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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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!
 

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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?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/MHMI/mmg72.html
or the CCOHS site: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/chem_profiles/gasoline/firstaid_gas.html.

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.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
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!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Going to do that and post a write up for here and to send to Russ for his info.
 

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The easiest way to release fuel pressure from the system is to pull the fuel pump relay (or fuse) with the engine running.
 

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rwmorrisonjr said:
  • 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.
 

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

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

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I found that you cannot install the transfer case skid without installing the gas tank skid as the transfer case skid bolts to the gas tank skid.
I only installed the front skid and will the leave the rest to the dealer to install.
 

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I have successfully been able to drop the tank without removing the driveshaft.
 

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lonestar said:
I found the solution was to squeeze the yellow tab in, not out.
You actually need fuel line disconnects, they are fairly inexpensive tools, they sit around the male end and slide into the coupling, releasing the clip from inside, then the two parts just fall apart.
-Hemi
 

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HEMI said:
You actually need fuel line disconnects, they are fairly inexpensive tools, they sit around the male end and slide into the coupling, releasing the clip from inside, then the two parts just fall apart.
-Hemi
Can I pick this tool up at the local auto parts store? is it a generic part?
 

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The tool is needed for the other connectors and can be found at the auto parts store. I found two at the auto parts store, and the one that is needed is the smaller one. As far as the connector I posted above, the back end is flat, and by pressing the yellow clip in, the connector releases.

For the other three, I was a little late on getting the tool and broke the clips to the EVAP lines. I found a replacement clip for one of them at the auto parts store, but the smaller one I ended up using a twist tie to hold it. I'll check tomorrow to see if the stealership has them.

Some other notes that have not been posted yet to help with the gas tank skid install.
  • Removing the drivers side rear tire will be helpful in getting to the bolt that is not mentioned in the instructions
  • It is possible to reach all the bolts without removing the driveshaft, however, you'll need a short socket. I was unable to torque the one that is closest to the transfer case because I couldn't get he head of the torque wrench into the tight spot. Instead, I used a cheater bar with the normal ratchet and made it as tight as I could. I was already having trouble torquing (sp?) to 80 ft-lbs.
Link to my pictures of skid plates install
 

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Lonestar, How did you remove the sheared bolt?
 

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It was actually pretty easy. The drill end of the screw-out wasn't catching it when it slipped, I noticed the screw turn. There happened to be a jagged edge that came up off the bolt a little, and by pushing the drill head against it, I could turn the bolt counter clockwise. Once I got the bolt out far enough, I unscrewed it by hand. At least for me, the bolt didn't feel tight inside its housing, and the screw-out drill head probably cleaned the edge of the bolt enough to find the jagged edge. Good luck with yours.
 

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My wife bought me Mopar stuff for Xmas, bless her heart.....she is NOT really a fan of my jeep obsession, but she still wanted to be nice and got me some stuff for my jeep, one thing being the skid plate for the transfercase.....But due to the amount of money it cost, she didnt get the fuel tank plate......WELL>>...little did i know until reading this all then Im screwed since you have to mount the tranfercase plate to the fuel tank skid plate. I talked to the Jeep dealer and they said it would cost $300 in labor to have them install the fuel tank plate, since they figure it takes 3 hours to drop that tank. for those of you that have done it, should a trained mechanic take that long to do this install? And it appears to me that the gas tank is already sitting on the metal protect case.....how much thicker of metal or how much stronger is the new skid plate? its what are you gaining with the fuel tank skid plate....I look at the photos posted here and i see the one photo of the old "plate" and the new one next to it and i see the both look about the same....there must be more reinforcement on the bottom of the new one right?
 

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I guess you have to ask yourself, why would one skid plate be any better than another? Do you only plan on hitting rocks in the middle? I have all three but I failed to install them yet, I understand that the fuel tank cover is the hardest but it should not take three hours. I would go ahead and get the fuel cover and install the two yourself.
 
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