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Light Bar / Brush Guard / Bull Bar / Skid Plate


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57 replies to this topic

#1 Skemcin

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 12:39 AM

Hello all.

I am new here as I recently started my own business. In short, I build/supply offorad and rally parts/accessories for Subarus. Well, for now it's really just Imprezas - but that is sort of why I am posting here. I created this light bar for my Impreza and have (in the last 2 months) sold 10 - hence how/why I have started my own business:

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Recently, an owner of a Baja asked if I could make one for him. Well, there isn't much in it for me to make just one so I'm trying to gauge interest. Since this is for the Baja, that means it would be compatible with the 03-06 Legacy/Outback if I am not mistaken - pending differences in shape and height of bumpers from model year to model year.

So, if anyone is interested, please let me know. I will admit not knowing the rules here relative to posting references - so I pre-apologize for providing a link to another Subaru website but you can get all the information on what I'm doing and what I've done. I'm also an Authorized (paid) Vendor on that site so you can browse my vendor section if you like.

But let me get the thread requirements detailed:

1. Description = See above and link below
2. Location = New Lenox, IL - skemcin@gmail.com
3. References = See link below
4. No cross posting = Understood

Thank you.

Questions/Concerns/Feedback all welcome.

re: http://www.dirtyimpr...ead.php?t=23268

#2 bheinen74

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 12:46 AM

Not to knock it, but that oil / filter change has got to suck.

The old factory skidplates left acess holes to get the drain plug out, and get the filter off. And then the oil would drain out and down the drain holes too.
additionally the facotry plates have venting so you don't cook your oil in the pan and filter. airflow is good for the oil pan, vents are needed.

#3 Skemcin

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 01:20 AM

Not to knock it, but ...

Not the most welcoming response but I can appreciate the honesty, so thank you.

Removing 5 bolts every 3 to 4 months is not that big of a deal. There are tons of skid plates on the market that are solid and for good reason - mainly it is easy to get something (i.e. stick or rock) jammed up in a hole which can do quite a bit of damage. I understand the naturally response to that would be to sat the damage wouldn't be as bad as "cooking your oil", but that simply hasn't been what I (and others) have observed. I haven't seen any changes in my oil temperatures and neither has anyone else with this set up or other skid plates without vents for that matter (that I know of and/or asked).

Since we're being honest here, vents and oil changing holes are simply cosmetic. They introduce weaknesses into the material/surface which essentially reduces the effectiveness of the skid plate to a greater extent than there is an inconvenience in removing it for an oil change.

Thanks for the reply, I do appreciate the honesty.

On a more positive note, the bar itself is serves many purposes. The front hoop obviously provides mounting (x4) tabs for lights and anchors the top hoop which offers 4 mount light mounting tabs - eight total. Just behind the base of the bumper the cross tube stiffens the front subframe and protects the bottom of the radiator shroud - which many folks realize is one of the weakest points on these cars. Straight back from there is a tube running to the center jack plate. It bisects the oil pan, providing direct protection for it while not getting in the way of the drain plug. The rear most cross tube fastens to the jack plate using factory threaded holes. The entire piece stiffens the frame resulting in better handling.

We've had a lot of positive feedback from the owners of the bar so I am very pleased with it's success. But, as I mentioned in my original post, I'm interested in hearing from Legacy/Outback/Baja owners here to see if there is any interest for a similar product.

Thanks again for your replies. I look forward to more input.

#4 Red92

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 02:28 AM

In short, I build/supply offorad and rally parts/accessories for Subarus.
...
I created this light bar for my Impreza and have (in the last 2 months) sold 10 - hence how/why I have started my own business:


There are tons of skid plates on the market that are solid and for good reason
...
the cross tube stiffens the front subframe and protects the bottom of the radiator shroud


It looks like a nice piece.

I looked through your other thread... Have any of the 11 skid plates out there seen any genuine off-road abuse beyond just mud? Have you had a chance to give one a few hard impacts, and see where it breaks, see if the bolts hold, or see if it transfers any forces to places on the car that can't handle it?


Many people here take "off road" pretty seriously. ;)

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#5 Skemcin

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 08:09 AM

It looks like a nice piece.

I looked through your other thread... Have any of the 11 skid plates out there seen any genuine off-road abuse beyond just mud? Have you had a chance to give one a few hard impacts, and see where it breaks, see if the bolts hold, or see if it transfers any forces to places on the car that can't handle it?

Many people here take "off road" pretty seriously. ;)

Thanks for the reply and great pics.
:)

No. None of the cars with my stuff have seen true "off road" conditions. They have been more from the rally community. The skid plate, for that matter, could easily be upgraded to 1/4" aluminum should someone want to go there with it. Ans since the rest of the bar mounts to the frame, I like its chances in holding up rougher terrain.

I hope to get my OBS set up to take more challenging terrain. I once had a pretty nice Tacoma set up and did some moderate off-roading so I have that bug - as they say.

Thanks for the feedback.

#6 tractor pole

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 07:46 PM

Nice pieces, I definitely appreciate a part that can be installed and then taken off without leaving evidence(i.e. holes, rub marks...)
in the rally world a good skid plate can save your day and possibly season.

Good luck with your new business! keep up the quality work and you will go a long way.:headbang:

#7 Skemcin

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:59 AM

Nice pieces, I definitely appreciate a part that can be installed and then taken off without leaving evidence(i.e. holes, rub marks...)
in the rally world a good skid plate can save your day and possibly season.

Good luck with your new business! keep up the quality work and you will go a long way.:headbang:

Thank you for the reply. I'm pretty excited about and we just had a long day in the shop.

Here is the set up that we put on my 02 OBS tonight

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Tires are next!!! Then our Gorilla Springs and new struts (not decided yet)

#8 The Dude Abides

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 03:00 AM

Would you maybe consider an access hatch. Possibly held on buy 3 bolts which have the nuts welded to the other side.

Can you make these for possibly a legacy.

#9 bratman18

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 08:09 AM

Looks really nice. And looks that all that would be needed to be done is remove a few bolts for the actual skid plate and remove the aluminum plate for oil changes

#10 Skemcin

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:33 AM

Looks really nice. And looks that all that would be needed to be done is remove a few bolts for the actual skid plate and remove the aluminum plate for oil changes

Correct, there alan bolts to remove the skid - which would be required for oil changes.

Would you maybe consider an access hatch. Possibly held on buy 3 bolts which have the nuts welded to the other side.

Can you make these for possibly a legacy.

We have had recent request from a few Baja owners and there is a thread started on scoobytruck.com for gathering interest. If you Legacy is 03-06 then we are willing to built the bar, but we need 5 from any given model/year to pay for time and materials.

We've contemplated the idea of adding an access whole for oil changes but cutting a hole in the skid plate just weakens the material. Plus its more work/cost and it would create more exposed bolt heads - which can get worn, damaged, or ripped of pretty easily.

Thanks for the replies.

Looking forward to more. If you more questions or other specific interests, please feel free to PM.

#11 bheinen74

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:50 AM

You gave greatly improved the product in pic on post #7 vs the original design in post1.

Now you have it reinforced better, where the plate "wraps" around the sub-frame now, and is a lot better in the way the entire design is reinforced.

I suppose, with some modification to it, by cutting out a air vent hole on both front sides, and cutting out for the drain plug and filter access, i may be interested in one for my brothers 02 wrx.

Looks much better the second design, I could work the oil access. Sure, removing 5 or 6 bolts to change oil is not that difficult, but even then that takes time and you need too have the car up on a jack. Changing oil, with access holes, you wouldn't need the car on jack at all, plus we all know how 1 year winter driving rusts the bolts up front.

LOOKING LOTS BETTER>

#12 ironworkerboomer

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:17 PM

I may be interested are they powder coated or painted? what is the ballpark cost on the winch model for 06 Baja.

#13 Skemcin

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:31 PM

I may be interested are they powder coated or painted? what is the ballpark cost on the winch model for 06 Baja.


Thank you for the interest.

I have a thread on scoobytruck.com that details the project. But here is the pricing break down:

Estimated Cost:
$ 399 = Naked Bar
$ 085 = Powder Coating
$ 199 = Skid Plate
$ 125 = Winch Mount
$ 049 = Tow Hook

These are estimates since we won't have a Baja on the lift until next weekend. These are based off our work on the Impreza. We are currently offering powder coating for free.

Let me know if you have any questions after reading through those details.

Thank you

#14 Red92

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 04:44 PM

Can you make these for possibly a legacy.


Depending on the year, you might need to be careful running something like this on a Legacy. I think it was 95-96 that had the issues with airbags going off when the front tow hooks hit the ground going over bumps or potholes. The recall fix was to remove the tow hooks, but if you hang another low piece of sturdy metal off of the front frame, you might bring the problem back.

So if it's in that range (double check my years first, I'm going off of memory, and I think the Imprezas were in it too), you might be better off with something like this for lighting:
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Otherwise, if you're doing the type of driving where you will genuinely need the skid plate portion, you might just want to disable the air bag(s) anyway. :cool:

#15 AKghandi

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:20 AM

i want the one with a winch for my 87 wagon. i want a winch and the stock bumper and that looks perfect.. i might have to start saving up..

#16 Skemcin

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:17 PM

BUMP

We are beginning a production run of:
  • 03-06 Baja
  • 02-07 Impreza
  • 08+ Impreza
If anyone is interested, please let me know. We just need a $200 deposit by this Friday to reserve your bar in this batch.

PM any questions.

#17 lesstutrey

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:38 PM

doesn't the baja have the same front end as 00-03 obw?

#18 Skemcin

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:02 PM

doesn't the baja have the same front end as 00-03 obw?

I think it actually goes to 04 and then the bumper changes a bit. I haven't checked around but we would like to test fit the bar on a couple Legacy chassis to see how well it mounts up.

Would you be interested in swinging out to New Lenox over the next week or so? Looks like you've got an 02 OBW - correct?

Here are a couple photos ....

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and more here:
https://picasaweb.go...5/SubaruBajaBar

Final Cost:
$ 399 = Naked Bar (powder coating is FREE)
$ 175 = Skid Plate
$ 125 = Winch Mount
$ 049 = Tow Hook

Edited by Skemcin, 21 March 2012 - 10:08 PM.
added pictures


#19 Numbchux

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:33 PM

Looks much better the second design, I could work the oil access. Sure, removing 5 or 6 bolts to change oil is not that difficult, but even then that takes time and you need too have the car up on a jack. Changing oil, with access holes, you wouldn't need the car on jack at all, plus we all know how 1 year winter driving rusts the bolts up front



A skid plate with a hole big enough to do an oil change without removing, is useless as a skidplate. A jack isn't the way to pull a skidplate anyway, as it covers the jacking point. Just drive the car up on ramps (which I do for oil changes anyway), drop the plate, and change the oil. A little anti-seize on the bolts before they go back in, and you won't have any trouble when it comes time.




This looks like a very well-built unit. We've got custom crossmembers and such on both of our rally cars, so they wouldn't work, but I'd be happy to run that setup on them.

#20 Skemcin

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:46 PM

...This looks like a very well-built unit. We've got custom crossmembers and such on both of our rally cars, so they wouldn't work, but I'd be happy to run that setup on them.

Thanks for the post. When we looked at the Baja, it was interesting how they put that truck together. They beefed it up and did a couple things that surprised us a little. We put crossing tubes on the Impreza bar to stiffen the front end:

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but the Baja not only had a decent cross member where the center jack plate is, but the front bumper beam was heavy steel - two stamped sheets welded together and bolted on like the Impreza. And, the Baja has all its fuel and brake lines tucked away - they aren't exposed underneath the truck - pretty interesting.

Anyway. We've got these bars for the 02-11 Impreza, all the Bajas, and early next month we'll have the late model (SH) Forester done as well. Let me know if you want more information on reserving a bar for production.

#21 lesstutrey

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 05:58 AM

Yes i have 2002 obw h6 with a 2" lift. New Lenox is not too far, hour or so. Looking at the pics of the baja i see pretty much identical mounting points, however the outback has tie down/tow hooks on the underside that bolt on in the prior to 2004 models, and would make an excellent extra mounting point, because, who needs tie downs if you got a light/nudge bar. and i could hit cliffs on my way home to see how that skid plate holds up, not that i'd be trying to bash it in. What was the thickness on the plate? 3/16 seems about as thick as needed.

#22 Skemcin

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:10 AM

Yes i have 2002 obw h6 with a 2" lift. New Lenox is not too far, hour or so. Looking at the pics of the baja i see pretty much identical mounting points, however the outback has tie down/tow hooks on the underside that bolt on in the prior to 2004 models, and would make an excellent extra mounting point, because, who needs tie downs if you got a light/nudge bar. and i could hit cliffs on my way home to see how that skid plate holds up, not that i'd be trying to bash it in. What was the thickness on the plate? 3/16 seems about as thick as needed.

Sounds like the beginning of a plan. And I think hitting the cliffs would be an excellent idea - I plan on getting over there once I get some decent tires.
:brow:

So there are a couple options for us to consider. Once you're here, we could:
  • take a finished Baja bar and skid plate and fit that on your car - if there are no fitment problems, then you can decide to purchase that and within an hour we'd be done.
  • take a naked Baja bar, fit it and if there are no issues we can look at the tie downs and incorporate them if things line up. I would have to check but I would imagine the time/material cost of that and the powder coating would be almost identical - so you could purchase the naked bar with the additional mounting points and be off to the cliffs. I'd bring a couple cans of spray primer to get something on the bar before you take off. Then you can get it powder coated back home somewhere.
  • if the naked Baja bar doesn't fit, we can estimate the time needed to modify the Baja bar to make it work - unfortunately that could be a few hours and maybe a couple hundred dollars more. You'd still leave with a finished naked bar but it would be the perfect/appropriate fit for your car.
Let me know if you want to work on getting something formally set up. For our build/fit days like this, we decide on a date and then just ask for a $200 deposit to be made. That's fully refundable up to 24 hrs prior to the build day - after which we just hold $25 for cancelling on short notice. We're at the shop 7 days a week so let me know if you have a particular date in mind.

#23 Skemcin

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 01:50 AM

Look what we picked up tonight:



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Sorry for bad photos wife has the real camera.

Edited by Skemcin, 30 March 2012 - 01:56 AM.


#24 Skemcin

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:11 AM

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https://lh5.googleus...00_4531.jpgIMG]

[IMG]https://lh6.googleus...12/000_4532.jpg

Just a few from a little trip I took today.

#25 BlindSight

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:21 PM

I want something like that for my 79 Brat, any possibility of a small production run of stuff for Brats?




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