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Aluminum Sliders?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by g34rh34d, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. Feb 4, 2012 at 2:45 PM
    #1
    g34rh34d

    g34rh34d [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Anyone consider Aluminum sliders? Obviously you would use a decent thick walled aluminum tube (Square or Round) and build them just like any of the normal sliders.

    I was talking to my neighbor today who does a lot of aluminum custom Gas tanks for diesel trucks using the spare wheel well. (Very cool BTW.) I broached the subject with him on the idea, and honestly for the light amount of off-roading I would do anymore this may be a nice option. We could purchase some nice 1/4" wall aluminum tube from the local aluminum supplier, and then use a 1/4-3/8" L angle for mount points.

    The idea being that these would be stronger than just nerf bars or step tubes, and give you a 75% solution for mild off-roading, yet save some weight.

    I think the major considerations would be dissimilar metals oxidation between the frame and the L angle, or possibly the aluminum turning dull, unless they were painted or powder coated.

    Has anyone ever considered it/made any?

    Pros/cons?
     
  2. Feb 4, 2012 at 2:48 PM
    #2
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Staff Member

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    I would think they would be more prone to gouging than the steel ones.
     
  3. Feb 4, 2012 at 3:04 PM
    #3
    zul

    zul Professional Goofball

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    If you get decently thick aluminum I believe it would hold the truck off of rocks, but it would gouge and scrape like nobody's business. I doubt even a thick bed liner or powdercoat would keep aluminum with a bunch of weight on it from gouging.

    Now if you really want to save weight without sacrificing strength, have your buddy fab up some sliders out of Titanium! :laugh:
     
    DrFunker likes this.
  4. Feb 5, 2012 at 5:58 AM
    #4
    g34rh34d

    g34rh34d [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yea, that is a good point.. One or two good rubs and they may end up looking like string cheese. I wonder if some 6061-T6 would be resistant enough for some occasional brushes against the rocks. I need to look into the properties a bit more.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Feb 5, 2012 at 6:03 AM
    #5
    g34rh34d

    g34rh34d [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Lol yea, in retrospect aluminum may just be a bad idea.. But that is why I figured I'd at least get a discussion going on the topic.

    Now Titanium.... hmmm. lol!

    http://www.titaniumtubing.com/
     
  6. Feb 5, 2012 at 6:30 AM
    #6
    Twizter68

    Twizter68 AMS1(AW), USN retired

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    For what you would spend making one set out of titanium, you could buy 4 sets of steel sliders...and the titanium ones would not last any longer than good quality steel ones. It's not the wonder metal some folks think it is.
     
  7. Feb 5, 2012 at 9:12 AM
    #7
    badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to do a lot of actual rock sliding, then steel is better because it's harder. For the other 90% of us that just want protection without a ton of weight, aluminum would be great. You can match the strength of steel at much lower weight. The tensile strength of 6061-t6 is 45K PSI, typical low carbon steel hot rolled is 47K and typical low carbon cold rolled is 53K. I would go thicker on the aluminum by maybe 25%. You wouldn't see much strength advantage over steel unless you are talking 4130 (chromoly) or similar. I would powdercoat it to prevent corrosion. Aluminum weighs 1/3 of steel, so even with a slightly thicker wall you're talking a weight savings of around 60%.
     
  8. Feb 5, 2012 at 9:15 AM
    #8
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    I'd go at least 3/8" wall if it's even made. Also use square tube for the mounting legs. If you aren't coming down on rocks ever and just light use I think they would work. I just wouldn't hi lift off them if you used 1/4" wall.
     
  9. Feb 6, 2012 at 4:16 AM
    #9
    g34rh34d

    g34rh34d [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I realize that - I was actually kidding. The reality is for the cost of materials (aluminum or other) it would cost the same if not more than to just buy a set already made up. (That is the reality, and probably the way to go!)

    Thanks
     
  10. Feb 6, 2012 at 4:21 AM
    #10
    g34rh34d

    g34rh34d [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You touch on my original thought. I don't wheel much at all anymore, the idea for my use would be for camping and the yearly hunting trip, just for some added rocker protection.

    Thanks for providing the tensile strength data!
     
  11. Feb 6, 2012 at 4:24 AM
    #11
    g34rh34d

    g34rh34d [OP] Well-Known Member

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    That makes sense. If you were to do some out of Aluminum, you certainly would have to beef up the wall thickness to account for the softer material. IF I were to make some, regardless of the material, they would have to provide enough strength to use a high lift jack.

    Thanks
     
  12. Feb 6, 2012 at 5:50 AM
    #12
    Zombie Runner

    Zombie Runner Are these black helicopters for me?

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    Also with alum. sliders you would have to make them bolt on. Cant weld aluminum to steel right?
     
  13. Feb 6, 2012 at 6:11 AM
    #13
    Maticuno

    Maticuno Weapon Mechanic

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    This was my thought. You would have to build them in some way that they would bolt to steel mounting brackets welded to the frame. Maybe some smaller diameter steel tubing that would slide inside the aluminum tubing and then bolts go through both.

    If we're talking unconventional materials, go with aluminum main body with tungsten carbide added to the sides that would actually make contact with the rocks.
     
  14. Feb 6, 2012 at 9:03 AM
    #14
    badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    Properly designed you would not need more than 1/4" wall. Where people miss the boat is by copying a steel design in aluminum. When you change the material you need to adjust the design. More extensive use of gussets, etc. You will need extra attention at the welded joints. There is no reason that you can't build an equal strength slider at a 60% weight savings.
     
  15. Feb 6, 2012 at 9:06 AM
    #15
    G scott04

    G scott04 ...

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    This is brilliant! bolt on aluminum sliders. I only want sliders to dent door flingers anyway, mall crawlin ftw.
     
  16. Feb 6, 2012 at 10:13 AM
    #16
    Zombie Runner

    Zombie Runner Are these black helicopters for me?

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    thats what tube steps and running boards are for :p
     
  17. Feb 6, 2012 at 10:14 AM
    #17
    ruggedT

    ruggedT The Sticker Guy Vendor

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    I made a set of aluminum skids. Everyone I spoke to about them said they wouldnt hold up at all, iv been bashing them since. 1/4" t6061 plate. Skip to 4:00 in the vid


    [​IMG]
    http://www.youtube.com/embed/Q3K1WfWi85s
     
  18. Feb 7, 2012 at 4:24 AM
    #18
    g34rh34d

    g34rh34d [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My intention was a bolt on slider regardless of the type. I prefer that. And you are correct, you cannot weld aluminum to steel.

    Thanks
     
  19. Feb 7, 2012 at 4:29 AM
    #19
    g34rh34d

    g34rh34d [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Aluminum...: It ain't just for the malls anymore... :rimshot:

    LOL
     
  20. Feb 7, 2012 at 9:00 AM
    #20
    badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    They said that because they have never done it. Opinions don't require experience. I've used aluminum in skids and bumpers.
     
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