After dragging my feet for much, much, much too long, I finally bring you pictures and thoughts on Rubicon Express’ latest skid plate for the JKU as promised in my last post. The packaging was just ok, but it is essentially just a a big chunk of metal so what’s really going to happen to it in shipping? I’m sure it did more damage to the boxes around it during shipping, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself since there were some holes in the box when it was delivered. Nothing terrible and no damage to the skid plate. But enough of my yammering, you came here for pix, so scroll down and gaze away!
Installation was fairly simple. Drop the bolts from the OEM fuel tank skid (which means loosening the t-case skid too) and position the new piece in place covering (yes, covering. Do NOT try to remove the OEM gas tank skid) the OEM gas tank skid. The bolt holes lined up really nicely but I still found it incredibly handy to have a floor jack to assist in holding the REA1016 in place while I threaded the bolts. Now, if your skid (like mine) has taken a little beating, it might not slip over as easily as an undamaged skid but the bolts still line up nicely. It also played very well with my Artec cross member and works great with my OEM transfer case skid.
If I had to make a criticism, it’s that Rubicon Express should include three nut/bolts instead of two (pictured above, bottom right) in the hardware kit. On the two door version, two bolts is perfect and all that it’s designed for. But for the longer 4 door JKU version I’d like to have that extra mounting point for a piece of metal this long. The hole is already in the skid and lines up perfectly, so why not use it? I went back and forth with Rubicon Express for a few weeks, but in the end I sprung for the $0.75 bolt from home depot. Not sure why they wouldn’t just pop one in the mail. I even offered to pay for it. Odd.
For $150, I’m very pleased. The REA1016 is thick, sturdy, heavy duty, and bolts on easily. All in all, a great low cost mod worth picking up.