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XJ Gas Tank Skid Plate Install
Skid Row Part #ZJ-GTS
by Steve Leslie

Of the four skids I installed, this was the last one to go in as it was on backorder (clicky for the others
T-case skid plate install, engine/tranny skid plate install, lower control arm skid install
). One caveat is that if you do not have a hitch already in place, you'll need to obtain nut plates from Jeep. I already had a hitch...but FYI, Jeep refers to them as "Frame Reinforcements" and the part #'s are 52001174 and 52001175.

Also, note that there is a difference in the skids between the 1984-1996 model years and the 1997-2001 model years. For 97's and up it is the same skid as for a ZJ.

The pictures are kinda sparse for this writeup cause a) I was tired b) the instructions out and out lied to c) I was pissed. By the time I was done, I HATED Jeeps. Luckily, we went wheeling the next day which quickly put things back in perspective. Wink

Onto the fun. I did not raise the Jeep for this...there was plenty of room to work. The first step was to remove the hitch. Easy enough, there's 4 nuts on each side. Two of the four on the pass side hold the exhaust/tailpipe hanger in place. After a couple of minutes of wrenching this was the result.
After dropping the hitch

So now, brace comes the lie. The instructions state to remove the exhaust heat sheild (on the pass side of the gas tank), install the skid then reinstall the heat sheild. THE LYING BASTARDS!!! There was no way to reinstall the sheild after jacking the skid into place and the skid would not fit with the heat sheild in place. Ask me how I know all this! pissed

I actually spoke to someone over at Skid Row about this, so hopefully they'll modify their instructions.

In any event, I had to cut the sheild. To do this, first I fit it to the skid and then marked where it had to be cut with a pencil. Then I used a dremel tool to cut the sheild along the marked line. Here's some before and after pics.
Heat sheild before cutting
Heat sheild after cutting

Then I jacked the skid up into place...again.
Jacking the skid into place

Next, it was time to re-install the hitch receiver. This is not as easy as it sounds. The clearences are pretty tight between the hitch and the skid and it took some jostling to get them bolt up together correctly (needless to say, by this point, I was already pretty pissed off...and this was not helping). After a lot of shifting, banging and cursing I finally managed to get them fitted together and bolted up into place.
The finished product

The skid did not look that pretty for long as the next day we went got a pretty good christening. thumbs



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Last site update on 06/15/2008