Kind of like a bad dream, the Center Axle Disconnect (CAD) is back for the JL Wrangler after being mercifully absent from multiple previous Jeep models. The CAD system's purpose is to improve fuel economy by reducing drag...we'll let customer do their own research and determine whether that's actually the case or not, especially when weighing the negligible fuel economy benefits against compromises in strength and reliability.
Whether you are a fan of the CAD design or not, it's here to stay. And while it remains to be determined just how reliable the CAD system is on the JL, one thing is for certain: it's not going to work for long if it's repeatedly hit against rocks and other trail obstacles. The factory provides a thin stamped steel skid plate, but it doesn't offer much in the way of real protection for the mechanism. Positioned low on the front axle, the CAD mechanism is very vulnerable and not adequately protected for real off-road use. Rusty's CAD Skid Plate is constructed of 1/4" thick laser-cut steel that is then CNC formed for an exact fit. It installs easily using four existing bolt locations, so installation is easy. It even has a durable black satin powdercoated finish that will look good for years of use and abuse. Designed to take lots of trail punishment, Rusty's CAD Skid Plate is essential for any JL that sees time in the dirt.