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Discussion Starter #1
It's been a while (a little over two years) since I got laughed at for engineering overkill with the IPD skid plate. Since then, I've completely neglected it - except for the occasional scraping sound, which always makes me smile and think "that's why I bought this thing". Pulled it off the other day to shim the AC compressor and thought I'd take some pictures.

At first glance it doesn't look too bad. A few people were concerned about the painted area, being recessed, filling up with crud. I've never washed - or even hosed down - the underside, but it doesn't seem to be a problem. Here's before it was installed (Feb 2010):


And now (June 2012):


Now I didn't see this at first, but looking a little more closely, it seems she's taken some pretty big hits. The corners are ground down to almost a knife edge. One hit on the passenger side sheered off a few rivets, and left 1/16" gouges down one side that could have been made by an angry bear:


It's hard to capture how dramatic these are...


It's stopped quite a few rocks. Would these have gone through the factory plastic thing? Probably not. Would they have cracked the oil pan on impact? Maybe. The biggest chip is about 1/8" deep.



Here's the bottom, as of Feb 2010:


And two years later, I definitely need to replace an engine mount (or three). You can see where the lower mount bashes against the butyl on hard acceleration. It hasn't actually dented the plate, but it can't be good:


Here is the scariest picture. Again, I did not notice this at first glance, only once I stated taking pictures. This shows the type of force the reinforcements have encountered:

That is about 3/16" deformation of the aluminum angle, where it contacted the bottom of the AC compressor. It's on the same side as the busted rivets and bear claw scratches. Not sure what I hit, but that would have done some serious damage without reinforcement. The plate itself is bent around the angle on both sides, but the angle did exactly what it was supposed to: prevent the plate from bending into the belts. AC compressor is fine, can't tell where exactly it pressed on.

The center strut also has some impact damage:

Not as bad as the passenger side though. I suspect this presses on the bottom of the oil pan during front-impact scrapes.

Some concluding thoughts:
1) In my opinion, this was worth every penny of the $200 I spent if only for the peace of mind knowing that the scraping noise is the skid plate and not the oil pan.
2) Rocks do hit the front of the plate, and hard. The amount of force required to take a 1/8" chip out of aluminum plate is insane. If the right rock, going the right speed, made it through the logo, it could do some serious damage. So put a plate over it... period.
3) Reinforcements are probably not necessary if you drive gingerly on well-paved roads. If you are like me, and often say "f'it, I've got AWD", than I would highly recommend reenforcing the plate so that it does not crumple around critical spinny bits (like the timing and accessory belt) after a hard hit.
4) The butyl rubber has held up beautifully, with no noticeable melting or deformation. So if the "ting" is bothering you, some edead 45 is the perfect thing to take care of it.
5) No issues with the two rear aluminum spacers/insufficient threads. Mine are 1/4" thick. I used loctite at the beginning, but now I just torque the crap out of them and haven't lost a bolt yet.
6) USE STAINLESS HARDWARE. The galvanized nuts I used in the front have started to really rust bad.

Cheers :beer:
 

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Wow.

Thanks TheShadow, you always have good write-ups :thumbup::beer:
 

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hmm i guess i have the newer one without the rivets.
 

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hmm i guess i have the newer one without the rivets.
No, you have the under-engineered version: http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?134691-Engineers-notes-on-the-IPD-skid-plate&p=1446612&viewfull=1#post1446612

To some degree, I think it's better to have a plastic skid plate because it can temporarily deform to absorb tough impacts. You only encounter issues when the plastic cracks/shatters. I think my ideal material would be something like a tire (i.e., rubber reinforced with some steel weave).
 

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No, you have the under-engineered version...
Same comment applies to the front HD End Links as well. I'm kinda hesitant about IPD products.
 

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So far I've not had a single problem, but this just confirmed in my mind with why I should go iPd and not off brand skit plates.
 

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God damn...that thing is f'd up, lol. I've had mine on for close to a year and it still looks skippity-doo. I didn't modify or anything either...just slapped 'er on. I haven't scraped on anything as of yet, but the roads are pretty good around here...also haven't driven it through the last couple of winters. I guess this coming winter will be the true test, i.e. ice chunks, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
hmm i guess i have the newer one without the rivets.
Lol nope, they never came with rivets. Check out the link in the first post (or in Ion's reply) to see why/how I put them in.

To some degree, I think it's better to have a plastic skid plate because it can temporarily deform to absorb tough impacts. You only encounter issues when the plastic cracks/shatters. I think my ideal material would be something like a tire (i.e., rubber reinforced with some steel weave).
Yeah, it probably depends on what you're trying to stop.

For the average person, I'd say the most dangerous things on the road are: Plant debris, like a fallen branch (1"+) that is unavoidable; Coarse gravel or large rocks, from a dump truck or kicked up by a car, hit while airborne at highway speed; and the occasional curb or parking stop. The OE plastic guard thing can take all of these fine.

The more adventurous/country type folks have to worry about: Ice; Large immovable objects - cut tree stumps, large exposed rocks; folded posts from fences or signs (so that only 8-10" is exposed, happens more than you'd think); and drainage ditches, lined with rocks or concrete. The OE skid plate can't do anything about these.

The tire material idea is interesting, but I suspect it would be much heavier than the aluminum by the time it was stiff enough to not sag at speed. It would also not provide much protection against rocks/sharp objects. Most serious off road vehicles have metal skid plates of aluminum or steel, so I don't see the need to reinvent the wheel.

Same comment applies to the front HD End Links as well. I'm kinda hesitant about IPD products.
To some extent I agree. I have felt the need to beef up every IPD product I've purchased so far - I added grease fittings to the rear sway bushings, added a strain relief and mounting bracket to the HD TCV, and obviously reenforced the heck out of the skid plate.

That said, they always seem to have the right idea, but just go 90% on execution. Or maybe it is me, I have a tendency to look for the deficiencies in products http://forums.swedespeed.com/showth...ur-car-today&p=1934544&viewfull=1#post1934544 http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?125561 etc...
 

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Of course, in addition to my comment, is there ANY alternative to an IPD skidplate other than modifying the IPD version or getting an OEM replacement? I suppose just how much your skidplate gets banged up would depend on your vehicle being lowered and whatever other accessories putting your car at a lower stance.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Of course, in addition to my comment, is there ANY alternative to an IPD skidplate other than modifying the IPD version or getting an OEM replacement? I suppose just how much your skidplate gets banged up would depend on your vehicle being lowered and whatever other accessories putting your car at a lower stance.
There is a Volvo aftermarket aluminum skidplate, see http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?156181-Volvo-Skid-Plate&p=1684502.

They look very similar. The OEM one is a tighter fit, does not have a cutout for changing oil, and has a pair of vent holes in the bottom (rather than the logo up front). I believe the IPD one is thicker. IIRC the OEM is around $230. When I got the IPD skid plate, it was $200. Looks like they've since jacked the price up to $250.

Don't think there are any other options.
 

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I believe the IPD one is thicker.
Actually it's the other way around. The Volvo skid plate is almost 30% thicker at 0.16" (http://accessories.volvocars.com/AccessoriesWeb/Accessories.mvc/en-US/US/S40%2804-%29/2008/T5/Automatic/L.H.D/ShowDocument/VCC-449532), while the IPD skid plate is only 0.125" thick (http://www.ipdusa.com/products/5947/113839-aluminum-skid-plate-p1-s40-v50-c30).

I'm not sure this image is correct, because there's an updated one on another Volvo website:

This one seems like it might have a gap for the oil drain:
 
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