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  • Stainless vs zinc coated

    Can I pls have peoples opinions or experiences with using Stainless or zinc coated bash plates. I'm mostly concerned with corrosion and wonder which is superior in this regard. However I'm open to other advantages or disadvantages that each hold.

  • #2
    Stainless won't rust but can set up galvanic actions with other metals that it's in contact with. Usually not a big issue and use of stainless bolts and washers helps. It is much stronger than mild steel which is why, apart from cost, stainless bash plates are usually thinner. Once bent, though, it is much more difficult to beat back into shape.

    Zinc coated? Do you mean zinc plating or galvanised? Zinc plating slows down corrosion, but only for a while. That's why those zinc plated nuts and bolts you bought from Bunnings are now all rusted up. At any rate, I'm not aware of anyone who sells zinc plated bash plates. Galvanised, on the other hand, resist corrosion well. I have them on my Pajero and no complaints at all, except that it was difficult to get paint to stick.

    Mild steel. The rear plates on my Paj are mild steel, painted. While I haven't done a lot of beach work where they'd be exposed to salt water they are in pretty much the same condition as the galvanised ones at the front.
    Chris

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    • #3
      Plus one for Chris.
      Scratches in proper gal will only surface rust and will be protected by the anodic zinc surrounding i.e. you don't have to worry about patching up any small battle scars.
      Stainless, if a half decent grade won't rust either.
      MY21 NX Pajero
      a few mods to come !

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      • #4
        Zinc plated steel is a hell of a lot easier to straighten than SS if you bend it.
        MY15 NX Exceed, Auto Mate PRO, Paddle shift kit, dual batteries, Redarc BCDC, MM tow hitch, Teshonka brake controller, Provent catch can, GME 3350 UHF, Boo's bash set, Falken Wildpeak AT3W 265/65R18, TPMS, Dobinson/Kings HD 45mm lift, Rhino bars, Drifta 270 awning, spare tyre lift, Ultraguage MX 1.4, TC mod, auxiliary PWR 23 row transmission cooler and radiator cooler bypass, KAON barrier, MM nudgebar, Fyrlyt Luxsis 5000. Stockman allroada pod trailer with ARB Simpson 3 RTT.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by redbruce View Post
          Zinc plated steel is a hell of a lot easier to straighten than SS if you bend it.
          Stainless will take a much bigger hit to bend so you will need to straighten them less often.
          Personally I would go 3mm stainless in preference to 4mm zinc coated mild steel. Unfortunately stainless steel plates were not readily available 10 years ago

          OJ.
          2011 PB Base White Auto, Smartbar, Cooper STMaxx LT235/85R-16,TPMS, HR TB, 3 x Bushskinz, front +40mm Dobinson , rear +50mm EHDVR Lovells, Dobinson MT struts and shockers, Peddars 5899 cone springs, Windcheater rack, GME UHF, Custom alloy drawer system inc. 30lt Engel & 2 x 30 AH LiFePo batteries + elec controls, Tailgate hi-lift/long struts, Phillips +100 LB & HB, Lightforce 20" single row driving beam LED lightbar, Scanguage II.
          MM4x4 Auto Mate, Serial No 1 .

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          • #6
            Every time you straighten it the weaker it gets, better off having something that won't bend to start with.
            Stainless is the go if $$ and weight budget affords it, otherwise go mild and replace when needed.
            MY21 NX Pajero
            a few mods to come !

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            • #7
              I have factory bash plates under NX Exceed. Work fine. Bolts have rubber grommets which stopped metal on metal nasty noise when car flexes even the slightest. I found out when dealer stuffed up grommets. Few small dings but not worth straighten them yet. So it is doing its job preventing damage to more expensive parts without large amounts of extra weight.

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              • #8
                I just removed factory plates,

                The front intercooler plate weighs about 5ish kg's & is thin tin steel with a mesh, the engine sump guard is plastic & weighs 900 grams.
                (My kitchen scales only go to 5KG's but its close)
                Total 6kg's

                Bushskinz 6mm Alloy plates advertised 8kg's, I fitted black powder coated set so they don't stand out weighed 9kg's

                6mm alloy upgrade from thin tin & plastic

                Total net weight gained on front end 3kg's

                See how they go, who cares if powder coat chips etc, i'll spray it black, looks quite well done all the same

                Object of the exercise I'm not after a "loud" car that says look at me i've got a bash plate & black it doesn't stand out at all, perfect for me
                Mitsubishi Pajero NX MY16

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Schoei View Post
                  I have factory bash plates under NX Exceed. Work fine. Bolts have rubber grommets which stopped metal on metal nasty noise when car flexes even the slightest. I found out when dealer stuffed up grommets. Few small dings but not worth straighten them yet. So it is doing its job preventing damage to more expensive parts without large amounts of extra weight.
                  Be VERY careful if you actually use yours off-road. The factory guards are extremely thin - especially the interior one (and I think the engine sump one is plastic). Many have damaged their intercooler with only the factory guard. It is the first thing I suggest people change if planing on doing any 4wding.
                  Silver NT VRX Di-D

                  ARB bullbar | snorkel | Bushskinz & Boo’s guards | UltraGauge MX | 2" lift | Cooper AT3 LT's | dual battery | Superwinch X9 | 80ltr diesel tank | 22ltr water tank | aux trans cooler | MM Lockup Mate | GME UHF | locker/TC mod | SPV EGR | rear LED work light | rhino platform | ARB awning | rear drawers ... & plenty of scratches

                  My Build Thread - HERE

                  Previously - NL Pajero (now owned by Forum member 'Gemster')

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                  • #10
                    There is a lot of misunderstanding about stainless steels. Basically, there are 2 types of SS - Austenitic (300 series) and Pearlitic (400 series). The 300 series is non-magnetic and is most likely the stuff used for bash plates etc. Stainless steels are tough - they are used for deep drawing eg kitchen sinks, where they press the bowl out of one piece of SS. in both the 30 and 400 series, corrosion resistance is provided by an invisible oxide film which is extremely tough, and if damaged eg scratched, will readily reform a new film. As for being harder to bash dents out etc, the mechanical strength of 300 series SS is similar to mild steel, so there should be no difference in being able to bash out dents etc. What determines 'repairability' is more the thickness of the plate used. In fact, SS bash plates are probably thinner than mild steel or galvanised simply because they will not rust.

                    With a galvanised bash plate, and scratches tend to self repair because of the sacrificial zinc coating on the surface. Galvanising will typically protect a bare steel surface up to a few mm away from the scratch. the steel used in galvanised bash plate is typically a mild steel - no high tensile steel is used. however, bash it and straighten it a few times and, depending on the amount of working you do to the steel, you can eventually exceed the limits of the steel and crack it, but the same applies to SS plates. If anything, SS plates would have more resistance to work hardening than mild steel.

                    Stainless Steel has a different galvanic potential to mild steel or zinc (galvanising). Therefore, given the right conditions, you could induce some corrosion of the vehicle chassis by using SS bash plates. It should be noted that for corrosion to occur, you need a flow of electrical current. To get this, you need a potential difference (galvanic voltage is naturally present in all metals) and some electrolyte (to allow the current to flow). The elctrolyte is of course, water. Salt water is more conductive than fresh water. If you insulate the different metals (paint, plastic etc), you stop the current flow and thus the corrosion. Stainless steel being more noble than mild steel, current flows and it is the mild steel which corrodes (rusts). If you have a galvanised bash plate it is the zinc which corrodes thereby protecting the steel. However, the differences will be very minor unless you are continually exposing your car to wet conditions. As you drive on a dry road, the airflow will dry out the joints fairly well anyway. also, the chassis rails are well painted to provide further protection, but if you regularly get the underside wet, then I would recommend a galvanised bash plate.

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