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Unread 06-05-2011, 04:48 PM   #1
skain8
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Wj Belly skid build - prototype

In the prototype phase of my belly skid build. Looking for opinions/comments to help me improve on the design before I break out the torch and welder.

Material will be 1/4" steel. The skid is being mounted to the Clayton subframe and tucked up as high as possible for protection without interfering with the transfer cas, cat or muffler. I have a full muffler set-up with my Clayton's link set-up since PA (Berks County) won't pass it here with a turn down. My local muffler guy did a helluva job to keep it up super tight. Went with a 14" oval case and he did some nifty tube work with the pipe to avoid any clearance issues.

My concept for the skid, as pictured, is to weld 3 1/4" tabs to the subframe on each side, and have the skid bolt-on to the tabs (one bolt per tab). The cardboard mock-up is pretty rough, but shows how it will mount, the size, and overall design. It tucks up there damn high, and is even higher than the xmember. The lip of the skid will be welded of course, a bit larger than mocked, and the skid itself will bolt from the outside through each tab.

I was thinking that a bolt through design was better than using self-tappers into the subframe, especially since it will be coming off & on every once in a while for driveshaft & transfer case maintenance. I'll drill a few drain holes in the skid itself as well.

The pictures are not the greatest, and were taken at an angle upwards, so its somewhat difficult to see everything clearly. Let me know what you guys think, any suggestions, hate it, love it, etc... Thanks.

5.5.jpg

4.4.jpg

1.1.jpg

2.2.jpg

3.3.jpg

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Unread 06-05-2011, 05:01 PM   #2
Trevino
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Looks good. About the only option for someone running the Clayton kit is kevins off road, so its nice to see another option. It's difficult to see in the pics just how much it covers but it looks good.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 05:13 PM   #3
GraKee99
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Are you going to brace the center section of it all or just use a flat piece?

I am about to build mine so curious. I really like this design.
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Unread 06-06-2011, 06:07 AM   #4
skain8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraKee99 View Post
Are you going to brace the center section of it all or just use a flat piece?

I am about to build mine so curious. I really like this design.
No brace, just a flat piece. I think with the 1/4" material it will be fine. I looked into this quite a bit and couldn't find any with a brace, and most use lesser material.

Only downside is that I may need taller springs after I put this in place.
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Unread 06-06-2011, 07:18 AM   #5
tsconver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skain8 View Post
No brace, just a flat piece. I think with the 1/4" material it will be fine. I looked into this quite a bit and couldn't find any with a brace, and most use lesser material.

Only downside is that I may need taller springs after I put this in place.
but they put bends and dimples in them to add strength, a flat piece that wide is going to flex in the middle unless you roll all four edges. Plus it is going to be heavy as hell.

i basically did a pan on mine but made it out of square tube and then skinned it with 11 gauge reinforcing critical areas like right under the transfer case. It is in my build.
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Unread 06-06-2011, 09:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsconver View Post
but they put bends and dimples in them to add strength, a flat piece that wide is going to flex in the middle unless you roll all four edges. Plus it is going to be heavy as hell.

i basically did a pan on mine but made it out of square tube and then skinned it with 11 gauge reinforcing critical areas like right under the transfer case. It is in my build.


You'll be bending 1/4" with that long of an unsupported span.

I used 2"x2"x1/4" angle iron down the length/width to add strength (mine is 1/4" steel as well). I hit it pretty hard and it hasn't bent yet.

I also built mine in two pieces. One pieces covers between the transmission crossmember and the front half of the transfer case. The second piece covers from the back half of the transfer case and ~16" back from there (as far back as I could w/o hitting the drive shaft on the skid). I also made the two pieces interlocking so with the front piece up, the back pieces slides into it and holds it up there so I am not supporting 60 lbs while trying to put in some bolts.

Good idea on using bolts with nuts instead of self tappers. I drilled/tapped into the clayton subframe rails and have stripped out 3 of the 6 bolt holes When I get off my butt I'll be drilling out the holes and welding in nuts instead.
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Unread 06-06-2011, 09:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArloGuthroJeep View Post


You'll be bending 1/4" with that long of an unsupported span.

I used 2"x2"x1/4" angle iron down the length/width to add strength (mine is 1/4" steel as well). I hit it pretty hard and it hasn't bent yet.

I also built mine in two pieces. One pieces covers between the transmission crossmember and the front half of the transfer case. The second piece covers from the back half of the transfer case and ~16" back from there (as far back as I could w/o hitting the drive shaft on the skid). I also made the two pieces interlocking so with the front piece up, the back pieces slides into it and holds it up there so I am not supporting 60 lbs while trying to put in some bolts.

Good idea on using bolts with nuts instead of self tappers. I drilled/tapped into the clayton subframe rails and have stripped out 3 of the 6 bolt holes When I get off my butt I'll be drilling out the holes and welding in nuts instead.
i drilled and tapped as well, none have stripped yet but have not had to take it off yet either.
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Unread 06-06-2011, 11:05 AM   #8
skain8
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Thanks for the input, guys.

So if I use some angle and weld it to the underside like ribs do you think that will keep it from bending? I also could shorten the length (front to back) quite a bit to cover just the transfer case and cat, which I'm sure would help quite a bit. Problem is, I'd like to protect the muffler.
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Unread 06-06-2011, 11:28 AM   #9
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Excessive eat build up under/in the floor (from the exhaust) might be an issue to with that much covered. Especially when in heavy traffic.
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Unread 08-08-2011, 07:22 PM   #10
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Update

Using some of your suggestions, I redesigned my belly skid build. Biggest concern was strength and rigidity since the skid is so large, but tweaked the design to fully address that issue.

1/4" plate. 1/4" angle spanning the length of the sides, which will be welded to the plate. 1/4" flat stock for the tabs, and also for the angled pieces spanning the front/back of the skid. I also picked up a small lower profile piece of angle which will be stitched down the center for more strength and rigidity. 1/4" bolts, 3 tabs on each side, will be the mounting points. Overall design is the same. I've had IRO's xfer skid for a few years and that thing weighed a ton. Honestly, this won't be much more than that, and will provide much more (and more low profile) protection.

Picked up the materials at the local scrap yard, which luckily is right near my house. Place is huge.

jy-002.jpg

The materials -- 163 lbs steel at .40/lb. Can't beat that. Obviously not going to use all of it, but extra is always nice.

jy-003.jpg

Hope to begin some work on it this weekend.
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Unread 08-09-2011, 07:28 AM   #11
ArloGuthroJeep
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Nice! Too bad it is so rusted though.
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Unread 08-09-2011, 08:35 AM   #12
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Nice! Too bad it is so rusted though.
Just surface rust. Grind it off with a flapper disc and it'll be good as new.
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Unread 08-09-2011, 08:53 AM   #13
skain8
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Just surface rust. Grind it off with a flapper disc and it'll be good as new.
Or I'll just leave it so it matches the rest of the undercarriage.
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