CBI Off-Road Gas Tank Skid Plate for 6th Gen Bronco – Install & Review

Gas Tank Skid Plate for 6th Gen Bronco

CBI Off-Road Two-Piece Steel Gas Tank Skid Plate for 6th Gen Bronco – Installation Guide & Review

The factory steel gas tank skid plate, or as Ford refers to them “Full Vehicle Steel Bash Plates” are standard on Black Diamond, Badlands, and the First Edition. All other Broncos are equipped with plastic covers that surround the gas tank.

The Black Diamond, Badlands, and First Edition steel skid plates are 3/16″ mild steel which will do a great job of protecting your gas tank. If you plan on doing any wheeling with the plastic gas tank cover though, you should consider steel or at the minimum, an aluminum skid plate.

I would highly recommend installing either a Ford Steel Bash Plate kit (Skid plates that cover the front, engine, transfer case, and fuel tank) or just going with an aftermarket gas tank skid plate, like the CBI Off-Road skid plate pictured here. The CBI Skid Plates are 1/4″ mild steel and will do an even better job of protecting your undercarriage compared to the factory steel skid plates.

Let’s jump into the CBI gas tank skid plate and see what it’s all about.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you get started on this install, it’s important to note that the factory Bronco steel gas tank skid holds up the gas tank. If you drop the factory steel gas tank skid out, the actual gas tank will come down with it. That means if you have a full tank of gas, you’re going to potentially have a rough time supporting the tank (depending on your installation process). The Broncos equipped with a plastic gas tank cover have straps holding the gas tank in place – so you will never have to fight with a full tank of gas.

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Overview

CBI Gas Tank Skid Labels

Each bracket is numbered except for the long flat mounting bracket that mounts the two pieces together. Start with the long flat mounting bracket and attach both pieces together.

The numerical brackets start at the front on the passenger side and wrap around the skid plate.

Step 1. Loosen Three Bolts on the Frame Rail

Passenger Side: Pull Down Skid Plate

Before you start this install, it’s important to note that you have a couple of options for removing the steel skid plate.

  1. Remove all the bolts, and drop the gas tank with the skid plate.
  2. Loosen all the bolts, and slide a ratchet strap between the skid plate and the gas tank in order to support the tank. Then ratchet strap the gas tank into place using the frame rail and any other secure point on the undercarriage.

With either option, you should aim to have an empty tank, or as close to empty as possible so that the tank is light weight.

Step 2. Front Two Bolts on Crossmember

Remove Front Two Bolts

Loosen/remove the front two gas tank skid plate bolts on the crossmember.

Step 3. Bolt Above the Driveshaft

Remove Bolt Above Driveshaft

For the bolt above the driveshaft, you will need a 12″ extension and possibly an impact to get it loose. This bolt was tight. Loosen this bracket for now. Do not fully remove.

Step 4. Rear Bolt

Remove Rear Bolt Near Control Arm

Now loosen the rear bolt near the frame rail and link. Do not remove yet.

Step 5. Inside Center Bolt

Loosen Inside Center Bolt

There is one last bolt on the center of the factory skid plate attached to the crossmember. Loosen for now. Do not remove.

Step 6. Drop Gas Tank

Drop Gas Tank

Here is where things can get tricky. If you have a full tank of gas and you don’t use a ratchet strap to support the tank, you’re going to have a hard time. Ask me how I know.

Since the gas tank is not supported with straps like many other platforms, the gas tank will come down when you drop the skid plate. In order to prevent this, you can ratchet strap the tank to both frame rails or whatever attachment points you can find.

Once you remove the factory skid plate, you can proceed to mount up the CBI gas tank.

Step 7. Position CBI Gas Tank Skid

Position Rock Slider

To easily position the skid plate, balance the skid on top of a floor jack. Then jack the skid plate up into place and finally loosely thread in each bolt all the way around. Once you have the skid plate loosely mounted in place, you can remove all the ratchet straps and let the weight of the gas tank rest on the skid plate.

Step 8. Torque CBI Gas Tank Skid

Re-Connect Rock Slider

Once your ratchet straps are out of the way, you can finally torque everything down. OEM spec of 35 ft./lbs.

Final Thoughts

CBI Off-Road Skid Plates for the 6th Gen Bronco

An upgraded steel skid plate is a must. Whether you get the CBI gas tank skid or the factory Ford Bash Plate kit, you need a set of upgraded skid plates if you’re currently running the flimsy plastic gas tank cover.

As for the CBI skid plates, the quality, fit, and finish are all what you would expect from a company like CBI Off-Road. The package was tightly shipped wrapped in a ton of support foam. The installation was clearly labeled with brackets and numbers stamped out in each bracket.

The finish on the skid plates is a really nice matte black powder coating and it tucks up against the gas tank with precision fitment. The skids are listed on the CBI website as “Heavy-duty steel construction”. However, I did measure the thickness and they are 1/4″. You can compare that to the factory steel skids sitting at 3/16″. It’s only a 1/8″ difference but after years of abuse, the CBI skids are going to hold up better than the factory skids.

The only thing you need to take note of is installing the brackets on the skid plate that mount up to the frame and frame rail. The brackets provided have stamped nutserts on the backside of the bracket so you don’t want to hit those bolts with a lot of torque or you might blow through those nutserts off the bracket. Instead, use a drill driver on a low torque setting to loosely get them in place first, and then once the skid plate is mounted up on the vehicle, you can hand torque everything down.

Other than that, the installation is very straightforward and the finish looks great.

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