homemade skid plates for NM

Inyo_man

Explorer
Since I wasn't able to find after market support in the way of Skid plates for my NM, I fabricated some.
I went back and forth about using alum. or steel, and decided on alum in the end.

For the sump/front diff. plate I started with the factory, plastic plate as a template.
I used 3/16'' (a bit over 4mm) in the T6 5052 Alum., since I needed to make the 60 degree Z bend in order to mount it the same as the factory plate. For the curves I used a jig saw with a coarse metal blade. Then filed and sanded the edges. I had a drill press to use, so the drilling of holes was very straight forward. For the slot mounts, I drilled the holes then made two parallel cuts up to the hole from the edge.

For the transmission pan plate I started with a cardboard template to get rough dimensions. I used 3/16'' T6 6061 for this, because there were no bends. For mounting it I used the factory tabs with welded on nuts located on the rear side of the cross member that receives the front diff. plate. These mount points had never been used. To mount the other side of the plate I drilled through the cross member where it pinches below the transmission pan. I drilled the holes in the cross member without dropping the member.
Using a right angle drill and a block of wood, I wedged the block of wood between the trans. pan and the cross member and drilled. If you have jack stands or ramps you could probably drill the holes with a standard cordless, but I have a right angle drill which made the job much easier. On this side I used through bolts with nuts.

Before the final install I tapped all of the factory tab welded nuts and replaced the bolts and washers with new ones.
This was a fun project.


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Inyo_man

Explorer
Very nice. Did you bend front plate yourself?
Thanks...I had the fellas at the shop where I bought the material do the 'Z' bend, since I don't have a break at my disposal. Since I use this shop occasionally, they only charged me a small fee for the bend on top of the cost of the material.
 

Inyo_man

Explorer
Very nice! That's one thing I need to upgrade/add to mine. Out of curiosity how much was the material?
Thanks...I didn't keep the tags from this job, so I'm not sure on the exact cost.
I'm fairly sure, however, that it was one of my 'less than a hundred bucks' jobs.
Right now I'm on a 'less than fifty buck job'...extended breathers for the transmission and transfer case.
 

off-roader

Expedition Leader
Where did you buy the aluminum and what unit/quantity was it sold or did you buy it from the shop who did the bends for you?

In the SF Bay Area I've found it difficult to source metals in smaller quantities for a decent price so I'm curious what you're finding. Is it safe to assume based on your forum name you're in Inyo County?
 

Inyo_man

Explorer
Where did you buy the aluminum and what unit/quantity was it sold or did you buy it from the shop who did the bends for you?

In the SF Bay Area I've found it difficult to source metals in smaller quantities for a decent price so I'm curious what you're finding. Is it safe to assume based on your forum name you're in Inyo County?
I bought the sizes I wanted, and the guys cut it for me.
I got a piece of the 6061 for the transmission pan plate 16''x24.75'', and a piece of the 5052 for the sump./dif. plate 26''x18.5''.
The shop I used is in Watsonville,CA- State Steel. Sounds like about an hour or two from your location.
The yard is a mix of fabrication space, storage for material, and a scrap yard.
They will sell you any size piece of almost any kind of material, and do the parts of your job that you don't have the tools for...like a good break that makes the job come out sweet. I know the fellas at the shop, so I can sometimes get quick things done on the side.
I have family in Ridgecrest, so we spend a lot of time in the Inyos, Whites, and surrounding areas, as well as the Sierras.
 
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RichardT

Adventurer
This is awesome, I know of a scrap metal place down here local in Orange County, I might hit them up and see how much they would charge to help with a project like this. I asked the fab place that's doing my bumper how much they'd charge to make it for me, and they said somewhere around $250....so if I could do this myself for under, or even near $100, that would be awesome!! Thanks for sharing!!:victory:

I only wish my truck were here right now, instead of at the shop so I could crawl underneath it and look, to be honest, I just about got out of my chair when I saw your pics before I remembered my truck wasn't in the driveway:sombrero:
 

CYi5

Explorer
Awesome work! I would love a set of aluminum skids for the T4R. Thanks for posting up the different types of aluminum you used. I would have had a blank look on my face when the metal man asked me what kind I was looking for. You're right, access to a good break makes any job turn out clean!
 

Inyo_man

Explorer
Cool project. How did you do the breathers and where did you extend them to?
To extend the breathers, I used fuel line. I got the ID of the fuel line big enough for the OEM breather line to "tightly slip into" the fuel line. Using a bit of gear lube on the OEM line assisted in making the two lines fit together well enough so as not to worry about them. I attached a small stainless hose clamp (without over tightening) over the connection. The rear diff. was extended up the outside of the gas tank filler neck and I popped it out behind the fuel door. It sits out of the way of the fuel cap so filling fuel is not a problem. The transfer case and transmission breathers were extended using fuel line as well and up into the engine bay, next to the fire wall. The front diff. is already up in the engine bay, however I took it higher towards the hood. All the lines are capped with a Toyota sourced breather- it's a small tight unit (part #90930-03136). The whole project was right around $20.
 
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