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.