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Rear Tow Hooks and
Gas Tank Skid Plate

 

Both of these items are pretty much a "no brainer" installation.  I put them here for the new folks who ask about these items.  A couple of clear photos sure can help you get the idea across.


Rear Tow Hook

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Rear Tow Hook

This is the new rear tow hook mounted on the driver side frame rail, just in front of the bumper.  One of the holes was already there (I forget which one now) and the other was drilled to accomodate the 2nd bolt.  The hooks are your regular 10,000 lb. variety that you can get for about $10 a piece at your local 4x4 shop.  I picked up the Grade 8 bolts at the local autoparts store.  I think they were 1/2" bolts.  You can check for the proper bolt size once you pick up your hooks.  I mounted them at about a 45° angle.  The lower end of the hook extends just below the bottom of my rock bumper.  They do NOT drag as the gas tank sits much lower than the hooks do.  They will, however, pull a Suzuki Samarai out of a dry wash and up a hill!

 

Gas Tank Skid Plate

The Tomken gas tank skid plate might very well be the best one on the market.  I have yet to read a newsgroup posting from an owner that said something like "Gee, I sure wish I had gotten the other brand".  I have seen postings from non-Tomken owners stating they did not like the brand they got.  Shortly after I installed it, I did a two day trip with a CJ-7.  I had a chance to test it several times while running Red Creek.  A wet tire slipped off of a rock and I set the TJ's tank down on another rock.  It hit hard enough that I winced and Joe (the other driver) heard it in his Jeep, about 20 yards behind me.  How did it hold up?  It did just what it was suppose to do.  I did notice that the mounting bracket (it hit about an 1" from where the bracket attaches to the plate) is flexed just a bit....maybe a 1/16" or so.  I only noticed it while I was down taking photos, and then only after comparing the right and left rear brackets.  Like I said, it performed its job very well.
 

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Left rear corner of skid plate

I had to do a tiny bit of grinding on the rear brackets.  I don't fault Tomken for this problem.  My aftermarket rock bumper has a couple of thick welds right where the rear skid plate brackets bolt up into the frame rails.  (They share the same BIG mounting bolt that is used by the bumper.)  If the factory bumper had been there, it would not have required any alteration.

In the above photo, you can see how well the skid covers the left side of the tank.  The factory skid plate (ha ha) leaves this side completely unprotected, making it all to easy for  a sharp rock to do it's damage.

 

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Left rear mounting bracket

The above photo gives you a pretty good shot of one of the rear mounting brackets.  You can see that it is quite thick.  It mounts directly to the bottom of the frame rail and is attached to the skid plate with two good size studs.

 

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Front mounting bracket

I included this view of the front mounting bracket.  It piggy backs onto an existing bracket.  The red dots are on the bracket members that go down to the front edge of the skid plate.  The end of the bracket which is circled in red was hitting my track bar.  This TJ has a TeraFlex lift on it, and this might very well have been the reason that the two were getting into each other's air space.  It would rub at moderate to heavy compression.   A few minutes with the die grinder and I was able to round of the end of the bracket that was hitting the track bar.

 

 

 

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