View Full Version : Plasma cuttin' + MIG weldin'

05-05-2009, 11:33 AM
MHD (married Hilux driver) needs Budbuilt belly plate turned into regular skid plate.

Nothing fancy, one long cut to trim off tab for bolting to IFS skid and some reinforcement welded on. Material is just 0.120" thick, so don't need industrial strength junk here.

Reply with beer quantity requirements.

05-05-2009, 12:00 PM
PM me...

05-05-2009, 12:37 PM
I would happily offer but you'd have to operate the equipment yourself if you don't need it prior to a few weeks I would guess. Nathaniel's offer is a good one though!

05-05-2009, 03:00 PM
i'm closer

05-05-2009, 04:32 PM
I got the plasma and the welder, will be home 90% of the weekend if you want to come over and use it. LMK.

05-05-2009, 05:24 PM
Thanks all you guys. Dropped Nathaniel a PM and yeah, John, if Groucho is busy I will give you a call. Right now looking like Friday, Saturday, Sunday since tomorrow and Thursday after work both got filled today. It's really not a major mod, thinking like an hour or so. One long cut (about 3') across the width, grind off some paint and welding on a couple of reinforcement ribs along the remaining length (about 4'). Since it's sorta thin material, I don't trust myself to not warp the sucker, so experience is king here. I reworked the front skid to make it work with the ARB, it's 3/16" and yup my screwing around left it a little bowed...

05-07-2009, 10:39 PM
Photos of the skid and roughly what I'd like to do.

The part with the 'Budbuilt' and slots is what is going away.

The plate in the background of the 3rd photo goes from my front bumper, angles down and is the skid for the diff and lower control arms. This is 3/16" tin foil and you can see how much it's been worked! This is what Bud calls the IFS skid, it's the main front plow and takes a major beating on an IFS truck.

The other one (the one I am reworking) is the belly skid. It attaches to the t-case cross member (the main part with the big hole and 4 smaller holes) and angles down and attaches to the front skid. The problem is that it is not strong enough to support the truck and when I do hit it (and it hangs pretty low), it bends into my front drive shaft (see photo 2 with the circle, that's a rub point from the drive shaft tube). So I am just cutting back into a regular transfer case skid plate and take my chances on the having 8 inches of drive shaft exposed. It also messes up the air flow through the engine bay and I think makes it hotter under there.

The reinforcing part, well you can see how 0.120" skid plates, 33" tires, IFS and the Rubicon mix... I need to bend that corner back sorta straight (it just barely touches the exhaust pipe). Then run some sort of bracing along the edges. I think beefing up the folds should do the trick. The major part of the plate fits snug to the transfer cross member, which is a 5/16" thick hog chunk of steel that isn't going anywhere. So just the corners get binged up.

Yeah, yeah, the thing to do is just give Bud the $100 for a 3/16" skid plate, but I'm a cheap SOB and there's nothing really wrong with what I have. Plus I just know you fabricators like fabricating, right?

05-08-2009, 09:26 AM
Dave the offer still stands, you can come over tomorrow and we can work on it while I sell my junk at the garage sale. LMK.

05-08-2009, 09:48 AM
hmmm, instead of cutting it off, why not form a dimple where it rubs, and add re-inforcing ribs of .25 or .375 rod using hardfacing rod to attach them?

Saturday is out for me, as Cal has two games in the morning. I have several calls today, but I am home.

Sunday is mommies day, but laurie and her mom are going to the rockies. I THINK I will be working on the race-ped that day.

05-08-2009, 10:00 AM
Yeah, Nathaniel offered to help me with this and that is extremely generous. Thanks for that!

But looking at it last night it occurred to me that going way up north is probably more headache than it's worth for this. If I was making a nice, new skid plate a laser cut would be oh so super sweet.

As you can see, this thing is beat all to heck anyway, so some grinding isn't exactly an issue...

I was thinking about what you're talking about, John. Bud makes nice stuff but this skid has a couple of less good things, one of which is the small clearance to the front drive shaft. Sure, on IFS the shaft does not move much, but you need some space in there. When everything is new and straight, you can fit a hand between the plate and shaft. When things are all bent up and flexing (even IFS moves a little), things can touch. Particularly with thinner steel that bends pretty easily. The lower section with the slots has an upward bend in it, which pushes that corner into the shaft. It's a combination of things at work here.

I think it could be made to work as is with reinforcement, so maybe that's the way to go. Some more chin scratching is in order I suppose.

05-08-2009, 10:02 AM
Oh, John and Tom, I should ask before I swing by...

Which of you will have the Giro rocking on the TV?

Go Slipstream! It will be fun summer watching those guys in the classics and tomorrow is stage 1, the TTT.

05-08-2009, 11:07 AM
well the tv in the garage/shop doesn't have cable here... but I have universal, vs. and oln in the basement!

I have stopped following cycling, as I think it will make me get back on my bike, and I don't have time for it! (the riding that is)

Besides, things have gotten wimpy with all those sub 3lb frames and wireless watt level reporting...

whatever happened to a watered down coke, a cheese sammich and a steal frame????

05-08-2009, 02:41 PM
Oh, John and Tom, I should ask before I swing by...

Which of you will have the Giro rocking on the TV?

Go Slipstream! It will be fun summer watching those guys in the classics and tomorrow is stage 1, the TTT.

Not sure, but got cable in the house. I have been working on a TV in the garage but just hanging on it.

05-10-2009, 05:25 PM
ok so it's done.

It's good to have blacksmith tools and sh!t...

05-10-2009, 08:56 PM
Dang amazing.

Like John said when he got eyes on it, the before photos don't do justice to the waviness of the skid plate to start. He had the main section flat in almost no time, the part with the bent corner. It took a lot more to get the rest straight despite not looking as bad at first glance. The whole thing was torqued, mostly from two big impacts but also from my trail side attempts to repair. Like, oh, Cheeseman, Crash and me using a 4' long Hi-Lift handle to bend it away from the driveshaft or flipping it over and backing up on it... Not a delicate repairs. Turned out I wwaaayyyy underestimated the straightening needed!

All the bare steel is where paint was burned off as John heated the steel and relieved the stress. He'd run the torch with the rose bud over a section, get it cherry and it would curl up like a cheesy poof. Then we'd put it on the anvil (where my job was just to keep it flat, which even that I couldn't do right) and with a few well placed blows it would be flat almost instantly. He got creases back where they needed to be, took out dimples where they weren't.

Seriously, I have a major new appreciation for the art of blacksmithing.

He did have to pull out the TIG, the welds on the reinforcing plates weren't pretty enough for him just using acetylene. :-) There was a lot of steel and a #2 tip just didn't get it hot enough. Needed battleship sized torch tips!

Crawling around under my truck this morning doing test fits it just occurs to me how much my truck is a rolling show piece for some dang good metal smiths that we're lucky enough to call Rising Sun members and friends. Thanks guys!

05-10-2009, 09:08 PM
A few before photos. This was the dent he tackled first. Turned out that was less work than I would have thought to get out. Two rounds of heat, one to get the bend out and another to fix the crease along the edge.

05-10-2009, 09:09 PM
A couple more. These two show the twist through the lower section that he got out.