Custom Belly Up Skid - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 50 Old 01-05-2009, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
Dogman
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Custom Belly Up Skid Build

I have been planning on building a skid for a long time. After looking at many other builds and seeing how other people did it, I made my decisions.

I found a massive (200lb.) piece of 3/16" scrap at the local steelyard and purchased it for $65. This is enough to do my belly-up and engine skid with a lot left over. One bonus about the piece I bought was that it had a 1" lip bent at 90* which helps to stiffen the skid without added weight.

My initial design was to use 3/8" along the frame rails so I could counter-sink my bolts. That didn't pan out (couldn't find 3/8" scrap) and I had the 1" x 2" x .120" laying around so I decided to use that.

The biggest challenge I had was lack of cutting tools. I borrowed a buddy's sawz-all and cut out my main skid. That was not fun at all and it was very difficult to cut straight. After some discussion I purchased a Dewalt 7" abrasive cut-off wheel and put it on my circular saw. Lots of sparks, but it worked like a champ to cut out my cross-brace.

The next real challenge was drilling the 1" holes. I had done it before with my drill press and a 1" hole saw, but it's just a huge pain. In retrospect I would rather do the solid stock in my original plan and use countersunk allen bolts. That would have saved much time and frustration (and broken bits and 1 burned up drill )

The cross-brace was cut from the scrap with another convenient bend which left me with an angle of about 6* - matching the angle of the tranny mount on the OEM skid.

Material:
- Skid and cross-brace: 3/16"
- Side Rails: 1" x 2" x .120"

Clearance gain of 2", TC moved 2".

Buddy = ChiliPalmer Thanks for the consultation, drill bits, welding tips, use of your MM175 and sorry about the burnt drill

I'm sure I'll need to notch the front for the driveshaft and I may brace the passenger side with a piece of angle, but it's very stiff with zero sag. I will be making an engine skid as well.

The main components


Side rails have a 1/2" hole on the top side and a 1" hole on the bottom side (to allow for counter-sinking the bolts).


Put together:


Mounted:




Comparison:





John 3:17

Last edited by Dogman; 01-06-2009 at 02:18 PM.
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post #2 of 50 Old 01-05-2009, 05:08 PM
ritjobbie
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Very very nice!

In terms of beer-hours, how long did this take you? I have a similar problem cutting metal--no plasma and not enough gallons in my air tank to run the cut-off wheel forever.

1995 YJ Rio Grande, 2.5L Low Output Engine

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post #3 of 50 Old 01-05-2009, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
Dogman
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I have a lot of hours into it (15?) but I have more time than $$ . The final fit/welding took the better part of a day. There was a lot of skid on, skid off.

I'm really happy about the 7" wheel on my circular saw, in the future it will help a lot for long cuts.

John 3:17
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post #4 of 50 Old 01-05-2009, 06:58 PM
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mmmm beefy. Too late now but you could have just cut the holes out on the edges of your plate with your circ saw. Would have done 6 holes anyway. Theres noting worse than drilling holes in thick steel such a pita. Thats what the hot knife is for (Torch) Make sure you clean up your saw real good or the guard might stick open. The one time i used my dads circ saw for metal it did. My dad cut a nice gash in our deck when he set it down. Bought a grinder after that

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post #5 of 50 Old 01-05-2009, 08:06 PM
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NICE

I like how you have your bolts recessed. Mine are getting pretty messed up but I don't have time to fix it now.

Did you reuse your stock mount? Hows the clearance above the trans?

Heh I re read and saw where you said the angle matched the stock angle. So I assume you did reuse the stock mount. Still hows the clearance? Any issues with the shifter?
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post #6 of 50 Old 01-05-2009, 08:25 PM
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Looks good all mounted up! I'll have to look for my camera so I can post up the few pictures we took at my house.

And don't worry about the drill - I'm the one that had the fan covered up...



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Oh man Chili. I feel like a recovering addict that just had a bag of blow, a bottle of Jameson, and a sack dropped in his lap. You screwed me man!
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post #7 of 50 Old 01-05-2009, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotch740 View Post
NICE

I like how you have your bolts recessed. Mine are getting pretty messed up but I don't have time to fix it now.

Did you reuse your stock mount? Hows the clearance above the trans?

Heh I re read and saw where you said the angle matched the stock angle. So I assume you did reuse the stock mount. Still hows the clearance? Any issues with the shifter?
Yep, stock mount. The clearance is fine. I planned on issues with the exhaust and TC shifter and much to my surprise, both are fine untouched. I'm glad I settled with the 1" drop, it really made it a lot easier. I kind of thought I would net more clearance, I measured the highest part of the OEM skid...maybe my measurements were off :shrug: I still have to pull if off to paint, so maybe i'll throw the OEM skid on and measure.

I think I'm going to have to throw a couple washers under the tranny mount as my TC is barely touching the skid. It's livable, but I'm going to fix it.

John 3:17
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post #8 of 50 Old 01-06-2009, 07:30 AM
Scotch740
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
Yep, stock mount. The clearance is fine. I planned on issues with the exhaust and TC shifter and much to my surprise, both are fine untouched. I'm glad I settled with the 1" drop, it really made it a lot easier. I kind of thought I would net more clearance, I measured the highest part of the OEM skid...maybe my measurements were off :shrug: I still have to pull if off to paint, so maybe i'll throw the OEM skid on and measure.

I think I'm going to have to throw a couple washers under the tranny mount as my TC is barely touching the skid. It's livable, but I'm going to fix it.
I had to space my 33 engineering mount up 1/4" due to the TC hitting the skid under load in reverse.

I netted 4" of clearance gain, but that was measured from the lowest part of the stock skid compared to my flat skid. I ignored the fact my bolts are now the lowest point of my skid. I do plan to recess them but want to get some solid stock to drop the skid slightly. Then drill 1" holes in the current skid and 1/2" holes in the solid stock. Basically like your original plan with the 3/8" stock.

Were you able to do this with your BB and no SYE? With the TC raise of 2" + the 2" BB is 4" of relative lift. Any vibes?
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post #9 of 50 Old 01-06-2009, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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I just received my SYE today. I'll be installing it this weekend and I'm waiting on my control arm bushing sleeves to get here so I can get those built.

John 3:17
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post #10 of 50 Old 01-07-2009, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Update:

After driving it more than around the block, I have decided that what I thought (by hearing) was the TC rubbing the skid, must just be TC/Tranny noise in general. I'm driving in FWD/4H right now until I get my SYE/Driveshaft installed and the noise I'm hearing sound like the extra TC noise you hear when in 4H. That and the fact that everything is a little closer to the body. If the TC were actually touching the skid, I believe it would be really loud.

John 3:17
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post #11 of 50 Old 01-07-2009, 07:01 PM
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so your driving in front wheel drive?

also, did you just mount your tranny/t-case to the skid? So just one piece?

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post #12 of 50 Old 01-07-2009, 07:43 PM
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Looks Great make me one for my YJ please.....
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post #13 of 50 Old 01-07-2009, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miguelitojeep97 View Post
so your driving in front wheel drive?
Yes. I'm installing my SYE this weekend. My final parts for my control arms come in tomorrow so I can build those and then I'm getting a front Explorer CV shaft cut down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miguelitojeep97 View Post

also, did you just mount your tranny/t-case to the skid? So just one piece?
The tranny mount bolts to the skid. I will take some more pics of the top side all welded up when I pull it back off this weekend.

John 3:17
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post #14 of 50 Old 01-07-2009, 08:25 PM
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I found my camera but my new laptop doesn't have an SD slot so I can't get them to the computer yet...



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Oh man Chili. I feel like a recovering addict that just had a bag of blow, a bottle of Jameson, and a sack dropped in his lap. You screwed me man!
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post #15 of 50 Old 01-13-2009, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
Yes. I'm installing my SYE this weekend. My final parts for my control arms come in tomorrow so I can build those and then I'm getting a front Explorer CV shaft cut down.


The tranny mount bolts to the skid. I will take some more pics of the top side all welded up when I pull it back off this weekend.

I'm interested in those pics. Subscribed.
Good work on this and the control arms.

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