Project Steel Belly

The "Pimp my Ride" section for Soviet bloc bikes. Everybody seems to have their own custom add-ons, modifications & accessories. Share your tips and post pictures of them here.
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This is the place for topics concerining modifying and accessorizing your Ural or Denpr.
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BinDerSmokDat
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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Fri May 03, 2019 2:47 pm

So here is a shot of the drain plug from inside and a stock pan opening.
You can see the grooves in the plug boss area that help channel oil out the plug.
My quick drain is right where the floor of the pan meets the back wall.
I will need to put the front wheel on a block of wood or two to get everything to drain.
20190317_120741.jpg
20190317_120752.jpg
I also added a deep sump pick-up.
I have it mocked up in it's approximate installed depth.
It doesn't drop as deep into the pan as I would like, I may work on extending this.
20190317_122230.jpg
At one point I was trying to get a smidge more clearance between the pan and the point where the pug use to be.
I wailed on it quite hard with an engineers hammer. It laughed at me and said "not today friend."
It barely dinged it.
20190326_170819.jpg
I made the plate wide to protect the right side Y-pipe and exhaust.
However by time I had welded everything and cinched the pipes down something had changed.
I no longer had a 1/4" between the underside of the J-pipe and the leading edge of the skid plate.
It too laughed at me and said "not today." Barely even dinged it.
20190326_170829.jpg
In the end I had to use the grinder and get some clearance.

Since I was already losing ground clearance, I decide that I was going to used recessed M12 hex head screws for attachment.
I snagged a 25 count bag of them for under $2 on close out online, grade 10.9 no less!
A bag of 50 count M12 nylok nuts was $1.50!
I guess someone at Fastenal F-d up and ordered too many and they weren't selling.
20190326_181003.jpg
20190326_200648.jpg
20190326_191139.jpg
20190326_191151.jpg
20190330_151809.jpg
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BinDerSmokDat
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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Fri May 03, 2019 2:53 pm

Final weight of the plate, brackets and hardware is 26.6lbs!!!
I have the undisputable heavyweight champion deep sump skid plate for a Ural in the world.
It protects the right side exhaust and I have angled it up to the center stand bracket (ala COB) and removed the stand.
It's very nice and tidy now.
I also added a quick drain to the transmission, so now I just attach two short pieces of hose, open the evers and both drain into a pan next to the bike, no skid plate removal is necessary and no holes on the underside of the plate.

Tentative testing in VA and WV show it's working Ok and the modified pan is holding oil fine.
The bigger test will be the JDH next month.
We will see how much it hangs up the bike in rutted sandy/muddy trails.

BTW, my welding skills are not the best, I know that.
I will post some videos of me testing the welds as soon as I get a chance.

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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Fri May 03, 2019 3:12 pm

Hammer testing take #1... :oops: :lol:



Take #2...



Take #3...



Trying to beat the plate to ding it at the drain spot...you can see some dings from previous hammerings.
At this point I was just showing how the plate wasn't even budging and can take a pretty strong blow.
Note that is about 24lbs of steel I'm hitting with 2lbs of steel. See it moving around? I'm wailing on it pretty hard.



No rock is being thrown up by the front tire with more mass/velocity than a 6'5" 320lb man swinging a 2lb hammer. :roll:
Landing on a big rock? Yes. But a rock being thrown up? Nope.
All manufacturers and skid plate owners, feel free to post your videos of your product quality testing... :lol:

Like I said before, if you don't have a COB or something built to those specs, you have a Skid Fake.
Sorry.

I want to thank COB for coming up with such a great, basic design.
I always said if you want a plate, COB's is the one to get.
But it wasn't until I started making mine, that I truly understood the simplicity and strength of it.

Thanks to ReCycled, JayBird and TomCatFixer for ideas, words of encouragement and egging me on. :lol:

Now that it's done, I think even with the fins ground off, the oil pan would be OK 99% of the time.
But when I'm bouncing over abandoned rail road tracks, dropping off concrete culverts and rock ledges, I will feel a little more secure.
The exhaust protection is probably the more useful thing, as it is not uncommon to snag the right side pipe when in ruts, even with a Y-pipe.

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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by cateyetech » Fri May 03, 2019 8:37 pm

Hey BDSD

Sorry my post upset you :(
If you and WM say it's impossible, it must be :)
But it does make me smile when I hear that sound :D
piece of mind you know :wink:
Like having a bulletproof oil pan and adding a skid plate, like you :D

Interesting project & good hunting :twisted:

:foilhead:
Charlie ╭∩╮(-_-)╭∩╮
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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by mr. cob » Sun May 05, 2019 12:51 am

Howdy BDSD,

Looks good. Thanks for calling me and discussing your project, I am honored that you chose my design to incorporate into your final result. I agree that few Ural's need a skid plate but if your going to install one "ALL" of the ones that are presently commercially available from not only Ural but the other vendors who sell them will NOT stand up to the ABUSE my skid plate or now yours will easily withstand.

Dave
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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Mon May 06, 2019 6:57 am

mr. cob wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 12:51 am
Looks good. Thanks for calling me and discussing your project, I am honored that you chose my design to incorporate into your final result. I agree that few Ural's need a skid plate but if your going to install one "ALL" of the ones that are presently commercially available from not only Ural but the other vendors who sell them will NOT stand up to the ABUSE my skid plate or now yours will easily withstand.
Thanks Dave!

Your plate is perfectly sized to protect the oil pan; I wish I'd paid a little more attention, I could have saved a few pounds and some grief...
Unfortunately I didn't have the dimensions of your plate in front of me when I started this, I was working off pics.
Starting with the square tube sections, I made them wider than necessary about 1.75".
This meant I ended up grinding away some of the right side brackets to clear the exhaust.
Because the brackets were wider, I made the plate stick past the oil pan a little wider on the left.
Also on the right side I hadn't sorted out the exhaust so the plate is about an 1" wider than it needs to be to protect the exhaust.

My front lip is a little longer as well, I just eyeballed it.
When I got my plate alongside ReCycled's official COB plate, I could see where I'd gone wider everywhere.
If I find that the width is a problem, I can always take the angle grinder or saw too it!

Thanks again for the inspiration!

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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Tue May 07, 2019 2:31 pm

cateyetech wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 8:37 pm
Sorry my post upset you :(
If you and WM say it's impossible, it must be :)
I wasn't upset at all.
Just calling out the ways one will most likely chunk a hole in the oil pan and the way which you will definitely not.

Some dual sports that see more highway than dirt have relatively thin engine or tranny cases.
I've seen rocks hole these types of cases but these bikes are just as often dropped on and off-road leading to a hole, so any additional protection is helpful. I know of a few cases where rocks were caught in chains and flung with bullet-like speed at cases, causing damaged cases. Or chains themselves failing and taking out a case.

In the case of Urals, the overall design and the pan design specifically means a lot more metal between the oil and the rocks than an SV650 or DRZ400.
Both of those bikes also weigh much less than a Ural.
Add two adults to a Ural and some tools, spares and farkles and you are pushing 1200-1300lbs.

On a Ural however you need a very large rock or ledge to hit the pan and you will feel any impact that would do damage.
To go back to Cateye's previous post about not noticing an oil leak from a damaged pan; I guarantee you WILL be stopping to check if something big enough to impact the oil pan hits, so his previous scenario of bopping along, oblivious to oil leak after an impact is unlikely.

So when one considers the forces at work and the likely ways a pan will be struck, I agree on an average dual sport bike that any skid plate will help provide some protection.
But on a Ural if anyone thinks their oil pan is in jeopardy and you are going to spend the money, why not get the skid plate that guarantees ultimate protection?
For the expense, a COB plate is on par with other options but you get bullet-proof (figuratively yes, literally...not quite but almost) protection.

That's why I disagree with Lokiboy...
Lokiboy wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 5:44 am
...I fall into that category. Bought the Cob skid plate, which will long out last Erika, with big plans in mind, but will probably never do anything beyond the JDH (which was a blast BTW)
He bought a COB plate and if he does the occasional trip JDH or Michaux State Park at the BGR, at least he has the maximum protection.
(And we WILL look for some rocky trails in Michaux for the brave and/or skid plate protected. :lol: )
I can't understand who would spend the same amount for less protection.

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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by jaybird » Tue May 07, 2019 8:00 pm

Nice work on the skid plate Rich. :cheers:
I can't argue against any of the points you've made, all very valid. Another "Advantage" of a wide flat, skid plate in the south jersey sand/mud, is as a breastplate/belly pan to help slide over/through, maybe less friction than the open bottom of the engine/frame.
As usual, I have some other thoughts/ideas/designs for skid plates, just haven't had the need or opportunity to weld something up, maybe the next time I have my engine out.
One of my thoughts would be to grind the ribs off the sump, Shallow or Deep, your choice, and weld a piece of 3/8" aluminium plate to the bottom of the pan, light and effective.
Another involves a rounded steel armor, tucked up and close around the pan, picture the top of an oxygen bottle, halved, with the raised/threaded portion containing the bung/valve removed, tucked up around the pan and extending back past the transmission.

Happy trails,
Jaybird
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Etc.

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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by cateyetech » Tue May 07, 2019 11:14 pm

BinDerSmokDat wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:31 pm
cateyetech wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 8:37 pm
Sorry my post upset you :(
If you and WM say it's impossible, it must be :)
I wasn't upset at all.
That's Good
Just calling out the ways one will most likely chunk a hole in the oil pan and the way which you will definitely not.

Some dual sports that see more highway than dirt have relatively thin engine or tranny cases.
I've seen rocks hole these types of cases but these bikes are just as often dropped on and off-road leading to a hole, so any additional protection is helpful. I know of a few cases where rocks were caught in chains and flung with bullet-like speed at cases, causing damaged cases. Or chains themselves failing and taking out a case.

In the case of Urals, the overall design and the pan design specifically means a lot more metal between the oil and the rocks than an SV650 or DRZ400.
Both of those bikes also weigh much less than a Ural.
Add two adults to a Ural and some tools, spares and farkles and you are pushing 1200-1300lbs.

On a Ural however you need a very large rock or ledge to hit the pan and you will feel any impact that would do damage.
To go back to Cateye's previous post about not noticing an oil leak from a damaged pan; I guarantee you WILL be stopping to check if something big enough to impact the oil pan hits, so his previous scenario of bopping along, oblivious to oil leak after an impact is unlikely.

So when one considers the forces at work and the likely ways a pan will be struck, I agree on an average dual sport bike that any skid plate will help provide some protection.
But on a Ural if anyone thinks their oil pan is in jeopardy and you are going to spend the money, why not get the skid plate that guarantees ultimate protection?
For the expense, a COB plate is on par with other options but you get bullet-proof (figuratively yes, literally...not quite but almost) protection.

That's why I disagree with Lokiboy...
Lokiboy wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 5:44 am
...I fall into that category. Bought the Cob skid plate, which will long out last Erika, with big plans in mind, but will probably never do anything beyond the JDH (which was a blast BTW)
He bought a COB plate and if he does the occasional trip JDH or Michaux State Park at the BGR, at least he has the maximum protection.
(And we WILL look for some rocky trails in Michaux for the brave and/or skid plate protected. :lol: )
I can't understand who would spend the same amount for less protection.
Hey BDSD
Well you have gone from
"The front tire isn't powered and would not be able to throw any rock up at a stock pan and so much as ding it.
to
"No rock is being thrown up by the front tire with more mass/velocity than a 6'5" 320lb man swinging a 2lb hammer."
(and your beating on the skid plate not the pan :?: nothing is going to damage the plate? Right)
to
"I've seen rocks hole these types of cases but these bikes are just as often dropped on and off-road leading to a hole, so any additional protection is helpful."

and from
you can't damage a stock pan so anything you do will just decrease crucial ground clearance
to
a modified pan with skid plate that decrease crucial ground clearance
but you get more oil :?:

WOW!

But at least you did reply :wink:

No pictures of it mounted?
just beeing beat on by the Hulk :lol:

We built our skid pan too :D
3/16 SS (try drilling a hole in that :lol: )
so we're covered :P
IMG_20190503_162108.jpg
IMG_20190503_162019.jpg
IMG_20190503_185149.jpg


Anyway, as I said before
Good Hunting :twisted:


:foilhead:
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Charlie ╭∩╮(-_-)╭∩╮
2003 Gear-Up Ромашка Мзй
765cc - Mikuni TM33 carburetors - Modified stock airbox with Uni foam filter
2-1 exhaust - Hand worked cylinder heads - Type V ignition system
A Warn XT17 witch that works from any angle - More handmade parts than I can list :foilhead:

The only Ural to post a second gear wheelie :evil:

2000 Patrol Teh Урал
Thanks DaveO, I'll try to ride it like you, I'll try :foilhead:

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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Wed May 08, 2019 3:42 pm

Some folks have been asking about the mounting hardware.
I reviewed my purchases and misquoted a couple of things.
It was not Fastenal but Grainger.
I ordered some different stuff from Fastenal hence the confusion.
The washers and nuts were around $1, not the bolts.
But still reasonable considering the quantity.
Shipping was a little steep due to the weight.

The bolts are here. 50 for $24.98.
https://www.grainger.com/product/29DH83

The nuts are here...still showing as $0.93 for 50!
https://www.grainger.com/product/1FA76

The split washers are still showing as $1.01 for 100!
https://www.grainger.com/product/6FB59

That said, the next biggest expense and challenge is the actual countersinking.
The diameter of the heads is 26.88mm so just over 1".
The thickness of the head is 7.4mm so just over 1/4" thick.
Head angle is 90 degrees.
That means if you want them to sit flush, you need a big honking countersink and enough material to support that head thickness.
In my case, I backed up my 3/16" steel plate with additional 1/4" thick flat stock welded on because I needed to get the pan to plate clearance right. My plate is effectively about 7/16" thick at the mounting points.
Keep that in mind, as in standard COB configuration, you will be going all the way through the plate and into the brackets a little to get the required head depth. This might compromise the plate and bracket a little.

BTW, you won't be doing this with some cheap countersink from Harbor Freight or Home depot.
first they don't sell one the right size.
Second even in mild steel this is a big cutting job.
I used this countersink which was $42.
It is a 1/2" shank intended for lathes but with some cutting oil, high speed on the Ryobi and steady pressure, it cut pretty well.
Remember to watch your chips, you want it making big consistent chips.
Add oil drip-wise while cutting to allow good cuts.
If you spin without cutting you will quickly dull the tool.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00947DAB6

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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Wed May 08, 2019 4:29 pm

cateyetech wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:14 pm
...Well you have gone from
"The front tire isn't powered and would not be able to throw any rock up at a stock pan and so much as ding it."
to
"No rock is being thrown up by the front tire with more mass/velocity than a 6'5" 320lb man swinging a 2lb hammer."
(and your beating on the skid plate not the pan :?: nothing is going to damage the plate? Right)
to
"I've seen rocks hole these types of cases but these bikes are just as often dropped on and off-road leading to a hole, so any additional protection is helpful."
Not seeing your point; my two statements don't contradict each other. The front tire isn't powered, it will not throw up any rock at a stock pan that will so much as ding it and no rock will be thrown up with the force I can wail on the plate with a hammer. I'm saying that magic bullet rocks fired from book depository windows are no problem for a Ural, with or without a plate.

Next you are cherry picking...yes I've seen rocks hole lightweight dual sport cases.
I never said "rocks thrown up by front tires."
Guys on dirt and DS bikes sometimes overestimate their clearance and tag a rock, plus the other ways I mentioned.
cateyetech wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:14 pm
and from
you can't damage a stock pan so anything you do will just decrease crucial ground clearance
to
a modified pan with skid plate that decrease crucial ground clearance
but you get more oil :?:
You seem to have trouble discerning the subtleties in what I say; again those two statements are not contradictory.
A stock pan would be fine on 99.9% of Urals and has been fine on mine despite lots of off-roading in 9 years.
A skid plate with a stock pan decreases ground clearance.
A modified deep sump pan with exposed quick drain valve and fins ground off is lower than and more likely to tag something than a stock pan.
And a skid plate on said modified pan reduces ground clearance.
However I feel more oil is a good thing, especially low speed off-roading with two people.
This is an experiment, if I get hung up on every obstacle off-road, I might reconsider.
But so far I haven't.

Also I never said crucial ground clearance. Ground clearance is important, but if it was the end all be all of off-roading we wouldn't be out there with Urals in the first place.
cateyetech wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:14 pm
...3/16 SS (try drilling a hole in that :lol: )
I did. 8 times.
My angle brackets are 316 stainless.
I've worked in the chemical and pharma industries for years.
I make friends with the mechanics and get access to the scrap goodies.

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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Wed May 08, 2019 4:50 pm

jaybird wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 8:00 pm
Nice work on the skid plate Rich. :cheers:
I can't argue against any of the points you've made, all very valid. Another "Advantage" of a wide flat, skid plate in the south jersey sand/mud, is as a breastplate/belly pan to help slide over/through, maybe less friction than the open bottom of the engine/frame.
As usual, I have some other thoughts/ideas/designs for skid plates, just haven't had the need or opportunity to weld something up, maybe the next time I have my engine out.
One of my thoughts would be to grind the ribs off the sump, Shallow or Deep, your choice, and weld a piece of 3/8" aluminium plate to the bottom of the pan, light and effective.
Another involves a rounded steel armor, tucked up and close around the pan, picture the top of an oxygen bottle, halved, with the raised/threaded portion containing the bung/valve removed, tucked up around the pan and extending back past the transmission.

Happy trails,
Jaybird
Thanks Jay.

And I have anecdotal evidence that the wide plate does what you describe.
I have some neighborhood spots to ride in dirt but they require crossing some berms and ditches.
I have gotten hung up in the past on these with the stock pan and no plate, but on a test ride with the new plate it seemed easier.
I made it through and the berm had a nice flat edge graded across the top.
i was also able to pick spots regardless of breakover angle because any fear of whacking the pan is gone.
The real test will be in the Pines, crossing those abandoned RR tracks and w@$#ed out concrete culverts.

I did consider a bent or contoured skid plate, but that made the actual construction a little more difficult.
COB's design really is stone simple.

Welding a thicker aluminum steel plate to an existing oil pan is exactly how some racing teams add protection with minimal weight.
The problem with the Ural pan is that the actual body of the pan has a fair amount of compound curve (front to back and side to side).
This is true of both the stock and the deep sump but it is more pronounced on the deep sump.
If you trimmed a little to reduce clearance but left a flat profile across the fins, you could weld along the left and right fins and at the ends.
Maybe even incorporate a little angle leading edge.
But that would take a very talented welder of aluminum and that isn't me.
I barely can weld steel satisfactorily.
The other issue with that idea is now you are introducing possible heat stress and warping to Russian aluminum metallurgy.
And whatever hardness your aluminum pan and plate had at the start will be zero at/near the welds, which might be a good thing, less brittle.

I'd love to get a pan under a vertical end mill, get the fins as low as possible while maintaining a level profile and give it a try.
Pre-heating, MIG/TIG and maybe placing the parts in an oven after to take out stress.

If you want to bolt anything up, I know a guy near you with a bunch of appropriate metric fasteners. :lol:

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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Thu May 09, 2019 9:18 am

Not pics of the plate per se, but some shots I took on the BRP not long after it was installed.
The Raceway foot box with my mini foot box skid plate blocks most of the view.
What I really like is how the Y-pipes and removal of the center stand clean up the underside.
20190406_115126(0).jpg
20190406_112205.jpg
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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by cateyetech » Fri May 10, 2019 9:14 am

BinDerSmokDat wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 9:18 am
Not pics of the plate per se, but some shots I took on the BRP not long after it was installed.
The Raceway foot box with my mini foot box skid plate blocks most of the view.
What I really like is how the Y-pipes and removal of the center stand clean up the underside.

20190406_115126(0).jpg
20190406_112205.jpg
:thumbsup:

:foilhead:
Charlie ╭∩╮(-_-)╭∩╮
2003 Gear-Up Ромашка Мзй
765cc - Mikuni TM33 carburetors - Modified stock airbox with Uni foam filter
2-1 exhaust - Hand worked cylinder heads - Type V ignition system
A Warn XT17 witch that works from any angle - More handmade parts than I can list :foilhead:

The only Ural to post a second gear wheelie :evil:

2000 Patrol Teh Урал
Thanks DaveO, I'll try to ride it like you, I'll try :foilhead:

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Re: Project Steel Belly

Post by jaybird » Mon May 13, 2019 1:36 am

BinDerSmokDat wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:50 pm
jaybird wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 8:00 pm
Nice work on the skid plate Rich. :cheers:
I can't argue against any of the points you've made, all very valid. Another "Advantage" of a wide flat, skid plate in the south jersey sand/mud, is as a breastplate/belly pan to help slide over/through, maybe less friction than the open bottom of the engine/frame.
As usual, I have some other thoughts/ideas/designs for skid plates, just haven't had the need or opportunity to weld something up, maybe the next time I have my engine out.
One of my thoughts would be to grind the ribs off the sump, Shallow or Deep, your choice, and weld a piece of 3/8" aluminium plate to the bottom of the pan, light and effective.
Another involves a rounded steel armor, tucked up and close around the pan, picture the top of an oxygen bottle, halved, with the raised/threaded portion containing the bung/valve removed, tucked up around the pan and extending back past the transmission.

Happy trails,
Jaybird
Thanks Jay.

And I have anecdotal evidence that the wide plate does what you describe.
I have some neighborhood spots to ride in dirt but they require crossing some berms and ditches.
I have gotten hung up in the past on these with the stock pan and no plate, but on a test ride with the new plate it seemed easier.
I made it through and the berm had a nice flat edge graded across the top.
i was also able to pick spots regardless of breakover angle because any fear of whacking the pan is gone.
That seems like the most useful feature of a wide/long skid plate.
The real test will be in the Pines, crossing those abandoned RR tracks and w@$#ed out concrete culverts.
I'm now going to need to build a skid plate. With you and Dave having them, you'll both be looking for obstacles to bash on, that could be hazardous to my oil pan :lol: Of course the two of you will need to build snorkels to keep up with me :D
I did consider a bent or contoured skid plate, but that made the actual construction a little more difficult.
COB's design really is stone simple.
Yes, it is very simple. Other than personal satisfaction and/or just to have something different, not much use in deviating to far from that design.

Welding a thicker aluminum steel plate to an existing oil pan is exactly how some racing teams add protection with minimal weight.
The problem with the Ural pan is that the actual body of the pan has a fair amount of compound curve (front to back and side to side).
This is true of both the stock and the deep sump but it is more pronounced on the deep sump.
I have ways of dealing with this.
If you trimmed a little to reduce clearance but left a flat profile across the fins, you could weld along the left and right fins and at the ends.
Maybe even incorporate a little angle leading edge.
Yes.
But that would take a very talented welder of aluminum and that isn't me.
We have a TIG welder at my shop.
I barely can weld steel satisfactorily.
Practice, practice, practice!
The other issue with that idea is now you are introducing possible heat stress and warping to Russian aluminum metallurgy.
And whatever hardness your aluminum pan and plate had at the start will be zero at/near the welds, which might be a good thing, less brittle.
I don't think that is a major issue.

I'd love to get a pan under a vertical end mill, get the fins as low as possible while maintaining a level profile and give it a try.
Pre-heating, MIG/TIG and maybe placing the parts in an oven after to take out stress.

If you want to bolt anything up, I know a guy near you with a bunch of appropriate metric fasteners. :lol:
Thanks. I happen to know a guy near you that has, among other things, a mill, a MIG and TIG, and an industrial oven. :lol:
Happy trails,
Jaybird
2005 Gear-Up, Mr. Nat_ural 108,000+ Kilometers and counting
2013 Retro, Black beauty, AKA Lucky "13"
1995 Olive Tourist
1975 Enfield Diesel Bullet
2008 Enfield Bullet 500
1974 BMW R 75/6
Etc.

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