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Kilby Enterprises' GTSP1

By Chris Shontz
 
The very same day I pulled my brand new 1999 Jeep TJ away from the dealer parking lot, I began compiling a list of necessary modifications that I would need to make the TJ a bit more trail-ready. Among the modifications on this supposedly finite list of items was a protective, heavy duty, gas tank skid plate. Needless to say, I put an offroad suspension, tires, and lockers higher on the priority list than undercarriage armor. Then one day, I took the new TJ out on the trail, and it happened... the flimsy gas tank tin received its very first significant dent, and from that point on, gas tank skid plate damage became common and acceptable.  
Kilby TJ Gas Tank Skid Plate

Recently, Kilby Enterprises, in Burbank, California, introduced GTSP1 (Gas Tank Skid Plate 1), which is made out of three pieces of 3/16" steel plate, and was designed to completely replace the stock gas skid, not just slide on over it like heavy duty skids from most other manufacturers. This replacement of the stock gas skid gives the new heavy duty skid, a comparatively unobtrusive profile. Kilby Enterprises boasts a 3/4" ground clearance gain over the stock setup. (unless of course your stock tin is severly dented in, like mine was) At 60 lbs, not only can this skid plate dish it out, it can take it as well.

Kilby TJ Gas Tank Skid Plate

The installation of the Kilby GTSP1 was an easy process, although relatively intimidating if you don't have any experience working with fuel systems. It involved removing the gas tank from the vehicle completely. I drove the Jeep till it was running on fumes before I started the installation in order to make the gas tank as light and manageable as possible.

One of the first steps is to dissassemble the fuel filler bezel. This is a simple process that consists of removing eight screws, and the gas cap.

Kilby TJ Gas Tank Skid Plate
Underneath, right near the top of the driver side shock, the "intimidating" part comes into play. The night before I had horrifying visions of spewing pressurized fuel, lighting myself on fire, my Jeep falling on me, and the shop exploding. Needless to say, this never happened, but although this process is very easy, if you are the least bit uncertain of your ability, you should have a professional service technician do the work for you.
Kilby TJ Gas Tank Skid Plate
All of the items pictured to the left needed to be disconnected before we were able to drop the gas tank from the Jeep. The high pressure fuel line needs to be depressurized before you disconnect it. Consult a service manual for information regarding how to go about this. After you have depressurized and disconnected the line, expect a small amount of fuel to run out of the line.
Kilby TJ Gas Tank Skid Plate
After the fuel filler hose, the electrical ground, electrical harness, EVAP hose, and high-pressure fuel line, were all disconnected, it was time to work on unbolting the stock gas skid tin from the frame. The stock tin is bolted up in seven different locations. Four of which are pictured to the left under the rear cross-member where one's bumper is normally attached.
Kilby TJ Gas Tank Skid Plate
The forward skid plate bolts are located on the forward most side of the skid plate. Their approximate location is pictured to the left.

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RESOURCES  
Kilby Enterprises
1847 N. Keystone St.
Burbank, Ca. 91504

Phone: 818-848-2900
www.kilbyenterprises.com
Email: brad@kilbyenterprises.com
OK Auto, 4WD and Tire
2621 State Route 57
Stewartsville, NJ 08886
Phone: (908) 454-6973

http://www.ok4wd.com

 

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