NUTS & BOLTS
Q I need some help locating a part for my Jeep JK Unlimited. A picture from your undercarriage view shows a crossmember in front of the transmission crossmember support. It’s held on by three bolts and looks like a protection bar. What is the part number? I bent mine, and it’s rubbing on the exhaust. Even the dealer cannot find the part. I can’t find any information other than what’s in your undercarriage article.
WAYNE Via firstname.lastname@example.org
A That crossmember is basically a skidplate, so for the short term you could remove it if it’s rubbing on the exhaust and potentially damaging it. We didn’t have much luck coming up with a part number either, but a good Mopar parts counterman should be able to track one down, so maybe try another dealer. If we were in your shoes, we’d probably remove it and take a stab at straightening it before hunting down a replacement, or we’d ask around at local four-wheel-drive shops, as there’s an excellent chance they’ll have a take-off.
Whether you straighten what you have or get a new one, keep in mind that if you bent it once, you’ll probably bend it again. You should really think about upgrading to something better from the aftermarket. Several companies make everything from simple skidplates that offer much better protection than that factory crossmember all the way up to full-blown belly pans that tuck things up a bit for additional ground clearance. Check out such places as 4Wheel Parts (4wheelparts.com) and Quadratec (quadratec.com). They have a wide variety of skidplates with all kinds of different coverage options and price points.