Aluminum sliders?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by RedmondCruiser, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. RedmondCruiser

    RedmondCruiser

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    Is there a reason why you don’t see aluminum armor? Is it too brittle? Is it too expensive? It would be nice to get the protection but also keep total rig weight down.
     
  2. Walking Eagle

    Walking Eagle

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    Aluminum is soft and rocks would get big grooves gouged out of it. It'd save some weight on sliders, but you'd have to put a sacrificial strip on the underside. Also welding aluminum is much more dificult, and most home fab guys just aren't set up for it.
     
  3. NorCalDoug

    NorCalDoug problems solved daily...

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    I make full use of my sliders. Mine are Slee's -- made of steel. I have dents in them from heavy use. I wouldn't want to know what they'd look like if they were made of aluminum. Wouldn't they be expensive to produce if you wanted similar strength as steel?
     
  4. chip7238

    chip7238

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    Aluminum is pretty soft - for a slider, it would take a much thicker wall than steel to support the weight of the vehicle. I'm not even sure it would be possible to make aluminum sliders that work, but if it were, the additional Al needed for strength would outweigh the thinner steel by a long shot. Plus, there are economic considerations...additional Al = more money, etc.
     
  5. chip7238

    chip7238

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    Doug, ya beat me to the punch...
     
  6. lx450landcruiser

    lx450landcruiser Moderator

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    i wanna see some one make stainless ones that would be sweeet and super bling
     
  7. Brentbba

    Brentbba Former Golfer SILVER Star

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    Hmmm.....Doug, ok that's from getting in and out of the truck, but how are they on trails. hehehe :flipoff2:
     
  8. NorCalDoug

    NorCalDoug problems solved daily...

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    More attractive than yours :D
     
  9. Brentbba

    Brentbba Former Golfer SILVER Star

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    At this point, I'd agree. :D Yours show some lovin' mine don't......yet! :D
     
  10. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Aluminum sliders, that's a good one. You would probably be better off taping bananna peels to the rockers.
     
  11. leonard_nemoy

    leonard_nemoy

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    I was planning on making my roofrack out of aluminum but it would of been about 800 dollars instead of 150 so I just used steel.
     
  12. Junk

    Junk

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    The whole idea is to make sliders as sturdy as possible - beefy and can support the whole truck being dragged over rocks on them.
     
  13. speyrod

    speyrod

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    Aluminium doesn't slide well over rock it has a tendancy to stick, at least it does in drift boats.
     
  14. elum

    elum

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    aluminum is purty soft.. now titanium.. that's hard.. maybe a tad brittle in comparison to steel.. and more expensive for sure.. but weigh lighter.. heh heh
     
  15. Eskimo

    Eskimo SILVER Star

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    There are some grades of Aluminum in the 70xx series that slide alot better than say, 6061 t-6, but it's still softer than steel.. and over time, it does become brittle.

    A friend has a 70xx skid on his buggy, and though it's lighter than mine, mine will slide over rocks better. (his is 3/8" alum, mine is 3/16" steel)
     
  16. cruiser97eric

    cruiser97eric

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    I know the arguments for steel sliders are strong, but I am also thinking about aluminum sliders in order to save weight.

    To my knowledge, the 6061-T6 aluminum has about the same tensile strength as the A36 mild steel many people use for home projects, but it is only 1/3 the weight. So even if I used 1/2" thick aluminum the weight would be lower than if I use 3/16" thick steel. I also like the fact that I won't have to paint or powder coat the finished project.

    What I am thinking about is using rectangular tubing with 1/4" thick wall, and possibly bolting on a 1/4" or 1/2" thick aluminum plate on the bottom side that can be turned over or replaced altogether as it gets chewed up by rocks.

    I am also considering the possibility of using extra slippery plastic on the bottom, such as UHMW PE or nylon, instead of or in addition to the aluminum plate. Has anybody heard of doing such a thing on sliders before?

    I am not concerned about cost because I have been collecting cheap surplus aluminum from local junkyards for years and I already have all the material I would need. I also have large surplus pieces of thick UHMW PE and nylon that I could use to cover the bottom.

    Welding the aluminum isn't a problem (I have TIG equipment), but I would try to use bolts whenever possible because I know welding weakens the T6 aluminum in the heat affected zones. Using bolts also makes it easier to replace damaged parts and to modify the design in the future. Any bolts would be stainless steel to minimize galvanic corrosion. The combination of aluminum and stainless works well on antennas so I hope it would give good results on sliders exposed to the elements too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2007
  17. Sc0-

    Sc0-

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    Aluminum, stainless, and steel.... For some reason that doesn't sound right. With all the effort to use Aluminum for sliders how light would the end product be and how long will it last? Someone here had a pic of some MetalTech sliders which has a good sized bend in the top tube, even Slee's slider tubes can take a bend so strength is paramount in a slider design... (Depengine on aluminum grade and heat treating if you are inclined is that some will bend while others will SNAP.)

    Would think the teflon strips would be meaningless unless you want to climb VERY slick and smooth obstacles otherwise they would just gouge and scrape off.. Would be better to use a stainless skin over the slider but then why all the effort to use aluminum. I would stick with Steel and FWIW would look to save weight by fabbing aluminum body panels, brackets, housings, Ti exhaust/intake.
     
  18. fjfar80

    fjfar80 GOLD Star

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    Sounds interesting...I know a lot of buggy's have used "plastic" for full-body skid plates in Baja style events, etc. but, I am not sure how it would work when in contact with large rocks...interesting question though...I don't think it is just a matter of being "slick" I think you have to consider the friction factor with rock's sometimes having less than perfectly smooth surfaces and the fact that the LC weighs a few pounds more than a racing buggy...I am sure some of the more "physics" oriented members of the board can comment on the friction factor and applicability of plastic on sliders...
     
  19. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 SILVER Star

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    Use steel tubing and fill them with helium to offset the weight.
     
  20. Firedog

    Firedog

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    Now that right there is FUNNY:D
     
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