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Homemade Radiator Skid Plate

Author: themajor

While inspecting the underside of my 93 YJ after doing some brush busting I noticed that the bottom of my radiator had some scratches, though nothing serious. I then realized it could have been serious. I decided to build a radiator skid plate.

I some how had an aluminum 2'x2' sign that I had had for some time. It read "Entrance Only." I do not remember how I came in possession of it. After doing some measuring I came up with a size of 19"x14".

Tools needed:
Two hours

Measure the metalAfter laying out the size I needed with a square and pencil I used my grinder to score the layout line. Rather deeply. I then C-clamped the plate to my bench with two clamps and bent the plate down and then up and it broke off at the score line. I then took the grinder and smoothed the edges and slightly rounded the corners.

front of skid plate mount

The front of the skid plate will bolt to the bottom of the front bumper and the rear of the skid plate will rest on the top of the torsion bar and attach with U-bolts.

skid plate mountThe skid plate will set between the passenger side sway bar hanger and the steering box. It is offset to the right of vehicle center due to the steering box.

Jeep YJ radiator skid

I then fitted the plate to the front bumper and C-clamped it in place with the rear of the plate resting on the top of the torsion bar. Marked where the holes for the bolts and U-bolts were to be, removed the plate and drilled all holes.

I fitted the U-bolts on the torsion bar first with the front of the plate hanging down for access to the U-bolt nuts and tightened till snug. The plate will rest on the top of the torsion bar. If you try to attach it under the bar the steering arm will hit it when you turn left. The plate must rest on the top of the torsion bar. The U-bolts were a little long so I ground them off with the grinder while in place. I then C-clamped the front of the plate to the bumper again and drilled the bolt holes through the bottom of the bumper. I then removed the plastic JEEP frame cover, installed the nuts and bolts and tightened them and the U-bolts that attach the plate to the torsion bar. Then put the plastic JEEP frame cover back in place.

Finished radiator skid plateI feel much safer about off road driving knowing that my radiator is safe from puncture. One less thing to worry about while wheeling. You can paint it if you wish or just leave it natural aluminum.

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