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on my cj3a I am keeping the under seat tool box and gas tank. so the sm-420 and spicer 18 are staying under the tub. rather than a body lift, I'd like to keep the tub pretty much on the frame. so the 18 will likely hang down as is common. the stock crossmember looks like a rock anchor and I don't have a skid plate.

should I just make a skid plate and use these stock parts, or graft some tubing to the bottom of the frame an inch or two lower the whole length and build a flat belly skid across the hole thing. it will be lower, but smoother to drag over stuff, or am I just thinking too much?
 

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Tough call. I cut and stuffed everything trying to get a flat crossmember on my frame, stuff just wouldn't go up that high. If I would have built the frame out of 5" tall tubing I could have probably got it all flat.....

More than likely the, SM420 at the drain plug is the lowest point, it's a shame to have the entire skid hang down that far if you don't need it to.

I would probably have the skidplate bent leaving a 8-10" flat in the middle and then sloping up to the factory frame rails. If you could pull it off I would probably have the ends bent so that the belly pan wrapped around to the sides of the frame. That way the hardware to attach the skid would be protected from the rocks and the replaceable belly pan would act as a rub plate for the bottom of the frame rail. Don't forget to extend the pan over the engine oil pan. Also, on the ends of the flat behind the transfer case and ahead of the oil pan make sure to leave a tab and bent it up at a 45 degree angle or so.

If you could make the transmission crossmember independent of the belly pan all the better.....
 

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Fred,

I am building a sub-frame for mine. I am mounting link mounts to it as well, but mostly it is to pass under the giant donkey dick of an NV4500 with the goal of a flat belly. I'll try to get some pics up soon as the sub-frame is partially constructed already including the trans mount.

EDIT: Keep in mind to, that I threw my original frame away, so my frame rails are only 1-3/4" tall right now. That being said, even with the stock frame rail height I would have to do something to protect the NV4500.

Scott
 

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Fred can't you just go down the hall and ask Rick. :flipoff2:

Seriously though I think flat bellies are a bit overrated. yes they help you slide over rocks, but they can also cause you to high center (if they hang lower at the center than they need to). I think a good easily removable skidplate that is not flat but with smooth transitions (ie no 90* bends hanging down) is a good compromise for a rec wheeler... However the flat skid plate is also easier to build, and that is worth a ton.
 

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You may want to consider extending whatever skid plate you end up with beyond the parking brake drum. The stock skidplate does not go that far. The picture shows some damage I occurred in some rocks. I did not notice anything unusual while on the trail, but back on the road, the vibration was horrible beyond first gear.

I have since heard of others who have experienced this damage also.

(This picture was during dis-assembly. Thus the missing skid plate and nut.)
 

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Flat belly's are not period correct :p
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ha!

I am so anti PC (Period Correctness). The bay area is breeding this idea that being PC is going to save the world. But think about it, the last time you were out with some PC folks what were you doing? Fixing their problems most likely. Patching together their dilemmas, and holding their hands when they feelings got hurt by the non PC. Are they "cooler"? Yeah sure, but unless your PC is going to bring back all the :rainbow: colors and day-glow shock boots I think your PC is just :rainbow:

:flipoff2::flipoff2::flipoff2::flipoff2::flipoff2::flipoff2:

oh and tell Mello I want to see him in a painter's cap, bell bottoms, and a hyper-color shirt when he's driving his PC Jeep.:D
 

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Well good thing I wasn't able to get everything flat to the frame on my build then.....I was going for period correct and all :flipoff2:
 

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Seriously though I think flat bellies are a bit overrated.
Agreed. I think my belly skid hangs down around 6" below the frame and my tub sits 3/4" above the frame. I like to keep my SM420 low for a low COG, thats alot of weight to shove up high :flipoff2:

I rarely get belly hung except for the steepest waterfalls which Im usually on the winch anyway.

Here is a picture of when I was building the skid/crossmember
 

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Just poking fun....but if my belly was that far below the frame I would run the risk of hitting the belly on the ground at full bump and low tire pressure!
 
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