My home-made skid/underbody protection plates

AndyCook

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I've been cutting up the 4mm aluminum tread-plate I was given the other week to make under-body protection on my land cruiser.

So far I have made and fitted the transmission plate, haven't finished smoothing off the edges or adding additional bracing.

Started to work on the front plate, I have slit the sheet to allow me to bend it in the middle, i need to think about bracing that with some steel strips.

I have looked at peoples photos of ASFIR plates and other material. The ASFIR front skid plate has a bracket/support, to which the plate attaches to car - this has two sets of holes, front and rear to allow M12 bolts to fit to the vehicle.

I cannot figure out from the photos i have seen, where these attach. Do they attach where the recovery hooks go?
and do they interfere with these?

some pics of my back skid plate

1.jpg


2.jpg


3.jpg


4.jpg


Tommo has shown a photo of the bracket with pair of holes

Image0152.jpg
 

Tommo&Claire

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Yes mate, that part you see at the back, that bolts into the recovery point holes and then the sump guard bolts into that.
 

Chris

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Hey Andy, looking good. Yes the front bar bolts to where the recovery eyes go. Now it all depends on whether you have an A bar, or a winch box etc as to whether you can get all that back on. it can get a bit tight. On Lil Blue, I had the plates, the winch bumper and the recovery eyes all back on there with longer bolts and some 1/2" spacers. But, yes, that's where they go. Have to say that the 4mm does look a little thin, but it all depends on what you do with the vehicle, remembering of course that what come off was complete rubbish. Real rock bashing might make a mess of that, but general skidding and sliding off road shouldn't be a problem. Goes to show juts how over priced the shop bought stuff is!

The key here is keeping down the unsupported spans to as little as possible. So a little extra bracing or support across from one rail to the other will work wonders.

Chris
 

AndyCook

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cheers for info on the bracket location gents and other info.

I might just end up using the existing steel front bash guard, and riveting my treadplate to that, with two bends, one under front diff (where asfir and existing plates bend) and near vertical bend at the front. I would ditch the rear section of the front skid plate as thats pretty rusty anyway and just use the front part. i would also need to cut two holes in the aluminum to allow access to the two bolts that mount under front diff on the factory bash guard.
rather than making my own steel bracketry

I have several metre lengths of 6mm thick by 40mm or 50mm steel bars I am going to use to beef up that rear plate, and any surplus treadplate i will cut into strips to make extra braces.
I haven't done much rock-bashing up here, normally its treestumps and stoney tractor ruts i have to deal with. but for furture forays to peak district and pennine bridleways might need the stronger bracing.

won't be bothering with the upturned edges that the ASFIR plates have for example, as i can't do a bend like that!

yes the shop stuff is a bit pricey. this 2m by 1m - 4mmthick treadplate sheet would have been £100 (i got it in exchange for a subaru forester bodyshell for scrap) and its enough for me to make both front and transmission plates - a 6mm sheet might have been £130-150 i guess, not sure what a 3mm steel sheet would have been. ASFIR plates would be £500 for that?.
 
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Chris

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As we have said before Andy, ASFIR are expensive for actually very little 'design' as they call it. They could have saved quite a bit by not profiling their name into it and cutting all those service holes that I then had to fill in. The turned up edges do give a little more rigidity to the plates but not much. It would have been nice to have actually filled in the sides a little more to stop all the crud getting in there. At least being flat makes them easy(er) to hose out. Some really effective side slider rails will also enhance the under body protection and take the weight off the plates in a big bash.
You can just over plate the tank protector too if you've anything left.

Chris
 

AndyCook

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FRONT plate progress

and to continue my budget bashplates build.

I have been working on the front one tonight, cutting and bending to shape the treadplate and adding notches and holes to access bolts and clear front wishbones.
I have started to bolt the 4mm treadplate to the factory bashplate.
In the central front area of the treadplate I will probably add another square of surplus treadplate to make it double thickness as there is a big gap here between it and the curved factory plate.
darn drill bits are starting to get blunt now...


front1.jpg


front2.jpg
 

DaveWall

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I know this may sound stupid - but I think it might have been a good idea to put the tread plate on the other way up (smooth side down) if you do ride a stone its gonna be like trying to drag a cheese grater over it.....

:)

Just a thought - does look good like this though :)

Dave
 

AndyCook

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i thought about that and tried it - but it was a lot harder to get a flush join with the underside of car / existing bash plates with the tread side against it - having tread outwards seems the better option,
 

AndyCook

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Added angle-iron side bracing to the main plate, and some steel bars (hidden from view) to strengthen it
will have to swap the hex bolt heads for smooth ones at some point to avoid snagging and damage on rocks

under2.jpg


and fitted the front bashguard, to which i have bolted a slit-cut and then folded aluminium treadplate, to match shape of the factory guard. I also riveted a second plate behind this at the main span.

under1.jpg
 

ignat

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Looks good! :thumbup: I'll be doing the same with some steel.

Was wondering if its worth cutting some holes to aid airflow etc? I notice the stock plate has a number of holes (and has proved useful for spotting a radiator leak :evil: )
 

Sarge001

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I guess, this mod smooths out underbody aerodynamics. Did it affect the mpg in any way? :D
 

AndyCook

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The extra weight offsets to air smoothing benefits on mpg I reckon
 

Michael Montgomery

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Great custom mod there well done. I had a smaller version years ago when I had the winch up front.
 
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goodoldboy

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I guess, this mod smooths out underbody aerodynamics. Did it affect the mpg in any way? :D
MPG ???? If you need to ask....seriously any savings will be marginal. If you want better MPG maybe you should consider a Yaris?
 

Sarge001

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MPG ???? If you need to ask....seriously any savings will be marginal. If you want better MPG maybe you should consider a Yaris?
Look, in december I go for a 10.000km trip, due to the size of the vehicle, I made a full time bed in the back for 2 persons with parking heater and all the stuff that we need for the trip. We will sleep in the car for 2 weeks.
For a trip this long, the slightest MPG difference makes a huge impact on the budget, that is why I was asking about the topic.
 

SteveJB

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Any improvement on mpg is a good thing how many here have gone for egr delete after market exhausts and tunit type boxes me i got two of them plus 6mil alley bash plates plus roof rack and tow big trailers so if i can save a some fuel its worth a go everybodys got a favorite biscuit:)
 

diggerdave

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But as the old joke goes... If you want to get to fuel effeciency, I wouldn't start from here :auto-driving::icon-biggrin:
 
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