Installation Time: Afternoon
August 15, 2016
Needed slight modifications to fit
We got this along with the full HD Synergy skid plate kit. This is a beast of a part. You have to drop the gas tank completely to do this install so make sure you're comfortable with that first before you think of doing it yourself. Also get your tank as empty as possible. This already weighs about 100lbs so the tank and gas will add to that fun.
Its a solid piece of steel that looks like it will provide a lot of protection. The finish does scratch easily and then it rusts but I'll go ahead and spray it with rubberized undercoating at some point before the winter and salt.
I'm dinging it some stars though because I did have to drill some holes out to make this actually fit. Along the front there are 3 holes in a line that meet with the cross member skid. When you have bolts in 2 of them the 3rd should easily line up. It was about half off so I had to get the stepped drill bit and oval that out to get the bolt in. Then the transfer case skid meets this skid at one point. That transfer case skid is bolted to the frame of the Jeep and to the cross member skid. All of the bolts on that lined up, but where it meets this had to be drilled out a bit a bit and then the flanged nut had to be ground down on one side because the flange was too big for the hole. I checked all the bolts to make sure I had the right ones. I think the holes on the one I got just weren't drilled quite properly.
Luckily I have experience and the tools to make these modifications. If you don't have multiple jacks (a trans jack worked great for this), good drill bits, taps, and many other hand tools you may want to have this installed or look at other products.
For the record, we did try loosening the bolts all around and banging, kicking, prying this into place to make those holes line up but that front hole wouldn't line up with the other 2 bolts in place and that hole for the transfer case only lined up if the bolts were completely removed from the tcase and its frame mounts and most of its cross member mounts.
I'd buy this again because of the protection but for the price I'd have preferred a bit less unscheduled, unplanned work.