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  #1  
Unread 30th January 2017, 02:07 AM
Subaru Man Subaru Man is offline
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Default Plate alloy vs steel sump guard

Hello.

Just wondering if anyone has any comments re a steel sump guard vs a plate alloy? I have read many times that the cast alloy ones from SubaXtreme are brittle and can break too easily, even if they are repairable.

So, I bought the Forester to go up the beach mainly but who knows I may end up going off-road and tackle more difficult trails. Will plate alloy be a good compromise for all conditions? Should I just go steel and be done with it?

If the plate alloy is significantly lighter then that would be a good thing but if the steel is only a bit heavier maybe I should just get that? I also presume the steel is more expensive but if it's only a little more expensive...

I may not put it on and off but at this stage I would like to be able to do so without too much problem re weight etc.

Either way I am visiting a steel fabricator tomorrow to discuss as he says he can fabricate something for me. I will ask him my various questions but would be interested in any comments from you all!

I guess my question is why or when would you choose one over the other? Plate alloy or steel?
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Unread 30th January 2017, 02:59 AM
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Steel is what I've always used, easy to weld and the big hits it has taken is easy enough to belt back into shape with a hammer. Easy to weld up to.

My crossbread sump guard and rear diff gaurd (diff card is kinda pointless thb) was to my door less than half the cost of a subax sump guard, and weights less.

Disclaimer: What follows is not legal advice it is the crazy ramblings of a mad man.

While I believe this is negligible (don't take my word for it find out and make your own decisions) there has always been talk about adr's and airbag compliance, insurance. They all mount in a way that wont have an effect on airbag deployment since the two factors airbags use as a frame of reference aren't effected or relevant to the 4 mounting bolt locations (crush sensors and acceleromiter), the shear strength of the bolts wont stop the engine pushing out under the car in a serious crash either. I worked in insurance claims and repairs for one of Australia largest insurers for years and 'compliant sump guards' etc simply did not matter at all. Most hearsay I've read is irrelevant to insurance or road worthy cases insurers are interested in, I believe this comes from a fundamental miss understanding in Australia about how pre-paid civil legal services work.

There is not an adr that relates to sump protection that I've ever been able to find. The only thing that comes close is a by regulation for airbags which states nothing fitted to a vehicle can effect airbag deployment, presence of a large core alloy radiator to a specific vehicle in that specific case was the only case I ever dealt with were airbag compliance was an issue. Yet that case had very unique and specific issues.

It is not that items don't comply its a manufacturer needs to prove compliance.

Disclaimer: End of ramblings.
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Unread 30th January 2017, 04:42 AM
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The Subaxtreme sump guards are very brittle. Reminds of the old FLick ad. one hit, and they're gone. I run a plate aluminium one which has stood up very well- far more than the cast alloy one. Being alloy, it's a piece of cake to install and remove. I imagine a steel one would be harder because it would be heavier. If going with aluminium, get at least 5mm thick.
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Unread 30th January 2017, 05:12 AM
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I know the feeling I dented & cracked my SubaXtreme sump guard on the weekend if I can't repair it I may be in the market for a new one. I'm keen to give plate alloy a go.
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Unread 30th January 2017, 05:19 AM
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I made mine from 3mm alloy and bolted on alloy angle bracing. The thin alloy just made it easy for myself to shape, then the angle added strength to the final product. Just don't run the angle directly under the sump. Would have used thicker alloy in a proper workshop, however mine has held up well over the years.

If you do steel and beach then rust might be something else worth considering?
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  #6  
Unread 30th January 2017, 05:33 AM
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Old vs new sump guards. Note the old one had already been repaired once





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Unread 30th January 2017, 06:07 AM
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anyone considered making a composite sumpguard ?

Basic shape in 3mm ply, or use the plastic guard as a mould, then epoxy/polyester over with Kevlar and Glass
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Unread 30th January 2017, 06:20 AM
Subaru Man Subaru Man is offline
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Thanks for the comments and pictures. Interesting reading.

Rally, re your plate aluminium guard was that picture taken before the mounting holes were made in the guard? Otherwise, how do you secure it?? Also, did you get that from a local fabricator or perhaps some specialist 4WD bodywork
place?
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  #9  
Unread 30th January 2017, 06:49 AM
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The holes were drilled later. Made by a local fabricator.
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  #10  
Unread 30th January 2017, 06:25 PM
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I have a 6mm construction grade aluminium bash plate made by David Wilson (Subaru 4WD Club Vic) on my 2002 and a Crossbreed steel one on my 2004. The Crossbreed one is rubbish. The profile reduces the ground clearance and is nowhere near as strong as the aluminium.
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