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how i built my roll pan

waring: i will not take any responsibilities if you build this, get into a accident, and have damage to your or someone else's vehicle.


ok everyone, i wanted to buy a roll pan for my explorer, but could not find anywhere to get it (until 3 days after i finished my truck, someone posted a like to a place, but mine only cost me $30, verses $300, as well mine is made from bumpers, not sheet metal). i saw tara's explorer on here(a.k.a. explorersport77) and shot her a email asking for some pictures of her roll pan (which she was very kind to do), as well as the number to the body shop, and a person to talk to. i called them to ask a few questions. his name was jon, and he was very helpful. he had told me that it was made from 3 different bumpers, as well as it was un-boltable (meaning that you can unbolt it, and put it back on). the gears started to roll.

because of unknown rust on my truck, i was facing doing rust repair on it, and repainting it anyways, i figured, i want to build me one of them!

as luck has it, i am a former body man, and even luckier, i now work at a scrap yard, and part of it shreds cars. i told a few friends there to watch for any explorers with undamaged rear bumpers. a buddy called me to tell me 3 of them got dropped off on the same day. a hour later, i had the start to my little project. total cost $0 :D.

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after i was finished making this, i found a easier way to do it (i will let you know at the end of this), but i will show you how i did it first.

i started by taking off my rear bumper. now this for me was the hardest part. when i was talking to jon, he told me that they had to cut the rear frame horns, as well as a portion of the rear cross member. i didn't like that idea, but it has to be done in order to suck everything in close enough to the body. with the gate closed, and the trusty eye-crometer, i grabbed a sharpie, and drew out where i had to cut. if you look, you can see the picture of explorersport77 truck taped to the rear quarter for reference, as well as moral support (and yes that fat little bastard making all the sparks is me).

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and the aftermath!

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i kept the parts that i cut off, just in case i ever, for what ever reason i have to put the stock bumper back on. i just have weld them into place, and i am good to go. i must also say that, by cutting these parts off, you will no longer be able to use your spare tire anymore. for me it didn't matter anyway, i have had the truck for 3 years, and it never came out for use, as a matter of fact, when it did take it out, it was flat anyways (a lot of good that would have been!).

so now i focused on the bumpers that i had. i cut one at it's flattest point from the center out, and from the flattest point, from the top down (this will be used for the bottom of the roll pan). the second one, i cut from the flattest point from the center out, as the flattest parts going up and down (this will be used for the upper part of the roll pan).

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once again, wondering around work one day, a found a big chunk of 1/4 diamond plate. with a little begging, i was able to walk out of the gate with it as well. total cost of bumpers + diamond plate = $0 :D:D

by the way you don't need to use diamond plate, or any plate for that matter. the reason why i used this was i thought it would look neat, as well as the cost $0!

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i took off the stock plastic filler panel, and used it as a template to mark two slots to clear the pinch welds by the tail lights. i then slid it under my tail gate. supported by a few blocks of wood on the underside of the plate, and a jack, i traced out my tail gate onto it, and had a pattern to cut from.

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what i did next was take the upper parts (the second bumper i cut), and tack it to the diamond plate.

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at this point, i took the third bumper that i had, and used it to join the ends together.

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*****here is where i would have done things a little different, but i will tell you at the end.

next, seeings how i was painting the truck anyways, i tacked the plate to the rear quarters so it would stay in place. i had to bend the ends out a little bit to match the curves of the ground effects (my truck is a sport, but i think it is the same if you don't have ground effects). you can use what ever means to bend them, but i had a torch on hand, so i heated them up, and used a 3 lb sledge to get it to the shape i needed.

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as you can see by the black line i drew in the bumper, there was a little overhang. that's ok, you can cut that away, but it must fallow they body line in the ground effect, or quarter filler panel, which ever you have.

once that was done, i then took the lower parts (the first bumper i cut), and tacked them on, making sure, they to followed the curve of the (in my case) ground effect. you shouldn't have to bend this around, it will follow it. i also made it as tight as possible to the ground effect, because i was going to add some plate for capping the ends off.

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and did the same for the other side. i then used some more of the third bumper as a filler for the center.

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the trailer hitch part of the bumpers bolt on, so what i did was cut the ends of one off, and used them as the mounting brackets. i crawled under the truck to find a hole from the factory in the frame, so i used that, and drilled a second hole for a second bolt for the brackets. i bolted them to the frame, after i ground them to fit the roll pan. i used one washer between the bracket and the frame and tacked them to the roll pan. the reason why you what to put a washer there is if you bolt it in with out a small gape, you will have a impossible time sliding the roll pan off, or on.

drivers side bracket

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passengers side bracket.

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after i got to this point, i notice that the tail pipe now sticks out a good 4 inches or so. what i did was cut it, slid it back on so there wasn't much of a over hang, marked where that was and cut the unwanted portion of pipe, and re-welded the end back on.

i now took the bumper off to weld everything up, as well as to cut the ugly over hang off the very bottom.

trust me, this thing is heavy!

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with the bumper off, i traced out some end caps where the bumper meets up to the ground effect.

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i also filled in the gap at the corners with some 16 gauge metal. i had to hammer, and weld, and hammer and weld until the shape was what i wanted. then i bolted the roll pan back on to get the correct gap between the roll pan, and the ground effect.

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this is after i cut it

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and now with the end cap in place

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now the bodywork

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primer

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paint

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and installed

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the only cost to me was i had to buy sand for sandblasting it before i did the bodywork to it.

now, what i would have done different was, when i cut the plate, instead of welding the bumper parts to it, i would have made the end caps for it, wielded them on. then i would have welded the bumper parts onto it. it would have saved some time.

speaking of time, i am sure some of you want to know how long this took. to make it, i would have to say about 30 hours. it is hard to say because i spent about two weeks making it, and that was a few hours here and there, plus i wasn't working on it every day (i some how threw my back out sand blasting it some how.....must be all the cheeseburgers i have stored above my belt!). the body work, maybe about 5 to 6 hours. prime, and paint, i cant realy remember. i just remeber asking jon how long they spent on tara's roll pan, and he said about 40 hours from start to finish. so i was kind of close.

once again, i want to thank tara for her help (she is probably tired of the thank yous by now, i think i have said it about 5 times to her already), and jon, but i can remember what shop he was at. i think this is better then any fiberglass, or sheet metal roll pan for the simple fact is, if you get nailed with one of those on, it will crumble, and you will have a lot of damage to your truck. with this, you will still have some damage, not as much, but your also going to cause damage to the sum-bitch who just hit you!
 



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vroomzoomboom

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thanks again. she doesnt look to pretty at the moment. all the snow is melting here right now. you cant even tell what color it is! LOL! as for the exhaust, i am watching for a wreaked 5L explorer. if i find one, i will be doing a motor swap, and when done, it will have duals on it. at the moment, i am making some projector head lights for it as well. couldn't afford the group buy they had.
 



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CrazyAlaskan

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Cool, I would love to drop a 5.0 in mine. I know what you meen about the snow, im from Alaska and I know what its like during break up. Even the sharpest vehicles look nasty with dirt and slush all over em.
 












vroomzoomboom

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my view on that is if you want something different than someone else, it will take work. otherwise, you will never stand out. that has been my opinion for a long time. but thanks for the compliment.
 






Jakee

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That turned out well.

I have to admit, I was a little worried about how this was going to turn out while following the thread, but the end result is awesome.
 






GRNMACHINE

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WOW, that really looks custom, quality, and awesome. I am not a fan of roll pans on our 2nd gens but that just changed. You do fantastic work. Dont worry about liability, I have a Craftsman "mechanix" tool set, Craftsman creeper, Craftsman lift, and a soldering iron. Even if I did have the tools I dont have the skillz... Great writeup, really gives an even better appreciation for what you created. See alot of Chevy's with fiberglass rollpans and the paint doesnt even match the truck most of the time. Nice Job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 






vroomzoomboom

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thanks again. yes it did take some work, but in the end i am glad i did it. every time i see another explorer rippin around (and we don't have to many modified ones here so evil stands out like a sore thumb) with a stock rear bumper, it just doesnt look right to me!
 






Jakee

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I think the wiper arm must go too.

Also, I think it'll look way better with nerf bars.

My 2 cents you didn't ask for.
 






vroomzoomboom

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i would like to loose the wiper arm, but i do use it a lot, so it must stay. the nerf bars, that one i am not sure about. i like it with out them, that and the factory ones where rusted up, and looked like hell, so they where removed when i first got it.
 






MONMIX

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my nerf bars would be in the trash is my eight year old daughter didnt need then to get in and out of the truck :(
 






CJExplorer

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do you have pictured of how the diamond plate turned out (the rear hatch open)??
 






vroomzoomboom

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i will post one later. its hard for it to show up because its black as well, that and for the moment, evil needs a bath.
 






dkchrist

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Amazing, that was quite the time commitment to get that done but looks freaking AWESOME!
 






vroomzoomboom

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here's what the diamond plate looks like painted and on the truck. sorry for it looking dirty. havent had time lately to give evil a bath.

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CJExplorer

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Awesome. Thanks
Looks Great, you defantly got some talent. :thumbsup:
 






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looks great!! wow!.. was that real hard to do tho? take a long time?
 






vroomzoomboom

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k. sorry had a bad internet connection and was getting kick off by my sister didnt have time to read it all... my bad
 






kel_racing

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major props just found this thread, love it and so easy to do with an imagination, really flows great with the rest of the body +100 for ya man, I'll Take one please, really, awesome man.
KEL Racing
 



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