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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the subject, but can’t seem to pin down which unit to go with. I’m looking to replace the (somewhat mangled) factory ‘shovel’ with an aftermarket skid with the least amount of effort. The goal is to not have to dimple the tunnel, modify the exhaust, replace the DS, or adjust the pinion angle. There is no suspension lift, and I’m planning on relocating the locker pumps to the engine bay. Any recommendations on brands and installation difficulty, or pointers to relevant threads are greatly appreciated.


Thanks in advance!
 

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If you have a TJ and do a tummy tuck you will likely have to change the pinion angle and get a new rear drive shaft.

If you're just looking for a replacement I'll sell you my stock skid but I have no idea how much shipping would cost.

I installed the Savvy UAV with no suspension lift and it required all the things you don't want to replace due to it moving the drive line up so far. You might check out Undercover Fab skid plates. They have ones that don't raise the drive train up as high and can retain the stock transmission mount. However you might still experience drive line vibes due to pinion angle changing.

http://www.undercoverfab.com/transfer-case-skid-plates/435-ucf-deep-cover-skid-plate-system.html

FWIW my opinion: if you're going to do a tummy tuck why not due it right and get the drive train as high up as possible. Yes this requires getting adjustable rear control arms and a new rear drive shaft but it gives that much more clearance. If i remember correctly I gained around 4 inches under the belly when I installed my tummy tuck. Added pics showing my TJ with stock suspension and tummy tuck.

Good luck and pls share a picture or four of your jeep. We link pictures ?. Welcome to ROF too ?
 

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I am happy with Under Cover Fabs (UCF) aluminum skid.
 

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Welcome to ROF!


"least amount of effort..." in that case you need to buy a Rubicon with a tummy tuck and skids already installed or have a shop do the install >:).


Getting rid of the factory shovel will be a huge improvement and I will second Chris's recommendation.
 

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I and another did exactly what you propose and have had no issues staying stock in height. I did add a 3/4 inch coil spacer in the front to help the 15 year old springs. We both have oem stock driveshafts. The rear drive shaft is original from 2004. I have 206K with tons of trail. I did go aftermarket fenders and hood for 33s. A while back someone tried to call BS on my success at staying stock in suspension, but 2 identical TJs have flourished in this way. Side note - I was just under my Jeep last week and saw I had a slight curve/dent from a rock in my AEV trans skid plate. Eeegads, that’s not a thin plate. Glad it was there!
 

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I have an Under Cover Fabs (UCF) aluminum skid that I removed from my 2006 LJ. It is available at a half the cost of a new one. I installed some other upgrades that did not need the UCF skid. If you are interested let me know. If not interested, that's cool, but I'd still recommend one from UCF.
I am interested in the TT if OP doesn't want it. Check your Private message.
 

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I have an Under Cover Fabs (UCF) aluminum skid that I removed from my 2006 LJ. It is available at a half the cost of a new one. I installed some other upgrades that did not need the UCF skid. If you are interested let me know. If not interested, that's cool, but I'd still recommend one from UCF.
If it's for sale I may be interested, will it fit a 2005 with a 6 speed ?
 

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I’m currently installing the steel plates in my 06 auto LJ Rubicon. M.O.R.E. 1”MM lift. Currie 1” body lift. Moved pumps onto fender under brake booster. Novak shift cable. Prothane trans mount. UCF 3/8 steel skids. The skids were recommended by the owner Matt. I was looking at the one inch model but he said I wouldn’t have any problems with the parts he sold me. Sounds great right.
Transfer case is smashed into floor board. Catalytic converter is also. Pounding floor pan to gain clearance for transfer case. Cutting cat bracket and welding it shorter to clear heat shielding. The trans cross brace is to high.
Called Matt and he’s going to get back to me when he gets back to shop, that was 2 days ago. He said LOPRO mount is for manuals. Before this I didn’t receive the mounts for front skid arms and Matt said they never make mistakes and charged me $30 for new mounts and $25 for 2 day air. I got them 4 days later.
I put 3 grade 8 washers under each frame bolt to gain 3/8ths of an inch clearance. So much for gaining clearance. Need a half inch shorter trans mount. In 08 their was a company that made one but they are out of business.
With your 1/4 inch higher lift you may avoid some issues, but be aware that cat will have to be addressed. I’ve got over a grand in this, and my buddy who has the shop with a lift is pretty steamed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hello All,

I'm very sorry for not sending a reply sooner. (Work got a little crazy).

Thank you for the welcome to the forum, the advice, the photos, and the offers! One of the UCF units are looking like the way to go. Not really looking for a tight tuck, just a little more space. I've had the TJ for a few years, and I don't think it was ever off road prior to my buying it. Really good specimen with a solid frame, but it looks like someone tried to jack the truck up by the middle of the skid and put a slight buckle in it.

I have a photo of the Jeep, but I have to crop out the '87 Samurai that it's parked next to before posting it. :)

Mod's to date:
1" Front Coil Lift
BL
MML
Savvy Transfer Cable (Crap OEM linkage caused a 4-HI to Neutral toggle a number of times at 40MPH in snow. REALLY bad sounds. No parts came out when I trained the case. 241 is tough.)
31" skinnys (235/85 I think) for now. Probably go with 33's soon.

Not really a rock crawler unit. I'm more of a beach buggy / fire road guy.

Looking forward to more tinkering!

Thanks Again!
 

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It looks like the steel UCF 'Extra Clearance' skid would fit the bill for me. Has anyone installed this unit on a TJ with the 241 transfer case? Are there any issues to consider for the swap? Are there alternatives to the UCF model? Barnes appears to have a similar selection. Rough Country?

Again, thanks in advance for any insights!
 

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I spoke with Matt and even got a tour of his shop, while I was on vacation. He's a straight shooter. I wanted NO body lift. He sold me on the extra clearance (2") deep cover system, with lo-pro transmission mount. YES, I had to take my time and clearance the floor pan, relocate my lockers, cut/adjust/weld the trans mount bracket for the Cat pipe and I needed to add 1/4" shims under the motor mounts. Nothing hidden by Matt and product worked out great! Take your time enjoy the results.
 

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It looks like the steel UCF 'Extra Clearance' skid would fit the bill for me. Has anyone installed this unit on a TJ with the 241 transfer case? Are there any issues to consider for the swap? Are there alternatives to the UCF model? Barnes appears to have a similar selection. Rough Country?

Again, thanks in advance for any insights!
Any thing other than stock replacement is going to have some issues. How many and the difficulty to solve them will vary depending on the individual vehicle. Lift, exhaust age etc... exhaust is usully the frustration point. Just a lot of things tryng to fit in a small space made smaller.

The 241 is big case, so you may have to dimple the tub...not a huge deal, a socket and a big hammer, some touch up paint. If you have a body lift then maye not. The shifter isn't going to work well so a cable shifter is recommended.
Since you are stock, suspension and tires or close to it the driveline issues should be small or non existent. I would install and evaluate before I worried about pinion angles.
The exhaust is always a question. If yours is stock and in good shape then the bracket modification may be ok. If the cats been replaced or moved a bit, the muffler non stock then it may need a rework from forward of the cat back. ive worked on more than a few Tjs and none of the exhaust seems to be regular...loose joints, rotated cats, cats closer or farther from end etc...it will take some head scratching fiddle time. or have an exhaust shop rerun from forward of cat back...

I run the extra clearance aluminum UCF with the lo pro mount on my 04 rubi.. I found it to be a good system. No body lift so I clearance/dimpled the tub. The pan and the mount easy to install. I used a Novak cable shift. Took 3 -4 hours
The only issues I had was exhaust. I couldn't get the pipe from manifold to move enough to get higher and the cat was hitting the tub(no body lift remember) so I replaced the cat with a smaller universal and relocated it forward a bit and raised the pipe. took a couple days to give up moving the stock pieces, figure it out, get the shop lined up and on the same page
Everything fits and no knocks banging or interference when I was done. Its been on for 4 years or so with no problems.
It is THE modification that's worth the downtime and some frustration, and I would do it again with the same parts...though I will just scrap trying to make exhaust work and redo it, marginal extra expense and save me time and frustration.
 

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Hi Steve,

Did you install after market motor mounts for the skid to work. I see that the MM lift and body lift is recommended. I don't like the body lift so leaning toward tub mod to fit everything in.
 
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