Make your own skid plate

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Thread: Make your own skid plate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Buffalo, NY area
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    Make your own skid plate

    I've just about put the finishing touches on the poly skid plate on the Chief. The bottom was cracked in a few spots, and quite frankly, I feel there is no "ultimate fix" to a cracked bottom of you want it to be waterproof, and want to be able to actually use an AATV for its intended purpose. Other fixes include riveting steel to the body(heavy), using fiberglass resin and mat (OK, but doesn't stand up to abuse well) and other methods, but I wanted something that would really take what I wanted to dish out on the machine.

    The skid plate is a full 1/4" thick HDPE that is in two pieces. I would have used one sheet, but it had to be cut for shipping. It turns out that two pieces was a bit easier. Its held on with 72 (or so) steel shank waterproof rivets that RI uses on their machines. I was dismayed that I couldn't get the poly to wrap up around the sides well enough to incorporate into the axle flanges. It's plenty strong, though. I'm just not entirely pleased with how it terminates so abruptly on the bottom.

    The forming was done with a heat gun. It works tremendously well, as long as you're patient. There was a lot of force with jacks to bend the poly and hold it in place once it was good and mushy. It incorporates the rear trailer hitch, and it has two threaded drain plugs I've added since the pictures were taken. The first time I had it out (and many times since then) I've been forging through the brush and found that I suddenly stopped forward progress altogether. Each time, I was centered on a different large boulder. No cracking, thumping, creaking or anything. It just rides up it and stops. There's virtually no deformation in the body, either. I can jack up the entire machine with a floor jack right in the center of the body. It was quite a bit of work, but well worth it to keep the 'ol gal around for a few more years. There's no water around here yet, so I haven't had the opportunity to check for water-tightness.

    I recommend it to anyone with a body that they're thinking about junking because of lower tub issues. The pics aren't great, but you get the idea. More pics in my gallery...





    Last edited by Mike; 07-15-2009 at 10:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2007
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    A 2x6 under the body and jacked up with 4 floor jacks in strategic places was the key to forming it to the bottom. Here are a couple more pics (also in the gallery) of how it came together. No laughing at my equipment.

    Hey, is that a RIM hiding back there???





    Last edited by Mike; 07-15-2009 at 10:00 PM.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2007
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    The poly is 1/4" thick... it's easier to bend it in more direction than once than aluminum, and it does slide over stuff pretty nicely. I really like the abrasion resistance, and the fact that you can't really "dent" it, unless you're doing something really nuts.

    I wasn't sure what the outcome would be and how well it would conform, but I'm super pleased. The threaded drain plugs (no pic yet) really round it out. I hope I don't shear them off on something, but I don't do a lot of heavy rock-cruising, aside from the "practice rock". With this plate, I've tripled the amount of material on the bottom of the machine, with a weight gain of under 12 pounds. A solid trade-off, I think. The next one, if I do it, will be a bit cleaner. My arm still needs to heal from pulling the 72 steel-shank rivets, 99% of which were done on my back underneath the machine. No pneumatic riveter here, folks. (flexing and pointing at a full 6" diameter bicep...)

    The HDPE is very maleable when you heat it up. You can actually bend it around with your hands if you have some nice heavy leather gloves on. Focusing the force with jacks and blocks of wood really make it go easy.

    I had the whole thing riveted up before sealing it with black silicone. The goal of the silicone was mainly to keep debris from getting lodged in between the skid and the body, not for waterproof-ness. The rivets have a rubber seal on them to aid in the waterproof-ness, so it should be close to water tight with or without the silicone. The problem with silicone is that it doesn't adhere to either poly or ABS well at all. It'll peal right off. I left a small gap (<1/16") in between the poly and the ABS to get a bead of silicone to work in the gap. As it cures, it should take the shape of the gap, and be difficult to wrip out.

    ~m
    Last edited by Mike; 07-15-2009 at 10:02 PM.

  4. #4
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    Note: You can read the original post here --> http://www.6x6world.com/forums/attex...hem-alive.html
    Last edited by Mike; 07-15-2009 at 10:02 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Ohio
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    Where did you get your material and bout how much did you have I the project?
    I have my tub and frame out seem like now would be perfect time to
    Do it!
    Don

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    shenendoah valley,va.
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    that's really cool and a super job mike . it should last a long time . and i like your tractors . i wonder if a machine was upside down , could the hdpe be heated enough that it would form itself over the body ( kind of like vacuum forming ) ? have fun , miss you at busco . johnboy va.

  7. #7
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    Ontario-Prince Edward County
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    Wow! Nice job Mike. I like how it maintains the center valley. You said "it incorporates the rear hitch", I'll say . That skidplate ain't coming off. Congratulations.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Holy cow guys, I wrote all this about 12 years ago. I don't remember where I got the original HDPE sheets, but several places like McMaster Carr and plastic supply warehouses sell them. I think the sheets that I've used over the years usually ran about $100 for a 4x8' sheet. I never went any thinner than 3/16" and I've done them on the Chief here, the Attex 8x8, the 980 and the Newt.

    John, it's tough to get plastic hot enough all-over such that it'll drape over and conform nicely to a body shape. I find that heating up a small section at a time (maybe a couple feet square) and then forming it with clamps and weight work best. i'll try to find some pictures of Alyssa and I putting the skid on the Newt. That one was a bugger.

    Last edited by hydromike; 03-25-2019 at 10:03 AM.

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