EVO MFG 2012 Jeep JK Wrangler
ProTeK Skid System Installation Write-Up

There is so much I absolutely love about the all new 2012 Jeep JK Wrangler – I love the new interior, all the new creature comforts, tailgate that stays open on it’s own and who could forget the awesome 3.6L Pentastar Engine with 5 speed automatic transmission. But, I do have to say I was a bit surprised to see all the new changes under the belly including a crazy exhaust loop, a dangerously exposed transmission cooler line and, no skid plates present to protect any of them. Now, those who know me know that I’m no fan of replacing factory skid plates in favor of aftermarket ones but, being that this new JK comes with nothing at all, I decided to fix that problem with the all new EVO MFG ProTeK Skid System. While it isn’t difficult to install, there are a few things that can make things tricky but, I think this write-up should help you out.

What you will need
• 10mm socket and wrench (a 1/4″ drive socket will make this job easier)
• 16mm wrench (a Gearwrench will make this job A LOT easier and a 5/8″ one will work)
• 18mm socket
• 21mm socket and wrench
• 5/8″ socket
• 11/16″ wrench
• 1/4″, 3/8″ and or 1/2″ drive ratchets
• 3″ or 6″ – 1/4″ drive ratchet extension
• Inch pound torque wrench (must be one that goes below 85 in. lbs.)
• Foot pound torque wrench (must exceed 125 ft. lbs.)
• Floor jack
• (2) Jack stands
• Masking tape

In this shot, you can see how exposed your oil pan, automatic transmission and even a cooler line is right from the factory.

Time to armor up – Here’s a shot of all the pieces you will get with your new EVO MFG ProTek Skidplate System.

Part 1 – Oil Pan Skidplate
1. At the time of this install, our JK was still bone stock and working underneath it would have been difficult without getting it up off the ground a bit. To do this, I used a floor jack to raise the front end of our JK at the axle and then, set it back down on 2 jack stands as shown in the pic.

2. For safety reasons, EVO MFG recommends that you completely drain your oil prior to installing their oil pan skidplate. I chose to leave the oil in place, but made sure that it was completely cool prior to working on it. Having said that, use a 10mm socket attached to a ratchet extension and carefully remove the 2 nuts and all the bolts securing the factory oil pan to the engine. DO NOT remove the pan from the engine and, if you chose to leave your oil inside like I did, be careful not to bump into or hit the pan as doing so can cause the RTV seal to break free.

3. Carefully hold the EVO MFG oil pan skidplate up over the factory oil pan and loosely secure it in place using the 2 factory nuts you removed in Step 2.

4. Apply some masking tape to the remaining 2 corners of the skidplate as shown as this will help prevent accidentally dropping the bolts into the skid during installation.

5. Using your fingers ONLY, loosely thread in all the factory oil pan bolts so that they are in at least 3 full turns. NOTE: These steel bolts are being threaded into aluminum and you can easily damage the threads if you aren’t careful.

6. Using a 1/4″ drive 10mm socket attached to a ratchet extension, carefully fasten all the bolts until they are just starting to touch the surface of the EVO MFG skidplate. DO NOT fully tighten any of the bolts at this time.

7. With all the bolts making surface contact with the EVO MFG oil pan skidplate, use a 1/4″ drive inch pound torque wrench set to 85 in. lbs. and carefully begin tightening all the bolts working in a criss-cross star patern. Remember to do this slowly and working your way around a few times.

8. The 2 nuts and corner bolts will be very difficult to get to with a socket and so I just used a 10mm wrench to tighten them up. Just be mindful of how tight you are tightening them and be sure to double check them after about 100 miles.

9. If you had drained your oil before starting this install, you can now refill your engine with fresh oil.

Part 2 – Transmission Skidplate
1. Using an 18mm socket, remove the 3 bolts securing the automatic transmission skid bar to the frame and cross member of your JK. Set the bolts aside for reuse but, you can discard the skid bar now as it will not be reused.

2. Again, using an 18mm socket, remove the 4 bolts securing your transfer case skidplate to your JK’s cross member, gastank skidplate and frame rail. Set both the bolts and skidplate aside as both will get reused.

3. Using a 16mm or, 5/8″ wrench, remove the 2 nuts securing your automatic transmission to the mount on the cross member. A Gearwrench will make this job a lot easier and I would highly recommend using one. Set the nuts aside as they will be reused.

4. From the base of your transfer case, use a floor jack to raise it up until the automatic transmission mounting plate is sitting about 1/2″ above the rubber isolators. You DO NOT want to raise it so high that the mounting plate clears the mounting studs.

5. Carefully slip the EVO MFG transmission skid plate up between the transmission and exhaust cross over.

6. Then, place the rear corner on top of the transmission mounting plate making sure that the mounting stud goes through the skidplate. Slowly lower your floor jack so that the transmission mounting plate is sitting back on the rubber isolator, with the EVO MFG skid plate on top of it and the mounting stud going through both.

7. Moving over to the passenger side of your JK, place the passenger side mounting bracket on to the transmission mounting stud and set the slotted hole side on top of the skidplate. Using 1 of the suppled bolts, nut and 2 washers, secure the mounting bracket to the skidplate. This bolt will need to be tightend to 60 ft. lbs. of torque and, you will need a 5/8″ and 11/16″ wrench for this job.

8. Using the remaining 2 bolts, nuts and 4 washers provided, secure the transmission skidplate to the 2 tabs on the bottom of the oil pan skidplate as shown. These bolts will need to be tightend to 60 ft. lbs. of torque and, you will need a 5/8″ and 11/16″ wrench for this job.

8. Using the factory nuts, secure the skidplate and mounting plate to the rubber isolator attached to the cross member. These bolts will need to be tightend to 37 ft. lbs. of torque and, you will need a 16mm wrench for this job.

Part 3 – Transmission Crossmember & Exhaust Skid
1. Using a 21mm socket and wrench, remove the nut securing the front driver side lower control arm nut as shown.

2. Using an 18mm socket, remove the 2 bolts securing the front end of your JK’s gas tank skidplate to the transmission crossmember.

3. Slip the forward most end of the skidplate onto the front lower control arm bolt as shown and then loosely thread in the factory frame rail and gastanks skid bolts to hold it in place.

4. Using the factory bolts, reinstall the factory transfer case skid plate onto the bottom of the EVO MFG cross member skidplate as shown. Tighten these and all the other factory bolts to 80 ft. lbs. of torque and, you will need to use an 18mm socket for this job.

5. Install the factory nut onto the front lower control arm stud and then, secure everything in place using a 21mm socket and wrench. Tighten this bolt and nut to 125 ft. lbs. of torque.

6. Lower your Jeep back on the ground and you should be done!

Installed Photos


  1. Great write up. Question is how different is the install for a 2012 JKU with a six speed manual? How long do you think to do all of skids for basic shade tree guy?

  2. yes, this will work with evo rock sliders and yes, the transmission skid needs to be removed in order to service the tranny but, it really isn’t that hard once everything’s beein installed. regarding the y pipe, i see no reason why it wouldn’t work.

  3. Does not work with teraflex exhaust spacers. Not enough clearance on the crossover pipe. FYI, bought a new driveshaft and removed the spacers. All good now

  4. Great write up and actually 1000% better than the Evo instructions. I installed the system myself in a couple of hours by myself last week. One thing I would stress is the need for a 5/8″ or 16mm gear drive wrench. I struggled for about 30 minutes without one and ran to the parts store to get one. In five minutes of getting back I had the two nuts off the trans mounts. Pay the $5 more for the adjustable angle head on the gear drive! Took my JK out to Coyote Canuyon on Saturday. Coming back down the rough section, a big army 6×6 had tore up the trail just before I got there. What had been easy getting up the canyon was a mess of huge ruts heading down. Drug the new skid system over lots of rocks and scratched it up good. Really glad I had just installed this protection!

    Keep up the great work!

  5. How much do these skids cost? Any suggestions for other underside protection such as lower control srm skids, differential cover, evaporative cannister? I have a 2012 JK Rubicon on order, expecting in june. Have ordered a Warn 9500 powerplant winch and elite series front bumper trails here are very rocky and feel I need all vitals protected

  6. about $400 for the whole system. off road evolution also sells lower control arm skids and i would recommend dynatrac diff covers or maybe even arb. you don’t need an evap skid or anything else as they already come armored up from the factory.

  7. Just installed yesterday. Piece of cake. The instructions here were right on. I took the advice on the gear wrench and bought the adjustable angle head. Not sure if it was the Gearhead brand (only option at the local store) but this wrench was a bit squirrelly. I can’t speak on the non-adjustable gear wrench but thought I’d through that out there.

  8. That was an awesome write up. Thanks! Do you know if the exhaust loop delete pipe has any drawbacks?

  9. Any issues with clearance of the stock front DS when flexed out? I will eventually replace the front DS, but I’m not ready to shell out the coin yet since the CV boot is still going strong on my 2.5″ lift.

  10. I did this today to my 2013 JKU Sport. Took me 4 hours with hand tools and by myself. Not too bad.

  11. I would really like to thank you for the time and effort put into this write up. We went to instal this stuff yesterday and the factory instructions SUCKED. Your directions were dead nuts on…. and extremely helpful. Thank you – Jeep On!


  12. The instructions from EVO were insufficient (they didn’t even include the instructions for the crossmember skid). I had no issues following these instructions and appreciate the effort. One note, EVO includes 3 bolts/washers to replace the original A/T skid bar bolts. Good thing too, my impact wrench ripped one of the cheap MOPAR bolts in half. Nice to have a spare sitting in the bag and no time loss.

  13. EVO has recently updated this skid set with vents running parallel to the exhaust cross-over pipe. I believe this is to prevent the accumulation of debris.

  14. Still great and useful instructions. Just completed the system on my 2013 Rubicon. The gearwrench suggestion is also a must!

  15. I ‘d like a long term update now that many have run the EVO ProTec skid system for several years now. Pro’s/Con’s?

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