Installation Time: Afternoon
May 24, 2016
ARB Under Vehicle Protection Review
The ARB UVP is a great light to medium duty skid plate solution. The 2012-2016 model is designed to work on Wranglers with the 3.6L Pentastar engine. This is an important point because the ARB plate designed for the older engine has access to drain the oil, a major hurtle for the new plate. In order to solve the inconsistent oil drain plug issue on Pentastar engines, ARB choose to eliminate any access panel. Instead the plate has a channel that flows the oil being changed, out of the vehicle and onto your dip tray. As you can imagine this could get pretty messy. The good part is that you can reach over the plate, fairly easily, and clean the channel when you’re done with the oil change, You won’t be able to fully see that if it’s totally clean, but you will be able to access it. A good solution to this problem is the use of a qwikvalve, this valve replaces the drain plug and allows you to drain the oil via a hose, solving the issue of clean up entirely. Also, since the pan is completely protected, there is no danger of it getting hit and shearing off.
In terms of quality and construction the ARB UVP is outstanding. The plates are zinc-plates and covered in a textured silver powder-coat, these are two very important points if you live in salty conditions. Installation was fairly straight-forward and the hardware was also of very good quality. Everything was neatly packaged, with plates individually bubble wrapped, ensuring that none of the powder coating was damaged during transport.
The system also comes with a new cage for the Charcoal Canister. The cage is just as solid as the main plate and the installation was just as straight forward. ARB provides enough play in the brackets to allow you the option of properly positioning it.
Conclusion: The ARB UVP is made of a heavy gauge steel, the brackets and hardware are just as capable and I’m confident that they could take quite a beating, while adequately protecting vital powertrain components. The issue with the oil drain plug is significant but there are solutions. Another important thing to note is that all the attachment hardware is based of hex-head bolts. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, except for the bolts attaching the plate protecting the transfer case. Those bolts are exposed to possible damage if the Jeep comes in contact with rocks or other solid objects. Ideally, the bolts should have a rounded head design to allow it to slide off the debris. Other than that, the quality is outstanding and the installation was straightforward, making this system a real contender in the world of skid plates for Jeeps.