<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ROCKCRAWLER.com - All Custom Fabrications YJ Gas Tank Skid Plate
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All Custom Fab YJ Gas Tank Skid Plate

By Cole Ford

Serious gas tank protection!

OEM skid plate
Weak, flimsy stock skid plate Notice how thin it is and how it does not provide any side coveage.

When you're out cruising the trails on any given weekend, you will notice that there are many sounds associated with rockcrawling. Good sounds (your friends cursing because you made it over the obstacle that they couldn't), normal sounds (the creaking and popping of your suspension flexing over big rocks), and, of course, bad sounds (the sound of your 20 gallon gas tank becoming a 15 gallon gas tank). If you have been into rockcrawling for any amount of time you know exactly what I am talking about and so does Travis Allen of All Custom Fabrications in Grand Junction, Colorado.

"Mine is really long!" I said. " My list of Jeep parts that I want, that is." To tell you the truth having extra protection on my gas tank was fairly low on my list. Somewhere right after an Atlas II, I think. That all changed in Moab at the Easter Jeep Safari when I ran into Travis of ACF. Travis and I talked about parts, swaps, trails and some horror stories of rockcrawling . We talked about my 4.0L swap and the article I wrote for this website about it. If you have read the swap article, then you know that I had to replace my gas tank so I could have the high pressure fuel pump. What that article didn't say, is that I was in desperate need of a new gas tank anyway. I had pummeled my 20 gallon tank down to about 15 gallons (and I know exactly where I did it and on which rock). Travis then showed me something I just had to have; a bright, shinny, new gas tank skid to go scratch.

ACF Skid Plate
All Custom Fabrications replacement skid plate. The ACF skid plate comes up over the sides, giving much more protection.

With a new gas tank skid plate to play with, I realized that I spend very little time thinking aobut my gas tank. When was the last time you took a serious look at yours? I had not looked at my new one for a few months and I discovered some surprises. One of my spring shackle bolts was wearing a hole in the side of the factory plastic gas tank on the driver's side. This could have caused some serious problems if I had not discovered it. The factory skid plate (tin foil) only covers the bottom of the plastic tank. It does not wrap up the sides of the tank to prevent a puncture of the side of the tank. The skid plate from ACF protects your precious fuel tank all the way around. The bottom of the skid plate is made from nearly bulletproof 3/16" steel while the sides are an 1/8" thick. I did some research and found that most of the other options out there are only 1/8" and typically cost more.

ACF Skid Plate Installed
The new skid installed, seen from driver's side.

I originally planned on writing about the whole installation process but it was so short and simple that I think I can only get about a paragraph out of it. So here we go! It took me more time to take pictures of the skid plate than it did for me to install it. When I started taking pictures, I noticed how thick and clean the welds are. The entire skid plate has a very beefy and clean looking appearance. My skid plate came with all the hardware needed (one bracket and two bolts). Everything else is attached to the skid plate. If you look at some of the other skid plates available, you will see that they have a lot more parts involved. This is something I really liked. The fewer extra parts, the better for me.

Ok, are you ready for the install? Here it is! Keep in mind that I am a fairly large guy that spends some time in the gym, so your approach to this may be different than mine. I simple crawled under my Jeep with the skid plate on my chest, took off four nuts, lifted the new skid plate into place right over the factory unit and put the 4 nuts back on. That's it. The skid plate uses the factory Jeep gas tank nuts and bolts. It took me less than 15 minutes and only one tool. Gotta love that.

OEM skid plate
The new skid installed, seen from rear.

So how does it work? You can probably tell from the rest of the article that I have been very impressed. I have had it on my Jeep since the Jeep Safari and it has seen some serious abuse. I have taken it out on some of our hardest trails here in Colorado and have purposely bounced it off a few rocks right on the skid plate. So far, the only thing I have been able to do to it is put some scratches in the powder coat. I have since discovered that it also looks much cooler under my Jeep than the factory gas tank skid plate. You will notice in the pictures where my shackle bolt was rubbing and how the new skid plate comes up high enough to protect that area (I did take the time to correct the problem before I put the skid plate on). The trail is much more fun now that I have one less thing to worry about breaking. Now it's time to go upgrade something else.

Editor's notes: All Custom Fabrications makes gas tank skids for just about any Jeep model and installations will vary

RESOURCE
All Custom Fabrications
www.acf4wd.com/
Email:
travis_allen@msn.com
Phone:
(970) 245-5686

 

Cole Ford

Cole Ford is a staff writer for ROCKCRAWLER.com and resides in Littleton, CO.

Contact Ford at xtremjeepn@rockcrawler.com

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