Vanagon – syncro bash plate project finished

Well the transmission protection part anyway. I decided to leave the plate mostly rectangular, but I did have to curve the front corners for no other reason than I thought it looked better. I also drilled some drain holes at the rear of the plate. Instead of using the drill press, I used the wrist buster, aka Van Dorn drill.

I made rather ugly holes with it, but I rationalized that (and other goofs) with the “it’s only a skid plate” mantra. I cut out slots for the stock skid bars and bent up the leading edges slightly. You can’t bend up that middle section too much or it will hit the nose cone of the transmission. I also gave the bottom of the plate some DA love.

I found it a real pain in the arse installing the stock skid bars by myself, but installed they were. See how exposed the transmission appears? Like having your goolies hanging out.

And same view with the plate installed.

Front view.

I think the extra width will help protect the inner cv joints and the fuel pump. Note to Simon, will also protect the speed sensor and that big electrical plug on driver’s side. But not sure about fitment around exhaust on your 2.5 Subie.

Next job will be to add some 1/4″ aluminium plate between the propshaft protection bars, and perhaps to extend that protection out sideways and attach to frame rails. That will help protect shift linkage and coolant hoses.

Damn. just occurred to me, forgot to paint the stock skid rails where I ground off the paint for welding the tabs on. I guess the project is not quite finished.


  1. #1 by Simon on June 24, 2012 - 9:21 pm

    Way cool! Worked out really well for a first attempt eh? Envy worthy for sure.

    What does the installed plate weigh? And what do you reckon the full suit of armor will weigh?

    • #2 by albell on June 24, 2012 - 10:39 pm

      I’m guessing no more than 20 lbs for installed plate (5/16″ thick). I can’t be arsed to do calc for rest of skid plate project, leave that to you 🙂

      (aluminium density in imperial units, 0.0975437 lbs / cubic inch, so about 3.5 lbs/sq ft)


    • #3 by albell on June 24, 2012 - 10:48 pm

      you got your guinea pig working 🙂


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