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Is an engine skid really necessary?

srimes

TJ Enthusiast
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May 19, 2021
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Oregon
I have just upgraded the belly skid and seeing the engine skids has me wondering if I should get one. I wasn't really concerned before as it seems like I'd have to get pretty reckless on the rocks to need one, but cutting a trail through the woods the other day got me thinking that a stick could pop up in there and cause problems. Are they really needed?
 

JMT

The Jeep Guy
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It depends on the trails you do. I’ve had my Savvy MUA TCase skid since summer of 2020 and intended to get the engine skid to go with it, but have never had a need, so I never got it. There’s nothing that gets up that high, until it does.
 

JEEPCJTJ

TJ Expert
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Aug 11, 2018
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4,728
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Half way between Pittsburgh and Cleveland
I don't off road as much as many people and was wondering the same thing...until a month ago when I was trying to wash most of the mud from underneath and I saw the bottom of my oil pan pushed up some on one side.

Luckily it's not leaking but I have no idea why.

Will I fix the oil pan? Probably not until it actually becomes a problem or it needs removed for another reason but I'm certainly looking for a skid plate for under my engine and transmission even though the TJR already has the transmission skid.

As for oil pan damage, I think it would take more than a stick but I did have a large stick (small branch?) slide up along the front drive shaft until it bent the end of my shifter cable and also kinked one of the hard transmission lines where it connects to the transmission.
IMG_20200608_174212320.jpg IMG_20200608_112020180.jpg
 
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rhanna

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
401
Location
Gallatin, TN
PO did not have one when I bought mine. I purchased the belly and engine skid at the same time. Even if I'm not hitting that skid I play in the rocks enough that it would only take one good hit and I didn't want to have to worry about avoiding my oil pan while offroad.

Belly skid has more scratches and scuffs but there is one on the engine skid that would have hit the transmission if it wasn't there.
 

macleanflood

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
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585
Location
Fall Creek, OR
See the Aluminum vs Steel skid plate discussion...

Soon as I get my 4.88s done and I have $1300 to burn I'm going for a UCF aluminum engine and transmission skid.

Oil pans are bad to loose...one...no oil in an engine is about the only thing that can kill a 4.0. Two...dumping all your oil on a trail is no bueno.

-Mac
 
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freedom_in_4low

Sacred Order of the Coil Spring
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Sep 26, 2019
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Edmond, OK
like all Jeep mods, I weigh the likelihood that I end up needing it against the consequences of needing it and not having it.

The oil pan is a pretty nasty job to do on a trail in my opinion, so I'd rather have the skid and some peace of mind that I won't have to do that.

In contrast, I'm less intimidated about pulling an axle shaft and reinstalling just the outer in the case of a front axle problem, so I haven't justified manual hubs.
 

Wildman

Over Analyzer Extraordinaire...............
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Dec 12, 2015
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In the hills of WA
If you look at the pictures of my bent engine skid I'd definitely say YES you want/need one.
I'd hate to punch a hole in my engine or transmission oil pan.
 
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pagrey

TJ Guru
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Apr 10, 2018
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7,143
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Los Angeles, CA, USA
I have mine for rocks mainly and I also drag the main skid heavily. When I look under I think the front section of the oil pan is still exposed to sticks up past the axle even with the engine skid so I wouldn't exactly go charging into bramble whistlen diesel style. If you want it just for heavy brush and forest type wheeling I think even the bolt on to the block skid would work. A full steel skid is probably overkill.
 

NOTNSUV

Say What?!
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Sep 18, 2021
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Spring Creek, NV
So close to pulling the trigger on the UCF aluminum engine skid. Doesn't look like a difficult install.
Nth Degree xfer case skid in place. At least that's what the PO said.
 
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freedom_in_4low

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So close to pulling the trigger on the UCF aluminum engine skid. Doesn't look like a difficult install.
Nth Degree xfer case skid in place. At least that's what the PO said.

I just installed UCF's engine skid on mine. It wasn't difficult, but I did spend some time figuring out the right orientation of the front support struts. The instructions suck, but the closest competition would be Savvy and theirs probably doesn't have any instructions at all, so....
 
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NOTNSUV

Say What?!
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Sep 18, 2021
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Spring Creek, NV
I just installed UCF's engine skid on mine. It wasn't difficult, but I did spend some time figuring out the right orientation of the front support struts. The instructions suck, but the closest competition would be Savvy and theirs probably doesn't have any instructions at all, so....
I just read the instructions and noticed something about the strut orientation. You could always post pics of your install for the rest of us. :unsure:
.. and who knows when the Savvy might be available.
 

freedom_in_4low

Sacred Order of the Coil Spring
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Sep 26, 2019
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Edmond, OK
I just read the instructions and noticed something about the strut orientation. You could always post pics of your install for the rest of us. :unsure:
.. and who knows when the Savvy might be available.

I just updated the thread I had about it with the final install photos.

 
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LONGJP2

TJ Addict
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
2,338
Location
Illinois
Wasn't too concerned about an oil pan skid even though I already have a dent in mine.
I worry more about the bottom of the radiator.
However, it's pretty much the only option when replacing the factory auto trans.pan skid.
 
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