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Thread: Suzuki Vitara Jx project

  1. #1
    Starting to build up my forum posts Club Member
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    Suzuki Vitara Jx project

    I wanted to make up my own bash plate for the front diff of my Vitara as it is only made from an alloy, some frontal protection for rocks and so on. I decided on buying some 3mm plate 1000x1220mm (hopefully do some other projects too). I went for 3mm as I calculated it would only weight 6kg compared to 4mm at 9kg. I know his doesn't sound like much but it all adds up once you add other protection plates in future, which I am wanting to do and also the weight is always there. 3mm was a good thickness as I wanted the plate to absorb a shock, rather than being rigid and fatiguing other components of the car.

    I drew up some basic sketches of what I wanted the design to look like from various measurements I took off the front IFS and cross members. It turned out to be a lot of going back and forth testing what fits. I ended up making a cardboard template with wire inserts so I could bend the angled parts to the right angles, then translate that to the metal. I Bought a diamond blade for the angle grinder as I thought it would last a lot longer than interchanging blades all the time. However this was pretty rubbish as it worked more like a grinding wheel than a cutter. So I just went back the the normal cutting wheels, i basically scored the lines and then cut through as I had to make some pretty long cuts.






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  2. #2
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    My idea was to cut out the basic shape of the bash plate and then score the folds/angled parts and fill with weld. Before bending anything I drilled out all the drain holes and slots. I didn't want to drill too many drain holes as this would weaken the structural integrity of the plate. For the slots I drilled two seperate holes and joined them by filing through, this would give me a tolerance when fitting the bash plate.

    I'm using a stick welder I bought from Bunnings 5 or so years ago. I haven't welded in a while so I ended up grinding back the welds on the bash plate.

    I added a bit at the end of the plate to bolt the rear of it to one of the cross members under the car 2xm8 holes. To get the angle for that, I raised the front which had a bend already until it was 90 degrees with my work surface and tack welded the rear to match. A bit confusing but the pictures hopefully explain. Once I had all the lines scored up, welded and then ground back I test fitted the plate. Some slight improvements needed to be made but other than that it fitted really well. I chose to fit the plate with stainless steel bolts, spring washers and nylock nuts. Turned out that all the bolts were as nearly expensive as the metal plate itself!

    Next step is to sand blast the metal and then paint. I'll probably spray paint it with ceramic disc brake paint, as I used this before to refurnish my spotties. Worked out well with a tough finish.




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    I also made up some protection boxes where the chassis mounts to the cabin, I saw the mounts had a few small bends in them, probably from going over rocks and things. I used the same method of scoring the metal with a cutting blade and then bending by hand, filling with weld. I'm not going to grind back the welds on this part as I'm pretty happy with them. I went over them with a wire wheel.

    I will attach these chassis protection plates to the chassis rails by clamping a plate on the other side of the rail, with bolts going through, all spring washers and nylock nuts. I didn't want to bolt through the rail as if I were to make a mistake or change my mind later on there wouldn't be any going back.


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    I post on the forum a bit Club Member Wayne Waddington's Avatar
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    Excellent Nathan. I don't have a Vitara but this gives me hints and tips re metal fabrication and welding. Two of many areas I've little experience with but keen to learn.

    I've got a custom roof mount system I wanted to do but all got postponed with my ongoing run of bad luck with the Jimny. This is good inspiration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Waddington View Post
    Excellent Nathan. I don't have a Vitara but this gives me hints and tips re metal fabrication and welding. Two of many areas I've little experience with but keen to learn.

    I've got a custom roof mount system I wanted to do but all got postponed with my ongoing run of bad luck with the Jimny. This is good inspiration.
    Thanks Wayne, wanted to show others how you can get away with pretty basic tools such as a stick welded hand drill, angle grinder and so on, and still fabric some pretty intricate things for the car


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  9. #9
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    Good job Nathan. You're pretty handy with tools and making stuff

    I can draw it but there ends my ability at making anything unless I can get it 3D printed or something haha

    My FTS bash plate was 3mm thick at the front. Transfer case and diff guards are thicker at around 4 or 5mm

  10. #10
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    Thanks Jyri. It's good then I got a close thickness to what they make them from commercially.


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