Yesterday I picked up 3 pieces of 2" x 5" x 1/8 - 58.5" box tube steel, $86. I had wanted 3/16, but I could not pass this up. I will have to reinforce the clevis mounts, but that was already in the plan. They will be welded to the front and back of the bumper, drilled, tapped and bolted to part of the bumper/ frame mount.
I did say slow build...
Actually, I've picked up the effort the last couple month's. My daily driver Mustang actually needs more work than the XJ.
I started my bumper build, I'll post a few pics later. I also did a 4" lift on it, swapped out the D30 front for a D30HP. While I had the front end apart, I replaced all of the steering linkage with a HD kit. I added extended sway bar links and new bushings. New shocks all around and an Iron Rock front track bar.
I still have to run a few brake lines, do some body work, replace rocker panels with tube steel and get tires.
I finished the brakes. During the test drive I had major vibration above 30 mph. I installed the Iron Rock Off Road "Hack n Tap" SYE, end of vibration. My bumper is about 95% done. It is installed but I still need to add corner braces.
Explorer front drive shaft with Spicer u-joints. Very solid!
This week I pulled off the rear bumper & brackets. I had to cut here and there with a 3" cut off wheel, heat a bolt with the torch and weld a nut onto a very rust bolt but they eventually all came off "cleanly". I spent half a day removing rust from the rear cross member. A new project emerged, I need to make some fuel tank straps. I have a roll of stainless steel crate banding and a spool of stainless mig wire!
It will have to wait a bit as I getting a bunch of Ford parts together for a swap meet next week.
I welded new studs on the OE fender flare brackets and reinstalled the OE fender flares. I also made "new" fuel tank straps, I had some very handy 1/8" x 1" steel braces from a old set of shelves and a piece of 3/8" rod. Next up is installation of the straps. I also found a OE front skid plate, it's been modified with a piece of angle iron at the rear to add extra support. It's installed, looks like it will add a nice degree of support!
I need to make a RH side rear frame rail nut strip to re-attach the exhaust. I also need a drivers side tail light. Then it should be ready for PA inspection.