Stainless Steel for underbody protection





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  1. #1
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    Default Stainless Steel for underbody protection

    Good day all,

    I need some assistance.

    I do some pretty wild off roading / 4x4ing in my Jimny. Last weekend I seriously bent my transfer case underbody protection, Causing it to push up and damage my transfer case wires. It's a serious 4mm steel plate, that is angled as well. So it's pretty strong. With the jimns weight (~1 ton) I am amazed that it bent. However I suspect it's due to the chassis mounts actually bending and not that the plate is not strong enough.

    Here is the transfer plate. (this is after bending it back by driving over it with a big jeep back and forth.) It bend on the left hand side close to the bolt holes.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    However the issue is that it mounts to the transfer case mountings, and all the force is then put on them. They are not designed to hold up an entire car.

    Here is the chassis mounting after the impact. (The black bracket is my rock slider and it is not bent, the tab welded to the chassis is bent up roughly 15 to 20 degrees.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    So my idea is to either modify or redesign the bash plate in a way, that it spreads the force / load directly onto the chassis. not just the transfer case mountings.

    Here is my thinking:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Red is extending the plates, so that they go over the two main chassis beams (spreading the load), and the blue is going to be small welded ribs, just to give the flat panel some strength.

    I am also maybe considering putting a 2 or 3mm nylon type plastic sheet on the bottom of the plate, just to aid the plate is sliding along. Steel on a rock gets some pretty good grip.


    Now that part all seems fine (in my head), however what I am stuck on is:

    Mild steel vs Stainless.

    I am personally a big fan of stainless, it's really not that much more expensive and even so I think it's worth it. Merely for the point of not having to paint it, especially a part like this where it gets scraped by rocks regularly.

    So I am pretty sold on stainless, but what i'm asking is maybe someone can convince me otherwise.

    Pros of stainless:
    • Does Not rust
    • Don't have to paint it
    • Less prone to bending, (Plates shouldn't bend in my opinion, cause they end up damaging what they there to protect.)
      • Some people would argue against this, saying you are going to break your chassis or something else. With jimnys weight, I truly believe any plate should be able to take a 2 ton knock. if it was a fully loaded land cruiser I would understand.

    Looking forward to maybe hearing from someone with experience who has maybe tried stainless steel plates before?

    Thanks
    Last edited by Zapnologica; 2019/01/19 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Improved post
    Suzuki Jimny 2015
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Stainless Steel for underbody protection

    3CR12 could be a better option. Harder stainless cracks easier. 3CR12 still needs to be painted. If not it will only form surface rust in any case.
    Pieter Kemp.
    2011 Isuzu 300d-teq 4x4 d/c
    Home built Blapsie caravan.
    The decision you make today, will determine the road you walk tomorrow

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Stainless Steel for underbody protection

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieterk View Post
    3CR12 could be a better option. Harder stainless cracks easier. 3CR12 still needs to be painted. If not it will only form surface rust in any case.
    I would not worry about cracking of SS. It is slightly harder than mild steel, but that would not make it crack under this application. Cracking is mainly from fatigue, where SS is worse than mild steel. If you want something more resistant to bending, get higher carbon steels, or thicker sections. Paint them
    Mike Lauterbach

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Stainless Steel for underbody protection

    I know Stofpad who is a member on this forum do CNC bash plates , gearbox and diff plates out of thick aluminium for Ranger and other popular makes. Available off the shelf
    Perhaps check what they have for the Jimmy
    Ford Ranger Supercab 3.2 auto 4 x 4
    Blinkgat camper, Stofpad sump and gearbox guard,ironman snorkel,maxxis bighorn,firestone air springs
    Mazda MX5 _ sold after 5 happy years
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