Discussion in 'Modified 1995-2001 Explorers' started by johnny499, July 28, 2014.
I can't wait to see what you come up with!
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I am finally making time to get bumper construction underway this weekend. I am starting with the rear bumper and we will see how far i can get. My goal is to get the rear done and in paint this weekend, I am taking Thursday and Friday off work as well to hopefully make this happen.
On a side note still no problems with the mountaineer and over 20,000 miles on it since the conversion. I am still very pleased with my $600 beater.
I started on the rear bumper Saturday. I only have a few pictures uploaded. The project was delayed by a couple hours when i didn't realize that the pin for the tube strap to die connection was not all the way in causing the strap to be opened up instead of bending the tube. I eventually ended Saturday with the upper tube complete and tacked to the mounts.
Sunday I worked on the lower tube. This went much better than the upper tube, even though it was more complicated with the multiple angles i was trying to accomplish. The software took a little while to understand but i have the basics down enough that the lower tube came out great.
I was able to make much better progress on Sunday. I got the lower tube on and some of the bracing tacked on as well.
Here you can see the multiple angles i was talking about which is where the software really shines.
It still needs more bracing, I will be tying it to the frame just behind the tires and I want to tie the receiver hitch tube to the frame a little more as well. I will be going through the build with more detail once i get it done and the pictures uploaded. But for now you get the direction it is going.
So the software worth the purchase price then? I'm still on the fence about needing it.
Yes i think it is worth the money. It does all of the multiple angle and rotational math for you. I especially like the assemble option that let's you design things one tube at a time and see them all together from any angle. it makes miter templates where the tubes would join. It is very accurate on the overall length of the material as well which means not having to wrestle a twenty foot stick in most cases and less material loss. If i were working with DOM it would pay for itself in a heart beat by just not having a couple messed up pieces.
Wednesday night I got the central clevis anchor point installed along with 4 lighting tabs and the bracket for the trailer light jack. The clevis mount is 1" by 2" plate that i cut to fit between the upper tube and receiver tube.
Friday night i pulled it back off of the truck to cap the tube ends and do finish welding. However I did not work on it this weekend, I don't see anything to keep me from getting it done this week and then into paint.
I am still trying to decide if i should do anything on the top between the hatch and upper tube. I am considering putting a 1" tube across the front and then spanning that with expanded metal. Any thoughts or suggestions? Pro's, Con's?
That'll work great if you want to put things on it or stand on it.
One question, Kinda late now but what if you shortened the mounts and kept the upper bar maybe half under the hatch.
I was thinking of tucking the tube under the hatch and have the sides hug the body on mine when I never get to it...lol
Tucking would probably mean moving your hitch too......just a thought.
That was what i was thinking with decking it, i just don't want to do solid plate because that will definitely heat warp the bumper. I could have tucked it farther forward for sure but i didn't for a few reasons.
I plan to eventually add a swing out tire mount to it.
I am also trying to meet local bumper height laws while still having the shackles clear the lower tube.
So much for getting it done this week. I got a couple minutes on it Monday night. Tuesday night i spent cramming to take my amateur extra class license test last night which was also my birthday. Tonight it look's like I'll be at the range.
Well I now have my weekends free again.
On the plus side i finally got the bumper finish welded Saturday night.
Including some plates under the front tubes to mount mud flap's if i deem that necessary.
Sunday i put all of the vehicles outside, cleaned the bumper and got it into primer by 5:00 p.m.
After several coat's of epoxy primer i put on a couple coat's of Rustoleum hammered black which i like the look of and should be easy to touch up when needed. I had the gun cleaned and the vehicles back inside by 10:30. I have more pic's just need to upload them. I plan to put the bumper on in a couple of day's.
Last night i decided to put the bumper on.
Tonight I plan to get the trailer connector and l lights mounted and wired up if I don't get any interruptions.
I started with wiring in the trailer light jack.
Got it and the lights mounted.
I soldered the wires and covered them in heat shrink. Then i ran them into the back and covered the wiring in split loom. I tested them and left the wire coiled up inside till i get more time to wire in the control switches. But for now i can tow a trailer again without the tongue pointed to the sky.
Getting excited to work on the front bumper someday soon.
Can't wait to see the front one now, looks good!
Thanks, I'm on a mission to get the front done now. I picked up a piece of 3/8's inch thick plate for the winch mount this weekend out at my dad's.
Friday night I completed most of the lighting wiring. The reverse light's come on automatically with the factory lights as well as having a manual switch. The side facing lights are on a manual switch. I did not get the brake controller in but the wire is run to the dash. I did get a USB power point installed in place of the 4WD switch in the dash. I was going to try and use the 4WD switch for the reverse lights but found out it uses different resistances instead of just providing power or ground for the three positions.
Switch out for testing.
USB charger installed.
I towed a small trailer around with the new bumper all weekend hauling brush and parts. Now i just need a lower drop for it, I will be working on that shortly as well.
I finally made time to upload pics from the real camera. here is the new bumper with a six inch drop hitch. Still quite high for the trailer.
I started looking at options for more drop and realized i had everything to make one the right height without spending any money. Here is the cut off piece of receiver tube and some 1/4" wall 2" tube as well as a 3 way hitch I have had for awhile.
All tacked up and ready for test fit.
Burned in and ready for bracing.
Bracing welded on.
Got it painted and gave it a test try the next day.
Kinda looks like elephant sacks just hanging there..
The trailer looks so much happier though hanging on it.
I also managed to get the mud flaps cut now i just need to make the clamping plates.
The led backup and side lights made a huge difference in being able to see things behind me at night. I am working up a basic design plan for the front bumper. We'll see how close it is when i am done with it. If nothing more important comes up i will be working on it over memorial day weekend. I just ordered the 1" tubing die set for the bender for other projects.
I finally got to working on the new bumper sunday sometime. I moved the factory tranny cooler up above the core support, added another cooler in front of it and an external filter matching the engine oil filter location.
I sleeved a mounting point on each frame horn and then capped the frame horns. I made mounting flanges that attach to the new front cross member. Then i welded 2" square tubing to the flanges parallel to the frame which will have a diagonal piece of round tube going from the bottom corner of the flange and up to the upper horizontal tube. The winch plate is welded to the square tube and eventually the round tube diagonals. The winch plate is 3/8" thick and will have stiffening plates added as well as some recovery points.
It looks pretty mean at the moment.
I plan to incorporate recovery points, HID projector fog lights, existing LED light bar, a couple antenna mounts and skid plate.
Last night i got a little more time on the bumper. I made another one of the lower tubes .
I love being able to duplicated bends easily. I made this one a little shorter to save on waste. The first one was a cut off piece.
Initially i had planned to bring these tubes straight up but after looking at the lines of the grill i thought it would look wrong by not meeting up at the same point as the center hoop i have planned to protect the light bar. So this is what i came up with.
The multiple angles were fun to figure out and cut at the mounting flanges.
22 degree cut at like 35 degrees rotation or something like that. It looks like i should still have a decent approach angle with this setup.
I also remembered to snap a pic of the mud flaps installed.
Last night i notched the tops of the lower tubes for the main tube connection.
I set a tube across them and used a square to get all of my measurements to enter into the software. It will consist of four bends to wrap around the front fenders.
I entered the numbers into the software and then double checked the angles. I think i located the front corners wrong because it looks like the apex is way too close by the turn signal so i will be re doing it tonight, then hopefully getting it bent up and rocking and rolling on it.
I was right the angles would have brought the tube too close to the header by the turn signal. So i re did my measurements and was much more convinced with the new results.
Friday night i went ahead and proceeded to bend the main tube.
I was so happy that it fit like a glove.
Saturday morning i got it tacked on and proceeded to make decisions on how i was going to do the upper hoop and lower bars.
I finished out the day with the upper lightbar hoop mimicking the lines of the grill and the drivers side lower bar installed.
Sunday morning i got the passengers side lower tube fitted and welded in.
With the those in place i made mounting plate for the outsides of the frame horns as well as added side mounting plates where it mounts to the front cross member.
Then i moved onto the recovery points. I made them out of the same 3/8" plate as the winch plate with washers welded on the sides for a little more beef. They are bolted to the inside of the frame horns and welded to the winch plate.
This is where i left it sunday night.
It is getting close. I think it looks mean as heck..... Getting excited to get it done.
Incredible workmanship, salute! Love the front bumper and winch setup.
It is so much better than the plastic factory POS. It is like putting 55 gallons of crap in a 30 gallon bag, trying to retain as much clearance as possible while getting all of the pieces to fit and still be sort of legal. It has been fun, the real bender and bendtech software have been a huge improvement over what i have used in the past.
Last night i made up the fairlead mounting plate and fillers to go between the recovery mounts and outer frame brackets.
I used 1" .120 wall tubing for a lower diagonal brace so i can put on skid plates to protect the two oil filters.
Getting there a couple hours at a time. What's left? Headlight/brush bar hoop's. Light mounts. License plate mount (swinging/hinged). Antenna mount tabs. Oh! and paint....
Looks great, fellow Minnesotan!
Last night i only had time to get the templates for the oil filter skid plates made and drawn onto some material. Now i just need to decide if i want to drive out to my dads and use the sheer or use the plasma cutter at home.
I could also take some aluminum plate out to his place and sheer it for the main skid plate.