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Hauk Full Skid Plate Install and review

scoobycarolanNC

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I got mine in December '21. I went for the full package with gas tank skid after I cased my oil pan and had to have it and the gasket replaced. The plates are thick and heavy, just what you want. The paint was great and they were very well packed. The install was a real bear. For anyone who got it I'll break the install down below.

The instructions were total shit. They had just changed the design and didn't have new ones then. I called on a Friday and was told I'd get new ones emailed. They were never sent. I called back on Monday with a million questions after some miserable failures and got some help (I think his name was Brian? Nice guy. Was supposed to send me a swag box for my troubles. It never arrived.). I sent a follow-up email with a ton more questions, pics, and some quality issues that was never responded to. You're in it to win it.

Pro-Tip: A ratcheting 3/4 wrench will be a huge lifesaver for the bolts that join all the plates together (oh they're all too short by 1/4", go and replace them before you begin).

The gas tank skid comes in 2 pieces so I tried to install each piece separately and then bolt them together. That was a poor choice. I had to take the whole thing back off, put the gas tank skid together, then rehang it. That was 2.5-3 hours wasted. I never actually got the gas tank skid hung correctly. The front and rear bolts that go into the wholes from the old crossmembers didn't line up well. Here's how the front of mine looks. Big gap.

Jeep Gladiator Hauk Full Skid Plate Install and review Unknown-2


I swear the buttonhead bolts they sent to mount it to the frame were the wrong thread size and stripped the holes. I had to switch back to the stock bolts here. All the other bolts and brackets has it pretty well on though. Once I got it kinda on I moved onto the t-case skid.

Again, shit instructions but this is WAY more straightforward. You need to open the engine skid box now. There is a large black metal plate with 4 threaded holes tapped in it. The engine skid slides in-between it and the t-case skid. I thought mine was missing because the instructions make you think it was supposed to be packed in with the t-case plate. There is a bracket that mounts to the back of the t-case skid that goes into the tub with self-tapping screws. Mine was comically bad and one of the things I wanted Hauk to send me a new one of. Its supposed to be inside the plate and I should have gotten all four screws into the body. Its still loose in the pic, so it doesn't hang that low but still I guess two screws'll do....

Jeep Gladiator Hauk Full Skid Plate Install and review Unknown


At this point I'm like 6-7 hours in. There's been a lot of trying to bolt things up, the alignment being off, unbolting and readjusting to get it as close as possible. I did it on my back, in the driveway, using a jack, and by myself (mostly). I'm not complaining because I knew it would be hard to do by myself and alone, but I want to make sure anyone else plans appropriately. It would have been much faster with 2 people dedicated to it and if I hadn't lost all the time on the gas skid.

Onto the Engine skid which was very straightforward. Make sure to get the Oil Drain Valve!!!! So before you start you have to do an oil change but its worth it. They sell a very nice, small oil drain valve you install to replace the drain plug. There was also a short piece of fuel hose and it makes oil changes wicked clean and easy. The valve is protected by the plate so its all very kosher. I have 12000 miles since I put it in and no leaks. The reason its so clutch to have is that the diamond cut-out in the plate for changing the oil doesn't line up well with the drain and it will be a mess!!

The final issue I had was the 2 "wings" that go up and to the motor mounts. I guess the Gladiator design changed and they had to change with it. The instructions showed something completely different than what I got and what I got did not line up well at all. There are 2 existing bolts per side and you basically bolt the wing Over them to the exposed threads of the existing bolt. The holes weren't big enough and it doesn't fit quite right. I tried taking pics but they don't do it justice. Its a bit janky is all and I don't feel like the wings are very secure or able to take much weight.

So all-in-all would I do it again? Yes. Nobody makes a kit this heavy-duty for the gladiator and after fucking my oil pan up I knew I needed it. I've smashed it a few times lately on the trails and it seems to be holding up. This weekend I'm going back through it to check all my bolts and make sure everything is still good. I'd rather be dealing with this headache than dealing with the upper oil pan again. Hauk needs to tighten up they're game a bit. I really needed Brian to answer my emails especially about that bracket on the. tub and what to do about the engine pan wings. I give it 7 thumbs up out of 11 with fitment and customer service losing those 4.
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Hootbro

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Hauk is out of business so you are SOL if you are expecting any follow on support or customer service.
 

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sass JT

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And after reading this quite detailed thread… I’ll stick with my steel metalcloak skid plate system… which is the only company that protects the vulnerable evap canister at this time. Sure they don’t come painted but they definitely heavy duty and not so hard to throw in.
Plus their customer service is top notch.
Again just my opinion
 

WilliamD

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I got mine in December '21. I went for the full package with gas tank skid after I cased my oil pan and had to have it and the gasket replaced. The plates are thick and heavy, just what you want. The paint was great and they were very well packed. The install was a real bear. For anyone who got it I'll break the install down below.

The instructions were total shit. They had just changed the design and didn't have new ones then. I called on a Friday and was told I'd get new ones emailed. They were never sent. I called back on Monday with a million questions after some miserable failures and got some help (I think his name was Brian? Nice guy. Was supposed to send me a swag box for my troubles. It never arrived.). I sent a follow-up email with a ton more questions, pics, and some quality issues that was never responded to. You're in it to win it.

Pro-Tip: A ratcheting 3/4 wrench will be a huge lifesaver for the bolts that join all the plates together (oh they're all too short by 1/4", go and replace them before you begin).

The gas tank skid comes in 2 pieces so I tried to install each piece separately and then bolt them together. That was a poor choice. I had to take the whole thing back off, put the gas tank skid together, then rehang it. That was 2.5-3 hours wasted. I never actually got the gas tank skid hung correctly. The front and rear bolts that go into the wholes from the old crossmembers didn't line up well. Here's how the front of mine looks. Big gap.

Jeep Gladiator Hauk Full Skid Plate Install and review Unknown


I swear the buttonhead bolts they sent to mount it to the frame were the wrong thread size and stripped the holes. I had to switch back to the stock bolts here. All the other bolts and brackets has it pretty well on though. Once I got it kinda on I moved onto the t-case skid.

Again, shit instructions but this is WAY more straightforward. You need to open the engine skid box now. There is a large black metal plate with 4 threaded holes tapped in it. The engine skid slides in-between it and the t-case skid. I thought mine was missing because the instructions make you think it was supposed to be packed in with the t-case plate. There is a bracket that mounts to the back of the t-case skid that goes into the tub with self-tapping screws. Mine was comically bad and one of the things I wanted Hauk to send me a new one of. Its supposed to be inside the plate and I should have gotten all four screws into the body. Its still loose in the pic, so it doesn't hang that low but still I guess two screws'll do....

Jeep Gladiator Hauk Full Skid Plate Install and review Unknown


At this point I'm like 6-7 hours in. There's been a lot of trying to bolt things up, the alignment being off, unbolting and readjusting to get it as close as possible. I did it on my back, in the driveway, using a jack, and by myself (mostly). I'm not complaining because I knew it would be hard to do by myself and alone, but I want to make sure anyone else plans appropriately. It would have been much faster with 2 people dedicated to it and if I hadn't lost all the time on the gas skid.

Onto the Engine skid which was very straightforward. Make sure to get the Oil Drain Valve!!!! So before you start you have to do an oil change but its worth it. They sell a very nice, small oil drain valve you install to replace the drain plug. There was also a short piece of fuel hose and it makes oil changes wicked clean and easy. The valve is protected by the plate so its all very kosher. I have 12000 miles since I put it in and no leaks. The reason its so clutch to have is that the diamond cut-out in the plate for changing the oil doesn't line up well with the drain and it will be a mess!!

The final issue I had was the 2 "wings" that go up and to the motor mounts. I guess the Gladiator design changed and they had to change with it. The instructions showed something completely different than what I got and what I got did not line up well at all. There are 2 existing bolts per side and you basically bolt the wing Over them to the exposed threads of the existing bolt. The holes weren't big enough and it doesn't fit quite right. I tried taking pics but they don't do it justice. Its a bit janky is all and I don't feel like the wings are very secure or able to take much weight.

So all-in-all would I do it again? Yes. Nobody makes a kit this heavy-duty for the gladiator and after fucking my oil pan up I knew I needed it. I've smashed it a few times lately on the trails and it seems to be holding up. This weekend I'm going back through it to check all my bolts and make sure everything is still good. I'd rather be dealing with this headache than dealing with the upper oil pan again. Hauk needs to tighten up they're game a bit. I really needed Brian to answer my emails especially about that bracket on the. tub and what to do about the engine pan wings. I give it 7 thumbs up out of 11 with fitment and customer service losing those 4.
I got screwed too
 
 



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