So to start with a little background on why i built this skid plate. When I went to buy my 09 dcor I was disturbed to see that the lowest part of the truck is the exhaust crossover that is routed under the transfer case. This has to be one of the stupidest things I have seen in a while. I got the truck anyway because I figured one little flaw was ok. After a few wheeling trips into the mountains I noticed the exhaust tubing was a little flatter than it had been when i got the truck and had some good divits in it. That meant it was time to get a skid plate. Well since I don't have $400 for a allpro skid I decided to build my own.
From Skid Plate_1
The only tools I had down at school with me were a flame thrower for killing weeds, a $10 Angle grinder from harbor freight, a mini sledge hammer, and basic hand tools. Oh yeah and a jack that can't actually get my truck off the ground with out 4 in of wood under it. I figured what the hell i would try anyway.
So to start I went to a used building supply place and picked up 18" of 4.5" 1/8" walled steel pipe for $5.
Since I didn't have a vice big enough to hold the pipe i put a 2x2 through the pipe and screwed the 2x2 to a piece of mdf.
My plan was to mount one side of the pipe to the frame next to the exhaust pipe and the other side of the pipe to the same place the transfer case skid plate attaches. I know this second location might put undue stress on the transfer case if i drop the truck on it but it will work until i can get home to a welder and some real metal.
I started by cutting a 2" chunk out of the pipe and from there started trimming the pipe to fit under the truck. Sadly I was working alone so I didn't have anybody to take pictures of this step.
After all the cutting was down I used the flame thrower to heat the metal and then the sledge to bend the tabs so they would mount flush to the frame.
From Skid Plate_1
I then used some of the left over metal to make straps to mount to the transfer case skid. After I did a test fit i took everything off and painted them all with KBS coatings rust converter. I had some of the paint sitting around from coating my fiance's jeep and figured why not use it. KBS claims it will bond to the metal and never come off. We will see.
Just a note about the coating. Don't let it get on your skin. i don't care what you do it will not come off. last time I used it I made that mistake and had black splotches all over my arm for 2 weeks.
After letting the paint dry overnight I used some grade eight 3/8" bolts to put everything together.
The clearance on the exhaust pipe is about 1/8-1/16 of an inch, and the clearance from the ground to the skid plate is 8.5".
All together I am happy with it for the tools I had. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet but hopefully will sometime this week.