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Splash guard and skid plate?


NAXJA Forum User
Just got a 1997 xj with all the factory skid plates. Under the front skid plate, I have the mythical factory splash guard, or at least what's left of it (I'd never actually seen one of these in the wild). I know the splash guard's main job is to protect the alternator, but it seems to me that the skid plate does that job just as well. Is there any real reason in my case to replace the splash guard? I feel like it's just adding a hassle to any work that needs to be done under the engine.

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I have removed both on mine, I have had more issue with water coming through the grill in heavy rain and bothering the tps. But mine is rhd and my alternator is mounted a little higher.
The splash guard is most often removed and put in the trash.

Often without your knowledge. Had mine until I noticed it missing after a trip to the mechanic a couple years prior. I've since reinstalled mine, a guy is making a pretty good repro. But I'd guess if the skidplate covers the alternator it's redundant. The rubber splash guard did solve an odd problem with air being sucked into the cabin at >75 speeds. Warmed our feet in summer for a number of years. Apparently it diverts air past the engine bay and stops whatever that was.
IMO the front skid doesn't really go far enough back to offer protection to the alt.
Not really sure how much the mud shield does either though.
When I added the front factory skid plate to my '00 I kept the mud shield.
But it is in excellent untorn shape. If not I would have just ditched it too.
Or bought that reproduction asymptonic mentioned.
Buddy of mine bought one and said it was a good reproduction.
The skid and the engine floor mat were optional and not on most XJ Cherokees.

The skid plate deflects most of the debris.

The only time I ever say somebody toast a alternator is when he buried it to the frame rails in pond with a coarse sand bottom. Everybody else that made it through had no issues.