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Rear quarter panel armor - FINALLY!

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by jcardona1, Nov 13, 2017 at 6:24 PM.

  1. jcardona1

    jcardona1

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    This is not going to be everybody's cup of tea so purists might wanna turn back now.

    For the past few years I've been wanting some rear quarter panel armor similar to what you see on the various Jeep platforms. Anybody who wheels their 80 will probably have a few scars and dents on her big ass by now, maybe even a few broken taillights. Mine is not as bad as the dents Nukegoat and 2fpower have earned but it's starting to get a few dents that will get worse over time. Yeah she's a wheeler, but I still want to keep the truck in decent shape for as long as possible.

    Earliest version I've seen of this was Action Jackson's rig with the squared off diamond plate. Not the best looking but it got the job done. The challenge with the 80 is that curvy behind she has. Because of all the bends and contours I knew I would have to leave it to the professionals. I'm sure any DIY version would have looked pretty bad.

    I reached out to a few local places until I found a guy willing to take on the job (MetalCraft Innovations in the Sacramento area). After a few months of trying to make schedules work I was finally able to get the truck in his shop. After letting him know what i wanted and doing some cardboard mock ups he drew it up in his fancy software program:

    [​IMG]

    The panel would end up being 10ga plate, a little over 1/8" similar to the Jeep armor. I think it will be plenty strong. After all, this is isn't built to protect the truck from a high speed collision. It's to keep the paper thin factory sheet metal from denting by merely rubbing up against a rock or a tree. The rub rail give it just a bit more room as well to hopefully avoid breaking the sliding rear windows.

    I knew I wanted the factory taillights gone for sure as one was already cracked. In it's place went oval LED trailer lights (from RuffStuff) and a flush mount 2x2 China LED pod. The yellow pod is used for the turn signals. I will be mounting another set of flush-mount LEDs in the tailgate to serve as backup lights, similar to what Apounder did.

    Before I get on to the pics, just want to give props to Mitchell at MetalCraft Innovations. He was great to work with and highly recommend him. He normally builds Jeep parts but if you take a look at his website you can see his fabwork is top notch. It is still TBD if he will be able to make these a production piece as there is a considerable amount of massaging needed to make the bends just right. Also, mine is more of a one-off as my fenders have had several inches trimmed away.

    Despite that though, he said he could make some more sets, maybe even offer a DIY version. But don't expect these to be $199 like the XJ quarter panel armor from the JC Whitney catalog. It's just one guy in a small shop making stuff by hand. I'd suggest reaching out to Mitchell if you're interested and see what he can do (website link with contact info above).

    Enough rambling, on to the pics. Over the next few weeks I will be unbolting these for the first time for paint. Thinking of going with a rattle can finish, similar gray color as my front bumper. I'll post updated pics here whenever that happens.

    :cheers:

    [​IMG]

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  2. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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  3. retrofive

    retrofive

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    Does that dynomat really help that poor ole speaker? :flipoff2:

    I do think it looks cool, but like mentioned in another thread; any concerns with dirt, debris, etc getting between it and the body?
     
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  4. BILT4ME

    BILT4ME

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    Now you need to find some girls to swing from those bars while taking pictures to make sure they will hold up.
     
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  5. jcardona1

    jcardona1

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    Dude that turn cardboard speaker can pump some serious bass.

    I'll not too concerned. Gonna paint the inner shell with some Monstaliner Chassis Saver I never used. Not intended to be an airtight seal, I can just hose it down periodically.
     
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  6. jcardona1

    jcardona1

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    I'm sure they'll hold up, but just to be sure, what size girls we talking here?
     
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  7. steffan

    steffan GOLD Star

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    I like it! It would be a lot of work but I’d like to do the whole body up like that
     
  8. mudgudgeon

    mudgudgeon

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    I think it's obligatory to use midgets for the kind of pics @BILT4ME is looking for.
     
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  9. retrofive

    retrofive

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    Or @Aloha Jen for the rest of us. :grinpimp:
     
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  10. LandCruisinMy93

    LandCruisinMy93

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    Wow! Just wow @retrofive. Why are you still here? Aren't you trying to sell your 80 and leave us :slap: you know you'll regret It and be back, they always come back.
     
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  11. jcardona1

    jcardona1

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    BRB, getting shipping quotes to Hawaii.
     
  12. baldilocks

    baldilocks GOLD Star

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    Nice Jose. I’ll give Mitchell a call and see about working out a DIY kit.
     
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  13. retrofive

    retrofive

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    :lol: Ya, i need to delete that 4sale thread.
     
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  14. LandCruisinMy93

    LandCruisinMy93

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    Don't you mean shipping costs FROM Hawaii;)
     
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  15. nukegoat

    nukegoat

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    Neat. I think those are pretty cool
     
  16. inkpot

    inkpot SILVER Star

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    You can find those LED tail lights pretty cheap at most big truck stores/stops.
     
  17. Fj81

    Fj81

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    Cheap, but if if you get good ones they can be $$. My Reitnouer trailer runs nicer ones than the run of the mill truck stop ones. They use peterson plugs and are weather sealed. Look waaaaay better than the cheapy ones when Lit up. BUT the size is pretty standard so they are easy to replace and even if you have to change the plugs.
    Here is a 2 wire peterson style plug and light.
    20171113_205008.jpg
    20171113_205015.jpg
    Here is a three wire female peterson pkug to standard truck stop 3 wire setup.
    20171113_205056.jpg 20171113_205047.jpg
    Note the three prongs have no weather sealing. The extra money on nicer lights makes for maintenance free lights!
    20171113_205148.jpg
    And you can add bling rings!

    The rig looks badass @jcardona1 all business!
     
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  18. Marine7

    Marine7

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    Yea, but the money I saved buying truck stop lights more than payed for a tube of dialectic grease, and a can of liquid tape! :flipoff2:
     
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  19. Red Merle

    Red Merle

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    Those are for towels!
     
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  20. Aloha Jen

    Aloha Jen SILVER Star

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    C'mon! I know I may have put on a few pounds lately, but certainly not enough to be testing the weight limits on those bars!!:frown:
    Do it!
     
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