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chequer plate


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2010
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took the remains of a subaru forester i have stripped of parts to a local chappy who takes scrap metal.
i had cut the body shell of the fozzie into about 8 pieces to load in trailer
whilst dumping the metal i spied some sheets of metal and mentioned i was after some metal to make underbody protection and sliders
he said i could have a 2mx1mx4mm sheet of chequer plate for my scrap.
excellent i thought, then on way home it dawned on me its aluminium... so i cant weld it with my arc welder...
at least it was free and am sure it will be usefull!

is £100 for a 2mx1mx3mm sheet....

Can you not get arc rods for ally :?: I know you can for cast :)
you can tig weld ally.

Or make some steel brackets/strengtheners and bolt the ally to them.
I have a 8x4 foot sheet of chequer plate in my garden. I also know of someone who has a sheey aboyt 20x12 foot in his garage :shock: Both must be worth a lot now.

"Or make some steel brackets/strengtheners and bolt the ally to them."

now that is a good idea! :dance: - all is not lost, and i have some of 4mm steel flat bars just over 1m long,
We do aluminium welding at my factory in Kenya.
U need a TIG machine, it is similar to soldering. If you want I can get you details of the rods that we use.
Just dont bend aluminium to much, it brakes quite easily.

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cheers Navraj

i'm not going to buy a TIG welder, since i dont intend to weld alu again
i am going to try and fabricate without welds - except for welds on steel brackets that will bolt to the alu

i know 4mm treadplate is a bit thin for bash-plates, but i am thinking treadplate will have a bit more strength than plain 4mm alu sheet, as the tread sections are 5mm thick
and with some steel bar braces should do the job of 6mm aluminium sheet.
I think that you are probably right Andy. 4mm with steel bracing so that any single, unspanned area is kept to a minimum should be pretty good.

You can actually MIG weld aluminium, but it takes some practice.

just been under vehicle to measure and compare with the plans for a certain fabricators SWB bashplate measurements i was provided with :whistle:
the LWB needs about 140cm long plates to bridge to crossmembers from just in front of steering rack, to behind transfer box - i.e. the rear bashplate to protect gearbox & transfer box

so the 200cm long sheet I have may not be enough to make a front skid plate too.... as i would only have 60cm x 100cm remaining after using 140cm x 100cm of it to make the rear plate.

but a cheat way with the front bashguard, maybe to bolt or rivet sections of the treadplate onto the underside of the factory steel bashguard to strengthen that, rather making a complete new one....
may also need to beef up some of the factory mounting brackets though if i went down that route.
If you've access to a welder, you could just stitch a nice thick steel plate down the middle of the original front plate. They are quite strong, but they tend to rust away. Over plating it would be very quick and easy and done well wouldn't look half bad either. It's well fitted, just needs beefing up a bit.

now - treadplate pattern downwards or upwards!?

if downwards - more likely to snag on rocks etc - but smooth surface fits better to underside of vehicle

tread-upwards, then smooth surface presented to rocks etc, but tread pattern to cross-members etc...
It'll smooth off after a few uses. Wouldn't worry about 'snagging'. However, I would determine which side you'd do any drilling from as with sod's law, you will right on the corner of a tread and end up skidding around with the drill bit. Mark and drill from the smooth side. Any bars etc would sit better on the smooth side too. I'd go treads outwards.