This is one area I wanted to document as best that I could as there seems to be varying opinions on how much to plate over this area. I’m of the belief that the more the merrier since you’re turning an area that wasn’t designed to be a load bearing area into a load bearing area.
That said, even with the crumple zone as it is, that area will take a fair amount of abuse before it crumples.
What is the crumple zone? It’s the area that is meant to give way during an accident to absorb some of the impact. We’re going to modify the heck out of it, so do so at your own risk
Most of the plating consists of some 3”x3”x ¼”angle iron, ¼” plate, and 3/16” plate with some additional angle and plate to span some of the gaps.
Cleaned off as much rust as I could and tacked the plates on (I had already welded on the 3’X3” angle so that I could mock up the front leaf mounts):
I then burned the plates home and added some additional support to finish boxing in the front further. Probably a bit overkill, but I figured the more metal the mo-betta it is
Disclaimer: Welding upside down sucks… Also, I will add some gussets to the front leaf hangers, I just haven’t decided yet if they’re going to be part of the bumper or not. Same goes for the front cross member. One is going on, I just haven’t got that far yet (need to figure out how my winch is going to work out in there).
I’m pretty happy with the outer frame rail plating. on the inside, it should be more than beefy enough, but if I find myself pulling the radiator out (and power steering box), I’ll probably add some more plating in the inner frame rail areas just for a little more peace of mind.