What am I doing screwing around with another project when I have a couple of unfinished ones on my plate? Well it’s just that yesterday’s propshaft protection plate build got me all hot and bothered to add at least one extension to the side. To the right hand side of the propshaft, between the skid rail and the frame rail, the coolant lines, the heater lines, and most importantly the shift linkage are exposed. You all know, but I’ll repeat, the shift linkage is protected by a tube on 16″ syncros, regular syncros with the bad road package, and ’91 (maybe ’90 too?) syncros in North America at least. The tube protects a couple of the joints in the linkage and I think that is a very good thing. In the winter I have had slush and ice build up on the linkage such that the van becomes hard to shift. Rather than try and reproduce the stock protection tube I thought that a plate over that entire section would be the ticket.
I needed a bit of stock roughly 11″ X 53″. I couldn’t find anything in the scrap pile that size so I had to do it the long way. Got these cut offs, bent, 3/16″ 5052 aluminum.
I cut them up.
Then tacked them together. I welded a length of 1/4″ X 2″ 6061 along one side, welded out full on the concave side, then back gouged the convex side.
Welded out those grooves and ground the welds flush. The welded up assembly, and no points for guessing this, did take a curve. I laid a little beatin’ on it but accepted the wow. I think I can make it work for me and pull it out somewhat in the install. Is that my thumb in shot? I was using the iPad to take the pics, left my point and shoot camera at home.
Clamped it in place on the van, to see what’s what. BTW, my welding was shit today. I had a lot of oxides bubbling up, never did get in my groove. Maybe it was the old stock I was using or maybe I was not on the ball.
The outboard edge will sit a little higher on the frame rail, I just couldn’t clamp it that way. You know, the curves in the beast makes it stiffer than you’d expect. Now I have to make a few tabs to mount the inside edge to the propshaft protection plate, and I’ll bolt the outside vertical section to the frame rail (there are holes already in the frame that I can use).