Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

Homemade Oilpan Skid

Any special projects involving a decent amount of fab work (bumpers, sliders, roof racks, etc)

by mason10198 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:12 am

Well guys, I decided I was going to need more practice with metal before I buy a MDB bumper kit and start trying to put it together. :awesome:

A little while back, I picked up a 2'x4' sheet of 3/16" steel for making skidplates. Since I already had the stock oil skid, I decided to cut out a transmission skid. I didn't post a thread about that one because it is literally just a flat piece of sheet metal that I cut and smoothed out to keep big branches or anything from popping up and hitting the trans oilpan. Since the trans is already pretty high up and I've never even come close to hitting anything on it, I didn't bother reinforcing it. No welding or anything.

After making that, I've had a big "L" shaped sheet of steel leftover (like the one below). Yesterday I must have lost my marbles, because I decided to make an oilpan skid out of it.

You can see that I did't have the right shape sheet of metal to make the skid, so I cut off the top part of the "L" and welded it back onto the right side to fill in the gap and make a big enough square sheet. Yes, I know thats not as strong as a raw sheet and I run the risk of it warping, but I had the extra metal, and I like saving money, AND I needed the practice, so why not?

I laid the stock skid down on the sheet, traced it out, and marked where the drain plug was. Torched the whole thing out, and started trying to figure out how to make the dropdown for the drain plug. Basically just started copying every other oil skid you have seen for a trailvoy, and started layering strips into squares like nesting dolls, making a sort of pyramid. I finished the first layer tonight and I'll do more tomorrow.



I'm nowhere near done with it either. It's not even smoothed on the edges yet. I know its messy, but I'm really proud of it so far! I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to all of this, so I think its looking pretty good considering that. :coffee2:
Also, I'm time-lapsing the whole thing on my GoPro so later you'll be able to watch me scramble around my garage at the speed of light building this thing lol.

Let me know what y'all think!
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by Anthony Hernandez » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:07 am

Actually bro, your welds look pretty good. Hit it with a scraper/flapdisc and your gold. I did my own also, it's in the fab section. Also don't forget, the weld (if done properly) is stronger than the metal. So no worries about stacking or piecing together skids, bumpers, etc.
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by Trail X » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:23 pm

Nice Mason! Those welds do look really nice. Doesn't have to be pretty either, it just needs to be functional.
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by mason10198 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:48 pm

Thanks for the +1s guys. Those are actually the best welds I've made on anything. I usually draw my beads with a half-moon pattern but this time I got adventurous and did the lowercase "e" method instead, and it came out great. The thing that I actually feel the most accomplished about is the drain plug landing dead center in the drop hole! lol
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by v7guy » Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:25 pm

Looks like good progress, that's the same way I started out! Lookin forward to the video!
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by Jrgunn5150 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:17 pm

mason10198 wrote:Thanks for the +1s guys. Those are actually the best welds I've made on anything. I usually draw my beads with a half-moon pattern but this time I got adventurous and did the lowercase "e" method instead, and it came out great. The thing that I actually feel the most accomplished about is the drain plug landing dead center in the drop hole! lol


I do "e's" also, on thicker metal. Practice makes perfect, but your skid looks good!
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by mason10198 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:47 pm

Finished it up last night! Here's the timelapse, and the rest of the writeup is below. I did miss a little on the end of video because I didn't have a charged camera battery, but 90% of the build was recorded on there.

Added the second and third layer to the dropdown and welded the whole thing inside and out.
The overall skid came out pretty good, I just wish my welder/wire didn't spatter so much. Oh well. Functionality, not aesthetics, right?
20160127_075844.jpg
Second and third layers

20160127_183547.jpg
blurry pic, I was wearing big gloves


I drilled a 1/2" hole in the center of the drop for drainage and so I could see the clearance between the drain plug and the skid. Bolted it up, and saw it was a little too close for comfort, so I added a spacer to the rear of the plate to angle it and hopefully get it far enough away from the drain plug. It still looked a bit tight in there, so I just went ahead and torched out the whole center of the bottom layer to be safe.
20160127_183528.jpg
Rear spacer


All the heat from welding/torching had warped the drop a little, so I tried to flatten it back out. Since I don't have a shop press, I got my 10 ton bottle jack and some wood blocks and set them up under the frame of the RV. I jacked up the rear of our full size Challenger on that little thing and it didn't even budge... Guess it's strong enough! lol Smoothed down the edges and surfaces and then sprayed it down with some flat black rustoleum enamel to help with rust.
20160128_075433.jpg
Painted and ready to be bolted on

I let it dry some more, and I'll be bolting it on as soon as I get home today!
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by Jrgunn5150 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:13 pm

Is that the 90 AMp Harbor Freight welder?
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by mason10198 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:32 pm

Jrgunn5150 wrote:Is that the 90 AMp Harbor Freight welder?

Yup, sure is! My dad bought it on a deal a year or two ago. It's not the greatest, but it's done good enough on the things I've needed it for.

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by Jrgunn5150 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:38 pm

mason10198 wrote:
Jrgunn5150 wrote:Is that the 90 AMp Harbor Freight welder?

Yup, sure is! My dad bought it on a deal a year or two ago. It's not the greatest, but it's done good enough on the things I've needed it for.

Sent from Tapatalk


I used to have one, I gave it to my brother and he's still using it. For 85 dollar's it was wonderful :excited:

I found using quality flux core wire, I used Miller, cut down on the splatter a noticeable amount.
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by TBYODA » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:55 pm

I have been told by a pro to use .023 wire on smaller welder's even if the welder can handle .030.
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by mason10198 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:56 pm

Jrgunn5150 wrote:
mason10198 wrote:
Jrgunn5150 wrote:Is that the 90 AMp Harbor Freight welder?

Yup, sure is! My dad bought it on a deal a year or two ago. It's not the greatest, but it's done good enough on the things I've needed it for.

Sent from Tapatalk


I used to have one, I gave it to my brother and he's still using it. For 85 dollar's it was wonderful :excited:

I found using quality flux core wire, I used Miller, cut down on the splatter a noticeable amount.

That's what I've read everywhere! but everytime I try to put good wire through mine, it pops and jerks so much I can hardly hold the gun still. It's like it's not conductive or something. So I just keep buying the same wire that came with it. I haven't used Miller before though, I'll get some next.

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by mason10198 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:59 pm

TBYODA wrote:I have been told by a pro to use .023 wire on smaller welder's even if the welder can handle .030.

Hm. The label says it can go up to. 035 and I've been using .030. I'll try getting some smaller size too.

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by Jrgunn5150 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:03 pm

mason10198 wrote:That's what I've read everywhere! but everytime I try to put good wire through mine, it pops and jerks so much I can hardly hold the gun still. It's like it's not conductive or something. So I just keep buying the same wire that came with it. I haven't used Miller before though, I'll get some next.

Sent from Tapatalk


Might want to try a different tip also, that sounds odd.

TBYODA wrote:I have been told by a pro to use .023 wire on smaller welder's even if the welder can handle .030.


You have to remember flux core run's like a size bigger than solid, Flux .035 doesn't equal Solid .035.
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by Anthony Hernandez » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:52 am

Hf welders work just fine. I'm assuming 90 amp Chicago electric? You will want to use a smaller gauge wire as tbyoda(robert) said. Also place the welder on high, and run it on or around 350-400 whatever u can handle. Also the single bearing drives suck on the wire feed trays, your problem is most likely a feeding issue. Take a screwdriver and ream out the sticker from the spool, and place it inline with the wire feed, also DO NOT use the spring and wingnuts to "hold" the spool in place. Let it freely move. This causes inconsistencies in your weld puddle because the machine itsel cannot feed the wire to the current. Also place the machine out of the sun.. It shouldn't reach the duty cycle this way. Any q's feel free to post/pm.... Hope this helps.
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by AZ2wdEnvoy » Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:03 am

:Iagree: the HF welders are great for doing light "hobby" type work. My neighbor has a little 100amp wire feed from Home Depot and I taught him how to build target stands for shooting. Biggest thing to remember aside from wire speed and amperage is being comfortable. Get as comfy as you can and you will start laying some beautiful beads.

All in all looks good, keep practicing!
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