Ok folks i've seen plenty of bumper builds, but not many amateurs like myself have made anything that looks nice at all. the main problem i have with most diy bumpers is they are weak, open up that big gap at the rear lower quarter panel, and they look like two-by-fours hammered onto the rear. In this thread i will be updating my progress daily. Note that i have very little experience with metal work (less than 5 hours of welding until today).
Your first step in any bumper build is to do a lot of research and planning. I went out onto the web to look for a good hinge design. I didn't like the spindle that sticks out the top and blocks the taillights. I really liked the idea of having the hinge on the face of the bumper, much like the one you see below.
the results of my search for a hinge is the following;
2.5" (length) piece of tubing that has an inner diameter of 1"
two Flanged sleeve bearings (product# 7815K49) from Mcmaster-carr (click to view the list and details)
3.5" long 3/4" dia bolt with corresponding nut and washers.
it will look something like this
so with the hinge out of the way, it was time to start researching what would be best for the main part of the bumper. i find that on many occasions people find 3/16" rectangle tubing (2"x4") has plenty of strength. However i found that 3/16" C channel is lighter and still strong enough for a bumper, and gussets can be added in any areas which need more strength. I started looking around my area for low cost metals. I found IMS, they have very low prices, discounts on anything you can find in the scrap metal section (30% off), and another discount for students (10%). I found a 7 foot piece of 3/16" C channel which measured 1.5" by 4", some angle pieces for the unibody brackets, and some 1/8" sheet metal for aesthetic stuff. got it all for 28 bucks.
First i made the unibody brackets. they are 2" by 2" angle, drilled holes and welded on the nuts for mounting. not completely finished with the brackets but they will do for now until i make the swing out. i kept the brackets a little long so i can decide how far out i want my bumper once it's ready to be welded on.
Next, i wanted to make something that would make my bumper blend in with the original shape of the jeep. This is what i ended up with. it's a little long right now but thats so i will be able to exactly match the rear bumper once it's mounted. I dont have pics of my making the folds, but its very simple. I cut a 20" by 10" piece of 1/8" sheet metal. Then I used a cut off wheel to cut halfway through the sheet along the lines that it would fold. this weakens the metal so it can be easily bent with a hammer. So i did that for both folds, and cut off the extra metal that was hanging below or hitting the fender flare.
i will update this as I progress with the build. I will also get better pictures when it's daytime. Feel free to comment and suggest!
im adding links on the bottom of every one of my updates to the next update so its easier to follow.
This is a great idea... I will be building one in the not too distant future.
2012 Grand Cherokee Limited Wk2 (Momma's)
2005 Grand Cherokee Limited, WK, 4.7 V8 currently rolling on Cooper Discovery 265 70 17's, with 1.25" spacers.,installed an OME HD lift sourced through Kolak.
1996 XJ 6 inch lift on 33's (Son's)
ok se here's the basic bumper, had to paint it because the forecast said it was going to rain soon, and i wanted to drive around with it. it seems like it stiffened the frame a bit because i hear less creaking when i flex the suspension over speed bumps and zombies n stuff.. I will be buying materials for the swing out on thursday or saturday.