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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new TJ is almost up to its 1000 mile "break-in" period so its time to get it ready for trail use. I've got 31x10.50 BFG MT's on 15x8 wheels with 3.75" backspacing as a starting point, but I want to add some additional body/undercarraige protection. I've thought about the Tomken rocker panel skids because they will add a step for passengers and not have to great a break-over angle impact. Anyone have or - experiences with them? Any other recommendations.

Thanks,

baggins
2K TJ
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Get the Tomken gas tank skid, definately worth it. Also get front swaybar disconnects.

Good luck

 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tomken makes a pretty good 'rock skid'. My only complait is their powder coating process. Plan on painting anything you get from Tomken!

I also recommend oil pan and power steering skid plates. Rusty's Off-Road is a good source for both of these (http://www.rustysoffroad.com).

Boston, MA
Member of New England 4 Wheelers and Eastern 4
Wheelers
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you are used to buggy springs you will be surprised by how low the center of your TJ will go with the coil spring suspension. With 31" tires you will need skid plates for your Power Steering Box, Oil Pan, and Gas Tank. Rocker Plates should fit tight to bottom of the body for max clearance. Change your tie rod out to a heavy duty unit as it is also easy to hit with small tires. When you get tired of repainting the scratches on your Tiompkins after every trail ride bite the bullet and go with 3" lift, Lower Gears in axles and transfer case and at least 33" tires. You will then have a TJ that will go anywhere the jeep advertisments show them going.

 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All the other posts indicate that they have been there. I have too. Agree with all the other posts. Protect first, then go for more artiiculation, gears, lifts or whatever else. Protect your gas tank (TomKen is good). Protect your oil pan (TomKen is fair - weld 1/4" or 3/16" steel to the bottom, front and sides of the lower portion of your oil pan. That's good too and cheaper) Protect your steering box (several on the mkt). Protect your rocker pannels (again several on the mkt. TomKen 2x4 is good. Others available too) Tow things (hooks, pins, d-rings whatever) on both ends. On the back attach to the frame. If you want to use the bumper, make sure it is attached to the frame (stock is not and is not strong enough anyway). Attach to the frame as well as the rear cross member. Frame attachment is extremely important, if not the most important.
Bottom line - PROTECT yourself first, then go for the more modified suspension, axles, gears, lifts, winches or whatever. Gas tank skid plate is $150 or so. Replacing the gas tank is more expensive. Protecting the oil pan is $75/$150 - that much or more to replace. Steering box protection $50/$100 - replacement ???. But remember, all these replacements involve your not getting home under your own power when the stock one breaks.
TIP: If everyone tells you that 3/16" will work, get 1/4". If everyone says get a Dana 44, then get a Dana 60. If everyone says lift it 4", then lift it 5". Example: I ran a Dana 35 with ARB for about 30,000 miles. Extreme to extreme plus trails. The axle held up, and when inspected at axle change time (changed to a D60), it looked good. Will a 35 work? Yea, cause it did - with me. Is a 44 better? Absolutely, and probably all any Jeep will ever need. Do you add an additional edge of dependability and reliability with a 60 vs a 44? Without a doubt! My philosophy is - if you are going to change something, change to something that will never, ever, under any circumstances, regardless of the trail or stress, it will never ever have to be changed again. It will last even when you will it to your first born. It will last when he gives up and passes it on to his heir.
There is, however, a limit to this line of thought. A 20,000 pound Jeep is difficult to drive on the trail. Tends to fall through the earth's crust.
Please pardon my jump from pure mechanics to philosophy, but the more I reread my own thoughts, the more I realize - DAMN, I'm right again. ....... :) (for those who didn't recognize it :), :), :) ))) <smile> , (grin) <smiley face> ....)

Doug '97 TJ
My Web Site
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For a new (and expensive, and under warranty) Jeep, like I have also (99 Sahara) I first put on my old Warn XD8000i winch, 10,000lb tow hooks/ with the clip keepers on the front, receiver hitch with recovery "D" ring on the rear, then skid plates. Mine are MOPAR steering box ($85) oil pan/engine/exhaust headers skidplate ($88) and a fuel tank skid plate ($315), I'm gonna duck because of the negative feedback, but my fuel tank MOPAR skidplates protect more, and are covered by a 3 yr warranty..

My third Wrangler: 99 Sahara (desert sand)
 
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