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Rear bumper build

Old 10-25-2013, 11:40 PM
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Default Rear bumper build

Finally got time to get some work done on my rear bumper. Like my front bumper, the main piece started off as 3"x6"x3/16" tube with the back side sliced off to form a channel (and save a little weight). Unfortunately I didn't take as many pics as I wanted, but here are a couple.

The mounts are made from 2"x4"x3/16" tube cut down to slip inside the rear unibody rails.



The rear body panel/"crossmember" was opened up so the mounts could slide inside.



Main bumper welded in place:



Receiver tucks up close to face of bumper - there is plenty of room behind the bumper to access the pin. Some extra bracing will be added inside the bumper.



Filler for under taillight:



Somewhat finished:



Besides the bracing for the receiver, I still need to reinforce the bottom area and drill for safety chains, drill and mount the trailer plug, and paint it. I plan on adding a tire carrier but I'm still kicking around a few ideas on how to do it. I'm thinking along the lines of the one I built for my TJ, but that one was mainly so the carrier could be easily removed for when I didn't need the back seat (the spare rode in the tub the rest of the time):

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Old 10-26-2013, 06:16 PM
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Looks damn good bud.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:49 PM
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Nice work! Good idea on the extra supports too.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:19 PM
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Looks good.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:36 PM
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Looks good! Planning on adding recovery points?
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:37 PM
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Thanks everyone! I'm pretty happy with how it's coming along, and I think I have pinned down the idea for the tire carrier. Now it's just a matter of finding the time to do more on it...

I'll be using the receiver as a recovery point - it will be more than strong enough, especially after I add the extra supports/bracing inside the bumper for towing a future (hopefully) travel trailer. The front bumper I made also has a receiver to use for recovery.

The XJ isn't going to see extreme trail duty like the TJ did, but will be used for mild to moderate wheeling, camping, etc. I've done the rock crawling thing, and while I loved it, the quirks of a rock crawler are too much of a compromise for the vast majority of what I need the XJ to do.
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Old 10-31-2013, 12:11 AM
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Cant wait to see the tire carrier
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:16 AM
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Nicely done !

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Old 11-03-2013, 12:16 PM
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That is exactly what I want for my xj simple but the the filler for the underside of the taillights make it look clean and professional. are you going to build these for sale?
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:52 PM
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Thanks again!

I looked at a lot of different bumpers, both purchased and homemade, and one of the things I liked were those without the large gaps that some leave under the taillights and between the bumper and lower quarter panel. It really didn't take long to add the fillers and gave a much more "finished" look.

As far as building and selling them, unfortunately not. Between working full time, keeping up with a 4-year old, and other family obligations, I have a hard enough time doing the stuff to my own Jeep....and I still have a lot left that I want to do to it!
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:23 PM
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Well if you wouldn't mind sharing some of the details of the building like to copy it. For example I would like to know what size rectangular tube you used
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:08 PM
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Sure - I don't have any "plans," just mocked it up and built as I went along. The main bumper is made from 3"x6"x3/16" rectangular tube. I sliced the back off using a plasma cutter to form a channel, which saves quite a bit of weight. The mounts that slide into the "rails" are 2"x4"x3/16" rectangular tube that I notched to slide under the shackle bolt and filler tube, with nuts (or nut strips for areas I couldn't weld nuts to) welded so that it would mount with all the bolts the trailer hitch used.

The end caps were made from 1/8" plate - it was easier to form the 1/8" than to try and use 3/16". If I did a lot of rock crawling I probably would have used 3/16" since it would hold up better to heavy hits, but I think the 1/8" will be more than sufficient for the wheeling I do. The fillers under the taillights are just scrap I had laying around that was cut to fit.

One thing not in the photos is that I'm re-using the plastic filler that goes along the top of the bumper to cover the gap between the body and bumper. I just trimmed the length down, and need to weld a couple tabs on the back to attach it to. I'll try to add photos of that when I pull the bumper back off to build the tire carrier.

One thing I would do differently is to use a receiver hitch with a different reinforcing ring - the one I used has a cast ring instead of the normal formed flat stock, and it was more difficult to make good looking welds on.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:53 PM
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You're going to want to gusset though more or add tabs on the sides to utilize the stock bolts as well. I did the same thing with 1/4" and they still wanted to bend some when they were just notched like that if there was much force up or down on them. Then again it doesn't look like you're planning to use it as a recovery point so you might be ok.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by motorcharge View Post
You're going to want to gusset though more or add tabs on the sides to utilize the stock bolts as well
The mounts are as tall as possible while still allowing them to slide under the shackle bolts and filler tube. Not shown in the photo is the 1/4" flat stock nut strips I welded inside the mounts, so the thickness on the bottom is 7/16" for most of the length of the mounts. EDIT: When I build the gas tank skid, I'll also be using the same five bolts on each side to mount it, so I'll have another "layer" of 3/16" along the bottom of the unirail. That's a project for next year...I hope.

Got the bumper itself finished up and mounted today. A few more pics:









Have the hinge ready for the tire carrier. The hinge is 1" solid bar stock, sleeve is 2"ODx1/2" wall tube. I used this on the TJ bumper and tire carrier, and it held up to a 35" tire and steel wheel with no trouble at all, so the 30" or 31" tire and Hi Lift will be no sweat. Hopefully I'll be able to start on the tire carrier in the near future, but at least I can drive the Jeep again in the meantime.


Last edited by DanB98TJ; 11-09-2013 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:38 PM
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Looking good.
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