Gas tank skid pan & aftermarket hitch? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-04-2015, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
PimaXJ
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Gas tank skid pan & aftermarket hitch?

Found an OEM gas tank skid pan. My XJ has a robust (class 3?) hitch on it. Wonder what problems I might encounter when I go to install it. Obviously the hitch will have to be removed temporarily but is there anything else which might prevent me from installing the pan?

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post #2 of 11 Old 06-04-2015, 08:35 AM
V1GiLaNtE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PimaXJ View Post
Found an OEM gas tank skid pan. My XJ has a robust (class 3?) hitch on it. Wonder what problems I might encounter when I go to install it. Obviously the hitch will have to be removed temporarily but is there anything else which might prevent me from installing the pan?
Rust.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-04-2015, 06:34 PM
rugsucka
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If the Jeep is old and you do not know how long it's been since the hitch was removed, I would anticipate needing new nutserts for the frame rails. They typically twist up due to corrosion and the fact that you can not wire wheel the threads before trying to back out the fasteners. I ended up making my own out of some 1 1/2" x 1/8" flat steel and welded some nuts to it. You can buy them online. Maybe the PO took the time to put antiseize on the fasteners and you'll be fine.... I'd say it's unlikely.

It would be a good idea to have a torch ready to heat the crap out of the bolts. A couple extensions and a 3' breaker bar or a serious duty impact wrench (ie not electric HF) will help spin them out. I had a difficult time reaching the forward bolts and ended up cutting the tail pipe off enough to get a straight shot at the fasteners.

You might need to remove the rear bumper to pull the nutserts out to inspect them or straighten them out. That's a bunch of fun with torx bits and cussy talk for most.

Maybe you've got a relatively rust free Arizona specimen and all my advice is not needed. Anyone that sees a smidgen of salt during the winter months understands the hour job that took two days due to rusty bolts.

YMMV
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-04-2015, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
PimaXJ
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Originally from the rust belt & both of my hands bear the scars of twisting wrenches in that climate during my younger days. Presently two of our vehicles are AZ originals & utterly amazing underneath. I marvel at how rust free they are whenever I am underneath them. So to open up this discussion a little bit, what are the differences between the early & late versions of the XJ gas tanks? One possibly has a front corner angled off & other is rectangular? The gas tanks themselves are constructed from different materials. The ZJ works also with a little modification. I am trying to make certain that the gas tank plate I am about to purchase is the correct unit for a '97 & newer.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-05-2015, 04:28 PM
rugsucka
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First Gen skid plate fits on First Gen

First Gen skid plate fits on Second Gen with minor modification - trim ~ 1.5" across back and cut a bit of a wedge out of side seam at the back portion where it runs up to the rear bumper. Took 5 minutes of angle grinder. Bolt holes for the flange to mount it are the same. It's very easy to envision when you test fit it, but I don't have pictures of how I modified it. Maybe a picture of the result can be dug up, I'll take a look later.

ZJ skid plate fits with modification.... I have read. I suspect it's a similar modification to the First Gen skid trying to fit on a second gen XJ.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-05-2015, 04:51 PM
misfit77
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Am I correct.? Early gen had 2 different skids one was a cheaper skid and had a few exposed openings while the other covered the entire tank and was beefier.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-05-2015, 07:33 PM
rugsucka
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I've seen one first gen. OEM version over the years.

Mine has 4 or 5 1" holes for a drain at the front.

It's not more than 1/8" thick. More like 16ga.
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-05-2015, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the posts. Will see what I end up with!
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-06-2015, 10:34 AM
CJ7-Tim
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Almost all XJ gas tank skid plates fit with most trailer hitches. You won't know until you fit it up. New frame rail nut-plates and bolts will make your life easier. The factory skids are good quality and suitable for just about any use.

ZJ gas tanks skids will fit 1997-2001 if you oversize one hole on each side, and are easier to find in the junkyard. I think the 97+ skid is a better design, and more solidly built than the 96/older style.

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post #10 of 11 Old 06-06-2015, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
PimaXJ
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Scored skid plates, front & gas tank today in Phoenix. On the gas tank, I was able to break the OEM bolts loose & save the nut rail-plates, 19MM six point socket & std. 1/2" breaker bar (Craftsman) did the trick. The challenge was in the removal of the rivets (2 ea. side) which hold these pieces in place on the assembly line. A whole lotta hammering & cussing but got 'em! Funny story on this XJ. It was a drug confiscation vehicle. A second roof had been added over the OEM roof & the stash was hidden between the layers! Got that from a yard tech. The remains reflected what I was told. There was another XJ with false floors. Amazing!
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-08-2015, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
PimaXJ
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Incidentally, the metal for both skid plates measures 1/8" thick which is strong enough for my needs.
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