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Thread: Steel vs Aluminum

  1. #1
    JTS Host Tammy's Avatar
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    Steel vs Aluminum

    I am researching skid plates for my Rubicon. Even though I have lifted my Jeep and put on some bigger tires I still need to be cautious of messing up my under carriage. Right now the stock skid is pretty scratched up and dented as well. However, I am not sure if I should go Aluminum or Steel or stainless steel.

    Here’s what I know… Steel is strong, stronger than aluminum, but a lot heavier. Aluminum can bend and dent easier than steel, but it is lighter. Aluminum is more pricey than steel. Now when it comes to skid plates I am guessing the same applies. Some things to think about when adding skid plates… the added weight, durability, cost and what you use your Jeep for. I understand adding more weight could be an issue, but on our Rubicons I understand that shouldn’t be an issue. They were made to handle the extra weight. If you don’t do a lot of wheeling where the undercarriage can get beat up but you still want some protection but not a lot of extra weight Aluminum would be the way to go. If you do a lot of rock crawling then steel is your answer. But with steel you need to worry about rust. So a good powdercoat is necessary. Plus you will need to maintain the steel by watching out for dings, scratches and gouges that could eventually rust if you don’t take care of them. Now if you want durable, rust proof tough skids Stainless Steel is your best bet. Now that I have the pros and cons of the different metals it is time to seek out the skid options out there on the World Wide Web.

    But do I need a gas tank skid? Will my stock skid be enough?
    Tammy


  2. #2
    JTS Host Tammy's Avatar
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    JeepManJim posted this... in another thread.
    Tammy


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    Junior Member Xj-john's Avatar
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    I heard of some people starting to go with hdpe (plastic). For some of their skids.... Replace more often, but far cheeper.

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    JTS Contributor 4.3LXJ's Avatar
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    Just an FYI. 6061 T6 aluminum, a very common alloy and hardness, is almost identical strength to steel. Mild steel strength is 44,000 pounds per square inch tensile strength and the T6 Al is 42,000. One major difference is that if you are scraping a rock, the steel will slide over the rock better. But there is nothing wrong with Al if it has been heat treated to T6 hardness

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    Junior Member tjpowell's Avatar
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    I would add an aftermarket gas tank skid. It goes on top of the stock one. At rausch creek last month I put a pretty big dent in the stock one so I went ahead and got a rubicon express gas tank skid and just put it on recently.

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    Member mcarrara's Avatar
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    What about stainless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    I am researching skid plates for my Rubicon. Even though I have lifted my Jeep and put on some bigger tires I still need to be cautious of messing up my under carriage. Right now the stock skid is pretty scratched up and dented as well. However, I am not sure if I should go Aluminum or Steel or stainless steel.
    You forgot to discuss the pros and cons of stainless steel. More expensive but no rust or corrosion. I'm not a metallurgist, but I think stainless is stronger, at least I know it is harder to drill through. I was looking a building a trailer frame out of stainless, way too expensive for me, but I know Schutt (http://www.schuttindustries.com/) builds trailers that way.

    Mark

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    JTS Host Tammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjpowell View Post
    I would add an aftermarket gas tank skid. It goes on top of the stock one. At rausch creek last month I put a pretty big dent in the stock one so I went ahead and got a rubicon express gas tank skid and just put it on recently.
    I have a couple of dents in my stock skid too. I would love an easy solution and it sounds like this would be perfect. Was it easy to install? Could I do it in my garage?
    Tammy


  10. #8
    Junior Member tjpowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    I have a couple of dents in my stock skid too. I would love an easy solution and it sounds like this would be perfect. Was it easy to install? Could I do it in my garage?
    Pretty easy install. You leave the stock one on and bolt this on top. You need to drill two holes. Need
    To be carful you don't drill into gas tank. Hardest part is getting the bolts off
    And the holes lined up.

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