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Custom RLC Winch Bumper on 1998 XLT

Discussion in 'Modified 1995-2001 Explorers' started by Desert_AIP, February 6, 2018.

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    1. Desert_AIP

      Desert_AIP New Member

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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1998 Explorer XLT 4WD
      I got my bumper installed this weekend and thought I'd post pics.
      Thanks to this forum for recommending RLC.
      James was really easy to work with and made a top notch final product.

      I wanted the winch tray to be a bit deeper than his standard 2nd gen bumper, I wanted lights and a brush guard.
      I made up a mock up and we talked about it. He made up some CAD mockups and we agreed on the design. The process was painless.

      I wanted to use the Rigid flush mount driving lights, and originally planned on using the angled mounts for them to point them straight ahead. James recommended Frenching them in into the bumper instead. I think the final result turned out great.

      After I got the old bumper off and the mounts cut away, I primed and painted the raw steel. While I had everything off I went ahead and installed the RCI front skid plate. It matches the new bumper perfectly.
      I still have to mount the lights and winch.

      Draw.png Bumper.jpg Bumper_w_tube.jpg Front_Bumper_03.JPG Front_Bumper_18.JPG Front_Bumper_20.JPG Front_Bumper_26.JPG Front_Bumper_33.JPG Front_Bumper_36.JPG Front_Bumper_42.JPG Front_Bumper_43.JPG
       
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    3. RangerX

      RangerX Elite Ranger Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Looks great! Always liked his work.
      What winch are you putting in that you wanted a deeper tray?
       
    4. Desert_AIP

      Desert_AIP New Member

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      I have a Smitybilt XRC 2 9500.
      I like the look of the winch set down in the bumper, almost hidden.
      Plus the tray is wide enough, I may be able to mount the solenoid box on the side of the winch out of the way.

      I got the lights installed tonight. I'm using the driving lights. Mini suns, dang these things are bright!
      I used the existing fog lamp circuit and made up new pig tails by splicing the original fog lamp connectors with the new Deutsch connector. Same switch and relay.

      I'll eventually have a 20" bar over the winch under the center bar.
       
    5. traveler

      traveler Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Man I really like that bumper! The grill guards are exactly like what I was thinking I'd like added to it. Can you post pics of the lights mounted?
       
    6. Desert_AIP

      Desert_AIP New Member

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      OK.
      I got the lights and winch mounted.
      Did a pretensioning run on the winch, works great.
      I have a relay box and a switch group for the lights I need to install, so for now the center bar is inop.
      I did a test with it temporarily wired up and it fills in the driving lights perfectly.
      The last pic is a recovery kit my wife got my for my birthday.
      It needs a bath!

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      Front_Bumper_59.JPG
       
      Last edited: February 12, 2018
    7. 97cherbal

      97cherbal New Member

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      Where is RLC located? Are those D ring brackets welded inside as well or just surface mounted?
      I see your in Wa. where abouts as im in Puyallup with a 98 as well
       
    8. Desert_AIP

      Desert_AIP New Member

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      RLC is in Kentucky.
      He's one of the few making bumpers for gen 2 Explorers.
      He shipped it to the local Fastenal where I picked it up.
      I'm in Snohomish.

      I think the shackle brackets are welded to the surface.
      They're close to in line with the frame mounting bracekts.
      The welds are high quality, they are completely welded around their perimeter and the wdlds appear to have excellent penetration.


      Here's his web site. You can see his basic bumper there. There have been several threads here on his customized work. Photo bucket has ruined most of those threads because the pics no longer show up.

      RLC Welding
       
      Last edited: February 11, 2018
    9. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

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      Looks great. Your entire Explorer looks great. What size tires are you running?
       
    10. Desert_AIP

      Desert_AIP New Member

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      Thanks.
      31" tires.

      The OEMs were 265s.

      I bought it new in 1998.
      I've been refreshing and renewing it since last winter.
       
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    11. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

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      Looks great
       
    12. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Bumper looks great! I like the light cut outs. I wish now I'd had him cut them into mine.
       
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    13. Desert_AIP

      Desert_AIP New Member

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      I was concerned the recessed lights would block some of the throw, but they don't seem to.
      I was originally thinking a set of floods and a set of driving lights, but the CAD mockups he made looked too cramped, so I went with the single pair.
      I'm glad I did.
       
    14. 97cherbal

      97cherbal New Member

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      What's the diam of the tubing & did RLC make them as well? What brand of light bar brackets & light bar are you using?
       
    15. Desert_AIP

      Desert_AIP New Member

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      The tubing is 1.75". Yes RLC fabricated It as well.
      The two pics with it in the white were texted to me by RLC during the process.
      It's welded to the bumper so it came as a single piece.

      The lights in the bumper cutouts are Rigid Industries Flush (D Series I think).
      I went cheaper on the 21" bar. It's an Auxbeam 5D Cree unit.
      It has a center spot and side flood lenses.

      The brackets I grabbed off of Amazon.
      They're "House Tuning" brand which is a Chinese knock off company.
      They actually have reasonable quality.
      The brackets are aluminum 2 piece with a rubber insert inside.

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075QKLJVT/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
       

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