Picture of Custom steel bumper for off-road truck

This is the custom steel front bumper that I made for my truck, to replace the stock bumper, which is made mostly of plastic.  Instead of merely giving specific directions for my 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser, I will outline some useful and somewhat more generalized guidelines for those interested in making a custom front bumper for any make and model of 4x4 truck, for the purpose of four-wheeling and off-road recreation. 

After a last-minute decision to take a week-long trip to Moab, Utah, for some epic four-wheeling with a group of friends, I realized that the stock bumper of my Toyota FJ Cruiser just wasn’t going to cut it. But I wasn't up for spending $1000++ on an existing after-market bumper. As a product designer and former metal fabricator, I figured I could design and build a highly functional one with all of the features that I desired, while infusing the design with my own personal aesthetic.  I collaborated with a friend who also drives an FJC and has plenty of metal fabrication experience -- and a water jet cutting machine.

This project was a significant undertaking on a very short schedule -- 2 weeks from beginning to end, including design time.  The difficulty of your project will depend upon your specific bumper design, skills, and fabrication processes.  You can tailor your design to your skill level, access to tools and fabrication processes, functional needs, aesthetics and budget.

Why on earth would I need a bumper THIS beefy on the front of my truck?  Check out the video to see the kind of extreme challenges I had in mind when I designed it.  A friend posted a video on YouTube of some of my rock-crawling stunts on a recent trail run which reveal just how much abuse this solidly built bumper can withstand.

GrizzlyT2 months ago

I have advice, an instructable is when you explain how you built it, how you designed it.. how you welded it together,, not why you needed it,,, it cool and all, but, I realy wish people would make instructables,,, explaining how to do something,,, thats what this site is all about........

kcowgill4 months ago
Looking for the exact project deets, for the bumper pictured here. Any advice?
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kcowgill4 months ago
Wow, well done. Please share dfx. files
428 cobrajet6 months ago
I would like the measurements for an off road front bumper for my 1971 ford f250 highboy. One that can fit a winch . my email is justinhorn89@gmail.com would like pics of the bumper with the measurements. Thank you much
davidags8 months ago
very nice, please share your dfx. files
noglejr3 years ago
Me gusta, chica. I have wanted to do the same to my truck for a while now, I think I'll start in the morning. Can't wait to see the rear.
blowtorch-betty (author)  noglejr3 years ago
I might be designing a front bumper for a Ford F350 this summer. Will post an addendum to this 'ible if I do.

Did you design that F350 Bumper? If so, what year?

maniacse11 months ago

Great work! I want something similar for my Frontera, but in my country it is not legal to use "homemade" parts on car, everything have to have certificate. What a shame. If You know, what are You doing, it can be better and more safe than aftermarket parts with certification.. Thanks for sharing!

tbrewer72 years ago
This is great! Would you share the dxf files? I would live to make one for my fj!
stevet473 years ago
Great design. Very well designed and executed! Looks better then the ones I've seen on the market.
blowtorch-betty (author)  stevet473 years ago
noglejr3 years ago
Bumper, that is, the rear bumper.
blowtorch-betty (author)  noglejr3 years ago
Ha! - nice one.
Greenehouse3 years ago
Wow, excellent design and execution! Kind of makes me want to go buy a off road vehicle just so I can build a bumper. Thanks for posting.
blowtorch-betty (author)  Greenehouse3 years ago
Thanks! Next on the list is a rear bumper. I kinda messed up the stock rear bumper in Moab... oops!
blowtorch-betty (author) 3 years ago
Thanks, blkhawk! I submitted it for the Metal Challenge contest--or rather, attempted to--but after encountering an issue with the website entry submission process, it didn't post my entry until 12:00am last night--about 10 seconds after the cutoff. I'm petitioning to have it allowed into the contest! :)
blkhawk3 years ago
This is a cool project!