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Old 04-27-2007, 07:35 PM   #1
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Proper shape of a belly pan

I'm going to start making my belly pan. I have two choices as to the shape of it. My truck's exhaust system extends a couple of inches below the level of the frame rails so I can either bow the belly pan to enclose it or cut a channel into the sheet metal in the shape of the exhaust and cat converter. Would it matter if the belly pan wasn't flat? Also, would 22 gauge steel too thin?
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:52 PM   #2
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IMHO 22 gauge steel is too heavy. A 28-30 gauge steel would be more ideal I think. The only place I would use steel in a belly pan would be the first 4 feet under the front. That area takes a beating. The most annoying part of using sheet metal is the waves formed by screws shifting while being driven in. A good frame system greatly eliminates this.

I used aluminum sheet bought in a coil from Home depot.

As for your question. Weigh the pros and cons. I'd prolly bow around it. I did that on my exhaust. You don't want to go to extreme time consuming measures, time is money. Get in there and get it done as quick and neatly as possible. You don't want to stagnate and not finish.

Good luck and take pictures. I drove my 96 hardbody for 6 years so I'm rooting for ya
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:56 PM   #3
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Thought I'd mention why I don't really like the steel. Because it will add a lot of weight. Probly 150-200lbs. I have nearly 100lbs under my saturn and thats using an extruded aluminum frame, aluminum flat coil, and coroplast.

Don't forget that the engine cooling air will need an exit and the catalytic convertor can be the hottest part of the exhaust. Also get a fire extinguisher just to be safe.
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Old 04-29-2007, 09:20 AM   #4
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Lovemysan,
Thanks for the info. I went to HD and bought a 20" by 50' roll of aluminum flashing. 20" was the widest they had but I can still use it. I saw your pan in the archives, what a work of art! I hope mine looks as good.

John David
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Old 04-29-2007, 11:36 AM   #5
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If you build some covers out of the aluminum and then find that they are noisy or that they flutter, I have thought that maybe putting a thin layer of Great Stuff foam would help deaden the sound and dampen vibration.

I had no idea that they made 20" wide flashing. I need to think about using that for my next project instead of coroplast.
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