Stage 1 - Sway bar disco skid plate
The Skid Row Offroad front air dam/skid plate I had installed looks good but does not extend to the sway bar disconnect motor ($1,600 to replace if broken!)
I ordered the sway bar skid plate from the same company.
Two unexpected things happened.
First, the two skid plates may be from the same company but they are not designed to be used together even though their functions are complementary!
You can see here that both plates are designed to be bolted to the crash bar but that the sway bar skid plate extends beyond that same crash bar preventing them to both be bolted there:
I ended up securing the front skid plate only at the bumper, with some small screws between the two plates to keep it from vibrating. The bottom skid plate is the beefier and most critical one anyway. It actually looks good from the front.
Second, I discovered that the rear brackets holding the sway bar skidplate were built the wrong way.
On this picture you can see a "lip" extending to the rear (left on the picture) when it's supposed to be on the other side:
Compare this to their own website's pic:
This manufacturing defect caused one of those lips to come dangerously close to the pitman arm when the steering wheel was about center. In fact the rubber bushing was rubbing lightly against the bracket. Potential for my steering to freeze on me! :nonono:
I'm going to call them on Monday, but couldn't wait for a resolution as I'm leaving for Vermont for the summer next weekend and want to go wheeling.
I ended up trimming the offending lip off the bracket:
and now I have 3/4" of clearance between the pitman arm and the bracket at their closest point:
Problem solved for now. What should have been a 1/2 hour install took a couple of evenings. :atomic:
In retrospect I may have been better off going with the Mopar skid plate for about the same overall price. Though the plate itself is very sturdy (3/16") and I'm glad I was able to make it work.