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-   -   Under body shield-Filling the gap between radiator and swaybar (http://www.jeepgarage.org/f187/under-body-shield-filling-the-gap-between-radiator-and-swaybar-47433.html)

tahoelabdad 09-13-2012 02:16 PM

Under body shield-Filling the gap between radiator and swaybar
 
The project didn't take very long, only about 4 hours total.

As mentioned in an earlier post, the need to do this was due to there being so much space between the radiator and engine which allowed snow/mud/muck to get up and into the electric cooling fan which shortened the life of the motor (especially with the 3.7)

After replacing the fan twice, I thought it time to do something about it.

Initially, I thought a simple shield would suffice, so I used a piece of aluminum and bolted it in:
http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/a...8/HPIM2017.jpg

However, while doing this, I realized there's still a lot of space on the sides, so I thought I'd fab up a full shield. I chose to keep the aluminum piece in and built around it, but this can be done on its own.

The material used:
1- sheet of 1/8" foam insulation
2- packages of fiberglass cloth
1- can resin/catalyst
1- pack mini rollers (and handle)
1- can acetone for clean-up

http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/a...8/HPIM2018.jpg

Not pictured:
Painters Tape
3M adhesive spray
Thin cardboard
Masking Tape
RTV Sealant
Paint Brushes
Spray Paint
Sandpaper

I started by measuring and cutting the foam to fit in the space and used file folder cardboard to make the sides of the form, and covered it with painters tape:
http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/a...8/HPIM2019.jpg

I measured and cut 2 pieces of the fiberglass cloth to fit, and sprayed one of it and the form with adhesive. Note that the adhesive shouldn't be put on too thick to allow the finished piece to be removed more easily. I taped the egdes of the cloth to keep it from sagging with the resin.
http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/a...8/HPIM2021.jpg

Not pictured: I cut out the cloth around the front air-dam mounting tabs and filled it with small patches of cloth off the Jeep.

Using the mini rollers, I applied the catalyzed resin to saturate the cloth. I allowed the first coat to cure to tacky and applied a second layer of cloth followed by another coat of resin.
I put on 2 more coats of resin and allowed it to cure overnight.

I removed the fiberglass piece, cleaned all of the tape off it and the Jeep and started finishing it:
http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/a...8/HPIM2023.jpg

I put 2 more layers of cloth/resin on and an additional 2 coats of resin.

Once it was all cured, I put a light scuff on with 400 grit sandpaper and painted it using Krylon Satin Black.

I put a thin bead of black silicone RTV sealant around the front edge and sides and using the bolts holding the air-dam (and the piece I installed earlier) I bolted it into place.

Here's the final unit installed:

http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/a...8/HPIM2031.jpg
http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/a...8/HPIM2032.jpg

From above:

http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/a...8/HPIM2025.jpg

It should be noted that in my case, I used the aluminum plate previously installed to hold the unit in place. I used metal strapping to make clamps that loosely wrapped the sway bar, which could also be applied to the unit on its own.
The sides are not firmly mounted, but are adhered with the RTV. If I had a smaller Dremel or angled drill, I would have screwed it into the sheet-metal, but it's mounting is pretty substantial.

I also drilled a couple holes in the front of the piece to allow for drainage should any water still get up inside.

I built this over two days and spent a total of 4 hours on the build (not including cure times) and actually drove around with the uncured unit for a bit!

I'm not concerned about the final appearance, but if so desired, the unit could be finished with body putty for a smoother finish, but that seemed like too much work for something that only me and my mechanic are going to see!

I spent $25.00 total on it.

Let me know your thoughts and questions!

SvenskaJeepGuy 09-13-2012 03:04 PM

Re: Under body shield-Filling the gap between radiator and swaybar
 
nice work!

suzieque 09-13-2012 04:52 PM

Re: Under body shield-Filling the gap between radiator and swaybar
 
my wk has a stock plastic shield between the radiator support and sway bar. did your stock piece get removed?

tahoelabdad 09-13-2012 06:00 PM

Re: Under body shield-Filling the gap between radiator and swaybar
 
Our WK came from Enterprise Car Rental and was as bone stock as could be! We bought it in '08 with only 2200 miles on it for less than $10K so it was a bargain. I have more time than money right now, so building things like the shield was kind of fun.
I looked through the Mopar lists and aftermarket but couldn't find an existing piece, so decided to build my own.

suzieque 09-13-2012 09:55 PM

Re: Under body shield-Filling the gap between radiator and swaybar
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tahoelabdad (Post 683374)
Our WK came from Enterprise Car Rental and was as bone stock as could be! We bought it in '08 with only 2200 miles on it for less than $10K so it was a bargain. I have more time than money right now, so building things like the shield was kind of fun.
I looked through the Mopar lists and aftermarket but couldn't find an existing piece, so decided to build my own.

That's cool, some serious off readers don't like the stock plastic shield and put in a metal piece, that is what I assumed at first that you were doing.


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