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XJ Transfer Case Skid Install

Author: ThePhantum

I recently installed a Skid Row transfer case skid plate on my 97 XJ. Of the four skids I installed (engine/trannsmission, Lower control arm and gas tank skid) this was the first one installed and the trickiest comparison to the rest at least.

The kit comes with the plate itself along with (4) self tapping 3/8" bolts, (3) - 3/8" x 3" Carriage bolts and (3) lock washers and nuts.

XJ transfer case skid Installation seemed simple enough. First, fit the skid up against the frame rail and cross-member, so that the leading edge of the plate is approximately in the middle of cross-member. Hold the skid in place with a jack, then drill four 5/16" holes in the frame rail and use the 4 supplied 3/8" self tappers to secure the plate to the rail (red circle in the image). Finally, use the 3 supplied carriage bolts to secure the plate to the cross-member (yellow circle). Easy, right?

Well, not exactly. The plate is designed to "accommodate a 1 inch cross-member drop," which my XJ does not have. When I fit the skid, it would not go in square at the frame rail (red circle) without the leading edge (yellow circle) on the drivers side hanging down about 1.5". The passenger side of the leading edge was almost up against the cross-member. In other words, the leading edge of the plate angled down from the pass side to the drivers side when it was square at the rail.

Needless to say this made lining it up correctly to make sure I drilled the holes in the right place a real pain. (Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of this…I was too busy trying to solve the problem at hand and did not think to get the camera). If you run into the same problem, just take your time and triple check it.

Once I got it lined up, I drilled the holes and bolted it up at the frame. Then I just used a floor jack to push the leading edge of the plate into place. Now I already had the holes in the cross-member for this…but according to the instructions, not all XJ's do.

Now just tighten all the bolts up and you're done!

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