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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Do you want fairly cheap skid plates, that look stock, offer twice the protection or more of stock skidplates, still weigh less than a .25 inch skidplates? Want easy install, with minimal fitting? This may be the cheap trick for you. I purchased a second set of stock skidplates and doubled them up.

The pros are:

Fairly cheap, total project costs were about $100 including 20 bucks for shipping,
Light weight both skid plates together weigh about 28 pounds,
Offer .25 inch protection at a fraction of the weight.
It looks completly stock, and fits OEM brackets, hangers, and screw holes

Cons:
Will dent easier than .25inch skidplates but if fastened correctly will still offer the protection.
Time may take 10-20 hours depending on how much time and effort you want to put into this project of making them look nice
Equipment, I made mine with a mig welder, but you could fasten them together with rivets or flathead machine screws if you didn’t have a welder however it will rust quicker and you won’t be able to reinforce it the way I did mine.

I have pictures documenting the build up, but I am still trying to figure out the best way to go in regards to getting them on the web and then linking them.

These are the steps I took build the back skidplate, you know the one, its really flimsy and weighs in around 1.5lbs.

What I did was took 3/16s inch rod, you can find it at any hardware store and used it as the main reinforcement lengthwise. I cut, bent, contoured the rods to fit the bottom part of the stock skidplate. I made them contour along the edges, as well as fit all the way up to the round part in the center. I put 4 pieces on each side.

I then laid 14ga sheet metal (again it can be found at the hardware store) in between the 3/16s inch rod, then I welded them both the rod and the sheet metal down to the bottom plate. As a side note you could rivet in heavy guage sheet metal, or use machine screws but you won’t be able to make it water proof on the inside and thus the potential is to rust faster, may wish to use an rustproof type paint with epoxy or something along that line to increase the life of the skidplate. Second hint, this is a great first time mig welders project, however you will want the lowest heat setting that allows you to weld but not blow holes in your sheet metal, a higher heat setting will also cause more warpage of the sheet metal which may give you minor fitment problems after you finish.

Time to work on the top part of the skidplate. Line it up with your bottom one and drill holes in the top skidplate to match where you put your 3.16s inch rod and your sheet metal. Cut the brackets off the front so the top of the skidplate lies perfectly on bottom reinforced half. Weld it together, filling the holes.

This is where it can get quite tedious if you choose to take this route. I decided to make mine as tight as a ducks butt, meaning waterproof. I welded up every single circle, as well as the edges because I didn’t want it to rust of have water laying inside of it to rust it out from the inside. This took the most time and then grinding the welds away to make it look pretty took several hours as well. If your welder isn’t set up right, as I found out, you can really glob up the holes which requires lots of grinding to make them look stock and OEM again. I had LOTS of fun learning to weld this project.

Do your minor tweaking by bolting it up and then paint it with your favorite can of rattle can, viola cheap, stock looking skid plates, at a fraction of the weight, with the protection of ¼ inch. When finished, this skid plate weighed about 9lbs.

I have pics I can e-mail, just don't have a place to put them on the web yet.

edited to add some clarification points.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just got back from trying the skids out, other than a few dents, scratches, they are intact, look fine. I will pull them off tomorrow, look them over real well, repaint them and take some more pictures.

I went to Texas, Fort Hood tank/ Humvee trails, some fairly rocky sections, deep ruts created by tanks and tracked vehicles, a few rocky stream crossings. It rained for 4 days prior, and most of the really steep stuff that I had driven before was too greasy for me after the rain, even with the rear locked my stock truck was no match for the 4-5 inches of greasy mud that was every where! Some of the rocky sections had some medium sized ie 10-15inch bolders to maneuver over and around, so I did scrape from time to time and bang the skids pretty good a few times as I slid around in the mud on the rocks. I did drove through a couple of steep walled trenches that were about 3 feet deep so the front skid plate and lower bumper got a taste of the dirt and rock as well again other than scrapes on the plastic part of the bumper and a little paint missing on the skid no apparent damage.

Most importantly it was lots of fun, my daughter had her arms up in the air going "weeeeeeeee " as we trudgjed through some of the deeper mud puddles and shallow stream crossings, my wife on the other hand was screaming "Oh God!!!"

Other than a few scratches from the shrubbery, and the skids tasting the rocks no real carnage or damage. Oh well better luck next time.
 

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my wife on the other hand was screaming "Oh God!!!" That's pretty good!

Mine usually says.."I'll walk this section", no thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
TacoCrazy said:
my wife on the other hand was screaming "Oh God!!!" That's pretty good!

Mine usually says.."I'll walk this section", no thanks.
LOL My wife may have considered walking a few times if the mud had not been ankle deep! :D
 
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