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!