DIY: Transfer Case and Transmission Skids (Gas Tank and Engine coming Soon) - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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DIY: Transfer Case and Transmission Skids (Gas Tank and Engine coming Soon)

So here is my version of @samuel313's skid plate. I've only messed with the transfer case skid so far. Various reasons. My plan is to use 1/4" 6061.

I wanted something supported on both ends. The cross member by the gas tank is pretty obvious, and now that I crawled out from under my rock... I see that pretty much all the usual suspects you could buy skids from do it that way too.

Started by laying out some cardboard using the plan from @samuel313. Added an extra 12" on the end but it wasn't quite enough. You might see the chunk I taped on the end of my cardboard skid. Maybe my cross member is different or maybe I still can't do basic math but either way the bolts didn't line up. A few tick marks and measurements later I got that sorted out. My hole pattern is in the files if you are curious, but if you are going to go make your own I'm sure you'll figure it out.

I changed the angle from 8 degrees to something like 9.2 degrees. This is just a 1" offset at whatever distance it is. It gives maybe 1/8" more clearance below the transfer case than Sammy's plan. Partly because I expect it to flex a bit being aluminum, and partly because I'd rather err on the side that still works. I also swapped out the 15 degree up bend with a flat, bend, flat sorta arrangement. This is just to give that 1" clearance for a length of 3" about where the lowest part of the T-Case is. Oh, and it needs a couple of drain holes drilled randomly by hand but aren't in the model.

The side rails are 2" tall in the center and taper. There is a pic in the ZIP showing how close it gets the the exhaust pipe on the passenger side. But it shows an early version before I adjusted the angles and tapers. I fully expect it to fit. Then I fully expect to notch it out a bit when it doesn't really fit.

The ZIP file has solidworks, IGS, DXF flat patterns, and a couple jpg files. Solidworks thinks it'll weigh 12lbs as shown.

And since I don't have any shop access for now it might be a while before I get to build a real one. I get really frustrated trying to make nice dimensioned PDF files. I'm working on it. Old dog, new trick... I seem to forget everything I learned since last time.

I usually post my design files as simple public domain, but this is based off his work which says Creative Commons. So, I guess, this can't be public domain. I don't know.

EDIT: (swapping attached images into the project album)

Attached Files
File Type: zip 29erClan T-Case Skid.zip (1.20 MB, 46 views)
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Last edited by 29erClan; 12-14-2018 at 08:13 AM. Reason: title update
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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The kids gave me a cnc plasma cutter for my birthday! Well, that's what they wrote on the card at least...

Even got the fine-cut option!


EDIT: (swapping attached images into the project album)

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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 05:54 PM
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Thanks for posting this, will keep an eye on the progress.

What is a reasonable price for a .25" plate of aluminum in this size range?
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outback97 View Post
What is a reasonable price for a .25" plate of aluminum in this size range?
About $40 for this one. I think the chunk I picked up is enough for the transmission skid too.

There's an Alro retail outlet not far away. Dropped by last week to check it out. They want $2.99/# for aluminum sheet or plate drops. A few goodies in the $1.50/# bin like aluminum structural channel and angle. Not as cheap as buying from a scrap recycler, but this stuff is known alloys at least.
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Update 3/21, part 1/2.

I made a new cardboard skid, based on my first cad file, based on my first cardboard skid, based on @samuel313's cad/dxf/pdf file. Yeah, it's kinda like the circle of life, Simba.

First 2 attached pics show my bolt pattern. It's not bad. But #1 and #5 could be better. Anyway, my plan is try and overlay my bolt pattern over the original and see of they can be made universal with slots, or maybe just a couple extra holes. That'll go in my cad version 2. That's just for fun though. I have already verified everything I need to make one for me that fits my cross members.




The last attached pic shows the rear cross member almost but not quite there. (The double cross hairs is supposed to be the centers of the slot ends.) It feels like my slot is about 1R too close to the gas tank and 1.5R too far back. ("R" just being my visual reference to the radius of the slot in the cross member, whatever it is.) It isn't really that critical since the cardboard is bendy and I'll leave that hole to drill until the end anyway. Once I have the aluminum plate cut, bent, and welded... somehow... I'll find and drill it then. Doing it first seems like tempting Mr. Murphy to come kick my butt.



Part 2 coming soon...

EDIT: (swapping attached images into the project album)
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Update 3/21, part 2/2.

Yup, 2 parts cuz I can only attach 3 pics at a time...

So #1 is the exhaust pipe potential interference. I pressed a nice little rust arc into the cardboard and tore 2 little reference notches too. I'll try and cut it to clear it by at least 1/4". That can wait until final fit up after welding the side walls.



The last 2 pics show the lead in area for the transmission skid. You can probably see that it doesn't follow the same centerline as the transfer case skid. Well, mine anyway, maybe the originals would and I'm just doing it wrong. It looks like the intention was to use those through-slots about 3" up the diagonals. My first cardboard transmission skid was somehow way off.




Anywho, the overall size of @samuel313's transmission skid looked right to me. Either I can't read or I have different crossmember holes / weldnut locations for some reason. No biggie, I'll get there eventually.

I'm having fun. If you're reading this, I hope you are too. Also, should I continue my rambling all in this thread or make separate ones? I know how to change thread titles now.

EDIT: (swapping attached images into the project album)

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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Oh man. This is a really slow way to cut 1/4" plate...

One of the smallest pieces to the done pile.



EDIT: (swapping attached images into the project album)
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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It's not too bad I guess. Gotta push gentle and even, stop and let it cool every minute or so to keep the blade from galling up. Can almost get up to 2ipm average.



EDIT: (swapping attached images into the project album)
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Only took about 3 hours including clean up. Might be awhile before the next update. Gotta beg or borrow a brake and tig or spoolgun mig for the next steps.



EDIT: (swapping attached images into the project album)
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 10:08 PM
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I keep procrastinating on this. We have a burn table and press at work, as well as about 50 asme cerified welders... i need to make a set of these from aluminum.

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