For a long time I've wanted a better way to carry gas than on the roof. The long term plan also includes storage underneath where the spare was for tools/oil/etc that I don't access often and would rather not keep in the interior.
I wanted a bumper that:
1. Was bolt on.
2. Not built for serious rock crawling, but would provide a happy medium of protection and carrying capacity vs. the weight penalty. (Doesn't need to hold a 39" tire, don't need to support the full weight of the cruiser if its up against a rock, etc)
From my limited research there either wasn't anything in this category out there or it was going to be hard to come by. Either way, I decided I'd give it a go and attempt to build one. There are a ton of builds on Mud and I just kinda took pieces and parts from a bunch of different ones to come up with something.
Ended up taking ton more time than I first estimated. Oh well, I like projecting and whatnot.
Its a mix of 1/8, 1/4 and other random scraps. Got the spindles from 4x4labs w/ sleeves. Latches and spring pins from mcmaster.
The recovery points have a 5/16" plate that goes through the bumper main box, and then additional 1/4 pieces welded on the sides.
Overall the construction and welding went OK. I designed most of it to be as "redundant" as possible. (IE each arm is drilled through and slipped over the spindle as opposed to just welded on there.) I also practiced with some gussets and other small bits to help beef it up where thin metal was used and get some practice. The welds came out ok. Not too consistent yet. Oh well!
Pretty much just turned up the Promig 140 to the highest setting and used flux core. Other tools used were an angle grinder, chop saw, and drill press for the larger holes. Thats pretty much it. Was lucky to borrow a friends shop for the duration cause I work slow!
The spring pins hold the bumper both closed and open at maybe a 110 degree angle. The tire and gas cans are angled back just a bit. The sleeve for the spindle was 1/8" welded into the 3x6 box, with an additional 1/4 plate in the middle for strength.
Paint was just some rustoleum brush on....Not very durable at all. Will have to figure something else out long term.
I spent a few days down in beef basin/elephant hill and the bumper did great. Didn't take any big hits but it held together.
Time will tell the story on durability, though even with some pretty good bumps and whatnot I didn't notice any movement on the tire.
The Test Run!