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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-01-2013 01:28 PM
tallzdatank maybe my words were poorly chosen, I meant more, if something could be made easier to replace without compromising performance or strength I would lean more towards them, things bolted together vs welded for example, if a piece breaks a couple bolts off and BAM, vs welded you'll need to cut.
01-01-2013 01:19 PM
Black Magic Brakes
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallzdatank View Post
I would agree but I do base what I buy on how easy to install, uninstall or afro-engineer in the field to keep myself going in case of emergency.
Do you really think an aluminum skid or armor of some kind will catastrophically fail to the point where the vehicle will be rendered inoperable?

I don't carry spare control arms, do you? I don't care spare gear sets, spare knuckles, spare unitbearings, or any other of a whole bunch of things that I depend on to get me over the trails.

I do carry some stuff, but it is not based on how easy it is to fix. I have spare front axles in the trailer, but I do not now nor will I ever look forward to swapping those bastids out on the trail. There is nothing the least bit enjoyable about that.
01-01-2013 01:04 PM
tallzdatank
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Magic Brakes View Post

I think if you look closer at your motives, you've adopted a position and are coming up with justifications for being there.

Realistically you wouldn't be out 1K because there are plenty of folks around that perhaps you just haven't run into that can repair, weld, bolt, drill, and fabricate aluminum. At worst, you'd be out a few bucks and some inconvenience while you had it fixed.

I simply do not base any of my Jeep accessories, mods, fixes, or builds around what I can get repaired for free or repair myself. Now where did I put that hammer forge?
I would agree but I do base what I buy on how easy to install, uninstall or afro-engineer in the field to keep myself going in case of emergency.
01-01-2013 01:00 PM
Black Magic Brakes
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLK00TJ View Post
He's not a pro by any stretch. He fabs up bumpers, sliders, and skid plates for the members of our club in his spare time out of his garage. He doesn't have the equipment to work aluminum. So if I bought an aluminum skid for 1k, and it cracked, I'd be out 1k. If I bought a steel skid and it bent or cracked, I could rebend or repair with welding for free from my club members. Well free other than a 6-pack and I'll get to help out and learn something.
I think if you look closer at your motives, you've adopted a position and are coming up with justifications for being there.

Realistically you wouldn't be out 1K because there are plenty of folks around that perhaps you just haven't run into that can repair, weld, bolt, drill, and fabricate aluminum. At worst, you'd be out a few bucks and some inconvenience while you had it fixed.

I simply do not base any of my Jeep accessories, mods, fixes, or builds around what I can get repaired for free or repair myself. Now where did I put that hammer forge?
01-01-2013 12:54 PM
Black Magic Brakes
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgorm View Post
I'll agree with you on this Blaine. So to be as strong as 1/4"steel, you would need 3/8 Al, and there are not many companies using Al that thick. Some "armor" is 3/16" Al, similar to 1/8" steel. I'm not against Al as armor. I have some 1/2" 6061 plates that I might turn into skids. The bend force might be the same, but the strength at the bent Al joint will be less. Try to "unbend Al" and watch it snap off.
More accurately, to achieve the same stiffness of .250 steel you would need .350 6061-T6 not .375.

It isn't quite as simple as the "unbending" force being less or more. It has more to do with tensile versus yield and the relationship of the two in each material plus a lot has to do with how it is bent either with or across the grain.

What I've witnessed is the yield and tensile of aluminum being much closer to each other or put another way, you get a much higher strength out of the aluminum before it gives than you do with steel.

It is much harder to dent aluminum armor than it is steel.

I can think of no place on a TJ other than a steering box skid maybe to use 1/2" aluminum as armor. You are simply defeating the good reasons to use aluminum. My belly skid has been in continual use for years and is only 5/16" thick and the thickest I would ever go is 3/8".

I would however have a plate saw rip that into strips for backing plates 2 and 3" wide and use the crap out of that which we already do.
01-01-2013 12:20 PM
tallzdatank
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLK00TJ View Post
He's not a pro by any stretch. He fabs up bumpers, sliders, and skid plates for the members of our club in his spare time out of his garage. He doesn't have the equipment to work aluminum. So if I bought an aluminum skid for 1k, and it cracked, I'd be out 1k. If I bought a steel skid and it bent or cracked, I could rebend or repair with welding for free from my club members. Well free other than a 6-pack and I'll get to help out and learn something.
ok. I can see and understand that logic. aluminum welding equipment isn't terribly expensive if you've already got a mig welder. but if you never intend to use it then I couldn't recommend buying any. I personally have a spool gun for mine, and will be building an aluminum roof basket for mine in the spring.
01-01-2013 12:16 PM
BLK00TJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallzdatank View Post
ummm, aluminum can be reworked, and welded just like steel. if you have a professional fabricator who cant work aluminum, maybe he should rethink his training. I learned aluminum welding with both mig and tig in high school. its more expensive yes. its more difficult yes, but it can be done.
He's not a pro by any stretch. He fabs up bumpers, sliders, and skid plates for the members of our club in his spare time out of his garage. He doesn't have the equipment to work aluminum. So if I bought an aluminum skid for 1k, and it cracked, I'd be out 1k. If I bought a steel skid and it bent or cracked, I could rebend or repair with welding for free from my club members. Well free other than a 6-pack and I'll get to help out and learn something.
01-01-2013 12:06 PM
jgorm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Magic Brakes View Post
You can't have a steel versus aluminum comparison with blanket statements unless we know which alloy you are referencing.

But, as a general rule of thumb when dealing with the higher strength 6 and 7 alloys, you only have to increase the thickness by 40 percent in aluminum to achieve the same stiffness of mild steel. Since aluminum weighs 1/3 of what steel does, you get the same strength with 1/2 the weight.

As far as bending strength versus steel, the folks that make tooling for press brakes disagree with you a fair bit. If you look up the tonnage charts for doing air bends, the heat treated aluminum alloys use the same tonnage as steel in the same thicknesses.

I know from our products that it is easier to bend certain bends in steel than it is in the aluminum we use. We make a fairlead mount for our bumpers that is roughly 12" long in .188 6061 T-6 and it takes over 30 tons of force to do a small radius bend in that length. It takes about a third of that to do the same bend in steel.

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING
I'll agree with you on this Blaine. So to be as strong as 1/4"steel, you would need 3/8 Al, and there are not many companies using Al that thick. Some "armor" is 3/16" Al, similar to 1/8" steel. I'm not against Al as armor. I have some 1/2" 6061 plates that I might turn into skids. The bend force might be the same, but the strength at the bent Al joint will be less. Try to "unbend Al" and watch it snap off.
01-01-2013 12:04 PM
tallzdatank
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLK00TJ View Post
Yeah, and that's why I'm not sure if the whole aluminum craze is worth the extra cost for something I can't fix if it breaks. I have welders in my Jeep club and even a fabricator but he lives a few hours from me. They can fix steel. They can't help me with aluminum. But I do like the crossmember that Savvy has. A buddy just did a custom flat skid with a separate crossmember so I might do like he did. All the lessons were learned on his build.
ummm, aluminum can be reworked, and welded just like steel. if you have a professional fabricator who cant work aluminum, maybe he should rethink his training. I learned aluminum welding with both mig and tig in high school. its more expensive yes. its more difficult yes, but it can be done.
01-01-2013 11:48 AM
Black Magic Brakes
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLK00TJ View Post
Yeah, and that's why I'm not sure if the whole aluminum craze is worth the extra cost for something I can't fix if it breaks. I have welders in my Jeep club and even a fabricator but he lives a few hours from me. They can fix steel. They can't help me with aluminum. But I do like the crossmember that Savvy has. A buddy just did a custom flat skid with a separate crossmember so I might do like he did. All the lessons were learned on his build.
You do know that there are entire steel bridges and skyscrapers without any welding done to construct them, right?

Just because you changed materials does not mean you have to remain stuck in your old ways of fabrication. I make stuff out of aluminum all the time and I have no way of welding it nor do I believe welding is always the better way to go with it.

Would you ever build a steering box skid without welding?

01-01-2013 11:42 AM
Black Magic Brakes
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgorm View Post
Aluminum is pretty strong, especially for the same weight as steel. 1/4" steel is WAY stronger than 1/4" aluminum. If you want lighter armor, you could use thinner steel, or thicker aluminum and get similar results in weight savings and strength. For the same thickness, steel is about 2x as strong, it bends without breaking, and won't gouge or puncture as easily.
You can't have a steel versus aluminum comparison with blanket statements unless we know which alloy you are referencing.

But, as a general rule of thumb when dealing with the higher strength 6 and 7 alloys, you only have to increase the thickness by 40 percent in aluminum to achieve the same stiffness of mild steel. Since aluminum weighs 1/3 of what steel does, you get the same strength with 1/2 the weight.

As far as bending strength versus steel, the folks that make tooling for press brakes disagree with you a fair bit. If you look up the tonnage charts for doing air bends, the heat treated aluminum alloys use the same tonnage as steel in the same thicknesses.

I know from our products that it is easier to bend certain bends in steel than it is in the aluminum we use. We make a fairlead mount for our bumpers that is roughly 12" long in .188 6061 T-6 and it takes over 30 tons of force to do a small radius bend in that length. It takes about a third of that to do the same bend in steel.

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING
12-31-2012 10:25 PM
BLK00TJ Honestly though, I have the lightest possible wheels at 17# each with a very light tire now and I removed the rear seat. Other than the lift, it's mostly stock. I will end up putting on more weight before I'm done so I just want to keep it as light and nimble if I can.
12-31-2012 10:22 PM
BLK00TJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by 99er View Post
So who knows the weight of their TJ and what is it?
I don't. I just say "Light as a feather... light as a feather..." over and over when I get sideways or need to get over a big obstacle. It's worked for me so far .
12-31-2012 10:12 PM
UnlimitedLJ04
Quote:
Originally Posted by 99er View Post
up to 3,771 lbs
pfff...that's nothin'! My porker tips the scales around 4400lbs.
12-31-2012 10:08 PM
99er
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLK00TJ View Post
The fact that you took the time adding up what you got tells me you won't be happy until you know for sure
So who knows the weight of their TJ and what is it?
12-31-2012 09:46 PM
BLK00TJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by 99er View Post
I have not weighed my Sahara but started with the weight of 3,316 lbs that I got off the web for a 1999 Sahara and then added the 455 lbs of stuff I put on this year. I probably should get on the scales to see if I have an even bigger issue. On second thought maybe not, I might be happier living in denial.
The fact that you took the time adding up what you got tells me you won't be happy until you know for sure
12-31-2012 09:15 PM
99er
Quote:
Originally Posted by dosnewfs View Post
"So that's a total of 455 lbs which brings my 1999 Sahara up to 3,771 lbs. This can't continue. I need to make a resolution for next year."




My sport weighs all of that and it is nearly stock. Just bumpers and little bigger tires. Did you have gas in the tank?
I have not weighed my Sahara but started with the weight of 3,316 lbs that I got off the web for a 1999 Sahara and then added the 455 lbs of stuff I put on this year. I probably should get on the scales to see if I have an even bigger issue. On second thought maybe not, I might be happier living in denial.
12-31-2012 08:50 PM
dosnewfs "So that's a total of 455 lbs which brings my 1999 Sahara up to 3,771 lbs. This can't continue. I need to make a resolution for next year."




My sport weighs all of that and it is nearly stock. Just bumpers and little bigger tires. Did you have gas in the tank?
12-31-2012 08:15 PM
BLK00TJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgorm View Post
Aluminum is pretty strong, especially for the same weight as steel. 1/4" steel is WAY stronger than 1/4" aluminum. If you want lighter armor, you could use thinner steel, or thicker aluminum and get similar results in weight savings and strength. For the same thickness, steel is about 2x as strong, it bends without breaking, and won't gouge or puncture as easily.
Yeah, and that's why I'm not sure if the whole aluminum craze is worth the extra cost for something I can't fix if it breaks. I have welders in my Jeep club and even a fabricator but he lives a few hours from me. They can fix steel. They can't help me with aluminum. But I do like the crossmember that Savvy has. A buddy just did a custom flat skid with a separate crossmember so I might do like he did. All the lessons were learned on his build.
12-31-2012 08:10 PM
jgorm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLK00TJ View Post
I'm still not completely sold on the aluminum skid being able to take the same amount of abuse as a steel skid.
Aluminum is pretty strong, especially for the same weight as steel. 1/4" steel is WAY stronger than 1/4" aluminum. If you want lighter armor, you could use thinner steel, or thicker aluminum and get similar results in weight savings and strength. For the same thickness, steel is about 2x as strong, it bends without breaking, and won't gouge or puncture as easily.
12-31-2012 08:10 PM
BLK00TJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by 99er View Post
Even though I've added 455 lbs this year, I was thinking about replacing the stock rear bumper and adding a tire carrier. That will probably be another 100 lbs. But after calculating all the weight of everything I've added, I'm really starting to reconsider. What is the weight savings of replacing the stock steel skid with an aluminum skid? I doubt it would be that much.
Well, for UCF skids, the steel 3/16" TC skid is 60lbs while the 1/4" comparable strength aluminum skid is 27lbs. You can get a 3/8" aluminum skid that only weighs 40 lbs.

I don't know, it just seems to me that I can hammer and re-weld or re-bend steel whereas I can't do a dang thing if aluminum cracks. I'm still on the fence with this one.
12-31-2012 08:02 PM
99er Even though I've added 455 lbs this year, I was thinking about replacing the stock rear bumper and adding a tire carrier. That will probably be another 100 lbs. But after calculating all the weight of everything I've added, I'm really starting to reconsider. What is the weight savings of replacing the stock steel skid with an aluminum skid? I doubt it would be that much.
12-31-2012 03:44 PM
Big Cole
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilDogDoc View Post
Hehe bet you're glad to be rid of them RE bushings though huh?
Absolutely. No more squeaking and my rig feels solid.
12-31-2012 03:21 PM
Imped In terms of sprung weight, my jeep is lighter than it was from the factory and is fully armored. The unsprung weight is where all of the gains were made.
12-31-2012 02:55 PM
steve76t great thread! sometimes weight gains can't be helped. just gotta say the hell with it and buy bigger clothes.
12-31-2012 02:33 PM
DevilDogDoc Hehe bet you're glad to be rid of them RE bushings though huh?
12-31-2012 02:31 PM
Big Cole
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilDogDoc View Post
Really? How much did your weight change?
About .2 ounces
12-31-2012 01:31 PM
BLK00TJ I'm hoping the increase in weight from the stuff I'm doing to my Jeep will be offset a little by the diet my wife is putting me on starting tomorrow. Tonight will be my last hoo-rah with a dinner at Sakura's and plenty of Sam Adams. I have to lose about 50 lbs myself but I'll be adding aluminum to my Jeep where it makes sense. I'm still not completely sold on the aluminum skid being able to take the same amount of abuse as a steel skid.
12-31-2012 01:14 PM
DevilDogDoc
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Cole View Post
Same here. Ditched my stock skid and RE control arms in favor of aluminum units.
Really? How much did your weight change?
12-31-2012 01:10 PM
Big Cole
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cencal View Post
Hmm we have the opposite goal. I've lost weight
Same here. Ditched my stock skid and RE control arms in favor of aluminum units.
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