DIY: Homemade skid plate. Not recommended for eating off..
After using the luck and plastic for the last few years on my off-road inspired Forester I decided to finally put together my own skid plate. This project was put together with an old stop sign, various bolts/nuts and a piece of box steel tube. Tools used were a cutoff wheel, welder and hand tools with sockets.
Taking off the factory splash guard and looking underneath the Forester I found the factory bolt locations would be a great starting point. Guiding the sign into place that the length was a bit too long and that it wouldn’t clear the factory exhaust. So now on to the modifying it to make it suited for the car.
The optimum length to fit well tucked under the front bumper and make it back to the factory holes we used a chop saw to get it to the proper size. Placing it back up after the cut we used a small piece 2” of square tubing to allow for a drop spacer. Even with this drop spacer it still is much higher than the surrounding suspension and leaves your ground clearance in tact.
Next measuring the bolt holes on the front of the Forester’s cross member we measure the same length on our steel tubing. Cutting it down to size and then drilling the necessary holes to mount it to the subframe. Cutting two additional holes in the tubing adds the locations for the bolts to go through. Now you can either weld the nuts to the tubing spacer or use the open end wrench inside it two hold the nuts in place.
Removing the factory center jack point you can use it as a template for the holes another tubing drop spacer to help clear the oil pan. You can also choose to weld the two of them together for a permanent solution.
Now you can just bolt it up and check all your clearances, if everything looks good. You can go for a short drive and recheck everything to make sure it’s still tight and clear of all other moving parts.