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Old 07-09-2013, 09:57 PM
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WK2 Sump Protection Plate

I've created this thread to provide updates and gather feedback on the development of Chief Products 'Sump Protection Plate'.

As many of you probably know, WK2s only have a plastic (2011-2012) or plastic/felt (2013+) unit protecting the front underside of the vehicle. Sadly, Jeep & Mopar currently offer no skid plate protection for this area.

For many, this is one of the first parts you break off-road. It protects a critical area (see photos below) as well as holding the inner wheel well liners in place. Considering the dealer in Brisbane charged me $388.04 for a new unit, plus $4.56 for fasteners, plus GST, plus installation to replace the plastic unit when it broke off-road. I thought it might be a good idea to create a more sturdy version.

Here are a few photos:

STOCK VERSION (INSTALLED)


STOCK VERSION (BROKEN)


WHAT IT PROTECTS


WHAT IT PROTECTS 2


CHIEF PRODUCTS - PROTOTYPE V1 (INSTALLED - FRONT AIR DAM REMOVED)


CHIEF PRODUCTS - PROTOTYPE V1 (INSTALLED)


CHIEF PRODUCTS - PROTOTYPE V1 (OFF-ROAD TESTING)
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:58 PM
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Re: WK2 Sump Protection Plate

Chief Products 'Sump Protection Plate' prototype V1 is made from 6mm 5005 Aluminium (marine grade). Information we've gathered from testing and feedback so far has been excellent.

As you can see in the photos, unlike the stock unit which bolts to the bottom of the front frame member only, ours rolls up and over the frame member, making it difficult for dirt or rocks to get wedged between the plate and the front frame member. This is a common failure point for the stock unit.

On July 16th, I will be meeting with the fabricator to create prototype version 2. Here are the upgrades we currently have planned for prototype version 2.

1. Dome head or flat head bolts, to protect them off-road.
2. Increased strength, either through folds and bends in the metal, thicker aluminium or a heavier grade metal.
3. Drainage slots running from the front of the plate to the back, to increase air flow and provide better drainage for dirt, sand & mud. We've decided to go with slots front to back instead of holes, to protect against rocks or sticks getting caught in the holes.
4. Black powder coating.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:59 PM
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Re: WK2 Sump Protection Plate

I would love to get everyone's comments and thoughts, especially on the following questions.

Steel or Alloy? Alloy is much lighter and more corrosion resistant, but also comparatively weaker. A steel plate would not only mean more weight on the front of your WK2, but also greater shipping costs.

Painted or unpainted? If we do a steel plate it will need to be painted, but an alloy plate could remain unpainted. So far the feedback has indicated that people don't want the plate to 'stick out' visually, so we've plans to powder coat it black. Of course this means scratches and marks would show up more and the cost of plate would be greater.

If the finalised Sump Protection Plate met all of your requirements. How many would want one? Would you be willing to preorder?

Our current price target is $350, plus GST & Shipping. I am hoping to have them available by 1st August.

I look forward to everyone's feedback!

Cheers,
Bill
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:02 PM
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Re: WK2 Sump Protection Plate

I think steel is the way to go, with black powdercoating. You could offer chrome at a premium price for those Bling Blokes.

Pricing for the basic unit initially appears high. You may find it hard to get volume sales.
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:52 AM
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Re: WK2 Sump Protection Plate

This item is long overdue. However, I would call this a bash plate rather than a sump protection plate. I already have a steel sump protection plate as part of the Mopar skid plate kit. Unfortunately, for some silly reason, the Mopar kit doesn't extend forward of sump itself as your one does.
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:34 AM
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Yes i agree this part is well overdue

I too would like one

I have no issue with alloy as it replaces a plastic part
So ally would be stronger any way.
Painted i should think
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:51 AM
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Re: WK2 Sump Protection Plate

I'm interested too...
Aluminium would probably be OK - painted.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:22 PM
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Re: WK2 Sump Protection Plate

What tires are on your WK2?

Care to post a full pic?
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:22 PM
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Re: WK2 Sump Protection Plate

Aluminum and painted, pls. I think the US could be your biggest market, so arranging a bargain shipping deal, and no GST, too, for out-of-country shipments, would increase sales.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:48 PM
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Re: WK2 Sump Protection Plate

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbospartan View Post
What tires are on your WK2?

Care to post a full pic?
I'm running Maxxis MT-762s at 275/65R18. Here's a photo of the WK2 all setup for our 10 day trip to Coffs Harbour in May.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg luggage-bag.jpg (116.5 KB, 124 views)
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:01 PM
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Re: WK2 Sump Protection Plate

Thanks for all the input!

We did consider other names. Jeep calls the stock part a 'Belly Pan' and we did consider calling it a Bash Plate, but both of those names seemed to lack proper description of what it was. Thanks for the input, we will keep working on the name.

Sales to the USA will not include GST, and we are looking at ways to ship them 10 at a time to reduce costs for bulk orders.

Our initial price target of $350 plus GST & Shipping will come down as the order numbers go up. It is part of the reason I have made this post, to help us gauge demand for our initial manufacturing run.

Thanks for all the comments! I should have more to report very soon.

Cheers,
Bill
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:54 AM
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Re: WK2 Sump Protection Plate

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbospartan View Post
What tires are on your WK2?

Care to post a full pic?
While you are at it, what engine is that? Your photo shows what looks like an oil filter. The CRD doesn't have the oil filter there.

I'm holding out for the ARB and Uneek4x4 bull bars that have been long promised. They may incorporate something similar. If not then I'll certainly be interested.

Also, have you considerred the differences in the bumper area of the 2011 and 2012-13 vehicles? Will this fit both?
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