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JKS Control Arm Skidplates Peg the Bang-for-the-Buck Meter

Posted in How To: Body Chassis on March 12, 2019
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We love big, beefy bumpers as much as anyone, but other pieces of armor are just as important, even if you can’t see them as easily. One such item is JKS Manufacturing’s MiniSkids for coil-sprung Jeeps, including JK Wranglers, TJ Wranglers, XJ Cherokees, ZJ Grand Cherokees, and MJ Comanches. We bet they would fit on non-Jeep setups as well.

The lower suspension arm brackets on the front axle utilize cam bolts to adjust caster and pinion angle. Once damaged, it becomes virtually impossible for the vehicle to be aligned to factory specifications. To make matters worse, the factory brackets are extremely vulnerable to damage and frequently contact obstacles off-road since they are the lowest spot on the axle.

JKS Manufacturing’s 1/4-inch-thick steel control arm skidplates serve double duty. They protect your control arms, and they also box in and strengthen the thin control arm mounts on the axle assembly.

We did the job on a two-post lift that made it easier to clean up the brackets and shoot photos, but there’s no reason you couldn’t weld on the skidplates in the driveway on the ground. A pair of skids costs less than $30 and can be easily installed in under an hour, which will pay for itself the next time you need to get your Jeep aligned. Even though people might not immediately see your new armor, the JKS MiniSkids are well worth the time and expense.

Ideally you would install the JKS MiniSkids prior to smashing your factory control arms. We were not that smart, so we needed to do a little extra work to line everything up prior to installation.
MiniSkids are constructed from 1/4-inch-thick steel plate and laser cut for an exact fit. The bend in the plates to provide additional strength to the structure and also to ensure enough room to allow for a complete range of motion from the control arm.
We had to do some trimming to our bent factory control arms before we were able to install the JKS MiniSkids. This was easily performed with a 4 1/2-inch angle grinder and a flap wheel.
After cleaning up the factory mounts we test-fit the MiniSkid again. Cleaning the surfaces removed imperfections prior to welding, so it is a good idea even if you don’t have to clearance the control arms.
We used our Millermatic 252 MIG welder to burn the skidplates onto the axle. The JKS MiniSkid is considerably thicker than the factory control arm mount, so keep that in mind with regards to where you direct the heat when you are welding them on.
While they can’t keep you from caving your door in, the JKS control arm skidplates do strengthen your axle mounts and protect your control arms from damage. Go ahead and wheel as hard as you want!

Sources

JKS Manufacturing
Coldwater, MI 49036
517-278-1226
www.jksmfg.com

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