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kelly4's Front Bumper Build

Old 04-13-2014, 11:42 AM
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Default kelly4's Front Bumper Build

I finished up my front bumper build, so I thought would just go over everything from start to finish. I made almost all of it at school in my metal shop class. I used a combination of arc, MIG, and TIG welding. It's made out of 3/16" steel, has a 2" receiver hitch, light hoop, and unibody brackets.

I wanted to go with a fairly traditional style, so I decided to base part of my design off of the JCR front bumpers. I adjusted everything for my own needs, of course. I also wanted it to be a fairly low profile set up (definitely no larger than the oem bumper). So, I made up a plan in SketchUp:



I also made a cardboard template



It would be 60" long and about 5.5" tall. Next, I ordered a 4'x8' sheet of 3/16" steel. I didn't even need half that much, but it was only $100 and I'll probably use the rest for a rear bumper.



Then I got busy with the plasma cutter. It was my first time using one, but they sure make things easy!





Here's the main parts of the bumper. I had to grind the edges flat with an angle grinder.



I also made a template out of some MDF. The idea was to clamp the steel to the template when I tacked it together so I wouldn't have to worry about anything moving. The template worked great and everything was nice and square.



I tacked everything together first





Then I arc welded stitches along the inside. I did two passes with 7018 electrodes.



Then I tacked on the lower portion of the bumper and stitched along the inside as well.



I also added the side pieces that will meet up with the fenders



I got a hold of some 1" thick steel for free, so I made a set of D rings out of it.



After I squared them up, I milled a 45 degree angle on them.



Then I found the center and drilled a 1" hole in them. I have some nice Smittybuilt shackles that will go in them once the bumper is finished.







I had to fill the seam that was on the outside face of the bumper somehow, so I decided to MIG weld every seam on the outside.





Then I did some finish grinding/sanding on the whole bumper



I also tacked on the D rings. Later I arc welded them from the inside of the bumper.



And I added a light hoop. It's made out of some thin 1.5" square tube that I had laying around. I was torn between bending the tube or notching it, and I chose to notch it because I liked the angles better. It stands up about 12" and leans forward about 4".



I got a 6" piece of 2.5" square tube for the hitch from my steel supplier for a few bucks and put it in place. Its arc welded from the inside of the bumper.



I also needed to run beads on the outside of the hitch and the D rings. My metal shop teacher really wanted me to TIG weld them, but I had never TIG welded before. He gave me a few tips and ten minutes later I was TIG welding with no problems. Here's a few of my first beads.



I also added some light tabs. I'm going to put two KC 57 Series lights on it. I have them on my roof rack and they're great lights.



I had to take it home to weld on the unibody brackets. My school's principal didn't want me tacking them on with it on my Jeep for some reason.



When I took off the steering box bolts, I found that the oem spacer was not only broken, it was badly corroded. Almost to the point that it was nonexistent. So, I made a new one real quick.





I set everything up on the Jeep and tacked the unibody mounts in place. I went with 8 bolts per side and everything lined up perfectly.









I'm taking it to get it powder coated tomorrow. I'm also going to check on getting my roof rack redone, because it has some thin spots. I'm probably going to go with a simple, satin black again, but I have considered going with something fun like a lime green or bright blue? And I could do the rack in the same color. I'm not sure yet. Anyway, after powder coat, it's being entered into a statewide high school competition, and then it'll finally be back on the Jeep.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:24 PM
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Very nice! Good luck in the competition.

By the way, call the template a "jig". Sounds more complicated and technical that way.

Also, stick with black on the powdercoating, if you're asking for opinions.
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:03 PM
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Thanks! I definitely meant jig lol, just couldn't think of the word.
I went with a nice textured black powder coat. It should be done in a few days
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:42 PM
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Well done! Good luck in the compitition!
Be sure to post some more pics once it's installed.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:50 AM
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Awesome bumper, can't wait to see the black powder coat. I'm in highschool to and have already made a few things for the jeep in shop class. Would you ever share your sketch up file? Its looks sweet!
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:26 PM
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Thanks everyone! I got the bumper back yesterday and it turned out great! Too bad I can't put it on the Jeep until after next week... kelly4's Front Bumper Build-image-1218697006.jpg kelly4's Front Bumper Build-image-1068138118.jpg




Originally Posted by whitey00 View Post
Awesome bumper, can't wait to see the black powder coat. I'm in highschool to and have already made a few things for the jeep in shop class. Would you ever share your sketch up file? Its looks sweet!
Nice! What have you made? I can definitely share the file if you want it
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:59 PM
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That powder coating looks sweet. So far just little stuff to teach the kids how to use the shop. id love your cad files for it. Not trying to steal your design or anything but its a cool bumper!
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by whitey00 View Post
That powder coating looks sweet. So far just little stuff to teach the kids how to use the shop. id love your cad files for it. Not trying to steal your design or anything but its a cool bumper!
Yeah PM me your email address and I can send it to you
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:27 PM
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I finally get to put the bumper back on tomorrow! It's been travelling around the state for the past two weeks for the Michigan Industrial Technology Education Society competition. I took 1st place in my region and 2nd place in the state!



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Old 05-05-2014, 09:10 PM
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that's awesome man. congrats!!
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:59 AM
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Outstanding! Congrats!!
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:14 PM
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Very cool!
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:38 PM
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good job bro, ya done good
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:22 PM
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Thanks everyone!

I wired up my KC's and got the bumper mounted today. I'll post up some nicer pictures when it's not dark out, but here's one of all the lights!

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Old 05-10-2014, 08:12 AM
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Nice, I'd like to see what you were competing against.
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