finished the install project just in time to catch a run with
our local club. The first thing everyone did was ooh and ahh about
how clean the install looked. Here is a comparison between our
test Jeep (bottom) and another Jeep with a stock crossmember and
a 1" drop installed in order to compensate for driveline
angles without a Slip Yoke Eliminator. Notice the difference in
how far the crossmember(s) stick down from the frame.
TJ with 4" Lift, stock crossmember and 1" transfer
The 33 Engineering crossmember is smoother, higher, stronger
4" of additional clearance (about 3" from just the 33
Engineering plate compared to the stock crossmember and the additional
1" from removing the transfer case drop brackets) this little
Jeep could now cross boulders that used to high-center it in the
33" tires alone are not enough to clear this rock.
The new setup just barely touches the rock.
The clearance of the plate and the flat surface...
...allow the crossmember to simple slide across
As you can
see, the additional clearance was needed just to clear this obstacle.
Anything less might have slid over it ,but might have also been
hung up and high-centered.
The original crossmember
A passenger-side view of the new plate.
of the 33 Engineering Skid Plate are made from 3/16ths Cold Rolled
Steel, the two mated together provide the strength of a 3/8ths
plate - but without the added weight. As you can see from the
above photo the vehicle that this is installed in gets it's share
of bumps and bruises out on the trail. So far the experience with
using this plate has been outstanding. The ability to remove the
skid plate has been without a doubt the greatest feature - just
ask anyone who ever needed to remove a front driveshaft on the
trail with the factory crossmember still installed.
Engineering has taken some time to do something different. In
this day and age of cookie-cutter products for 'wheeling, actually
finding a product that has a little something extra is difficult
to find. The owner of this vehicle has been extremely pleased
with the function and the look of the 33 Engineering skid plate
and is enjoying the extra clearance under his belly.
should also be noted that 33 Engineering also makes a number of
other products, including their own 1" Body Lift Kit and
a Heavy Duty Slip Yoke Eliminator kit that could be used if someone
were to undertake this project.
Pagan is a staff writer for ROCKCRAWLER.com as well as Our
Land Use Editor. Shawn resides north of Houston, TX.
Shawn at [email protected]