Thursday, January 5, 2017

Steel vs. Aluminum

Well I am getting that itch again -- to buy some more Jeep Parts. Even though I have lifted my Jeep and added bigger tires, I still need to be cautious of messing up my under carriage. 


The last time I was out wheeling taught me that lesson, when I came down hard on a rock and messed up my steering stabilizer. 

I will be looking to get a relocation bracket for my stabilizer. But the next big item I am looking at is an aftermarket gas tank skid. 


Currently, my stock skid is pretty scratched up and dented. However, I am not sure if I should go aluminum or steel or stainless steel. 






Here is what I know...

Steel is strong, stronger than aluminum, but a lot heavier.

Aluminum can bend & dent easier than steel, but it is lighter.

Aluminum is pricey than steel. 

Here is what I need to consider... added weight, durability, cost and what I use my Jeep for. 

WEIGHT: Adding more weight could be an issue, but on the Rubicon I understand that shouldn’t be an problem. They were made to handle the extra weight. 

DURABILITY: If you don’t do a lot of wheeling where the undercarriage can get beat up, but you still want some protection and not a lot of extra weight aluminum would be the way to go. If you do a lot of rock crawling then steel is your answer. But with steel you need to worry about rust. So a good powdercoat is necessary. Plus you will need to maintain the steel by watching out for dings, scratches and gouges that could eventually rust if you don’t take care of them. 

Now if you want durable, rust proof tough skids stainless steel is your best bet. Now that I have the pros and cons of the different metals it is time to seek out the skid options out there on the World Wide Web.      


INSTALL: I need to do my homework as some skids require the removal of the whole gas tanks. The skid could double as a fuel tank cradle. 



The other question is does my stock gas tank skid give me the protection I need. Do I need to replace it?