As I mentioned in another post I have not been a fan of skid plates on vehicles I have owned in the past, because I do my own work and they are a pain in the ass to remove. I didnt order this jeep from the factory with skidplates for that reason, well after getting the vehicle up on a lift the other day and poking around I decided they would not be that bad and I did not like the way the axle transfer case and fuel tank were so exposed compared to past vehicles. I dont do a lot of offroading, but probably a dozen times a year I drive trails that may be a concern to go camping and fishing.
I orded the front axle plate and transfer case plate from my local dealer and received the next day. They were 92.75 each and come with the bolts needed to mount them. I also ordered the fuel tank plate which was almost 200.00 but it was backordered.
I installed the plates today and took some pictures of the install. The front axle plate was very easy, it is also the lighter of the two, it weighs 15.5 pounds compared to the transfer case plate which weighs 23.8 pounds. Although the bolts needed to mount the plates were included they were actually already on the vehicle (which I thought kind of strange).
For the front plate you will need a 13mm deep socket, it also helps to have either a second person or some other method of lifting in place while you secure.
The transfer case plate was a little more challenging. For this you will need a 16mm socket. The instructions were very different from what the vehicle looked like. The last picture in this post are of two small "support braces" that I removed in order to install the plate. They were not shown on the illustration and there was no way to leave them in place and mount the plate. These support pieces seemed to go from the outer frame to the across the exhaust on each side (although they dont mount to or touch the exhaust at all). The new plate I put in place cover most of the area these pieces were running across. The narrow one shown in the picture was on the right side of the vehicle the wider one was on the left. I am pretty mechanically inclined but it was a little bit of a challenge to determine from the picture which bolts to remove or loosen to use for the plate, but once I got this straight it took less than 5 minutes to mount the plate. Having it on a lift definitely helped and i used a slightly modified transmission jack to lift it up and hold in place while I bolted on.
I am happy with the end result. Protect critical parts well and should not be that challenging to remove. Basically 4 bolts on each.
Link to front axle instructions:
Link to transfer case instructions:
1. Front axle plate looking at top of plate, bottom of pic goes toward back of vehicle.
2. Transfer case plate top of plate, bottom of pic goes on right side of vehicle.
3. View from under front of vehicle of front axle area. The plastic black plate that is showing at the top of pic is the plastic one covering the botton of engine, it shows the silver 13mm bolts that are already holding this in place, 2 of which are also used to hold the front axle plate.
4. Back view of front axle plate. Basically this sits between two factory plastic protective plates.
5. Another view of front axle plate from front of vehicle.
6. Back view showing back of transfer case and transfer case plate below, the big metal thing at the top of pic is exhaust (I have the hemi).
7. Another back view of the transfer case plate.
8. View from front of jeep while on the lift showing nice coverage.
9. The two extra pieces.
Well not that big a deal as far as mods go but figured it could be helpful to some.
If someone with factory skidplates could take a look and tell me if either of the two pieces in pic 9 show up on either side of your transfer case plate I would appreciate it.
I will update this when I finally get the fuel tank plate on.