River Raider complete skid install notes
Well the install went great. I had the basic instructions that come with the skids from River Raider and also had a copy of Gil Fortin's write up (on the JKO home page). Both made the install go pretty smooth.
Every install has it's own little tweaks, so I will share a few points from my install...
Inventoried the hardware - it was dead on. Nice stuff too.
Started front to back with the oil skid, at first we had the tranny lines on the inside of the oil pan skid and saw that wouldn't work. Then we checked Gil's writeup and saw the tranny lines go on the outside.
Had to slightly bend (tweak) the oil pan skid to get it to fit better and so we could get the spacers behind the skid. Then it went right on. Remember to install the tranny line beackets before you put the bolt in on the front driver side!
Next, before you put up the transmission skid, I would install the bolt through the hole that is used in connect the oil pan skid to the tranny skid. Once the tranny skid is up, I couldn't get the bolt in because the oil plan was in the way. So I had to put the bolt in from the rear with the nut facing the skid. I left it this way since the bolt doesn't stick out that far.
It's nice to have the triangle access to the oil plug, but it looks like the skid is going to a little oily when I change oil. There is a 1/8th"-1/16th gap between the oil pan skid and the tranny skid, so that should allow any oil that get up there to drip out.
The transfer case skid went in flawlessly. I'm happy because everthing seems to lining up pretty well.
The instructions say you may have to trim the RR gas tank skid. Instead, we trimmed the stock skid. We trimmed the stock skid right under the passenger rear door (took about an inch off the top, and also on the inside on of gas tank skid (drivers side), we trimmed the stock skid where the second to last bracket goes in.
We trimmed a small section of the RR skid on the passenger side because it rubbing against the lower control arm bracket.
We hit the stock gas skid a few times with a hammer to get the RR skid to install all the way up.
My stock gas tank skid was already a little banged up in the front where the cross member attaches. The dealer would always give me crap about this. One of the bolts was mangled, so I pulled it off with some vice grips. Swapped it with a bolt from the stock skids. I think these are the only two stock bolts that used.
Anyway, that dented up area was my biggest worry pre-install, but turned out not to be an issue. The dent probably helped the fit, maybe not, but it didn't hurt me!
If anyone had done alot of damage to their cross member before an install, the would probably have install problems, and need a new cross member to make all of the pieces fit.
Other than a few expected cuts here and there the kit lined up amazingly well! It was easy talking with the people at River Raider before the install. I had a few questions and they had no problem going over my questions.
Now I'm ready to roll! Thanks Gil and River Raider!