After taking my nearly stock Jeep (unlifted 2000 TJ Sport with 30" Tires) on some Jamboree level 6 trails last summer, my oil pan looked a little abused, make that very abused. Two or three of the dents look like a tap with a screwdriver will end the oil pan's life. The sharp rocks and tree roots on steep downhills had taken their toll on my Jeep's underside.

I researched a solution for a week or two. A lot of Jeepers have the old Tomken oil pan skid plate... 1/8" thick and looks kind of flimsy, even in the catalog. I thought about making one from scratch, but I don't have the skills to work all that out. Then while doing a yahoo search for skid plates, I came across Skid Row. How I missed the ads in every Jeep magazine, I don't know.

This thing is awesome... 3/16" thick with 90 degree bent edges on 2 sides to prevent bowing and flexing the skid plate. It attaches to the t-case skid plate, the passenger side control arm bolt, and the driver side motor mount via a foot long rigid steel arm. Total time to install the skid plate was around 1 hour. Most of that was admiring the damage on my oil pan and taking pictures.

The instructions are very easy to read and perform. A small plate (with welded nuts) is dropped inside the driver-side motor mount. Another plate is attached outside the motor mount, and bolted to the plate inside the motor mount. Attach the plate support arm loosely to the plate. Unbolt the passenger side control arm, and replace with new, longer bolt supplied with the skid plate. Attach the T-case mating plate loosely to the new skid Plate. Carefully position the skid plate, lining up the control arm bolt to the hole in the side of the skid plate. At the same time, line up the T-case plate mating plate with the T-Case skid plate. Tighten all bolts, and attach the support arm to the front of the skid plate with a nut and bolt. This is nearly effortless. One man is able to do this, especially with the help of a rolling hydraulic jack. After it's all done, you'll never have to worry about bashing the oil pan again.

The only thing that is more difficult with the skid plate is changing your oil. The hole is only 3" in diameter. While it is positioned in the best possible place, when the oil pan is nearly empty, oil drips straight down to fill the skid plate with oil. What I do is put a little 5" strip of newspaper on the front side of the hole, under the oil pan drain. that way all of the oil drips on that and through the hole. Well worth the pain every couple 1000 miles to have the superior protection that this thing provides.

After more than three years, this thing has not budged. My transfer case skidplate is bowed up about 3 inches in the center where it attaches to the Skid Row skidplate. The Skid Row skidplate remains flat. Also, the difficulties experienced when changing the oil with this skidplate in place are gone now that I have installed the FRAM Sure-Drain Oil System.