If you happen to have a stock or mostly stock JK or JKU Wrangler that you are planning on doing a little more with than just mall crawling, then you might want to consider some of the critical exposed bits that might be at risk underneath your ride as you hit the trails.
While it’s perfectly acceptable, and very possible, to enjoy your Jeep on the trails without sustaining damage in its stock form, there tends to be a point where many drivers start to get a little more ambitious. That’s when more difficult lines are tested, and perhaps so is your ground clearance.
One of the recommended modifications for any developing off-road warrior is the addition of skid plates to help protect the underbody from damage which might leave you stranded on the trail. If you ask experienced off roaders what the most important skid plate is, you will get several answers. Some believe the differential should be first to be protected, others will shout that it’s the oil pan or the gas tank. I had to consider all of this when I decided which skid plate I was going to install first. My 2015 JKU Willys Wheeler came from the factory with a gas tank skid plate and also one for the transfer case. From my own personal assessment, if I could only add skids one at a time, the oil pan was going to be the first.
Sure it’s not as low and exposed as the diffs…but it is more vulnerable (in my opinion). So my decision was to protect the oil pan using a modular skid plate system from Rubicon Express. It’s modular, because I can easily add to it as time and funds allow. Oil pan…then transmission…then I will see what’s next after that.
This is a quick video showing the installation of the Rubicon Express Oil Pan Skid Plate (REA1011) on my Wrangler. As you can see, it’s a pretty straight forward install. Before I got mine, I had a hard time picturing how it would be installed (even with the instructions) so I made this video in case it may be helpful for someone else either looking to purchase, or wanting tips for the install. Enjoy!