Installation Time: Full Day
October 04, 2016
Awesome Skid Plate, Nightmare install
Scroll to the bottom to read a short 3 line review. Or, if you don't own your own shop, read on innocent purchaser...
Once the Skid Plate is installed it fits like a glove. Jeep Corporation couldn't have made it look nicer. It is serious bullet proof armor.
If you live in Deer country, this, along with a Bull Bar is what you need to roll over anything that you are unfortunate enough to hit on those dark foggy mountain nights. It protects the large gap left by installing an aftermarket bumper between the frame and bumper underneath. I decided to wait about a month after the install to write a review, as the install had me pretty ticked off. This is something that, should you decide to install yourself, you need a partner to help with, and lots of time, and patience. My wife helped me do the install. We're older folks from the gray haired age.
This is a product that really needs a YouTube video. If XT wants to give me $1,000 in store credit I'll make one. Actually, no, I won't.
Why? Because installing this puppy is hard. I'd rather figure out how to solve a 40 pound Rubic's Cube with one hand. With mittens on. (I've never solved a Rubic's cube)
I stopped after about 3 hours, and wrote XT an email telling them I was certain they had sent me an older model as there is no way the Skid Plate was bent in the right places. None of the holes anywhere could possibly line up, and the instructions were completely unhelpful. Like they knew there is no way to write instructions short of "Go to this URL and watch the video."
I then looked at the invoice, compared the SKU on the web site to what they sent me, and realized it was the right SKU. (I have the 2016 JKU) I spent two more hours moving, struggling, aligning, and adjusting. Ultimately, I had to Dremel out about a 16th of an inch on one of the holes. Even with the holes measuring exactly where they should be, I still struggled for about 90 more minutes before I finally got it in place. I am leaving a lot of details about how hard this was.
If you were to pay a mechanic to do it, get a price in writing ahead of time.
If not, don't be surprised if he calls and asks for more money.
What would make this job easier is an over head lift. Two strong people. A jack for the plate to hold it in position. I ended up beating it in place with a five pound sledge with a 4 inch square of wood between the sledge and the skid plate. Once you miraculously get the plate where it needs to be while juggling washers, nuts or bolts depending on your bumper, you still have to get the bolts in place and started.
I did it on my back on the floor, with the front wheels on ramps to give me extra clearance.
I'm not trying to scare anyone off of buying the skid plate, rather, I want you to have an honest up front expectation of the difficulty level.
I've previously installed the Barricade Extreme HD Bumper and 9500 lb Synthetic winch on this Jeep.
Here is my level of difficulty rating for those three projects. One a scale of 1 - 5:
Skid Plate 5,000,231
With the right equipment outlined below, Difficulty is probably about a 3-4. On your back, 9. (out of 5)
The short review:
The install requires two people, and an overhead rack.
The Product looks great, is bulletproof strong armor.
The quality of the product for the price is unmatchable.
Have fun. Remember, the memory of pain eventually fades, but the strong protection and good looks will last as long as your JK(U).