Skid Row’s XJ Gas Tank Skid Plate

Installation date: 6/25/05

After seeing my friend Frank’s XJ get disabled on the trail after the point of a boulder pushed his Mopar gas tank skid plate up into his gas tank on our Hot Springs 2005 trip, I knew it was time to finally upgrade my trusty old factory gas tank skid plate. My factory skid had gone through a lot over the years, with the dents to show for it (one of which was big enough to put a small dent in the gas tank itself), but it just wasn’t going to be up to task anymore as we continue to run harder and harder trails.

SkidRow XJ gas tank skid plate SkidRow XJ gas tank skid plate

I decided on Skid Row because I was already familiar with the quality of their products having installed one of their steering box skids on our TJ and because I liked the design of their gas tank skid better than any other one on the market for pre-1997 XJ’s. In fact, their XJ gas tank skid plate was one of the main reasons we became a Skid Row dealer. The skid plate is made of all 3/16″ steel plate, fully welded with two drain holes on each side. It’s definitely a hefty piece compared to the sheet metal factory skid plate.

Depending on how your rig is already setup (ie: if it’s already got a hitch or factory gas tank skid) the install is pretty straight forward, and I think this is the first part I’ve bought that doesn’t come with any hardware. If your rig is not already equipped with a hitch or gas tank skid plate, you’ll need to source a set of nutstrips (available from your local dealership), buy some mounting bolts (the instructions specify what bolts you’ll need to get), and pull off the rear bumper to do position the nutstrips inside the frame rails.

SkidRow XJ gas tank skid plate SkidRow XJ gas tank skid plate

The factory gas tank skid is held on by two bolts per side. The factory hitch probably has an additional one or two bolts per side as well. You’ll need to remove all these bolts as the Skid Row gas tank skid goes on before the hitch does (unlike the factory skid plate which goes on over the hitch).

SkidRow XJ gas tank skid plate
so much for drain holes…
SkidRow XJ gas tank skid plate
out with the old, and in with the new

After you’ve got the factory gas tank skid and hitch out of the way, it’s really just a matter of jacking the Skid Row skid into position, fitting the hitch around the skid plate, and getting the bolts threaded back in. My hitch (a factory Drawtite model) was a pretty tight fit over the skid plate, so I had a bit of trouble getting everything lined up, but nothing too terrible. Once I got a bolt started on each side, the rest of a piece of cake.

SkidRow XJ gas tank skid plate
I feel so naked!
SkidRow XJ gas tank skid plate
ta-da! much better!

Aside from the tight-fitting hitch, the only other issue I ran into during the install was with the gas tank itself. The outer pinch seam around the metal gas tank on my ’95 hit the new skid plate, so I had to do a little “massaging” on the seam with a hammer to bend it up some so that the skid plate would fit without hitting the tank.

The Skid Row gas tank skid does hang down about 1/2″ lower than the factory skid, but the increase in strength should be well worth the small trade-off in ground clearance.

You can check out Skid Row’s complete line of Jeep skid plates at our very own JeepinOutfitters.com. The gas tank skid will run you a little under $270 after shipping.

For more information contact:

Skid Row Automotive, Incorporated
505 Bentzel Rd.
Shermans Dale, PA 17090
questions@skidplates.com
Phone: 1.800.786.9249 or 717.582.4580
Fax: 717.582.2335
http://www.skidplates.com

SkidRow XJ gas tank skid plate SkidRow XJ gas tank skid plate
SkidRow XJ gas tank skid plate SkidRow XJ gas tank skid plate
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