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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > Upgrades (non TDI Engine related)

Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old December 17th, 2006, 13:28   #1
MOGolf
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Default MOGolf Mk IV skid plate mod

For those of us with the VW steel skid plate we know how difficult it is to get on and off due to the front bar welded to the plate. I've modified mine so it is now bolt on like the Mk V VW steel skid plate.

The bar as factory installed. It is welded to the plate.


You'll note that the bar is actually a channel with a plate welded on the open side. It is hollow inside.


I drilled three 1/2 inch holes through the bar and skid plate from the bar side centered at the locations of the outermost welds and center weld. Originally I planned to put five bolts in at the five weld points, but drilling three through the steel was hard enough. I actually got four pilot holes drilled as you'll see in the pictures.

After drilling the holes, I used fiberglass cutoff wheels to cut the welds and separate the bar from the plate.


Next I inserted a bolt (N 100 704 03) through the plate and put a three eigths inch internal tooth washer on.


Then screwed on a rivnut (N 908 106 01). The internal tooth washer will help to hold this from spinning when tightened into place.


Next I turned over the bar onto the rivnuts, turned the assembly over and with short burst from the electric impact wrench I tightened the rivnuts into place.




Note that the rivnuts will protrude through the bar. If necessary and if you have the right equipment you could tack weld these to the bar.

Last edited by MOGolf; December 17th, 2006 at 13:30.
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Old December 17th, 2006, 16:51   #2
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Cool idea. If I didn't have access to lift I would do this. Crawling on the ground under the car on jack stands I can see how maneuvering that heavy skid plate can be tough. On the other hand I just push the whole thing to one side so the bar comes out of the cover plate then slide it back the other way. Maybe once I get over the $$$ spent on it and it has some dings I'll get the nerve to do this.
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Old December 17th, 2006, 20:47   #3
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Nice modification Glen. This also keeps you from having to twist and bend the side skirts to get the plate off of the car.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 12:00   #4
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Glen,

That is a great mod and something I'll have to try soon. This is how I wish the skid plate was set up from the factory. Thanks for sharing.

Al
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Old December 18th, 2006, 15:49   #5
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That will definately be done over christmas break - one of those Duh! things, why didn't I think of that. I'm tired of fighting it each time.

Good idea/work
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Old December 27th, 2006, 09:08   #6
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A few hints...

1) There are 5 welds on both sides of the cross bar. I had mine rhino coated when it was new and they put it on really thick (~0.25"!), so only saw the welds on the front side. I should have looked at the pictures more closely.

2) The cross bar does not have much/any compression strength being hollow and wide, so drilling a through hole and welding a nut on the top side gives you the feeling of never getting tight because you are just crushing the cross bar. Rivnuts are definately the good idea here, that or tapping the cross bar itself through both sides

3) Place the 3 fasteners at 10", 20" and 30" from the passenger outside end of the cross bar (where it fastens to the post that is attached to the car). This keeps you clear of the radiator hose on the bottom and lines up well with the ribs in the plate so it "looks" right.

I mangled the cross bar pretty good getting it off, I tried to chisel off the back 5 welds from the front, thinking that once they got some flex in them they would just break.....I was wrong. My 30 minute project took 2 hours and I ended up with a mangled piece in the end that didn't fit great and required lots of "re-adjustments" with a 40oz hammer to get everythign to line up right.

Don't try to take shortcuts on this - as simple as it is. Get the rivnuts or drill a big enought hole in the cross bar so you can weld a stack of nuts in or your own spacer like what is on the two ends. A welded nut on the top works, but you won't like it. Try and get as much of all 10 welds cut off with a cutoff wheel as you can, you can't get them 3/4's of the way then wack it good with a chisel, you will just bend the plate and the bar.

Does anyone know if the rivnuts mentioned here (N 908 106 01) are the same as the ones in the back of the skidplate? I have one stripped out.

Good luck - hope I didn't scare anyone off here, just trying to help you have a better experience and outcome than I had.
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Old December 27th, 2006, 15:02   #7
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Yes they are the same rivnuts as used in the rear bolt locations, and the front post locations. Although you might be tempted to insert the rivnuts into the bar from the side away from the plate, you'll find that the rivnuts extends out the other side too far even when "crushed". They'd also be as if you welded nuts on top as noted above.

I did revisit this and put in two more bolts/rivnuts as originally planned. No particular reason why.

Only the one location indicated above by the hole without a bolt can potentially interfere with the lower radiator hose. It doesn't actually contact the hose but it comes close. Nothing causes interference at the other locations.

As FUB indicates, cut all 10 welds.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 14:07   #8
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I called the local stealership (now I know why they are called that) for prices on the bolts and rivnuts. Bolts were quoted as $3.87 each, and the rivnuts were quoted $4.13 each. U.S.$$, not Canadian!

Looks like I'll call dieselgeek and see how much he wants for them.

If it comes down to it, I'll make my own weld-in "nuts".
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 19:52   #9
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My bellypan is plastic and is destroyed. Is the metal bellypan special? Where could I get one for cheap? It might be a more reasonable route than a panzer plate.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 05:02   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvurtdi
My bellypan is plastic and is destroyed. Is the metal bellypan special? Where could I get one for cheap? It might be a more reasonable route than a panzer plate.
The steel bellypan was a VW factory option that came on cars with the rough road package available in Europe. As a factory option it fits exactly as the factory intended using existing mount points, (you have to install the rivitnuts but the holes are already there).

I think it was SVTWeb that found out about the existence of it and installed the first one on a MK4. (if you search back far enough you should be able to find the post about his install as well as his install of the MK5 one that he just did on his new jetta).

Dieselgeek used to sell a kit with all the parts and the steelpan but I am not sure if he still has it available.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 02:57   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvurtdi
My bellypan is plastic and is destroyed. Is the metal bellypan special? Where could I get one for cheap? It might be a more reasonable route than a panzer plate.
cheap I don't know, check the evolution import aluminium plate

I'll get one this very soon.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 19:02   #12
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Default Belly Pan

Question,
Is not the plastic pan more of an aerodynamic device than a protective one?
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 19:04   #13
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That and sound.

-J
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Maybe I should pay MYSELF to do bad work on my car!
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Old March 4th, 2011, 11:25   #14
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Keeps grime off the engine, helps the turbo actuator last longer.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 23:58   #15
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There was nothing cheap about the VW plate as it was over 300$ and that was back 10 years ago before the others started making plates
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