I think I wrote previously about the sad state of the undercarriage anchor points. I had wanted to order a new radiator skid and thereafter rework attachment points. With the holidays looming, and the reality that I really needed a full set and not just one, I decided to save my money and see if I could come up with something inventive in the near term to re-establish the locations where the weld nuts had failed and remount the skids. I believe I have succeeded.
|It might have been Keith's rig up at Pine Barrens that had one which inspired me|
|I forgot he had a nose and neglected to cut out that part of the tape masking.|
I decided I would take the opportunity to clean this up and return it back into service also even though I was going with a heavier duty cover.
|T-nuts. One original, one modified.|
Then there were other more invasive approaches of either cutting into the frame, rewelding the nuts and then welding the frame shut. There were approaches of fishing a bolt welded to a small plate and having the reverse mounting approach where a stud is always available below the frame and the nut is mated up. I wanted to avoid that though so as not to have to deal with sheered studs in the near future.
What I arrived at independently was to try to take these T-nuts, flatten out the head, and see about welding them to the frame. I thought, in the worst case, I might need to ream out the existing holes a bit to accommodate the body. As it turned out, the 1/4-20 size fit perfectly for the two engine skid locations without any drilling. The two other locations for the stock radiator skid were a little smaller of an opening. As I am not mounting a true radiator skid at this time, I just left those openings alone for the time being.
I went ahead and bolted up the silver skid. There was nothing special about that operation; so, there are no photos. I just got replacement hardware and was sure to turn the bolts so that the threaded portions were up towards the underside of the body. For some reason, the first go 'round, I had the front anchor locations with the bolts facing down. The one on the driver side ultimately had to be cut off to liberate that skid plate.
So the front was a special story, for which I reached back into the photo archives.
So I'm about as armored up as I was before.
I can hit some trails now and test out the new prowess afforded the truck via the recently installed traction aids. And I am one more critical step closer to trying to tackle the Rubicon. When I get the heavy duty skids on, it'll be go time.