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Thread: DIY Bumper

  1. #1
    Pastrami Prolapse BCarr's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Southern Cal
    Posts
    2,518

    DIY Bumper

    I decided a short while back that I wanted to build my own bumper. A couple things prompted this decision; one being that my old bumper wasn't handling the new, heavier 37" Cooper so well with the gas cans and everything on it....the other being that Scott and I had recently made some additions to a Synergy front bumper that came out pretty damn spiffy. A lot of people will say they are not keen on tube bumpers, but I think they really mean they are not keen on the gawdy chrome tube bumpers of the 80s and 90s (no offense, Jeep Vixen). I was of the same mindset until I saw the Synergy bumpers: strong, simple, utilitarian, but still nice looking. I picked up one of their prototype front bumpers and after what we did with it, decided I had to have a rear to match. The only thing I wish we had was a dimple die. Oh well.

    That being said, we did not take this project lightly. We wanted to keep the budget low and not build a bumper that we would have to continually modify to suit my needs. We wanted to design the bumper around the things I wanted to have available to me; fuel, hi lift, cb antenna mount, and of course, the spare tire. I also wanted to make sure the entire bumper was removable, so I could eventually pull the whole thing off and get it powder coated when I was completely satisfied, and just to know that I wasn't married to it.

    We started off with some 2x4 to make the frame rail inserts. These would eventually be drilled out and have a nut welded inside the first hole. This is what will allow me to remove the bumper whenever I feel like it (even though it did weigh quite a bit in the end).



    Then cut and notched to fit the supports that will frame out the bumper.



    We started putting our measurements into the computer to see how much we needed to cut and where our bends would be. Then worked up the bumper frame.





    Then it was time to start adding the supports to the upper frame of the bumper, setting it up so we could get a feel for the level. Made sure I could open the rear gate.



    Once satisfied with the top, it was time to measure and weld in the frame rail supports, then put those initial components together.





    The best thing about that design while building was that we could now set it on the welding table either side up and it sat perfectly.



    We marked the holes while in the frame rails, then drilled them out on the table and welded in the nut for the front bolt.



    Used the same measurement for the lower bar, then angled it upward. A little more cutting and grinding and we had our bottom piece. We added two supports to the bottom to off-center the upper supports, as well as giving us a new place for the license plate.





    Now it was time to place the main tire carrier support and set the spindle in place. The spindle is not only really heavy duty, but is supported by the corners of the two bumper frame bars, its own tube cut to size and welded to the bumper, and a plate cut for the spindle and welded to the spindle tube we made and the bumper itself.




    The fuel packs are from Kolpin Powersports (www.kolpin.com) and were the first ever to produce a CARB compliant fuel pack like these. Kolpin is much more popular in the ATV/UTV market, but the packs and mounts are universal. They are puncture and crush resistant and really light weight. The one seen here is the 4 gallon (we also have a 1.5 gallon to mount, but not sure where exactly we want to put it yet).



    You might have also noticed holes in the support beam for the tire carrier. These are the entrance points to the bolts that will hold the hi lift jack. Bolts were welded in and tubing welded around them on one side to keep the hi lift from hitting the bumper, and locking it down tightly so you don't get that typical hi lift rattle. And yes, I paint my hi lift....I live in Orange County and if you don't paint stuff like that, it will rust.



    Next came the hoop frame for the tire carrier. We wanted to utilize the bends in the support beam to create a recess where the Kolpin fuel packs would mount, so we angled the hoop slightly toward the Jeep and tacked it on.



    To be continued....
    Last edited by BCarr; 01-07-2013 at 11:28 AM.
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  2. #2
    Pastrami Prolapse BCarr's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Southern Cal
    Posts
    2,518
    While Scott was busy making a couple more supports for the tire carrier, I was grinding away the circles we would use to mount the Kolpin packs. Their mounts are really simple and universal...they come with two different sets of screws; self tapping and screws/bolts. So if you really wanted to, you could make a flat sheet as a sort of 'tramp stamp' and mount it there, or even right to the body. We opted to weld on these circles and drill out the holes to bolt on the mounts, which would be mounted on the supports Scott was busy making.




    One last support would hold up the tube in which the tire mount would slide into. Notice the almost perfect circles on the other two supports.



    We brought the latch around to the side of the main support so it could reach around back and give the best grip to stay closed.




    Added a tab for the CB antenna, welded a smaller tube to the tire mount plate and slid everything on to test fit.





    Added some plate onto the top to cover things up nicely. We also put some sheet metal in the lower recesses...I'm thinking of going with some KOH style lights in there, but that is still TBD. For now, they will just get painted like the rest of it.



    And time for paint. I just went with a cheap flat black for now, as I know we'll be doing a little more work on it before I'm finally ready to have it powder coated.





    Some final fitting shots before bolting it to the frame and putting everything on.









  3. #3

    Re: DIY Bumper

    Nice work! Im glad to see people using tube again. I say leave the paint, powdercoat is pretty but sucks.

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  4. #4
    Looks great, guys!Awesome that you used the term "reach around" in your summary. Props for that.

  5. #5
    Pastrami Prolapse BCarr's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Southern Cal
    Posts
    2,518

    DIY Bumper

    I worked really hard to get "reach around" worked in.

  6. #6
    beer monger BeerMonkeY's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lake Winola, PA
    Posts
    337
    looks good, you should sell a DIY kit with all the peices and you weld them together yourself

  7. #7
    Pastrami Prolapse BCarr's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Southern Cal
    Posts
    2,518

    DIY Bumper

    This was mainly an attempt to see what we could get away with using what we had laying around the shop. Out of pocket expense came to about 350 bucks. Add in the scrap metal from the shop, the welding wire and gas, and labor and it can really get expensive.

  8. #8
    Just Rocks and Dirt JRAD's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Jan 2012
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    703
    I like it very nice.

  9. #9
    Who is your daddy? dr.dirty's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Nov 2011
    Location
    SoCal
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    4,355

  10. #10
    Pastrami Prolapse BCarr's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Southern Cal
    Posts
    2,518
    Updates. I think we're going to mount an extra smaller tube in front of the spare tire. We took some measurements and the 1.5 gallon Kolpin fuel pack fits right in the middle of a 17" wheel, with enough space for your fingers.

    U bolt on the latch broke out at KOH. Might experiment with some larger ones just to see if I'm putting too much stress on the current size. I also need to put in a stopping mechanism for when it's open. The tire carrier is heavy when it's all loaded up, so if you're trying to get stuff in or out of the back while parked at an angle, it's fun times.

    Other than that, I have used everything on it. The fuel pack is easy to get on and off, as is the hi lift. It hasn't made any noise on the highway or off-roading.

  11. #11
    Pastrami Prolapse BCarr's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Southern Cal
    Posts
    2,518
    Replaced the u bolt and so far everything is peachy. Going to figure out the last center piece for the 1.5 gal tank and then get it all powdercoated.

  12. #12
    Under Observation
    Date Committed
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    1
    not at all into tube bumpers but this one is freaking awesome, i actually like how it looks with all the tubing exposed/ no sheet metal

  13. #13
    Resident Dummy JohnnyWalker's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    1,081
    Quote Originally Posted by z0666 View Post
    not at all into tube bumpers but this one is freaking awesome, i actually like how it looks with all the tubing exposed/ no sheet metal
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  14. #14
    Pastrami Prolapse BCarr's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Southern Cal
    Posts
    2,518
    Quote Originally Posted by z0666 View Post
    not at all into tube bumpers but this one is freaking awesome, i actually like how it looks with all the tubing exposed/ no sheet metal
    Thank you. Guess I should update with a few pics. We changed out the latch mechanism and are going to be playing with the tire height, which seems to be the source of the inordinate rattling. Once we lower the tire that should take care of the shaking and weight distribution.








    And yes...there is a little bit of sheet metal on there, but mainly to hide some wiring and things that don't need to be seen.

 

 

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