Install of Rock Hard Oil/Tranny/Cat skid plate - 2012 2 door
Hi all - just got done installing a Rock Hard skid plate on my 2012 2 Door. Stock, no lift. Many skid plates mfgs are putting out a 2012 and up version, I guess the pentastar engine changes are just enough to cause some troubles with plates made for 07 and up JKs in general. This was a new style plate for 2012 and up, not sure what all the changes are other than a door to access your oil plug rather than just a hole for access, that's the most obvious change. Everything lined up nicely with the factory holes for install, that's the most important and this one has been designed well in that regard.
Installed great, good looking product, looks like quality material and well thought out. I've read of others having trouble with the arms that mount near the engine mounts but I had no trouble and I'm on my back in the garage with hands too large for the job typically. So no complaints here.
A floor jack is a must to hold it up - happily it's at an angle so you can slide the jack fore and aft to line up holes raising and lowering the plate. You slip the plate under the stock tranny skid and that helps hold it in place for install, worked out nicely considering this was a solo job on the garage floor.
I wasn't able to use the supplied bolts and really cool protective tapered washers where you unbolt the stock tranny skid. I just couldn't get the threads to bite. Looking at the OEM bolts they are smooth at the end (no threads) and then gradually come up to full diameter of threads over the course of 2-4 threads worth. I'm guessing this aids in getting the bolt started and no amount of trying was allowing me to use their supplied bolts so I just re-used the OEM bolts in the end. Oddly there are 2 other locations where you don't remove a factory bolt but you do use a factory threaded hole during the install - in these 2 cases the supplied bolts worked just fine, no troubles at all.
I like the Rock Hard approach of simplicity - no drilling, the bent arms just use 2 beefy bolts with nylon lock nuts, and things lined up perfectly. They supplied a shim (same thickness as the skid plate) to use between the skid and the cross member by the tranny, I used the shim, I gather some folks had rattles without it in the past. Better to use it and not need it I guess.
The little 'wing' that sticks out over the catalytic converter is another nice peace of mind part. Most skid plates didn't have one of these, probably not critical but nice to have. The plate over all is wider than many others I looked at as well. (didn't measure this, just looked wider comparing photos of the plates installed) so a little more peace of mind.
I'd give it a 5/5 even with the troubles with the bolts, I suspect in the end it was operator error but it's all done now so I'm not going to mess with it further. :)
Post some pics....Thanks in advance.
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