Rugged Ridge HD Bumper and Skid Plate

dmen

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Hi there, I purchased this combo in order to install a winch on our Wrangler. Problem is the bumper has arrived but the skid plate is on back order for a month. We are going on vacation in a couple weeks, which is why I wanted the winch. I will be sure to avoid anything that could hit the steering components... so my question is can I install the skid plate after the bumper and winch is on? I saw somewhere on here where it was mentioned it was a real PITA. Any advice?
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Hi there, I purchased this combo in order to install a winch on our Wrangler. Problem is the bumper has arrived but the skid plate is on back order for a month. We are going on vacation in a couple weeks, which is why I wanted the winch. I will be sure to avoid anything that could hit the steering components... so my question is can I install the skid plate after the bumper and winch is on? I saw somewhere on here where it was mentioned it was a real PITA. Any advice?
Absolute PITA. I had the bumper for almost 2 years before getting the skid plate, since they weren’t released close together. Tried to put it on over a month ago and can’t get the damn thing to fit. Biggest problem is that it doesn’t fit if you have factory LED fog lights. I suspect there are other issues, and I’ve read a few comments from other forum members stating the same. Long story short, I have an appointment with my local shop next week to make it fit and make it look nice. Best of luck.
 
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dmen

dmen

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Is there any chance it doesn't fit well because of the age of the bumper vs the skid plate? Maybe the newer ones fit better? If you removed the bumper and did the skid first would it work? I was planning on moving the factory LED fogs to the RR bumper of course, so this has me worried. What about the factory ones make the skid plate not fit?
Is there a better alternative to this skid plate?
 

BadA$$Rubi

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Hi there, I purchased this combo in order to install a winch on our Wrangler. Problem is the bumper has arrived but the skid plate is on back order for a month. We are going on vacation in a couple weeks, which is why I wanted the winch. I will be sure to avoid anything that could hit the steering components... so my question is can I install the skid plate after the bumper and winch is on? I saw somewhere on here where it was mentioned it was a real PITA. Any advice?
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/let-me-see-your-bumper-winch-combo.49095/post-1399638

You will need to notch the skid plate to clear the LED Fogs.
1622881429940.jpeg
 
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omnitonic

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I ended up getting a die grinder and some nice carbide burrs. Whittle. Test fit. Whittle. Test fit. The problem I had was not knowing what was going to fit until it finally did. I ended up taking some side cutters and chopping off parts of my fog lights to avoid having to remove yet more steel from the skid. Once it finally cleared everything, it was really easy to install. So easy that it made me wonder if I was just stupid for having to do it the hard way.

Maybe I was. The instructions DO say you should remove your bumper and install the skid plate first. If I had done that, it might have actually fit as it came from the factory. The issue was fitting it into place over existing fog buckets that got in the way of fitting it into place.
 
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dmen

dmen

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I ended up getting a die grinder and some nice carbide burrs. Whittle. Test fit. Whittle. Test fit. The problem I had was not knowing what was going to fit until it finally did. I ended up taking some side cutters and chopping off parts of my fog lights to avoid having to remove yet more steel from the skid. Once it finally cleared everything, it was really easy to install. So easy that it made me wonder if I was just stupid for having to do it the hard way.

Maybe I was. The instructions DO say you should remove your bumper and install the skid plate first. If I had done that, it might have actually fit as it came from the factory. The issue was fitting it into place over existing fog buckets that got in the way of fitting it into place.
Thanks much for this info! I will be doing it after the bumper as well. I really don't want to remove the winch and bumper to do the skid first.
 

omnitonic

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Thanks much for this info! I will be doing it after the bumper as well. I really don't want to remove the winch and bumper to do the skid first.
Nor did I. I spent a lot of time on the bumper and skid, and it was buttoned down tight. I was damned if I was going to do any of that work over again. The whole probably would have been avoided if I had actually been able to buy the skid at the same time as the bumper.

It is what it is, I guess. What other skid plate are you going to get for that bumper that will protect the FAD and the steering stabilizer and stuff?

This if from like the 5th time I test fit mine. I was confident enough to spray paint it, and I was wrong. (My shop is messy as shit. Sorry.)

1623503369423.png


I ended up with something like this. Sadly, I didn't take a picture, and I sure as hell ain't unbolting it to show you. Artist's rendition then:

1623503502443.png


Here's another real photo. It was installed. The airplane tape is for some little deals on the fog lights I kept knocking off every time I test fit the damn thing. Not sure what the deals were. You can see the little notch I gouged out to clear some other deal. I don't think I would have had to do that if I had installed the skid first. It just had to clearance all this crap before it could bolt up, but if that crap had been inserted in front of it, it wouldn't have collided.

1623503592252.png


It actually does look okay in spite of the extensive hacking. I shot the bare metal with some low gloss black Rustoleum farm paint, and you can't really tell.

The install was probably more painful than shoving a very large pineapple directly up my butthole, but in spite of the pain, it actually did turn out well in the end, don't you think? Where that skid is now there used to only be this stupid stamped steel waffle iron factory thing that was good for deflecting about one shot from a weak BB gun. From this view, you can't even see evidence of the carving I had to do to bludgeon the damn thing into bolting up.

1623503735997.png
 
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dmen

dmen

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SO! I finally got the skid plate and had some time today to install. I did not have to hack at all. I managed to get it attached without any mods at all, with the bumper and winch. By myself. It wasn't easy. It was 90 and sort of raining, so like 100% humidity... LOL. But overall it was OK. I did have to REALLY try to get it around the fog lights but I did. One thing you HAVE to do is make sure those brackets are loose... then you can move them up/down while lining up the holes in the skid. Anyway. I didn't need to modify it at all. It was a PITA. But it went on after the bumper without too much issue.
 
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dmen

dmen

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Only thing problematic is those lame ass coated bolts Quadratec uses. They are really difficult to get started into the welded nuts on the brackets. Poor engineering IMO.
 

omnitonic

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SO! I finally got the skid plate and had some time today to install. I did not have to hack at all. I managed to get it attached without any mods at all, with the bumper and winch.
This makes me curious if they listened to everybody who bitched about this, and made some modifications to the design. I'm glad your install was easy.

My install was not fun, but I'm really glad I made the effort. That skid plate has been put to the test, and it has held up well.
 
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