Installing a Skid Plate on Your Jeep
Jeeps are designed with off-roading in mind; they were made to endure the punishing treatment presented by off-road trails. During these outings it is not uncommon for your Jeep to take a beating, with most of that beating being to the underside of your Jeep. It is common for the gas tanks on Jeeps to become damaged due to debris and large rocks one encounters while off-roading. To help reduce the chance of this happening to your vehicle it is suggested that you install a skid plate. A skid plate serves as a shield for the gas tank and takes all of the punishment that your gas tank was exposed to. Some Jeep models already come with skid plates installed, if yours is one of the models that doesn’t we are going to walk you through the steps of installing a skid plate on your Jeep.
The first thing that needs to be done prior to installation is to open the hood of your vehicle and remove the fuel pump relay from the junction box located on the passenger side of the Jeep. After that has been done you should start your engine and let it run as long as it will this step will depressurize the high-pressure lines that come from the fuel pump and will make working close to your gas tank safer. Once the Jeep has stopped running you will need to remove the negative battery terminal making sure that the cable does not come into contact with any metal.
Next you will need to remove the cap located on the fuel filter along with the four torque screws that hold the fuel filter cap to your vehicle. This can be done using a T25 socket wrench to remove the torque screws. After you have completed that step you will now need to remove some of the bolts that are used to hold the stock tank and skid to the underside of your vehicle. Do not remove all of the bolts, you will need to leave two bolts in the rear and one in the front so that the tank and skid plate, if you already have one installed, will not drop on top of you while you are working. You should now place a floor jack underneath the tank and raise the jack to support the gas tank; this will allow you to remove the bolts you left intact.
Once all of the bolts have been removed and the tank is secured by a jack you will now need to disconnect the fuel lines, evaporator lines and all of the other connections that run to the gas tank. You can disconnect the high-pressure fuel line from the top of the fuel tank by removing the blue clip holding it in place. Next you should remove the red safety clip using a small screwdriver and remove the electrical line. Using a screwdriver you will also need to remove the emissions lines, and remove the lines from the clips that hold it onto the gas tank. These clips can be found on the top side of the tank.
After all of the lines have been removed from the gas tank you should now remove the stock strap that is used to secure the tank to the vehicle. Unbolt the straps and place the gas tank into the new skid plate you are installing and push it back into place and place the straps back over the tank and re-bolt the straps to the tank. Before tightening the bolts completely you should ensure that the gas tank and skid plate are centered. Now using the jack you will need to slide the tank and skid plate under the Jeep and reconnect all of the lines you disconnected earlier. Be sure that your connections are tight in order to prevent leaks. After you have reconnected all of the lines to your gas tank you should now use the jack to raise the tank and skid to the bottom of your vehicle where you will then re-bolt it to the underside of your Jeep.
Now that your gas tank and skid plate have re-bolted to your vehicle you can now reinstall the fuel filter and replace the torque screws that you removed earlier. After you have secured it you can now place the fuel pump relay back into the junction box and reattach the negative battery cable to the battery. After completing these steps you will now have a skid plate that will protect your gas tank from damage while off-roading.