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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone had issues? I was just adding some touchup paint to a tiny scrape and noticed cracks on both sides where the skid attaches to the cross beam that goes between the frame rails. I have the full set of AEV skids that fit on the standard ZR2, so everything except the OEM aluminum skid in the front bumper area. All other skids appear to be fine, not even a scratch. This truck has seen occasional offroading and has been taken care of nicely. Of course I just past the one year mark, wish I had noticed it sooner, for warranty. Not sure what to do at this point, can boron even be welded? Is there an underlying issue with this particular skid I received or some other issue I need to address before attempting a repair...? Thoughts?

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Try contacting AEV. They tend to be pretty responsive. I'm curious to know what they say to all of that (the cracks, weldability, etc.). You'll probably be dealing with GM for any rectification unless you bought the skid from AEV, but at least AEV will have a clue about their product.
 

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I was going to give them a call on Monday. I did purchase it from AEV directly last May.
 

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When I was changing the fuel filters and had to take off to many skids to do so, I noticed this before I took them off and obviously when I put them back on. I completely forgot about it when I took it in for the recall to see what the dealer would do. Let me know what AEV says and I'll let you know what the dealer says.



 

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Wow, interesting. I’m not a structural engineer, but this makes me wonder if the whole frame of the truck is twisting in some instances and it is putting massive pressure and weight at these connection points causing the skid to tear. Even if I got a brand new skid plate would that solve the underlying problem? I don’t think so, seems like it may repeat Down the road. Does the skid plate need to be able to shift or move a 1/8” or 1/4” to accommodate these forces? Would a rubber shim between the plate and support bar of help? Just spitballing ideas and theories.
 

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2010 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab 4x4 Z71 V8
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I’m surprised that a person would touch up their skid plates with paint.
 

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Rust prevention, also good opportunity to survey after going offroad. In this case I found this skid issue, bummer.
My skids look like hell and painting them would be a waste of paint. I guess that’s why I was surprised.

I respect undercarriage inspections no matter what the reason. Its a good idea if your in the off road world.
 

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Wow...those are some concerning cracks. Keep us updated on how AEV responds.
 

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It appears that the Boron steel is as brittle as it as hard.
 
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Has anyone had issues? I was just adding some touchup paint to a tiny scrape and noticed cracks on both sides where the skid attaches to the cross beam that goes between the frame rails. I have the full set of AEV skids that fit on the standard ZR2, so everything except the OEM aluminum skid in the front bumper area. All other skids appear to be fine, not even a scratch. This truck has seen occasional offroading and has been taken care of nicely. Of course I just past the one year mark, wish I had noticed it sooner, for warranty. Not sure what to do at this point, can boron even be welded? Is there an underlying issue with this particular skid I received or some other issue I need to address before attempting a repair...? Thoughts?

View attachment 392698
View attachment 392697
These are stress cracks. Do not attempt to weld or repair unless AEV gives you a weld procedure (like that would ever happen). Even if the metal is weldable they will likely just re-appear. Assuming the metallurgy is not defective, there is too much flexure, resulting in excessive tensile loading. The cracks may have reduced the excessive stress and may not go beyond the bolt hole. hope the bolt hole is completely debured. At my old job, we’d polish the bolt hole to reduce stress risers and the chance of the crack propagating on the other sides. I’d recommend trying to guilt AEV into a new one, IE I’ve just posted this on the internet...your reputation is at risk! Other folks with this skid plate may want to inspect carefully, maybe use red dye NDE. I’ve no experience with this material but it looks like a thousand other cracks I saw in my gas turbine maintenance career. AEV needs to complete a finite element analysis of the skid plate cracks and redesign. Looks like a design failure and should not be limited to 12 month warranty.
 

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These are stress cracks. Do not attempt to weld or repair unless AEV gives you a weld procedure (like that would ever happen). Even if the metal is weldable they will likely just re-appear. Assuming the metallurgy is not defective, there is too much flexure, resulting in excessive tensile loading. The cracks may have reduced the excessive stress and may not go beyond the bolt hole. hope the bolt hole is completely debured. At my old job, we’d polish the bolt hole to reduce stress risers and the chance of the crack propagating on the other sides. I’d recommend trying to guilt AEV into a new one, IE I’ve just posted this on the internet...your reputation is at risk! Other folks with this skid plate may want to inspect carefully, maybe use red dye NDE. I’ve no experience with this material but it looks like a thousand other cracks I saw in my gas turbine maintenance career. AEV needs to complete a finite element analysis of the skid plate cracks and redesign. Looks like a design failure and should not be limited to 12 month warranty.
Excellant advice! AEV should be called and with quick response back! AEV after communicating should want skid plate back with replacement! Then after inspection of that skid plate. Should send out information to other buyers of date of manufacture. So they can check their skid plates out!
 

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Strong stuff, but potentially brittle, and maybe problematic to weld......https://i-car.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Working-with-Boron-Steel-NovDec-2005-compressed.pdf

I think a FEA would be very difficult (how much of the structure between the mounting points do you need to model, and what kind of loads are realistic?) I vote for some kind of elastomer at the mounting points with shoulder bolts or sleeves through the material to allow full torque on bolts. Let it float a bit and accommodate some movement.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just submitted a case on their website with a lot of info about my truck and what is going on with the skid plate including pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Strong stuff, but potentially brittle, and maybe problematic to weld......https://i-car.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Working-with-Boron-Steel-NovDec-2005-compressed.pdf

I think a FEA would be very difficult (how much of the structure between the mounting points do you need to model, and what kind of loads are realistic?) I vote for some kind of elastomer at the mounting points with shoulder bolts or sleeves through the material to allow full torque on bolts. Let it float a bit and accommodate some movement.
I’ve been thinking about possible solutions every day. My thoughts are similar to yours. I think the plate may need to be able to shift a tiny bit in some cases. I think one could enlarge the mounting holes slightly then place a bushing thats maybe 5/16” long that the bolt will then feed through then a rubber washer to fill the gap and to give it cushioning and allowing the plate to shift a tiny bit.
 

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Wonder if the material is just too hard for the application. Typically if you increase hardness, you also increase brittleness. You could probably prevent the cracking like Zed suggested w/ enlarged holes or some sort of bushing but these things were designed to take impacts. The cracking from frame/component shifts like this makes me wonder if the material used isn't well suited for the application and if materials with just a bit more flexibility is a good thing in this case. Even if they fix the issue around the bolt holes, I'd be interested in seeing real world results from those who take impacts on their skids. Wonder if they'll experience cracking instead of denting.
 
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