I did the design for this one on the sideline for quite some time, but since measurements online were nowhere to be found, I simply bought a plate and started bending and cutting. Fitting as I went along.
Starting out with a 4mm steel plate, 700mm wide by 650mm long. I bought a second piece of 700mm wide by 450mm long to make a cover for the gearbox, which will probably happen some time later.
I first measured the distance and angles I required and then built a cardboard model to get the dimensions right. Then I had the plate bent in 3 places.
Below is the main shape cut out. I tried to get the plate to fit as snugly while still clearing the intercooler.
Dry fitting, before cutting the holes:
Old vs New:
The front cut-outs I did with a grinder and a metal jig-saw. (Since all the lasercutting shops were closed for the holidays... ) After a light coat NS5 etch primer, but before the coat of gloss enamel:
I am busy adding some belly (skid) plates to the front bash plate. There will be 3 plates in total (Bash plate plus 2 belly plates) which will overlap like fish scales from the front to rear. I wanted to make one continuous plate for the gearbox, but installation weight and handling will become a problem.
I used 4mm plate for all. Another option was to use 3mm plate with additional crossbends or some stiffners welded in, but I settled for the straight bolt on 4mm plate.
This first pic is the bash plate lying on the second plate which covers from the bash plate to the suspension crossmember. Note that the holes for the rear mounts must still be drilled (as well as bigger 50mm vent holes if needed)
The rear plate covers from the crossmember to the gearbox support crossmember. The blue circle shows the clearance cut-outs for the lower suspension arms. The yellow circles are clearance cut-outs for the steering rack mouting bolt and the front diff. The plates hook onto the front crossmembers and then swing up to be bolted. This makes installation for a one-man-show (like myself) a bit easier. ;D
Plates are 700mm wide but the rear plate also have 100mm wide 'wings' for additional protection. The third plate will be bolted at the rear OVER the gearbox crossmember with 4 x 12mm bolts in tubes (left over from my rock slider installation...) The front of the plate will be bolted through the suspension crossmember through existing holes.
I installed the plates and everything fits like it should. Now to take it off and give it some vent and service access holes as well as a good lick of paint.
The middle plate needed a 40mm sq tubing spacer to fit the profile of the suspension crossmember. I also added round tubings for the mounting bolts.
As mentioned, the plates have a hook bend in front to assist with installation.
Pic of the middle plate's front:
Pics of the rear (third) plate's hook bend:
The rear of the middle (second) plate and the front of the last plate are held by the same two 12mm bolts through the second crossmember of the front suspension.
I made brackets with welded nuts so that you can install the bolts from one side only. It is a bit difficult to get access once the plates are installed.
Here you can see how the bracket will go over the crossmember:
Completed third plate:
Installed view from the rear:
Another view from the rear showing up to the bash plate. Note the overlapping of the plates.
View from the front:
Side view of the bash plate. Note the nice clearance of the intercooler brackets ;D
Money well spent. Bashplate and belly plates work like a charm...
I added an inspection/access hole under the sump so that you don't have to take off all the plates to do an oil change.
I simply cut out the required bit and added some tabs and a welded nut and a bolt to keep it all together.
View from below: