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#1 Old 12-27-2009, 10:10 PM
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Lightbulb Under belly pan...

Okay...got most of my basic stuff done.

On my 1998 T-100 SR5 Xtracab 2WD auto, I was able to fit a 4'x8' sheet of luan sheet between the back of the front crossmember and the front of the rear spring hangers using some brackets. The panel fits in between the frame rails. The under belly pan is fastened at 4 points so it makes it easy to remove to git access underneath there. Had to do some trimming to the front of the panel so the wheels would clear the panel when making a tight turn. I made a basic "A" frame with some 1"x2" pine strips. The fastening points are the rear fastening points from the rock panel and the slots in the front hanger fer the rear springs. I noticed that my 1996 T-100 regular cab had the same slotted hangers...but my 1993 T-100 didn't have it. Oh well...

Still have to put in a heat shield on the inside of the panel so the catalytic converter won't scorch the wood. I'll use some left over aluminum flashing and some screws to keep it in place.

Not sure I'm gonna paint the panel...we'll see. Probably will later...

It's nice and smooth with the full panel under there...but it's still quite open on the edges. There will be another time to git that closed up...

Now some of you are gonna ask why close up the bottom with a belly pan... Well, the purpose of doing that is to clean up the air flow going underneath the truck and keep some of the road crud off the components under there, too. You know how hard it is to work on that fuel filter after it's been hit with road salt and crud. Same goes fer the top of the fuel tank and fuel lines. It might keep some of the road noise down, too.

Piccies to follow...

1998 T-100 SR5 2WD auto, Roadmaster Active suspension, oil catch jar, AC mod, aero cap, lower aero package, 67% grill block

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#2 Old 12-29-2009, 12:39 AM
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Here's the piccies...







I still have to put in a middle support and some way of adding in lift supports...so it's not quite done yet.

1998 T-100 SR5 2WD auto, Roadmaster Active suspension, oil catch jar, AC mod, aero cap, lower aero package, 67% grill block
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#3 Old 12-29-2009, 06:37 AM
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lol nice work Bam. If I know you, then you are not done with this project yet and I foreseen a trimming and painting of the under pan in the future.
I didn't know the 2wd Ts had the plastic skid plate.

Any thoughts on a boat tail?

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#4 Old 12-29-2009, 08:27 PM
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Talking

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Originally Posted by Zuke76 View Post
lol nice work Bam. If I know you, then you are not done with this project yet and I foreseen a trimming and painting of the under pan in the future.
I didn't know the 2wd Ts had the plastic skid plate.

Any thoughts on a boat tail?
Yah...far from this one being complete. The luan panel was just over $10 and easy to fab with. With the brackets, bolts, washers, screws, nuts the total cost is under $30 so far fer my experimentation.

Gitting ready to drill a hole and tap it with a M8x1.25 tap fer the L bracket support to hold up the middle of the panel. Might be overkill but it's the only metric tap I have at the moment.

I don't think I would call that a skid plate...more like a rock protection panel. I actually debated of pulling it but I figured I'll leave it on there fer now.

No boat tails fer the moment...gonna take it a few steps at a time. Wait till you see the removeable side panels I'm gonna put on there...they'll go on only when I do my long distance runs.

1998 T-100 SR5 2WD auto, Roadmaster Active suspension, oil catch jar, AC mod, aero cap, lower aero package, 67% grill block
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#5 Old 12-30-2009, 07:44 AM
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I don't call it a skid plate either. I prefer splash guard.

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#6 Old 12-30-2009, 03:53 PM
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Decided not to drill and tap the frame. Gonna git some bracket and bolts so I can clamp the "L" brackets anywhere I want along the frame.

Also, I might change how the 1x2 support boards go across the frame. I'm thinking about bringing them straight back and parallel inside to the truck frame...and put an additional support piece at the back. It will look more like a drag link...

1998 T-100 SR5 2WD auto, Roadmaster Active suspension, oil catch jar, AC mod, aero cap, lower aero package, 67% grill block
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#7 Old 01-02-2010, 01:01 AM
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Angry

Nothing like having something small stop you dead in yer tracks.

Got all my measurements and was all set to drill and tap...until I found my chuck key to my drill press missing.

I tried doing a basic test with a hand drill but that was pretty sloppy...so I'm gonna wait fer my chuck key to arrive in the mail. I ended up gitting it from Tools fer Less...but since it's the holidays...it's not gonna ship until Monday. Oh well...more brainstorming to be done!

Was thinking of using some " or " R-Matte Plus 3 Insulation boards fer the belly pan. It's got a foil lining on the both sides so it might hold up to the catalytic converter/exhaust system but I not sure it would hold up very well to road abuse. I guess I could git a sheet of coroplast and put that on the bottom to keep the insulation board from gitting beat up. At least this would be a possible ultra-light weight solution.

Looks like the service temperatures is from -40F to 250F according to this datasheet.

1998 T-100 SR5 2WD auto, Roadmaster Active suspension, oil catch jar, AC mod, aero cap, lower aero package, 67% grill block
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#8 Old 01-11-2010, 06:22 PM
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Well...the bolts that hold the rear part of the belly pan to the rear spring hangars fell off. Had to pull over to a gas station and ziptie it back on. It only got scraped up a little...wasn't torn up like I thought it would be.

I think the zipties are gonna replace the rear bolts fer the long run. Just as a side note...it's important to carry zipties in yer truck at all times...you never know when you'll need them.

Now that it's gitting warmer...I can head out to the garage and drill the holes fer my brackets and add in the middle supports.

1998 T-100 SR5 2WD auto, Roadmaster Active suspension, oil catch jar, AC mod, aero cap, lower aero package, 67% grill block
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#9 Old 01-12-2010, 09:07 PM
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Piccies!

Zipties holding up the rear now...


My custom bracket that I can move anywhere on the frame. I still have to make my rubber spacers tomorrow so I don't end up cranking too hard on the bolt and bending the bracket.


Yes...I still have to secure the panel to the bracket so it doesn't bounce around too much and introduce more headaches down the road.

Next on the list is the removeable side skirts...I'm thinking about 4" of clearance. They will go on only during long extended trips.

1998 T-100 SR5 2WD auto, Roadmaster Active suspension, oil catch jar, AC mod, aero cap, lower aero package, 67% grill block
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#10 Old 01-13-2010, 07:15 PM
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More piccies...

My custom bracket...


Two brackets per side now...


Front support braces made from 12 gauge stock, belly panel tucks behind front crossmember, and oil drain hole fer the engine...


I removed my rock pan fer now...I'm thinking about putting in a flush panel between the front air dam and the front crossmember...but not fer this upcoming road trip.

1998 T-100 SR5 2WD auto, Roadmaster Active suspension, oil catch jar, AC mod, aero cap, lower aero package, 67% grill block
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#11 Old 01-14-2010, 02:43 AM
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Finally got the frames on...but I need to secure the ends because they will bounce if I don't. Bouncing is not good. As soon as I git some perforated metal strips to secure it...I'll be able to attach my foam sides. I just hope they hold up fer the trip.


1998 T-100 SR5 2WD auto, Roadmaster Active suspension, oil catch jar, AC mod, aero cap, lower aero package, 67% grill block
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#12 Old 01-14-2010, 10:50 AM
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Here's a rough fit of the side skirt...still need to trim one support piece and detach/bolt the rear section. I ended up using the R-Matte " thick stuff...easy to trim and fit. If it contacts anything...it's just wear away.

Clearance is 5" on the front side and 6" on the rear side. Not too shabby...




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#13 Old 01-14-2010, 12:47 PM
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Got the passenger (right) side done...


Rear shot...

1998 T-100 SR5 2WD auto, Roadmaster Active suspension, oil catch jar, AC mod, aero cap, lower aero package, 67% grill block
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#14 Old 01-19-2010, 11:06 AM
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Well...the trip went without any problems. Gas mileage was just averaging over 20+mpg at 65mph...it could be offsetting the difference in the winter gas mix and cold temps. To git the same mpg...I would have to drive around 60mph or slower.

I had this crazy thought. Make the side skirts from 12 gauge sheet metal and bolt it up at multiple points with security type bolts...to keep the catalytic converter thieves at bay. The supports will git changed out to stainless steel sheet metal and be bolted to the frame brackets. With a clearance of 4" on the front and 5" on the rear (loaded with gear and a full tank of gas)...not a whole not of room to maneuver under there and cut it out and steal my catalytic converter...and they can move on to an easier target.

I even thinking of making the first part of the belly pan in some stainless steel with side panels that wrap up on the frame as well so if they do git past the outer side skirts they can deal with that as well.

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#15 Old 01-19-2010, 02:17 PM
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man you sure have done a lot of work there!!!

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