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rwmorrisonjr 05-03-2007 10:58 PM

Skid plate install findings
I started installing my skid plates tonight. The front one is the easiest, just replaces the plastic plate from the factory. The gas tank one is a completely different story since the tank actually rests in the skid plate, meaning that you have drop the tank. I had to stop as I ran into some issues that I'll detail below.
  1. Make sure you have the proper tools, i.e.: pressure fitting release tools, decent set of sockets, etc.
  2. The instructions are missing several key points:
    • There are six bolts to remove & replace, not five
    • To get to the front right bolt, you either need to be 4" tall with an 18mm socket for a head, or you need to drop the driveshaft out of the way. Needless to say, unbolting the rear of the shaft and dropping it make the job so much easier
    • The list of tools needed is imcomplete. You need a full set of sockets and extenstions and various fitting release tools as mentioned above.
    • There are no good instructions for releasing the rear vapor recovery line. It takes a circular tool to release the fitting our you'll break it. Make sure you do this before you drop the tank or you'll break the line off at the purge vent on top of the tank and have to repair it.
  3. Make sure you release the pressure from the front fuel line before separating it or you'll get a face full of gas and the joy of rinsing yourself off and then searching the CDC website for instructions about flushing gas out of your eyes. And yes, I was wearing safety glasses, but they weren't chemical goggles. And, once again, the instructions don't tell you how to release the pressure properly.
  4. You'll have to reuse the original bolts since DCX only gives you five new bolts and they're a different size from the original ones. The original bolts should be strong enough to hold the tank/skid assembly and and abuse it might encounter.

So, as you've probably guessed, I am half way through what should have been a two hour project that now spans two nights. I'm letting the contact cement set on the vapor recovery assembly before going any further so that I don't have to buy a new part or tank. Plus now the XK is out of commission for the night; luckily my trail rig is street legal so I can drive it tomorrow for work and let the contact cement set up correctly overnight.

The transfer case plate should be easy too, but it requires the gas tank plate to be installed since it uses the lip on one end of the skid as a mount point. Such an interesting design, you just have to wonder what they were smoking when they designed it. And why the plates aren't included as standard equipment on a "Trail Rated" 4x4 vehicle!

AJGuy84 05-04-2007 08:56 AM

Re: Skid plate install findings
Wow. Sounds like you had a rough night, man. Thanks for the tips though, that'll be helpful to a lot of people including myself. By the way, how do you flush gas from your eyes?

rwmorrisonjr 05-04-2007 10:09 AM

Re: Skid plate install findings
Get a garden hose and do a quick rinse off then go to the kitchen or bathroom and flush your eyes with warm running water for about 5 minutes. It burns but won't do any damage if the exposure is minimal according to the CDC website:
or the CCOHS site:

Now that I've had that much fun, I'm going to work on getting it all back together so I can install my rock rails, lift and other fun things this weekend while its raining.

rwmorrisonjr 05-05-2007 01:54 PM

Re: Skid plate install findings
Update on the skid plates:
  • I did have all six bolts, so DCX did include the right hardware.
  • The old bolts are 18mm heads, and the new ones are 13/16", so be aware of this before crawling under the truck. The instructions don't mention this.
  • Supporting the truck by the frame rails and letting the rear suspension drop definitely helps with the install. Even so, the right front bolt is still hard to get to and disconnecting the drive shaft is still the best option.
  • Removing the LT rear tire helps with accessing the rear tank fittings and bolt.
  • The instructions are actually for a Grand Cherokee, which is why they don't show the drive shaft in the way of the front right bolt.

That's all I have. The plates are on and I'm glad this project is done. Now for the 4xGuard rock rails!

webjones 05-05-2007 03:40 PM

Re: Skid plate install findings
When you get those rock rail/steps on please post some photos. An up-close to show how near the body it sits would be nice. All I've seen is the WK photos on 4xGuard's site.

rwmorrisonjr 05-05-2007 05:57 PM

Re: Skid plate install findings
Going to do that and post a write up for here and to send to Russ for his info.

TR4Runner 05-05-2007 07:27 PM

Re: Skid plate install findings
The easiest way to release fuel pressure from the system is to pull the fuel pump relay (or fuse) with the engine running.

lonestar 12-28-2007 09:47 PM


Originally Posted by rwmorrisonjr
  • various fitting release tools as mentioned above.
  • There are no good instructions for releasing the rear vapor recovery line. It takes a circular tool to release the fitting our you'll break it.

Is this the white connector you are talking about or the black/yellow one (the bigger of the two). I have already disconnected the white one, but the clamp that is removed feels like it'll be loose. Do you remember what the tool was for the black/yellow one? It looks like I will have to wait until tomorrow to finish as I don't have the tool.

lonestar 12-28-2007 10:20 PM

This is the yellow/black connector I was referring to in the previous post...

lonestar 12-29-2007 12:37 PM

I found the solution was to squeeze the yellow tab in, not out.

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