Jeep Work


I bought the TJ last Summer to replace my daily driver WRX. Since I’m broke, I had to find one for about what I could sell the Subaru for. That meant if I wanted a TJ, I would have to settle for the 2.5l 4 cylinder and most likely one with high miles. I lucked out on the second and found one with a reasonable 138k on the clock, but it had a few issues that needed sorting.

I’ve now worked my way through most of those and so I’m on to the first upgrade…sort of. ’97 through ’02 TJs came with a thin, open sided, fuel tank skid plate. This skid has a bad habit of rusting out and even when new doesn’t provide great protection.


You can see in the picture that the skid has been dented and is actually deforming the gas tank. The exposed corner of the tank is also showing some gouges from impacts. Fortunately the ’03+ TJs came with a much sturdier, closed skid pate that’s a bolt on replacement and should hold up better. Here they are side by side.


The new skid is a MOPAR part and other than the general PITA process of dropping the fuel tank, went on like you’d expect for a factory part. I’ve also left off the tow hitch after running it into just about every rock in Moab. I’ll need to add some rear recovery points…or just keep my eye on craigslist for a bumper with an integrated hitch.


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