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Step 1: Dump that Old Bumper!

So...it's not fun, but that old bumper has to come off, so you can start making some design decisions, and taking some measurements.  Depending on your specific vehicle, it's age...and how much road salt it's seen....you may require more of your favorite rust buster lube than you think (WD-40, PB Blaster are my two fav's).

First, locate all bolts affixing the bumper to the frame. Soak those suckers in PB/WD-40.  Wait 10 minutes...and soak them again.
Unbolt everything, and drop the old bumper away.  Take your time....those bolts are probably large, and you probably can't break them off, unless you're sporting 26" arms, and a 'born to kill' tatoo.

As for your old bumper, I'd suggest storing it, in case this project goes wrong, OR just in case you decide to sell the truck later, and fear your new custom dragon tooth bumper isn't going to be a 'good selling point.  If you have plastic trim/moulding/etc surrounding your bumper, be careful removing those...you may need them later, and just jerking them off is sure to crack them...take your time.





TaylorJ12 months ago

can i get your measurements for the bumper pieces

Not too shabby, and Redneck as all getout! ;)

I'll be doing something similar to a Gen 1 Exterra I just picked up for peanuts. I'll try to post my build as well.

Thanks for the ideas.
Love the bumper I have a 1990 ford bronco and wanted to make this do you still have the measurements.
And if you plan on making a rear bumper I would love to see it
Dotty-Green!
I'm sorry, but I don't have the exact measurements. I might suggest that since your Bronco has the same front end, that you can look closely at my "final" photos, and sort of do a little math to get some sizes. For instance, you may note that in the final pics...specifically on the dead head on shot...you see the end of the main front plate aligns with the outer edge of the headlight lens. That should give you a pretty solid measurement you can make.
Additionally, you can probably get the height of the main plate by looking up the Smittybilt specs on their site for the fairlead roller, then adding about an inch above it, and what is about three inches below it.
Sorry to not have better info, but good luck, and I'd love to see what you end up with. Also, check out the bumper by user "blowtorch-betty"....she used some more advanced techniques, and made a pretty slick little setup for an FJ...it might give you some alternative ideas.

Thanks much for checking out the bumper, and be safe and wear safety glasses!!!
r_harris22 years ago
Great result. That's a really good looking bumper.

I think you should do a whole instructable on the cardboard-and-ducktape, and call it "Redneck 3D Modeling!" It obviously worked beautifully.
It's also known as CAD... Cardboard-Aided Design :-D
Darn, I thought I was pretty witty until I read your reply, that is too good! A whole new meaning to being a CAD tech!
doozer_not_fraggle (author)  keelytm2 years ago
I stole the idea for use of roll-on bedliner from the Jeep/4x4 crowd. It's pretty common these days to see Jeeps with complete interiors coated in bedliner paint, and no carpet/etc.

The bedliner doesn't particularly add any strength to the setup. However, it does do a stellar job of hiding flaws that would have taken HOURS to correct if I had painted it with traditional paint. Additionally, I like to think that the bedliner is more resistant to abrasion/rock chips/etc. Lastly, It does give the bumper a slightly 'different' look, which is always nice on a project.

Thanks again for the interest, and I hope you found it helpful!
Nice job! I want to design and build a plate bumper for the rear of my FJ Cruiser, but I've been intimidated by the prospect of sheet metal work and lots of angles and facets. But your build has given me more confidence in the "do-ability" of it, so maybe I'll give it a try!
Thanks. Your front FJ bumper entry is pretty slick as well. Well put together, and well thought out. From the video it looks perfect for the Moab slickrock!
Tomohawk2 years ago
Nice job, very professional looking! That thing looks like it'd survive a head on collision with a tank!
doozer_not_fraggle (author)  Tomohawk2 years ago
Thanks for the compliments. That said, I did make everything but the front panel out of thinner steel in hopes that in a collision, I'd have a primitive "crumple zone" factor of some sort. Generally the bumper was meant as a way to hide the winch, and keep material/debris/mud out of it (this truck is our farm truck), and still look decent.
Thanks again!
ilpug2 years ago
Sexy!
doozer_not_fraggle (author)  ilpug2 years ago
Thanx...glad you dig it!
No problem. Are you by any chance in Northern California? That truck looks like any number of the ones I see on a daily basis.
well done, the angles are stealth fighter like
Thanks for the kind comments. I must say, I do love your entry to the metal contest...the R2 unit is just geek enough to have some staying power with the crowd on hand at this show....and is still pretty trick, and creative outside the 'Wars scene'. I think my bumper is a bit of a clunky 'bull in a china shop' beside your slick little R2 unit cafe serving bean brewer....so again, thanks for the words...and a serious hat tip to your very slick entry (as well as your other builds, including the dog treat kit).