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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at building a full skid plate on my 2013 800. My riding consist of simple trails, some mud / water, however the mud / water barely reaches the floorboard. But there are times that I will feel the plastic skid plate hit the mud when I fall in a deep rut.

No rocks, No big logs, just small sticks, grass and some very occasional mud that will get stuck in all those holes of the stock plastic one.

So I plan on making a full length aluminum one with much fewer holes. Yes i know the holes are for cleaning, but the little mud i run, cleaning is nothing. I'm sick and tired of pulling grass and small sticks out those holes. I'm also going to incorporate some mud blockers so the rear wheels don't fill the underneath side up the seat with grass, dirt and mud (why Polaris left this open is beyond me. exposed wires, hoses, etc :mad::mad:) So I plan on removing my rubber floor mat mud blockers and making some out of aluminum.

I fab a lot of thing with aluminum as a hobby. Fencing, automated driveway gates, crawfish pots, boats, all kinds of crap. I also have a 20 ton press brake i made so i can bend all the aluminum to contour to the body. I removed the plastic one a while back and broke a bolt off in the skid plate that I need to drill out and remove. So I'm just getting around to this project and figured why not.

What I need to know is will a 4x8 sheet do it? 4x10? It seems that when I search the site, a lot of the older pics have been sluffed off and I can't see them, so i can't get a sense of what I need. I do have a lot of scrap 1/8" plate that I plan on making some stick stoppers for also for my a-arms because I'm tired of changing boots. Just changed one this week.

I'll be using 1/8 plate to cut down on some weight and due to my terrain. Also, I don't raw my equipment so no need for anything thicker.
 

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2015 Polaris ranger 570 XP
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I bought my skid plate made of 1/2" HDPE. Like you, I am easy on my equipment, but I wanted a skid plate that protected the rocker panels and would not dent. I learned way back when riding ATCs (Honda 3 Wheelers for younger folks) that you can never tell when an unseen rock or log, or cypress knee in my case, hidden by vegetation will suddenly ruin your day, even if you are careful.

I would suggest that if you use aluminum be certain it's wide enough to protect the rocker panels, they are expensive to replace. I'd also suggest reinforcing the outer edges under the rockers. My Ranger is a 570 Full Size (I'm not familiar with the 800 size) so 48" material wouldn't be wide enough if the skid plate were made in one piece, used lengthwise. My skid plate was made in 3 pieces which join together at seams that are rabbited and overlap. You won't be able to do that with thin material like aluminum so be sure that if you have to overlap you make the more forward pieces overlap the rearward pieces so the edges don't catch on rocks, stumps or the ground at high angle traverses.

You seem set on aluminum but it might be worthwhile to price HDPE sheets and compare. It can be worked with normal woodworking tools like circular saws, routers and hole saws, about all the same tools you can use on aluminum. It does have advantages of not denting and being slick so it slides easier over obstacles. It will probably be heavier when used in thicker cross sections.

My skid plate came with self drilling/tapping bolts to attach it to the chassis and I used them but as they strip out I am replacing them with Nutserts which can be had in stainless if desired. Since the HDPE skid is thick the bolts are recessed so they don't get hit by things. I suppose you could use button head bolts on an aluminum skid plate to minimize protrusions.

I realize this doesn't exactly answer your questions but I hope it gives you some insight to help with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not really hung up on aluminum. Just was considering it. I know the UHMV sheets are high as hell. Figured if I was spending that much, just as soon do aluminum. I haven't looked at HDPE yet, I know its not quite as strong as UHMV, but considering my riding area, this could be an option. I'll have to see what is offered around the Baton Rouge area. I also like the idea of nut inserts, because my plan was to get a tap and chase all the current threads and drill out the broken one.
 

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When I first started reading your post....and the usage of your machine. I was going to suggest HDPE. You can get 1/4 4x8 sheets at Menards for a reasonable price. I've made mud guards half doors and a dash insert for radio and speakers from it.

Easy to work with and many uses for the Ranger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I bought my skid plate made of 1/2" HDPE. Like you, I am easy on my equipment, but I wanted a skid plate that protected the rocker panels and would not dent. I learned way back when riding ATCs (Honda 3 Wheelers for younger folks) that you can never tell when an unseen rock or log, or cypress knee in my case, hidden by vegetation will suddenly ruin your day, even if you are careful.

I would suggest that if you use aluminum be certain it's wide enough to protect the rocker panels, they are expensive to replace. I'd also suggest reinforcing the outer edges under the rockers. My Ranger is a 570 Full Size (I'm not familiar with the 800 size) so 48" material wouldn't be wide enough if the skid plate were made in one piece, used lengthwise. My skid plate was made in 3 pieces which join together at seams that are rabbited and overlap. You won't be able to do that with thin material like aluminum so be sure that if you have to overlap you make the more forward pieces overlap the rearward pieces so the edges don't catch on rocks, stumps or the ground at high angle traverses.

You seem set on aluminum but it might be worthwhile to price HDPE sheets and compare. It can be worked with normal woodworking tools like circular saws, routers and hole saws, about all the same tools you can use on aluminum. It does have advantages of not denting and being slick so it slides easier over obstacles. It will probably be heavier when used in thicker cross sections.

My skid plate came with self drilling/tapping bolts to attach it to the chassis and I used them but as they strip out I am replacing them with Nutserts which can be had in stainless if desired. Since the HDPE skid is thick the bolts are recessed so they don't get hit by things. I suppose you could use button head bolts on an aluminum skid plate to minimize protrusions.

I realize this doesn't exactly answer your questions but I hope it gives you some insight to help with your project.
The nut inserts came in yesterday. I have never seen those before but they a very nice. Better than what I was going to do. Now I have to search and see if I can get HDPE sheets in my area without having to mortgage my house to get it.
 

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Did you get the tool to install the nutserts or are you going to make one?
 

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The nut inserts came in yesterday. I have never seen those before but they a very nice. Better than what I was going to do. Now I have to search and see if I can get HDPE sheets in my area without having to mortgage my house to get it.

My local Menards carries 1/4" 4x8 sheets for $78.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Did you get the tool to install the nutserts or are you going to make one?
No, actually a buddy of mine has been using these on different items for years. I just never heard of them . He made his own using a 1/4" grade 8 bolt, 4 washers, 3/8" coupling (used as a spacer). He showed me how its used and its nothing to it. He uses his impact driver to set them. DIY tool about $6 from ace hardware. The damn tool is $75 to $100.

My local Menards carries 1/4" 4x8 sheets for $78.
Wow, that's cheap. I don't have one here in Louisiana. I'm on their website and I'm outside their delivery range. Yeah, $78 is cheap. Down here its about $200+ if they have it in stock
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Product Fluid Gas Electric blue Font


basically looks like this. Take a wrench and hold the coupling and use impact to drive the grade 8 bolt. Sucks it up very tight. If they loosen up, which they shouldn't according to him, then do it again.
 

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I made my own too but it differs in that it doesn't require the bolt that pulls the nutsert to turn in the threads in the nutsert thus reducing the possibility of shearing/stripping the nutsert threads. If you're interested I'll try to get a picture for you sometime tomorrow.
 

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Yeah sure. I was going to make one like his but if yours works also, gives me options.
OK, I'll post some pics sometime tomorrow
 

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Here's my version of a nutsert tool:
Office supplies Writing implement Metal Tool Nickel


Automotive tire Fastener Rim Nickel Gas
 

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I was going to weld a handle on mine as well. Looks like you keep the stud stationary and turn the nut to make it a jack bolt.
That is correct, the nut pulls the nutsert tight instead of using the threads in the nutsert and chancing stressing them. My tool is a little more difficult to make but it works really well. I use a ratcheting box wrench on the nut and hold the bolt still with the box end of a combination wrench. I can hold the combination wrench and the welded handle in one hand while tightening the nut with the ratcheting box wrench in the other. By making only a new center bolt I can use the rest of the tool with other size nutserts smaller than 1/4" ( 10-24, 8-32 etc).
 
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