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Discussion Starter #1
So I bought my 96 2.7L Reg Cab 4x4 from a good friend for DIRT cheap. ($1800) a few years back. Was a solid truck, but needed a ton of TLC, which I've almost covered all of.

He rear ended a dish network van before I even met him, which left the truck with some damage that I want to fix. I've already replaced the bumper. I'm still looking for a hood, but if I can't find one the right color I'm going to get any color and just Line-X it or something.

Now here's where I need help:

I had to remove the skid plate to change the front diff fluid, but I can't get it back on. The reinforcement part where it bolts up to is bent to hell. I was going to just use my 3lb mini sledge, vice grips, and a prybar to try and get it straight, but if anyone has more experience in this kind of situation I'd appreciate some help. I can pay you or buy you beer or w/e works. I can also trade labor? I've a proficient mechanic that's worked on VW Golfs, Jettas; E30 BMWs, all year Nissan 240sx, Rx7s, etc etc

How I got it:


Bumper Replaced:


Best picture of bent bracket/mounting point for the skid plate:


I'm located in Chico, but visit Sacramento regularly to see my girlfriend. I can also make the trek up to Redding if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nasty oil leak on the engine.
That was the oil filter housing gasket, which was leaking a ton of oil. I've since fixed that and now it only leaks PS fluid from the passenger side boot on the rack. Once I have more time after finals I'm going to go to town with a brush, rag and a ton of carb cleaner.
 

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Couldn't you just replace that piece? Get one from a junk yard. If it's the piece I'm thinking it is, it just bolts onto the frame. That way it is perfect. I can't imagine they charge you very much for it.
 

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Like stlstrs said its a bolt on piece so whether you want to mess around with straightening that one or replace it with a straight one it can easily be removed. You might get lucky with a want to buy ad, anyone with a trail gear bumper and probably other after market bumpers has had to remove that part.

Stlstrs, where's yours?
 

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So that's a bolt on bracket in the 96?
Huh. I guess the 95.5-97 has that just like the 01-04.

The 98-00 that piece is weld on.
Nah, it's probably just the 01-04's that are bolt on. Sorry op guess it's going to take a little more work.
 

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So that's a bolt on bracket in the 96?
Huh. I guess the 95.5-97 has that just like the 01-04.

The 98-00 that piece is weld on.
weld-on...mine got cut off :p
wouldn't be hard to sawzall one off at a wrecking yard and weld it in his truck

I can do this but I'm quite a drive for him. :p
 

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weld-on...mine got cut off :p
wouldn't be hard to sawzall one off at a wrecking yard and weld it in his truck

I can do this but I'm quite a drive for him. :p
IMO, serious wheeler or not, replacing that bracket with a stock piece would be a waste of time. 3/16ths steel is a much better option.
 

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IMO, serious wheeler or not, replacing that bracket with a stock piece would be a waste of time. 3/16ths steel is a much better option.
best is to replace it with some rectangle tube and then build a set of REAL skids ;)
 

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95 1/2-97 are bolt on as well. If you have access to tools build one it's very simple. Back when my truck was ifs I built one with some 1/4 inch angle iron and did not even have a welder at the time.
 

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Going John Galt
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95 1/2-97 are bolt on as well. If you have access to tools build one it's very simple. Back when my truck was ifs I built one with some 1/4 inch angle iron and did not even have a welder at the time.
makes replacement very easy...unbolt the old, build and weld in a new :p
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I didn't even realize that it was a bolt on piece..I checked an it is. I guess I should have looked a little more in depth ahead of time. I plan on getting some aftermarket skids eventually...so would welding a better bracket be my best bet?
 

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I didn't even realize that it was a bolt on piece..I checked an it is. I guess I should have looked a little more in depth ahead of time. I plan on getting some aftermarket skids eventually...so would welding a better bracket be my best bet?
"best" is to weld in a section of 2x3" x .120wall rec tube. that way you are ready for a SAS eventually :D
skids can be built DIY for around $100...or less depending on metal source.
http://www.ttora.com/~ccorley/Misc Pics/Peetie, skids/Peetieskids/

I cut out my OE section and welded in ("boxed") the tube way before the swap. it helps the structure up front especially with a heavy winch/bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'll check that all out...I don't have any interest in doing a SAS though haha. I'm content with my 5100's and Toytec springs since I haven't even had a chance to offroad it. I plan on keeping this truck for about 5 more years before I get a newer one.
 
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