Iron Pig Skid Plate install

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by alvarorb, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. alvarorb

    alvarorb Color Geek in Charge

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    Guys,

    Today Andy and I spent a better part of the day installing my new Iron Pig Offroad Skid Plate.
    I had ordered it over two weeks ago. By Wednesday it hadn't arrived, so I called Lance (Owner). Lance is a very nice fellow. He told me that due to some mixup, it had taken longer for him to ship. But that I should get it before the end of the week. I told him that that would work for me. He also told me that to make it up for me, he had sent me a Iron Pig t-shirt.

    The plate came in yesterday. Let me tell you, this thing is beefy. It's 3/8" (9.52mm) think and heavy. For the last 3 years I've been a happy Slee Offroad skid plate user. But I bent it's mounting bracket. And it looked like next time I was on a rock, the plate would be on the T-Case. So time to upgrade and this new skid plate seems like it's the way to go. Along with the plate came a box with additional parts, hardware and a very cool Iron Pig T-Shirt.

    The skid plate comes as "oiled steel". Which means if you don't paint it, it will rust. Last night when I got back from work, I cleaned it with brake cleaner. Primed it and painted bright red. The skid plate comes with no instructions. It was a good thing that I spent some time on the phone the day I ordered it with Lance. And he walked me through the installation process. We called him today to freshen up, but they are closed on Saturdays.

    [​IMG]


    First I removed Slee's skid plate. After loosing the nuts that hold the tranny mount to the frame cross member, we lifted the tranny about an inch and a half. Then placed a jack stand under the rear output flange to support the weight of the tranny (and to keep it in place). Then proceeded to remove the cross member. The factory bolts on it were severely mangled from years of wheeling. Then using a angle grinder we chopped away the factory bolts that attach the tranny mount to the cross member. At this point my camera stopped working. Low battery. When I went to look for the battery charger, I realized that the IDIOTS who broke into my rig last week, took the battery charger.

    [​IMG]


    Then as we placed the skid plate into position, we realized that the bolts that Iron Pig sent were the wrong size. This meant a short trip to the hardware store. Luckily they had them. We also got a Hanson 5/16" 18NC high carbon steel plug tap to make new treads. And a 1/4" hard metal drill bit. Once back home we were able to place the skid place into place and mark the holes on the tranny mount so we could bore and tap them. The skid plate comes with a support arm that is bolted to the frame to give the T-Case part of the skid place more rigidity. A hole needs to be drilled for this arm to attach to the plate. So we marked it's position as well.

    We took the plate off along with the tranny mount. And Andy proceeded to drill and tap the holes on the tranny mount where the skid plate attaches to it. This perhaps was the hardest part of the whole job. It takes precision. And if you mess it up, well you need a new tranny mount. Then we took everything back under the rig to finish the install. Lance warned me that I might have to trim a part of the plate to accommodate his skid plate with Slee Slider's. Gladly this was not the case. Everything was a tight fit, but at the end it worked out fine. Just for kicks, I tried the camera one more time and I was able to get a few more pics. I wished I could have taken pictures of the whole process.

    [​IMG]

    I'm very pleased with the craftmanship of this product. I have nothing but good things to say about it. If Lance asked me what I else I would like to see next time I ordered from him, I would say this:

    Please include Instructions with the shipment and also have them on the web.
    Double check that you have included the right hardware, including a list of the included parts and hardware shipped.
    List special tools required to perform the job, like the bit to thread the new holes.
    And maybe offer a tranny mount exchange with pre-drilled and tapped holes

    Thanks to Andy for all his hard work. Without his doctoral precision skills, the skid plate would not have been installed. Thanks to Dclee for letting me use his Milwaukee drill. And my specially to Monica for letting me spend the whole day playing with my truck.

    More pictures at:

    http://homepage.mac.com/alvarorb/PhotoAlbum107.html

    Regards

    Alvaro
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2005
  2. NorCalDoug

    NorCalDoug problems solved daily...

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    Looks fantastic!

    All I got to do today was take the :princess:es to ballet class and fix my garage door.
    Looks like you and Andy had much more fun than I did :D
     
  3. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

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    Nice write up Alvaro! Good to have skilled friends and a clean driveway ;)

    I have this high up on my mod list

    We'll have to set up a sand bump at SnT for testing :)
     
  4. NorCalSam

    NorCalSam

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    Nice . Putting that on the mod list.
     
  5. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    nice!
    so the front is cantilevered then?
    what's with the purple gloves? you getting of the LX persuasion...? :D
     
  6. alvarorb

    alvarorb Color Geek in Charge

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    Eric,

    Those are not my hands. They don't make latex gloves that fit me.

    Regards

    Alvaro
     
  7. scottryana

    scottryana

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    Glad that it turned out so nice. Ironpig's skid plates looks nice and tough.

    Ryan.
     
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