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GROUND POUNDER
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12,318 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been making bumpers for awhile and the biggest question I get is, "When are you going to make a Rear Swingout?!" Well, I finally got most of the parts together and figured I would start today. I thought I'd post along the way with updates as the project progresses. I hope to be done by this weekend. I will post a list of the tools I used (and hopefully substitutions you can use). I will also post a list of materials I used and any useful links that might help to locate parts. Hope this thread helps someone else as Tire Carriers seem to be a pretty popular fabrication topic.

First, a word about shop safety... ya only got one pair of eyes so use the safety glasses/face shield (especially when grinding, drilling.. etc)! Also, when using loud machines (like the grinder) where ear muffs or ear plugs. Lastly, use gloves to save your hands (drilling/grinding).

Tools used:
Plasma Cutter (suppose a chop saw and jig saw could substitute but you'll be cutting for a long time).
Welder (220v wire feed nice but a stick will do)
Grinder (I use both a 7" and a 4 1/2")
Band Saw (chop saw can be used)
Drill Press (hand drill can be used)
2 1/4" bi-metal hole saw
long 1/4" drill bit
1/2" drill bit
11/16" drill bit
1" drill bit (big sucker for the clevis mount holes.. it's a PITA to do!)
Scribe
Center Punch
Tape Measure
Machinist Square
Hammer
Slag Hammer
Phosphoric Acid to clean/etch the steel (Lowe's)

Materials Used: for basic bumper...
2"x4"x1/4" wall rectangular stock 55" long (can sub thinner material if you like but I like it beefy!)
approx 7" length of 2 1/2"x2 1/2"x1/4" wall stock for receiver (can sub a store bought receiver tube.. Northern has one for like $10)
approx 7" of 2 1/2"x1/4" thick flat stock for chain plate
approx 6" length of 3"x1/4" wall square stock (for mounting legs and receiver lip)
approx 18" of 3"x3/8" thick flat stock cut in half for the bumper mounting flanges
approx 18" of 2"x1/4" thick flat stock for bumper end caps
approx one foot of 2"x3/4" thick flat stock for clevis mounts

Materials for the Swingout
2 1/2"x1/4" wall DOM Tubing (from here.. DOM Tubing)
2"OD pipe for the inner sleeve/bearing spacer(Lowe's)
1" trailer spindle rated for 1000lbs (Spindle)
Spindle Bearing Kit (Spindle Bearing )
De Sta Co 2000lb Latch (Latch
2"x3/16" wall square stock for carrier frame

That's as far as I got today with the materials list. I got most of the cutting and drilling done... here are the pics..

First, I cut the pivot tube from the 2 1/2" DOM tube.. 4 1/4" long. Then I cut an inner bearing separator from 2" OD pipe and rosette welded it in 4 places to hole it in place..

You can see the tube in the center with the sleeve in it. The rest of the stuff is the bearing kit and of course.. the 1" spindle.

Rosette welded sleeve

Sleeve with races in it

Assembled Swingout Pivot

Bumper Blank with 1 1/4" hole cut (top and bottom) for spindle... I'm tippy toeing to take the picture.. :D

Pivot test fitted to bumper.. I did this before making any other cuts on the bumper so that if I ruined it, it would be before I went through the trouble of making all the other cuts.

Drilling the 7" long 2 1/2"x1/4" wall square receiver tube for the pin.. I use a long 1/4" bit to go all the way thru both sides of the tube. That way the holes line up...

I then follow up with a 11/16" bit.

EDIT: Instead of making your own receiver tube, it's probably just as cheap and definately easier to buy one from a trailer supply store... Northern sells 6" long weld-in receiver tubes for about $11
 

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GROUND POUNDER
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12,318 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

Here are the bumper mount parts, the end cap pieces, one clevis mount, the receiver and the receiver lip.

Here are the rest of the bumper parts including the cool looking chain plate (2 1/2" flat cut at 45 deg ends and drilled with 1 1/4" holes..) You can also see that I've finished cutting out the bumper. I measure and scribe carefully to end up with tight fitups to ensure strong welds.. Both the receiver tube and the clevis mounts pass all the way thru the bumper and will be welded front and back... on another day. :D
 

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GROUND POUNDER
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12,318 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Okay... another day another chance for a stupid mistake :D I intended to have the pivot on the passenger side of the bumper and the latch on the driver's side... but I was trying to remember to take pics while I was working and ended up sticking the receiver in from the wrong side of the bumper (which ended up making the bumper face the wrong way). Didn't catch it until I had burned in the receiver.. oh well, tomorrow I'll redrill the pivot hole and fill in the other one.. anyways... here's what I got done this afternoon...

Cleaned up the receiver parts in preparation for welding..


Checked fit and tacked the parts in place..


Receiver welded in place. Notice I used flux-core wire so I'll have to clean up the welds.. no problem, I'll cover that later on..


Here, I'm setting a clevis mount in place making sure that it sticks thru the bumper just enough to get a nice smooth weld on the back side..


I set a piece of 1/4"x2" flat on the end to check fit prior to burning it in...


Here's the basic bumper blank pretty much complete (only lacking mounts and swingaway parts)...


Here's one end rough ground with the 7" grinder. It used to take me forever to grind down the end welds with my little 4 1/2" grinder.. the 7" monster does each end in about 10 minutes or less.. I'll run over them again tomorrow with a 7" flapper wheel (60 grit) to smooth 'em out. Total time I worked on bumper today.. about an hour and a half.
 

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GROUND POUNDER
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12,318 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Okay.. I'm back with more.. fixed the spindle holes up. Welded them up and ground them smooth. Redrilled the other end of the bumper. I needed to layout the pattern for the actual carrier so I drew it out on cardboard at actual size...


Here, I mocked up the swingarm to get an idea of how it was gonna fit..


Here is what I'm going to use for a stop.. cut down a little of course. Note the washer under the arm to space the end up a bit so it doesn't drag..


Here is the latch system in place.. I welded it instead of bolting it on because the bolt holes were too big for the 2" square arm. I'll clean 'em up and shoot 'em with the POR 15. I had to decide on whether I wanted the latch to pull down or pull back when it ws latched.. I went with pulling the arm back against the stop...



Wear gloves when handling the grinder..


Here is the system I'm going to use to actually mount the tire. I'm making it adjustable to handle different sized tires (up to 38"?). The plate on top is one of my standard CJ mounting plates. I'm going to use that pattern to make plates with different accessory mounts on them.. Highlift, Gas Cans, Shovel/Axe.. etc. The accessory plate will then bolt to the top of the carrier but will remain removable.. when you're done wheelin' you can take your stuff off and store it in the garage away from prying eyes and hands...


Here are the mounting feet (3"x1/4" wall square welded to 3/8"x3" flat plates).


Okay.. I get to cheat a little!! I do have a Jeep bumper jig (remember I sell bumpers part time). However, you can mount the plates to the Jeep's crossmember and then tack the bumper in place to get the mounting points right...
 

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GROUND POUNDER
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12,318 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I finished welding most of the stuff and cleaned up the welds with a highspeed wire brush.. here is the pivot gusset..


Here is a top view of the latch system.. nice and tight. Hope it doesn't flex/rattle on the Jeep..


enough for today.. a buddy stopped by to check on my progress and look what he brought.. time to stop working for the day. Total time worked today.. about 6 hours or so...
 

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wOw! That is some serious metal work. if I could buy that I would be a happy jeeper. i don't think I could make something that HD and I'm sure you used many tools.
So if you ever decide to make one for sale. I'm your buyer!

Good Work!

:thumbsup:
 

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wow, after seeing your work, it makes me want to take my olympic off and buy your stuff :)


just out of curiosity... with all the lawyers dictating what you can and can't say these days, is your bumper "safe" to tow with? I got a trailer and ATV's I like to drag around.


one last question.... The inside of my olympic hitch is so friggin tight, that I can only get ONE hitch to slide into it! Know of anyway I can loosen it up?
 

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GROUND POUNDER
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12,318 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hehe.. the towing question :rtft: I don't officially rate my bumpers for towing. However... I have used my bumpers to pull a double axled trailer full of gravel that weighed about 2 tons a couple of miles (it was an adventure behind a CJ5 to say the least). Honestly, I'd really like to test one of the hitches to failure sometime. I'm a crane operator (for the Army) and would like to attach a big (10,000lb) weight to the bumper mounts, attach a clevis mount to the hitch and lift it up to see what happens). As for opening up the inside of a tight hitch... you can file it (been there done that) or you might be able to pick up one of those pneumatic "finger" belt sanders.. I've seen one in Northern for about $50. I think I would just find a tube that fits or run a flapper disk over one until it does. As for my "ground" hand holding the beers... the more I drank the easier it got and the less it hurt.. :rofl:
 

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GROUND POUNDER
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12,318 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You know.. I trust my life to my work (having built my own rear frame, suspension work..etc.) but I hate to put other's lives in my hands. I've had enough of that in the Army. All I want to do now is relax, melt some metal together, grind it into shape, and enjoy the finished product. If I can make a few extra bucks on ths side.. all the better (and trust me, with the price of steel, it's not easy to clear much profit building 1/4" thick bumpers). If, god forbid, someone tows with one of my bumpers and there is a mishap resulting in damage, injury, or <gulp> death.. I'm finished. I would probably lose everything... (not to mention the poor victim!). So, officially... my bumpers aren't for towing.. the receiver is for "recovery use only."
 

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BESRK said:
You know.. I trust my life to my work (having built my own rear frame, suspension work..etc.) but I hate to put other's lives in my hands. I've had enough of that in the Army. All I want to do now is relax, melt some metal together, grind it into shape, and enjoy the finished product. If I can make a few extra bucks on ths side.. all the better (and trust me, with the price of steel, it's not easy to clear much profit building 1/4" thick bumpers). If, god forbid, someone tows with one of my bumpers and there is a mishap resulting in damage, injury, or <gulp> death.. I'm finished. I would probably lose everything... (not to mention the poor victim!). So, officially... my bumpers aren't for towing.. the receiver is for "recovery use only."
and man I forgot to add that thing looks great!!!!
 

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GROUND POUNDER
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12,318 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Hey.. thanks for the kind words.. Now, here's where I'm at..
Got the bumper mounted up on the wife's CJ5 and put my 35" TSL/15x10 steel wheel (pretty heavy) on the carrier. I think a 35" tire fits good, but if I were gonna make it to fit a bigger tire, I'd have to extend the tire mounting location up a couple inches. Plus, I made it with the wife's CJ (which has no tailgate) so I'll have to measure a few Jeeps with tailgates to make sure I mount the pivot and latch far enough apart to allow the tailgate to open..
and don't mind the stance of the wife's Jeep either. It's gonna get a little lift to better accomodate those 33s. It's still set up the way I bought it.. ($1200).


Side view.. you can see there should be plenty of room left for Highlift, Gas/Water cans.. etc.


Here it is open. I need to weld on a stop so the tire doesn't crush the tail light if I swing it open too fast... or I can flush mount the lights :D While it was open like this with the tire on it, I was able to sit on it and ride it back and forth.. okay, it was sorta fun. :rofl:


Here you can see the actual tire mount. You can see how the tire mounting position is off center. By rotating the mounting tube 180 deg, I can raise/lower the tire. I'd probably mount a 33" spare tire on the lower position so I gain a little bit of rearview mirror visibility. The 1/2" bolt on the top is used to tighten the tire carrier inside the receiver tube so it doesn't rattle..


Shot everything with the base coat of POR 15 (doh! I forgot to weld on the swing stop :brickwall I'll catch it later). Like my paint rack?


Here's a better shot of the actual tire mount showing the offset. I like this..


Overall I'm pleased with the outcome. I'm going to use 1/4" angle frame tie in brackets to stiffen up the rear crossmember. With the tire carrier open, I can bounce up and down on the arm and see the stock Jeep crossmember flex a bit so I want to try and tighten that up. With the 35" TSL mounted and the carrier latched closed, I can move the carrier about 1/4"-1/2" forward and backward. There is no loose play, it's all a slight amount of flex. I didn't have all the mounting bolts in or properly tightened either. When the paints dry, I'll mount it up right and ride the carrier open and closed sitting on the tire to test it out. After that, I guess it's actual road testing. That won't be able to happen for a couple of weeks though. I still have to swap in the 360/T176 combo, the 1 piece axles sitting in the dining room, the Holley carb sitting on the kitchen table and a still to be bought lift kit. I'll post final pics after I finish shooting the topcoat of Chassis Black.. :D
 

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BESRK said:
You know.. I trust my life to my work (having built my own rear frame, suspension work..etc.) but I hate to put other's lives in my hands. I've had enough of that in the Army. All I want to do now is relax, melt some metal together, grind it into shape, and enjoy the finished product. If I can make a few extra bucks on ths side.. all the better (and trust me, with the price of steel, it's not easy to clear much profit building 1/4" thick bumpers). If, god forbid, someone tows with one of my bumpers and there is a mishap resulting in damage, injury, or <gulp> death.. I'm finished. I would probably lose everything... (not to mention the poor victim!). So, officially... my bumpers aren't for towing.. the receiver is for "recovery use only."
hey, I understand about the towing thing ;) ;) I'm sure your bumper is every bit as strong as my Olympic :)

How is the price of steel now? Is it affecting your prices yet?

Thanks for the tip on the finger sander, I'll see if I can find one. As of now, I bought a thick sawzall blade for and I'm going to attempt to put a 60grit stick on sanding pad on each side of it :eek: I even thought about putting a flat bastard in the blade end of my sawzall :D
 

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NICE work! :thumbsup:

Just curious, and I'm sure you were going to get asked anyway...


What are the prices looking to be around?
 

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GROUND POUNDER
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Price of steel is killing me right now. Here is what I pay for the steel. I still have to break it down by the inch to see what my actual cost per bumper is...

2x4x1/4" wall... $240 for 20' (4 rear bumpers @ 55") or (5 front bumpers @ 48")
3x3x1/4" wall $220 for 24' (mounting legs..5")
2 1/2x2 1/2x 1/4"wall $190 for 24' (receiver 7")
2"x3/4" flat .. $75 for 20' (clevis mounts 12")
2"x1/4" flat.. $23 for 20' (end pieces 16")
3"x3/8" flat.. $75 for 20' (mounting plates 16-18")
2 1/2"x1/4" flat.. $27 for 20' (chain plate 7")
2x2x3/16" square.. $110 for 20' (swingaway frame 88"+-)
spindle and bearing.. about $25 w/shipping
De Sta Co latch.. about $25 w/shipping
POR 15..... $105 a gallon (20-25 bumpers)
POR 15 Chassis Black... $140 a gallon (20-25 bumpers)
Welding wire.. 10lb roll of flux core.. $35 (4-5 bumpers)
Bubble wrap.. $11 for 175' (14 bumpers or so)
Tape..$2 a roll (1 roll per bumper)
Shipping.. East coast about $25.. Midwest about $40 and West Coast about $50 (for a basic bumper)
My time.. 4 hours for a basic rear bumper.. 3 1/2 hours for a basic front bumper... approx 8 hours for a rear bumper with tire carrier.

I'm sure it'll get quicker as I zero in on measurements.. etc. the key to making bumpers is to mass produce as much as possible. I take advantage of rainy days by cutting/drilling all my brackets and pieces. I'm sure I left a couple things out (like grinding disks, welding tips, plasma tips, bandsaw blades, gloves, lacquer thinner..etc) but you can probably do the math and see that I don't make a whole lot in profit off of this sweat shop endeavor... but I still enjoy it :rofl:
 
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