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Unread 07-09-2013, 07:13 PM   #1
bmackin
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2012 WK 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Posts: 17
WK2 Sump Protection Plate

I've created this thread to provide updates and gather feedback on the development of Chief Products 'Sump Protection Plate'.

As many of you probably know, WK2s only have a plastic (2011-2012) or plastic/felt (2013+) unit protecting the front underside of the vehicle. Sadly, Jeep & Mopar currently offer no skid plate protection for this area.

For many, this is one of the first parts you break off-road. It protects a critical area (see photos below) as well as holding the inner wheel well liners in place. Considering the dealer in Brisbane charged me $388.04 for a new unit, plus $4.56 for fasteners, plus GST, plus installation to replace the plastic unit when it broke off-road. I thought it might be a good idea to create a more sturdy version.

Here are a few photos:

STOCK VERSION (INSTALLED)


STOCK VERSION (BROKEN)


WHAT IT PROTECTS


WHAT IT PROTECTS 2


CHIEF PRODUCTS - PROTOTYPE V1 (INSTALLED - FRONT AIR DAM REMOVED)


CHIEF PRODUCTS - PROTOTYPE V1 (INSTALLED)


CHIEF PRODUCTS - PROTOTYPE V1 (OFF-ROAD TESTING)


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Unread 07-09-2013, 07:14 PM   #2
bmackin
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Chief Products 'Sump Protection Plate' prototype V1 is made from 6mm 5005 Aluminium (marine grade). Information we've gathered from testing and feedback so far has been excellent.

As you can see in the photos, unlike the stock unit which bolts to the bottom of the front frame member only, ours rolls up and over the frame member, making it difficult for dirt or rocks to get wedged between the plate and the front frame member. This is a common failure point for the stock unit.

On July 16th, I will be meeting with the fabricator to create prototype version 2. Here are the upgrades we currently have planned for prototype version 2.

1. Dome head or flat head bolts, to protect them off-road.
2. Increased strength, either through folds and bends in the metal, thicker aluminium or a heavier grade metal.
3. Drainage slots running from the front of the plate to the back, to increase air flow and provide better drainage for dirt, sand & mud. We've decided to go with slots front to back instead of holes, to protect against rocks or sticks getting caught in the holes.
4. Black powder coating.
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Unread 07-09-2013, 07:15 PM   #3
bmackin
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I would love to get everyone's comments and thoughts, especially on the following questions.

Steel or Alloy? Alloy is much lighter and more corrosion resistant, but also comparatively weaker. A steel plate would not only mean more weight on the front of your WK2, but also greater shipping costs.

Painted or unpainted? If we do a steel plate it will need to be painted, but an alloy plate could remain unpainted. So far the feedback has indicated that people don't want the plate to 'stick out' visually, so we've plans to powder coat it black. Of course this means scratches and marks would show up more and the cost of plate would be greater.

If the finalised Sump Protection Plate met all of your requirements. How many would want one? Would you be willing to preorder?

Our current price target is $350AUD, plus GST & Shipping. I am hoping to have them available by 1st August.

I look forward to everyone's feedback!

Cheers,
Bill
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Unread 07-12-2013, 01:25 PM   #4
txwest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmackin View Post
I would love to get everyone's comments and thoughts, especially on the following questions.

Steel or Alloy? Alloy is much lighter and more corrosion resistant, but also comparatively weaker. A steel plate would not only mean more weight on the front of your WK2, but also greater shipping costs.

Painted or unpainted? If we do a steel plate it will need to be painted, but an alloy plate could remain unpainted. So far the feedback has indicated that people don't want the plate to 'stick out' visually, so we've plans to powder coat it black. Of course this means scratches and marks would show up more and the cost of plate would be greater.

If the finalised Sump Protection Plate met all of your requirements. How many would want one? Would you be willing to preorder?

Our current price target is $350AUD, plus GST & Shipping. I am hoping to have them available by 1st August.

I look forward to everyone's feedback!

Cheers,
Bill
Access to oil drain plug and filter?

Sent from my S-III using JeepForum
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Unread 07-12-2013, 06:53 PM   #5
gabbagabba
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Great you are making this. I dont care what it is made out of. I would order one.
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Unread 07-15-2013, 07:30 PM   #6
gdash722
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Depending on the cost, I could be interested too. My plastic guard is broken and needs to be replaced. Metal would be highly desired.
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Unread 07-15-2013, 08:22 PM   #7
13ovsummit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txwest View Post
Access to oil drain plug and filter?

Sent from my S-III using JeepForum
Good question IMO. Obviously, an oil/filter change would be just a bit more difficult. But if that is of no concern, then probably a good mod. - for off-roaders especially.

Rob
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Unread 07-16-2013, 03:59 PM   #8
jeffreybehr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txwest View Post
Access to oil drain plug and filter?
The engineoil drainplug for my '13 V6 is accessed thru a hole in the steel skidplate to the rear of the plastic airflow 'plate' in front. I imagine the V8's plug is farther forward.

Bill, is your plate designed to work with the factory steel skidplates?
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Unread 07-18-2013, 02:28 PM   #9
bmackin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txwest View Post
Access to oil drain plug and filter?

Sent from my S-III using JeepForum
Quote:
Originally Posted by 13ovsummit View Post
Good question IMO. Obviously, an oil/filter change would be just a bit more difficult. But if that is of no concern, then probably a good mod. - for off-roaders especially.

Rob
For reasons of cost and strength there will be no removal panel for access to the oil drain plug and filter. BUT, the whole plate can be easily removed with 5 easily accessible bolts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreybehr View Post
The engineoil drainplug for my '13 V6 is accessed thru a hole in the steel skidplate to the rear of the plastic airflow 'plate' in front. I imagine the V8's plug is farther forward.

Bill, is your plate designed to work with the factory steel skidplates?
Yes our Sump Protection Plate is designed to work with or without the factory steel skidplates.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 06:12 PM   #10
bmackin
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Our first prototype for the Sump Protection Plate was 6mm 5005 Aluminium. It got the job done, but deformed during 'testing' (ahem... hitting a large rock off-road). We are still working with our engineers on the 2nd prototype. We've moved to 3mm hardened steel, protection rings for the bolt heads instead of dome head bolts and are investigating various manufacturing methods to increase strength and keep costs down. I'm hoping to have some more news for everyone soon.

We are also developing a 'Front Guard' for the area behind the front air dam, to protect the lower radiator, windshield washer bottle, ACC Camera and air suspension controller. I'll post more information about the Front Guard and Recovery Hooks soon. In fact, we just received the prototype Recovery Hooks from the laser cutters yesterday and we are just waiting on them to finish the mounting brackets.
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Unread 07-26-2013, 05:09 AM   #11
gabbagabba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmackin View Post
Our first prototype for the Sump Protection Plate was 6mm 5005 Aluminium. It got the job done, but deformed during 'testing' (ahem... hitting a large rock off-road). We are still working with our engineers on the 2nd prototype. We've moved to 3mm hardened steel, protection rings for the bolt heads instead of dome head bolts and are investigating various manufacturing methods to increase strength and keep costs down. I'm hoping to have some more news for everyone soon.

We are also developing a 'Front Guard' for the area behind the front air dam, to protect the lower radiator, windshield washer bottle, ACC Camera and air suspension controller. I'll post more information about the Front Guard and Recovery Hooks soon. In fact, we just received the prototype Recovery Hooks from the laser cutters yesterday and we are just waiting on them to finish the mounting brackets.
Awesome. If you are feeling really motivated how about some rock rails that are cheaper than mopar but longer than RRO? Those would sell like hot cakes

Snds great!
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Unread 07-30-2013, 10:30 AM   #12
WKdeuce
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Awesome product development.
For reference, I have a 1/4" thick center skid on a less than 4000# Wrangler. It's a 1997 with the smaller 2.5L motor. It has deformed with hard use. To make a plate that will never deform is likely not worth the size/weight consideration it would require. My thought is, if you hit something hard enough to deform a skid plate, and only the skid plate deforms, you've built a proper part. Now, the OEM plastic part isn't going to protect anything in the long run, I would imagine the rock you bent your prototype on would have caused a lot more issues were it not for your product.
I have considered building something similiar from 3/16ths steel, but I'll stay tuned to this, depending on your final cost it might be something I'd order.
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Unread 08-08-2013, 07:22 PM   #13
gdash722
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My roommate had left over 3/16 plate from building his CJ-7 front bumper, so I decided to go ahead and replace my very broken plastic splash pan with a metal skid. I have designed a plate over the past 3 days, mocked it up using cardboard, and will hopefully be making and installing the steel plate over the weekend. I'll post pictures once I complete the project.
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Unread 08-09-2013, 06:08 PM   #14
gdash722
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Design is complete, just need to physically make it now. It may not be until early next week, but as a teaser, here is a picture of the design...
splash-pan.jpg  
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Unread 08-09-2013, 06:54 PM   #15
fwdjeep
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Nice
Like it

Possible price ?
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