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FJ80 Underside Protection

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by dsjackson, May 26, 2003.

  1. dsjackson

    dsjackson

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    I just replace our ’83 Jeep Grand Wagoner with a very nice ’93 TLC.  It has never been off road but that will change very soon.  The rocks here in southern Arizona are large and sharp so I am looking for some suggestions on under-truck protection.  

    In looking for rocker panel protection, I found the Slee Rock Sliders.  These seem very nice.  Are these a good choice, or am I missing some other good options?

    When I searched for skid plates, I only found the Slee Xfer Case Skid Plate.  Are complete underside skid plates recommend for the FJ80 and if so what are some good sources?

    Thanks in advance for any advice anybody’s got.
     
  2. Wrench

    Wrench One Bashed Up 80

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Good choice on a rig!
    Slee sliders are a good choice. But you could also go custom.
    The Slee Xfer Case Skid Plate is not very good IMHO. It just does not protect enough. So you will have to go custom there. No one makes complete protection yet.
     
  3. semlin

    semlin rocker

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    The consensus I have heard is Slee. Try searching old posts under "Sliders" and see for yourself. The two major problems with putting sliders on an 80 are the catylitic converters and the catylitic converters. They make it hard to hang a slider on the frame and they also need protection of their own which you will probably want to add with the slider. This makes hard work for DIY or a local shop with no 80's experience and probably not worth the hassle and no cheaper in comparison to slees effective bolt on specials.

    Apart from Slee there is a fellow named Hanna in California who is more $ than Slee though highly recommended but shut down for the summer.

    The following link will take you to George Scolaro who not only built his own but also pasted pdf drawings online so you could too. However, reports on the hassle of following those plans and fitment problems have caused me to hold off following them.

    http://www.geocities.com/george_tlc/

    Finally, Chris Geiger on this board works for http://www.allprooffroad.com which apparently is working on some weld on sliders for an 80.

    That's it. No one else seems to rate serious mention. ARB gets consistent negative reviews.

    As for the transfer case skid plate Wrench is the only person I've heard complain about them but I don't have one. I can tell you that apart from the cats and the muffler everything else under there looks bulletproof and hard to hit to me. I have also asked here and elsewhere whether diff armour is necessary ala toyota minitrucks and no one seems to think so.

    good luck
    Semlin (who thinks about armour a lot but has nothing but an arb bumper)
     
  4. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    dsjackson,

    The Slee sliders are your best option for bolt-ons. Everything they build is well engineered and very well built. I believe 4-Plus is in Southern Arizona. They do custom work for the 80 series and may have something in the way of sliders. There are several posts in the archives that discuss slider options. You'll have some good reading about the Hannas, LobsterFab, and George's custom sliders.

    The Slee transfer case skid plate is designed to protect the transfer case. Wench is the only person on this list and probably the only person in the world that has a problem with the Slee skid plate. It's not designed for protection of everything under the truck, just the transfer case.

    -B-
     
  5. Wrench

    Wrench One Bashed Up 80

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Yeah I may be the only one that hates them but why buy a skid plate that only protects the transfer case? Leaving the transmission pan exposed. Sounds stupid to me. A rock could easily pierce it. You need moreprotection under there. Not a measily skidplate.
     
  6. Rogue

    Rogue

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    If you are unhappy with the options, then design a good product and market it. WrenchFab Armor... Now that's an idea.

    I'm sure with your good reputation you would have quite a few customers. :G
     
  7. Wrench

    Wrench One Bashed Up 80

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Dude yeah that's a great idea!!!
     
  8. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    I'm with wrench here. I posted on SOR about protecting the tranny pan and wiring from branches that I've pulled from under there. Not all of us drive in a rock garden.
     
  9. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Hanna and Slee are in a dead heat for very well made sliders. For 93-94, Hanna gets the nod for his outstanding cats' cradle. Slee's transfer skid plate is damn nice.........
     
  10. Junk

    Junk

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Cdan - I wouldn't go with that cradle - even with the holes it looks like it would generate a lot of heat upward. Go tube!

    DS - congrats on the cruiser purchase - you'll be very happy. A full under skid plate isn't a great idea with these trucks. Think of the heat and all the other issues they present. The 80 series trucks are tough and can take a beating.
     
  11. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Rick & Wrench,

    So if a Xfer case skid plate does an excellent job of protecting the Xfer case but it doesn't protect the tranny and the cats and the oil pan and the gas tank then it's "not very good"?

    What am I missing?

    -B-
     
  12. Junk

    Junk

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    I have to agree w/ B - Christo's skid plate does exactly what it was designed for.

    You guys need to realize that while these trucks are super tough - you can't protect everything (things happen like happened to me yesterday). Sometimes you need a spotter that knows what to look out for.

    Personally I've mashed Christo's skid plate pretty hard and have never damaged it at all. I did paint mine green and wrote F - U on it, but that's been scraped off. :D
     
  13. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Junk,

    I live in the desert. I HAVE NOT had any issues from ehxaust system heat, to include a lot of high speed towing of a heavy boat.

    The early 442, like I sport, has a factory plate to protect the transmission pan.

    Oh, the Wulf has a valid point. It's a transfer case skid plate........... :eek:
     
  14. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    B,
    It's great at what it does. It is just very focused at what it does.
    As an example: you go to the hardware store to buy a screw driver. You find 2 choices, a standard 6" philips and one of the 6 in 1 types where you basically have 4 screwdrivers and 2 nut drivers in one. Granted the standard 6" driver will perfom better at it's one job but the 6 in 1 is more versatile, it does more.
    I haven't bought the transfer skid plate even when it was on special because I'm hoping for a more versatile plate to come out. Crawl under your truck and you'll find all the holes already there with captured nuts for a tranny plate and a full plate behind the cross member. I finally found the factory plates of these types in Demark on their trucks but the part numbers where discontinued.
     
  15. Junk

    Junk

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Tank - then just build one yourself. :dunno:

    Personally - I'd buy the single screw driver 'cause the 6in1's will always fail when you need them. Christo's is bomber - you need to realize that someday you will have to start looking at what your driving over. :eek: :slap: :D :D :D :D Seriously - all the protection in the world is great - but at some point, you need to realize that once in a while you need to put more thought into your line. :beer:
     
  16. Curran

    Curran SILVER Star

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Yeah, like that line that takes you deep into birfield breakin', winch frying' end my day early type mud ;)
     
  17. Junk

    Junk

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Uh, yeah, that would be it. :D
     
  18. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Well, from the horses mouth (or other side if you preffer). The skidplate was designed to protect the transfer case. There is not much more in that spot. If you extend it to the driver side, then you don't gain anything in strength, just a lot of extra metal.

    A skidplate for the tranny has been on the drawing board, but I have not had time to do it yet. There is a lot of captured nuts that can be used. However couple of problems is that the driveshaft needs to droop and that is right next to the tranny. It would have to be notched in that spot. Some other clearance issues are also a considertation.

    However, even if made, it will probably not be part of the transfercase skidplate, since that will be a bear to ship as a single piece. The UPS man won't like that, and everyone bitched about truck freight :G

    There is also the functionality point. The transfercase is right at the breakover point and when doing ledges etc etc, it tends to take most of the abuse. The tranny is pretty well tucked up in there, nad I have not personally even come close to hitting it.

    I do agree that sticks, roots etc etc can get up there and play havoc with the wires etc. But that is normally for those of you that play in the mud and trees. Not much of that out here. Problem with a full belly plate in those conditions, is keeping the dirt and muck out.

    So, maybe in the near future we will have an offering. Now that the ShortBus is built, we have some more time again.
     
  19. Junk

    Junk

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Then it's time to start braking more stuff to keep you busy. :flipoff2: .... or loan me Robbie for a few weeks :D - do me a favor and tell him I said hi.
     
  20. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Re: FJ80 Uderside Protection

    Junk,
    If I had any talet at all at metal fabbing I'd do it. However (borrowing from Bill Cosby) everything I made in metal shop class turned out to be an ashtray!
    Last summer I went out with a couple of friends in N. Addams MA. I had 2 choices, play greens keeper and clear brush all day or just drive through it. Well I drove through it and was doing great until a large branch speared into my undercarrage. No major damage but it started me to think of the plates on my old FJ60. Those pretty much covered everything and just keep the crap out.
    Honestly I don't see me ever buying the skid plate Christo offers as it is now. I've contacted a few shops in the area who will build up what I want it is just that I'd like to deal with a known good source when the time comes for the purchase.