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Made some covers for my Rallitek Skid Plate

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So I decided last spring when I put on my Rallitek V2 Skid plate that I wanted to fabricate some covers for the oil filter access and drain holes before this winter got into full swing. I like the protection the plate provides, and I also like not having to drop the plate to do a change, but I didn't like the exposed nature of the filter and drain valve (Fumoto) with the cut outs in the plate wide open.


I'm completely willing to admit that the odds of a piece of anything (namely ice or hard packed snow) shooting up into one of the holes with enough force to damage the filter, or my Fumoto vlave, may be mathematically insignificant, but now its 0%. If it was going to happen to anyone it would have been me :rolleyes:. Plus, I love me some deep snow donuts...lol.


So on with the project. I had originally planned on using regular 1/8" aluminum plate, but the day I had set aside for this project, my local metal place was out of regular aluminum sheeting. :spin: So, this was my best alternative. It's still 1/8", same as the skid plate, its just diamond plate. So I have a little underbody bling action now :lol:.


I made template of the holes, and increased their size by roughly 1" all the way around to allow for mounting and extra overlap. I cut them with a jigsaw and some 18T metal blades, (Would have worked better with 24T, but couldnt find any at the time) then planned where to place the holes, and used a step bit to get them the right size. All the hardware is Stainless Steel, 1/4" x 20 thread. Only the the U-clips arent stainless. BTW, if anyone knows where to get stainless U-clips, let me know. Those are the only part of this project that will probably need replacing eventually.


Where I drilled up into the Skid Plate there was nothing above that I had to worry about, but still be careful not to punch a hole in your oil pan or anything else important...lol. The bushings are 1/4" inside, and 1/2" outside. The screws are button head (4mm hex). On the one bolt that acts as the pivot on each cover I put a washer under the head of the bolt, then through the cover, then through the bushing in the plate (which is shaved down to be thicker than 1/8", approx 3/16"), then another washer, and finally a nylon insert lock nut. That way those can be cranked down very tight, and still pivot freely. The other mounting bolts are just ran though a washer, the cover, the plate, and into a U-clip.


I'm quite pleased with the results. It takes less than a minute to loosen the three anchor bolts and pivot both plates open. I might cut the covers down slightly where they hang over the access holes when they are open, just to make reaching in easier, but I did a change right after this and didnt have much extra difficulty. The edges are sharp cause I didnt have time to sand them down smooth, so care is needed. Another concern I had was the bolt heads sticking down too far and getting impacted by things. (Road debris, kicked up stones, parking stones) That's why I used button head screws with smooth sides, no cap head to snag anything and rip out (again, probably a minimal concern, but I'd rather plan for it, and prevent it as much as possible). The only issue I forsee could be once the U-clips start to rust and corrode they could break off and I could have to drill out the bolts to get the cover off, but I figure If I check them at each oil change I should be able to notice before they get that bad. I have spares in the garage just in case...lol :rolleyes:


BTW, total investment in this project less than $40 for the plate, hardware, and cheap-o Harbor Freight 3 piece step bit set, and about 4 hours of time ;). Well worth it in my opinion for the piece of mind when plowing through the snow and slush.:cool:














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you should definatly gauge some interest on this... maybe if you get some interested people you could get a percentage deposit from them..... ect ect kinda like a group buy thing. the only thing is idk if this would be very profitable without making this pretty pricey.
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