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rubidriver 01-06-2010 03:34 PM

So you want a Tummy Tuck...
So you want a Tummy Tuck

I am aware there is a thread out there similar to this in the fact that it list some of the facts about several skids on the market, but this one is complete and it just for setting up a tummy tuck. This thread will be devoted to the TJ, as this is the TJ Technical Forum and that is what most have on here. LJ’s are a bit different when it comes to driveshaft requirements, but most principles still apply.

Everyone thinks they need a tummy tuck these days. They are very useful off road and even make a TJ look better because you are no longer seeing the ugly shovel. A tummy tuck takes more than just several hundred bucks to buy one, there are other things that have to be dealt with. Most decide they don’t need one when they figure out how much it will cost. The stock skid not the stoutest, but will hold up to mild wheeling, and comes in at 41.5 lbs.

Depending on the Jeep you have and which route you intend on going you might need one or more of these for your tummy tuck:

1” Body Lift- All depends on how much hammering (or 'modification') you want to do on the transmission tunnel. There are various routes to go with body lifts which include JKS ($135), Daystar, Performance Accessories, Currie, etc. It seems like everyone is scared to do one of these[, whether it be due to looks or difficulty of installation.] I have seen at least 30 posts asking if they can get away with doing such and such skid without one. A lot of people that are concerned with performance think that every Jeep should have came with one from the factory. The 1" body lift is hardly noticeable and will allow other mods like a high clearance gas tank skid. They also help lift the body without changing the COG very much, reducing the amount of bumpstop you need to clear a given tire size.

Motor Mount Lift (MML)- Is needed when doing any high clearance t-case skid on a Jeep that has a suspension lift of 2” or more. Stockers can usually get away with out it, but if you are doing a tummy tuck chances are you aren’t keeping the stock suspension height. The reason this needs to be done is when you are stuffing your tranny and tcase farther up you want to tilt the output shaft of the tcase down to help with the geometry you are messing with. By bringing the front of the engine up, you will be able to tilt the output shaft of the tcase down. There are various ways to lift your motor which include JKS(spacers-$60), Brown Dog(full replacement-$84), and M.O.R.E(full replacement-$139). If you choose new motor mounts instead of the spacers, get the rubber bushing versions to reduce engine vibrations. Poly bushings **can** transmit more engine vibrations, but they greatly reduce engine movement and will not degrade as fast as rubber. Rubber's lifespan is usually a few its your choice.

Double Cardan Driveshaft- Is needed when doing any skid on a Jeep that has been lifted 1.5- 2” or more via its suspension. Stockers can usually get away without it, but if you are doing a tummy tuck chances are you aren’t keeping the stock suspension height. Will be needed, Rubicon or not. There are a few out there (Currie, Teraflex, ect, but only one that I would go with- Tom Woods which run around $315 (Quadratec).

Slip Yoke Eliminator (SYE)- Is needed when doing any skid on a Jeep that has been lifted 1.5-2” or more via its suspension. Stockers can usually get away without it, but if you are doing a tummy tuck chances are you aren’t keeping the stock suspension height. If you have a Rubicon, you will not need one of these. Many people say that the Rubicon already has an SYE, but that is incorrect. It would have to have a slip yoke in the first place to elimininate it - Rubicons have fixed flange rear outputs. There are several good kits on the market such as Advance Adapters ($270 Quadratec), JB Conversions($300-$400), Rubicon Express ($330)

Rear upper adjustable control arms- Will be needed to rotate your pinion upward. There will be some fine tuning to eliminate driveshaft vibrations. Rokmen and Currie are the only ones I would consider when dropping money on them as of right now. Rokmen-$249. Currie- ($229)

More info on SYE/CV shafts & pinion angle:

CV trackbar bracket-This angled bracket will be needed for your trackbar when rotating the pinion. With out this bracket your stock or adjustable trackbar will bind. Rubicon Express-$70

Rear lower shock mount extenders- When rotating your pinion up, you will find that the can of your shock (if you have piston down, you may not have this problem) will rub the axle. Some extensions like those from Currie-$30 will get the job done. If you're looking for maximum flex, this is a good time to consider shock mount relocation to use long travel shocks - read here:

Spring perch modications- Will sometimes have to be done, but I personally have not seen a Jeep that has absolutely needed it. Rotating the pinion will cause the spring sit a bit different- resulting in the spring trying to arc...meaning the bumpstops will no longer align. This mod is not absolutely necessary with smaller lift heights, and mainly helps suspension geometry on taller lifts.
Read Humbolt's write up:
Also see this thread:

Transfer case bracket- Anyone that knows transfer case brackets know that Novak ($150) is in the top of the game. There are others out there like the one from Advance Adapters or Skyjacker that are cheaper alternatives, but just doesn’t work like the Novak. The stock shift lever can often be used when a TT is install in conjunction with a MML & BL, since these keep the drivetrain and accessory angles as close to stock as possible.


Kilby- I really haven’t seen many people run this skid, but looks to be well made. Skid is made from 3/16” bare steel (you will need to paint or powdercoat it). Skid can be done without a body lift. Incorporates Rubicon locker pump mount. Clearance gains?
Weight- 38lbs
Price- $340

AEV- I haven’t seen one complaint with this skid. Skid is made from 1/4’’ gusseted steel and 2.75” more clearance is possible with this skid, but where the tcase sits it has less clearance. Uses a super low-profile tranny mount. Skid comes with flat bolts that cannot hang up on rocks and comes powdercoated. Skid can be done without a body lift, but 42RLE auto owners might need to 'modify' the firewall/trans tunnel. Incorporates Rubicon locker pump mount.
Weight- ?
Price- $529

Rokmen- Beautiful skid, best tig welding I’ve seen for mass production Skid is made from 1/4” laser cut bare steel (you paint it) that is CNC formed. Gains of 2.25” will be seen. Uses stock tranny mount. Body lift is suggested. I have seen the back of this skid bend from mild wheeling, but this skid provides one of the best all around deals.
Price- $344. +$20 for Rubicon locker pump mount.

Clayton- This skid uses the 2 piece design. I haven’t seen many people use this skid. It might have something to do with it only advertising .5” gain for 97-02 and 1” gain for 03-06 Wranglers. Uses 3/16” steel for the cradle and 1/4" for the skid plate. Comes with a finish, but not specific. Works with their long arm set up if you ever decide to go that route.

Price- $475
Weight- ?

Skyjacker- Zinc coated skid made from 3/16” steel with gusseted corners. Comes with shifter bracket. Gain in clearance is not specified. Only made for 97-02 Wranglers. Body lift required
Price- $410 (Quadratec)

Teraflex- Up to 2 3/8” gain. Made from 3/16” steel. Body lift recommended for Rubicon. Comes with finish, but not specific. Comes with a 5/8" MML.
Price- $450 + Rubicon compressor mount for Rubicons
Weight- 79 lbs

Under Cover Fabworks- Made for 97-06 Wranglers, the skid is fabricated from 3/16" thick carbon steel plate (with optional upgrade to 1/4" plate). The parts were designed in 3D CAD software and laser cut then bent on a CNC press brake. The UCF Transfer Case Skid Plate is reinforced in the middle of the skid from one side to the other with a stiffening channel/transmission mount. The front and rear edges are ramped to increase strength and aid in sliding over obstacles. Clearance gains of about 2" over the factory skid plate will be seen. The total height of this skid is about 2". Skid comes bare and does not include hardware.
Price- $169 for 3/16 and $229 for 1/4"
Weight- 60lbs (Im guessing for the 1/4")
Under Cover Fabworks has released a skid that has the exact characteristics of the steel skids they produce, except they will be offered in 304 Stainless and 6061-T6 Aluminum.
Price- $329: 1/4" Aluminum
Weight-26 lbs

33 Engineering- As far as I know they are out of business, if you can still find one it is the 1 of only skid made that can be dropped without supporting the tranny. It uses a crossmember and a skid that is bolted to it. 2.75” of added clearance are said to be gained from the skid. that was ordered bare or powdered. 1” body lift required.

Never buy anything directly from these guys or anything that will be drop shipped from them. Buy from people that have the skid in stock or do not buy at all.
Offroad Toy Store Reviews


Jeepmedic-. Although no longer in business, you may be able to find one used. Skid is made from 1/4" gusseted steel with quality powdercoating. Gains of 2.25” will be seen from this beefy skid. Reuses stock trans mount and includes Rubicon locker pump mount. This was regarded as the best skid on the market at the time JeepMedic closed.

Price - ~$200-400 used in good condition

Goferit- Im not sure if these guys are still around. There isn’t much info about these skids and not many people run them. Steel thickness? Clearance?

Savvy Offroad- Everyone is talking about this skid. Will be made from aluminum and there has been word that it will be a completely flat skid. This not only will have the highest clearance, it will have a chance (with the UCF skid) to be the lightest of any skid listed. Savvy has some competitive pricing so I like most people I can wait to see this thing. You will most defiantly have to run a body lift if this skid is flat or do some serious modding to the tub.
Clearance gain-?

*Exhaust mod- For every skid listed you will likely have to mod your exhaust so it will not contact the skid and or the lower control arm. Some people can get this done by themselves while others need to go to an exhaust shop. Going to an exhaust shop usually isn’t too expensive for this fairly simple mod.

*BL or No-Some skids say body lift required or recommended, but can be done with out with enough hammering on the tranny tunnel as stated in the beginning. While most skids can be done without a body lift, you are tucking the transfer case closer to the body. There will be more noise as well as more heat coming from the exhaust as well as the tcase transferred to the floor board. Keep in mind - with a tummy tuck you are lifting the entire drivetrain up 2" or more - meaning you're changing the output shaft angle and you need to make room for the relocated components. The easiest way to do this is a 1" MML + BL.

*Prices are from the manufacturer unless stated otherwise

Do the math on the products you need for your specific Jeep, can you afford a Tummy Tuck?? Do you play in the rocks enough to justify one? If there are any errors or anything that needs to be added, let me know. Thanks. Thank you Unlimited04 for your help.

Unlimited04 01-06-2010 03:35 PM

nice work :thumbsup:

JeepMedic for reference:

biffgnar 01-06-2010 03:39 PM

22 Attachment(s)
CV Trackbar Bracket? Rear Shock Lower mount relocators or spring perch modification?

MudDuck99 01-06-2010 03:39 PM

:cheers2: This would have saved me a lot of questions a few weeks ago. I vote sticky !

what about undercoverfabs transfer case skid?

Under Cover Fabworks, LLC - '97-'02 TJ Transfer Case Skid Plate

remery829 01-06-2010 03:41 PM

very good start! now maybe a few more views/info on this and maybe stickey time?

alecmcmahon 01-06-2010 03:42 PM


Good Write up


I went with the Rokmen skid , i couldn't keep on waiting for Savvy to come out.

The Rokmen is most definitely top notch, very beefy and the welds are amazing.

I have bolted up my Skid Row Engine/Tranny skid to this with just a little bit of modification.

If anybody has any questions about it feel free to PM me!


( dont mind the mostly stripped tj, im waiting on all new savvy armor all the way around[bumper/rockers/full corners]but you can see how far it is tucked up... There is a little bit of a lip since my skid row skid is a bit mangled)

Imped 01-06-2010 04:05 PM

Thank God! Sticky this so we stop getting 80 threads a week on this subject.

pjku79 01-06-2010 04:08 PM

I spoke with Gerald earlier today about the Savvy TT. He said he is hoping to have it ready next month and it will include the required body lift.

AustinCJer 01-06-2010 04:17 PM

This will save me so much research!

Thanks for doin the leg work!

What is the mention on lower springs relocation or perch, I hadnt thought of that when considering the mod.

REDLYNER 01-06-2010 04:21 PM


Originally Posted by MYTXTJ (Post 8635349)
This will save me so much research!

Thanks for doin the leg work!

What is the mention on lower springs relocation or perch, I hadnt thought of that when considering the mod.

I had to add the Teraflex lower shock brackets to keep my spring perches from denting in my shocks. It was like $35.

socaldaveh 01-06-2010 04:25 PM

gave this a thumbs up, thanks!!


Dmcastino 01-06-2010 04:34 PM


Originally Posted by MudDuck99 (Post 8635108)
:cheers2: This would have saved me a lot of questions a few weeks ago. I vote sticky !

what about undercoverfabs transfer case skid?

Under Cover Fabworks, LLC - '97-'02 TJ Transfer Case Skid Plate

I have this skid in the 1/4" variety. You can get it in 3/16" for $170 or 1/4" for $220. I'm happy with it so far, although I haven't it offroad yet as I have only had it a week. I didn't need to modify the exhaust or anything and you gain 2" or so over the stock skid (at least I did). The welds were kind of ugly, but it seemed like there was plenty of penetration, just not pretty and really who cares what the welds on the skid LOOK like anyway :laugh:. I say its a hell of a value for 220 bones.

muddernaught 01-06-2010 04:46 PM

Awesome work, I'm a new jeeper and have a lift (not sure which one) but still has factory skid. This answered all kinds of questions for me, now to consider the budget!

Knuckelhead 01-06-2010 05:03 PM

Shorten the transmission mount bracket and relocate the cat hanger mount.
TF skid and Skidrow engine/transmission skid...

Humboldt 01-06-2010 05:10 PM

The Tera Skid comes in 1/4" or 3/16" and includes a mml.

Nice write up.

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