for the SYE.
Only the suspension and the raised height of the transfer case skid will.
The rokmen belly up raises your t-case 2 1/4'' higher than stock. And you state you have a 2'' coil lift. This puts the lift height of your t-case 4 1/4'' higher from the axle from stock height. With the 1'' motor mount lift to help bring the angle down at the rear of the t-case. "only expect 1/4" To the t-case being 4'' from the axle than in stock form.

:wavey:

G54 12-26-2008 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by distortedtj (Post 298370)
The body lift will not add into the lift height for the SYE.
Only the suspension and the raised height of the transfer case skid will.
The rokmen belly up raises your t-case 2 1/4'' higher than stock. And you state you have a 2'' coil lift. This puts the lift height of your t-case 4 1/4'' higher from the axle from stock height. With the 1'' motor mount lift to help bring the angle down at the rear of the t-case. "only expect 1/4" To the t-case being 4'' from the axle than in stock form.

:wavey:

I had you until the last part that I put in bold, then you lost me. (Sorry, senior moment) Are you saying that the MML is insufficient to eliminate the need for the SYE? In other words - is it likely I will need the SYE and CV shaft?

G54 12-26-2008 07:19 PM

I just spoke to Dave at Rokmen. I appreciate that he took a considerable amount of time with me to explain all this, and there is no doubt in my mind he knows what he is talking about. If I understood him correctly, in a nutshell he said with my setup I shouldn't, (probably won't), need the SYE since I have an LJ - BUT, I will need rear LCAs to make the necessary driveline adjustment.

So...I guess I'll save up a little more than I thought, go with the full up armor package and BL/MML and skid the thing front to rear, install the rear LCAs and call it good...for now!

distortedtj 12-26-2008 07:30 PM

Basically with all the parts you stated, (2''coils, rokmens tt, and 1" mml) It will be like having a 4'' suspension lift without a TT.

Your elevation of the t-case increases the angle of the driveshaft also.

With the Unlimited model you have a longer drive shaft than a SWB wrangler. The distance from the back of the t-case to the axle is longer. This gives you less of an angle on the drive shaft with the Unlimited model than the SWB wrangler.

I'm not completely sure if the Unlimited model requires a SYE with 4'' of lift. It is possible that you do not require it. Due to the longer wheel base. But you still may need a longer drive shaft......Due to the t-case being further from the axle.

The need or not need for the SYE with 4" lift on the Unlimited can probally be answer by someone running the RE 3.5 lift "really 4 inches"......maybe a user by the screen name of..........cough....."Unlimited".....cough.

:wavey: Have any other questions just "shoot". :wavey:

distortedtj 12-26-2008 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldgus (Post 298402)
I just spoke to Dave at Rokmen. I appreciate that he took a considerable amount of time with me to explain all this, and there is no doubt in my mind he knows what he is talking about. If I understood him correctly, in a nutshell he said with my setup I shouldn't, (probably won't), need the SYE since I have an LJ - BUT, I will need rear LCAs to make the necessary driveline adjustment.

So...I guess I'll save up a little more than I thought, go with the full up armor package and BL/MML and skid the thing front to rear, install the rear LCAs and call it good...for now!


Sounds like you got it figured out.;)

distortedtj 12-26-2008 07:34 PM

Also, Sorry if how I typed that stuff up was confusing. It sounds good in your head and then when you write it down it just looks like scribbles.:doh::rofl:

Unlimited 12-26-2008 11:44 PM

I think you got all your questions answered, but here's my two cents, for what it's worth...

The factory gas tank skid is pretty good, I've bounced mine off of many rocks and have not had any major dents in it. I do run a frame mount class three hitch that takes a lot of the hits as well, I'm not sure if this is augmenting the tank skid or not, but it's there...

With a 2" spring lift and a TT you should not need a SYE. However, as Dave told you, you will need adjustable upper or lower rear control arms to get the angles right. I have a RE 3.5" suspension lift which gave me a total of 4.5"s of lift. I was able to adjust the angle of the diff with lower adj ca's so that I have no vibes. I'm going to install a 1.25" bl and a 1" mml to go along with a 33 eng low profile skid. After a bunch of research, I believe that I can do this without a sye/cv upgrade. I may be wrong, we'll see.

If you have a problem with the tt putting your tx case too high, you might be able to mitigate that with a 33 engineering low profile trans mount (~$125?). Good luck with your project!

SurfnSnow 12-27-2008 12:38 AM

The stock skid is ok, but if you're going to be on any trails with rocks it's piece of mind to have a after market skid. Mine took a hit on a medium trail and it looked like someone donkey punched the crap out of the rear passenger corner of the tank. The dent was the size of a softball, and after that I got from Skid Row and it's taken some hard direct shots. It doesn't lift the tank an 1" like others but I wanted one that was quick, and that goes over the original tank.

flattietj 12-27-2008 01:07 AM

i think gas tank skids are for people that would like to wheel the hardcore trails.......i did all of harlan, livingstin, and tellico with the stock skid(on 33s) and it did bend but it held up....i am 100% sure that i wheel harder than 99% of the repliers on here an i think that that skid will be a waste of money....not to mention ur factory lcas are a joke...dont try to rock stamped sheet metal where DOM should be......the lowers might hold up but all of your uppers will bend under hard wheeling......all of mine did on all 4 tjs ive owned

p.s. skidplates are for people that think they wheel.......if you really wheel there will be holes through your oil pan, gas tank, etc. whether you have skidplates or not

Jerry Bransford 12-27-2008 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flattietj (Post 298525)
if you really wheel there will be holes through your oil pan, gas tank, etc. whether you have skidplates or not

Balogna. :wavey:

flattietj 12-27-2008 01:26 AM

dont listen to me then.....buy the skid plates.....tell ur buddys u have em.....meanwhile you can watch my jeep drag everthing over the rocks.......it does help that my gas tank is behind the back seat though jerry(which makes my points fairly invalid)......my stock skid help up to alot so im not sold on wasting the money on an aftermarket one


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