John E Davies Posted March 21, 2018 Share Posted March 21, 2018 This could go in Modifications, but it really has to do with protecting the suspension and subframe from gravel rash and water while towing off pavement. Moderators, you can move it there if you like. This is an easy mod, you just have to get over your fear of drilling into your frame. Why would you want to do this? It will stop the paint on the axles, hubs and shocks from eroding and rusting (gravel rash). It will help to protect the plated finish on the steel subframe. It will reduce or at least soften the high pressure water blast that sprays up onto your spring bearings in wet weather from your tow vehicle, washing out the lubricant. It may help to reduce the blast on the rear bumper and bumper compartment. And it looks cool. The material is 1/8 inch sheet neoprene, cloth reinforced. I think it is used for conveyor belts. I located it in bulk at a local rubber supplier. A 3 x 4 ft sheet cost $90. The rest of the material was used elsewhere on Mouse. I cut two strips 12"x 26". They meet in the center and extend about 3 inches beyond the frame angle. The extended part will protect the shocks, which are pretty far outboard. Hardware is 1/4" x 1 1/4" stainless bolts, washers and nylocks (locking nuts). To keep the rubber off the steel I used 5/6-18 nylon nuts (full plastic, no steel) as spacers. They are a little hard to find - the box stores and Ace Hardware keep only a few in stock. You might be able to use circular nylon spacers, but these nuts work fine and are half the cost (about $0.60 each). Drill a neat row of 1/4 inch holes at 6 inch spacing along the bottom of the front-most steel cross angle. Use a sharp pilot bit first and it is not difficult, just a little messy. Wear eye protection and old clothes! Drill the rubber to match the spacing using a 5/16" bit. Clean the steel with a good solvent, not alcohol. Use of alcohol for prepping the parts before sealing will prevent the sealant from curing! Install the bolt and washer with the threads facing forward, with a dab of 3M Fast Cure 4000 or another excellent marine sealant under the head. Add another dab of sealant on the shank and push the nylon nut into place, and add a flat washer. Place the flap onto the threaded part of the bolt, add another washer and a nylock. Repeat for all the holes and tighten evenly. Unless you were frugal with the sealant this could be MESSY! You can use a good solvent like Acetone or MEK to clean up any messes. The rubber I used is curling since it was in a tight roll for six weeks. I think it will straighten out when exposed to wind blast and heat, if not I can install some stainless strips along the bottom to weight them down. John Davies Spokane WA 2 1 "Mouse": 2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/ Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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