Giving Some Love to JK Factory Skidplates!!


I always hear people talk about how much the factory skidplates suck, how inadequate they are and how important it is to install heavy and expensive aftermarket replacements. And, truth be told, I just don’t get it. I mean, I’m totally on board with protecting vital parts on your Jeep that come with little to no protection at all, such as the oil pan on all JK’s, the automatic transmisson sump pan on 2011-up JK’s and even a very exposed transmission cooler line on 2012-up, but I simply have not seen any need to replace what you already get for free from the factory. Sure, things like your gas tank, transfer case or automatic transmission skid plate may get beat to all hell and may not look real pretty after a lot of wheeling but, in the over 5 years we’ve been punishing the 4 JK’s we’ve owned, I have yet to see any of them fail. In fact, I have yet to see or hear of any factory skid fail on any of the JK’s that join us on our runs or, even online for that matter.

Having said all that, I’d like to take a moment and give some love to the under-appreciated factory skidplates. They are provided for FREE from the factory, do not add extra weight, do not hide leaks that you want to see, don’t trap in excessive amounts of heat like aftermarket skids do, are easy to remove and because of it, allow for easy access to service your transmission and transfer case. Again, I would be the first to recommend protection of vital parts on your Jeep such as your oil pan and transmission on newer JK but, only because they come with little to no protection at all.

I’m sure there will be people out there who will go on and on about how wrong I am but, I’m the kind of guy who prefers to go off of what I’ve seen and not what I imagine will happen.


  1. So what are your thoughts on a something like the Poison Spyder crossmember? The one thing that really bugs me about the factory tranny skid is that it also doubles as a tranny mount. Mine is still in decent enough shape, but it’s damaged enough that when I asked the dealorship to check out a vibration in the shifter, they came back with a six hundred dollar bill to replace the crossmember BEFORE they could troubleshoot the vibration. The PS crossmember is about the same price, just beefier.

  2. 07 JK Rubicon.
    I came down hard on a pointed rock and left a pointed dent in my fuel tank shield. The fuel tank lays on the shield. I expected the tank would rub on that pointed dent, and eventually develop a leak. Well I totaled the 07 Rubicon so that settled that problem.
    I now have a 09 JKU Rubicon. I installed a rockhard shield under my fuel tank foir extra protection.

  3. “expecting” something to happen and having something “actually” happen are two different things. i have been running our 07 rubicon with a dented up gas tank skid for over 5 years now and have not developed any leaks. i am still running all factory skid plates on all my jk’s and without any problems.

  4. Well I would agree with transmission and transfercase skid. the gas tank and cross member on the other hand. the gas tank skid you could ride it out like I have or why not beef it up with some plating welded on or get a new tank skid. the crossmember you could replace eventually. the other skids are ok. I would run them. but due to the flex I have now I cant use them as the front driveshaft hits the transmission skid. for no other reason I changed it out.

  5. Just want to make sure I understand what you are saying. I have a 2015 JKUR and I’m thinking of adding an aftermarket skid for my oilpan/transmission and the evap cannister. Are you saying these are good aftermarket additions?

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