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Custom steel bumper for off-road truck

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Step 4: Finalize the design

Picture of Finalize the design
Using your preliminary design sketches, combine your design concept with the modeled (or carefully drafted) geometry and measurements of the front components of your truck.  If you're like me, this will take quite a bit of time, thought, and bouncing ideas off of other people.  Being able to view my design in a 3-dimensional format proved to be a great visualization tool for me, and I made a lot of design revisions based on being able to see the design from many viewpoints.

My final design combined bent tubes and steel plate.  The 3/8" steel plates that extend upward from the frame horn mount plates are quite unique.  Their truss-like appearance really distinguishes the bumper from other ones on the market.

Another unique feature of this bumper is that the design allows for the winch to be unbolted and removed through the front of the bumper (after unbolting and removing the bash plate).  Winches are very heavy and add a lot of extra weight while just driving around town, so it's nice to have the option to remove it when you're not out wheeling.  Many winch bumpers require that the entire bumper be removed and the winch inserted or removed through the back side of the assembly.  This provides theft protection but means that the bumper is more or less permanently installed.  When I install a winch on my bumper, I plan to use vandal-proof Torx screws and nylock nuts. 

Some bumper designs have a winch plate assembly that is separate from the rest of the bumper and bolts directly to the frame of the truck.  Some plate bumpers allow the winch to be bolted onto a flat space on the top of the bumper.

You may find the steps following this one (Step 4) helpful in learning more about other design factors--in addition to winch mount plates--that influence the overall bumper design.  You can then make more informed decisions about what you need and want in your bumper design.
 
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