Transmission Skid Plate issue

jmarkel

Scrambled for Life
City
Fairfax Station
State
VA
#1
Hey all. I'm having trouble putting my transmission skidplate back on. I have tried all the combinations of slots and holes and cannot get this stupid thing to mount on all 6 holes. Is there a definitive approach to this? Am I supposed to be using specific slots or holes (there are many). I'm running the 258 with t5 if that makes a difference. I took this thing apart like 2 years ago and I'm finally back in reassembly stage, and this one is aggravating me.

ANyone have any advice on this? About 12 years ago, I took the transmission out to replace the throwout bearing and clutch and remember it being difficult to put back on, but not impossible.

Right now, the engine is not in the jeep...does that make a difference? does adding the jeep sort of push the frame outward a bit? Engine is ready to drop, but I want to put the pan on first.
 

jerseyjeeps

Crazy about AMC Jeeps
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Landing
State
NJ
#2
I found that many times you have to help the plate over to line up. get one bolt started on the one side and then use a medium Phillips screwdriver or a stout metal rod to persuade the plate to go over once you get the second one started repeat the process and normally you can work it in.
 

gazzo

AMC Jeep nutjob
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Fremantle
State
WA
#3
Was just talking with my friend in the dunes about this exact thing. The seem to spring outwards then you are left thinking you're trying to use the wrong holes. Follow Jerseys advice above you'll be good. .
 

jerseyjeeps

Crazy about AMC Jeeps
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Landing
State
NJ
#4
I should also say I wasn't that good in describing where to put the screw driver / rod. A number 2 Phillips fits inside one of the threaded holes just good to move the plate over and install the bolt next it it. So insert that in one of the holes that won't line up, yet allows the screw driver to go in, and pull a little to where it needs to go
 

Spieg

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Aurora
State
CO
#5
In my experience, CJ frames (especially CJ-8 frames) tend to bend over time into the shape of an hour glass (frame rails too close together in the middle of the Jeep near the skid plate mounts). If it gets to the point you cant get the skid plate back on, you may want to try spreading the frame rails apart a little (port-a-power hydraulic ram or a bottle jack work well for this).
 

certifiablejeep

Definitley Certifiable
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Bedford
State
NH
#7
On one of the frames I fixed and welded on, I had to use a strap to pull it back together so I could get the plate on... not much force, but just enough...

cb
 

jmarkel

Scrambled for Life
City
Fairfax Station
State
VA
#8
Well, here's what I did to make this work.
1. I put all the bolts in one side of the skid plate to about halfway
2. I put the screwdriver in the middle hole and forced it over and I was able to get the front bolt on the other side started, and put that in about half way.
3. I then kept the screwdrive in the middle and forced it over but really had a hard time. I put the bolt in the impact gun and while forciing it over, hit the trigger. Luckily for me, it turned and caught correctly. I then hammered all 5 of them in. The last milddle one went in pretty easy at that point.

As for the bottle jack technique..no dice. I actually got the bottle jack out and had it ready to go with a 4x4 but interestintly enough mine won't actuate when it is on its side.

So, skidplate is on. Next step is to put the front shackles on (waiting on 4wd to deliver) and then the motor can be put in.
 

zdatjeep

Basic User
City
merritt island
State
fl
#9
I know this is an old thread but I have to say this advice is spot on. I just had my tranny rebuilt where and the most frustrating parts of job were skid plate and dual exhaust removal. So when reassembling there was no amount of screwdriver prying that would allow the bolt holes to align.
I got a bottle jack- first used two pieces of wood to protect brakeline on frame then attached bottlejack to frame with a C-Clamp. I was able to push the frame apart 1/4 to 1/2 inch and the screws went in with finger pressure.
My Jeep is pretty cherry too, it has not been abused and I would not believe this if I had not seen it. Never had issues with the newer Jeeps before.
 

DirtyB

Crazy Cajun
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Port Allen
State
LA
#10
I had a whole host of issues with the drive line on my CJ-8 (thank you PO). One of them was that my front shackles wouldn't line up correctly and would quickly wear on one side. After some head scratching, I believe I figured it out. That belly plate (or skid plate) is too weak to hold the middle of the frame in it's correct position (this is mentioned by several folks on this forum). When installing the skid plate, I've found you need to use either a ratchet strap to squeeze the frame together or a mechanical jack (like a scissor jack) to spread things apart. I measure the distance between the front springs at the shackle and at the frame. It should be the same. I also upgraded to custom skid plate that doesn't flex like the factory plate. It made a big difference.

You can search these forums and find some pictures. I went with the Thottle Down Kustoms skid plate and it's great.
 
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