Originally Posted by Orv
I kinda like the skid plate idea. It seems practical and dual-purpose. In a target-rich environment it seems like just hiding the cat from view in a way that looks time-consuming to bypass is probably enough. While a full skid plate (one that can support the weight of the vehicle) would be a lot of work, underbody armor that protects from flying rocks and keeps dry vegetation away from the cat would be easier and still pretty useful.
If you actually drive hard on gravel roads a lot I'd suggest using countersunk fasteners. I've seen skid plates drop off of rally cars after rocks sheared off the exposed bolt heads.
Thin steel (hardened steel way better...but difficult to work with) makes more sense then aluminum for theft protection since steel will slow down a sawsall a lot more than aluminum. Countersunk or button heads would be fasteners of choice.
For dual purpose (theft protection + skid plate) maybe aluminum makes more sense, and again we are just trying to get the thief to move on.
I suppose fastening some steel cables longitudinally across the converter and exhaust with a bunch of hose clamps would also discourage the thieves since this would take time to un-do.
Or perhaps some exhaust U bolts instead of hose clamps
1/4" wire rope is 90 cents/ft from Mcmaster....