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Front Hitch Construction

MountaineerGreen

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I am preparing the ole monty for some serious use in the near future, and I want /need a tow point for the front. The front bumper does not allow for tow hooks, and being able to put a winch in a basket made for a hitch up front sounds good too. As an added benefit, the hitch will act as a cross member, adding strength to the front end.

A friend of mine had a used frame hitch from a F250 that I traded him for. I cut it up for parts and ended up using the center section of my old explorer frame hitch. It was straightforward enough, I got it done today. I used the outer rails from the F250 hitch and cut down the center section of the other hitch. The alternative is a $99 bolt in piece from e trailer, but I did this for no cost to me.

Pictures!!

Before:
work_042_Small_.jpg


Up Close:
work_041_Small_.jpg


No Bull bar:
work_043_Small_.jpg


No Bumper:
work_044_Small_.jpg


Mocked Up and tack welded:
work_047_Small_.jpg


Welded, ground and re welded for strength:
work_050_Small_.jpg


Bolted In
work_051_Small_.jpg


Bolted to the Frame: these brackets make great lower radiator protectors
work_055_Small_.jpg


Painted:
work_052_Small_.jpg


Bumper put on and notched:
work_057_Small_.jpg


Closer Shot:
work_060_Small_.jpg


Another:
work_058_Small_.jpg


This is why I put the front hitch on:

These are 97-03 F150 tow hooks that I put on some 2" square tubing, I made two one for the front and one for the rear.
work_066_Small_.jpg


work_063_Small_.jpg


Internally Braced Bolts
work_065_Small_.jpg


work_062_Small_.jpg


work_061_Small_.jpg
 


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MountaineerGreen

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I am debating whether or not to put the "bull bar" back on. It doesn't really serve any purpose other than to hold the lights and reduces ground clearance. On the other hand I kind of like it, but the guy who helped me today said to leave it off.

What do you think?
 




'97 V8

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Nice! Leave the bull bar off imo.
 




redranger4.0

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are those grade 8 or 5 bolts?
 




MountaineerGreen

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The bolts that bolt the hitch to the frame are 7/16 (I think) grade 5 carriage bolts that came with the Curt hitch I cut up. I put the thick metal plates inside the frame with a magnet pickup tool, then put the bolts in the same way. There is a strip of metal at the end of the frame which wouldn't allow me to put a wrench inside the frame without cutting it. Using the carriage bolts, I didn't have to cut anything.

The bolts holding the tow rings to the tubing are also grade 5 7/16" x 3.5" I had them laying around, otherwise I would have used grade 8. I may change them out eventually.
 




churd69

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if you ditch the bull bar let me know, i am trying to find one cheap to try and get to fit on my 01 sport, when i did the bl i took out the steel reinforced bumper and would like to put something up front for a little protection. that hitch looks awesome, i was thinking about something like that, because I saw you can get a spare tire accessory for like $50.

-Rich
 




Brian1

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Leave the bull bar off especially if you want to use a winch cradle. I took my brushguard off and even then I made a completly new bumper to be able to use my multimount winch. You dont want to have it sticking out much past the hitch especially for side pulls.

Hitch turned out nice, good job! The tow loop sticking out that far just looks wierd. You should get one of those d-ring shackle hitch inserts, it would tuck in there nicely. Anyway, something is better than nothing.
 




MountaineerGreen

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Leave the bull bar off especially if you want to use a winch cradle. I took my brushguard off and even then I made a completly new bumper to be able to use my multimount winch. You dont want to have it sticking out much past the hitch especially for side pulls.

Hitch turned out nice, good job! The tow loop sticking out that far just looks wierd. You should get one of those d-ring shackle hitch inserts, it would tuck in there nicely. Anyway, something is better than nothing.


The loops do look weird, but they were Free, which my wife really likes. Id love to have some of those D ring inserts, maybe ill buy some one of these days.

I dont plan to run the loops all the time, they are just for when I anticipate to need them. I will carry them at all times though.
 












MountaineerGreen

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I had my front bumper off today and took the opportunity to take some more pictures of the hitch in case anyone wants to build one for themselves-

paint_grill_bumper_011_Small_.jpg


paint_grill_bumper_018_Small_.jpg


You can see the bolts inside the frame in this picture, I used the plates from the hitch hardware kit, they fit perfectly and I was able to keep the bars at the end of the frame.

paint_grill_bumper_016_Small_.jpg
 








MountaineerGreen

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I would say you could, but it would look funny to me. Why do you want it so low? You could move it outward more in the bumper gap to put racks and such on. I think the pre made ones stick out a little further.
 




'97 V8

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Could you put that hitch lower then the bumper? I'm thinking about doing that so I can put one of those luggage racks up front and in the rear.

a luggage rack in the front would seriously stop air from gettin to the radiator.
 




old mechanic

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I hear you about blocking the air but years ago it was common to see a truck with the spare tire mounted on the front of them. Most of them were carrying camper shells but they were still DD's.
 








j602

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Leave the bar off and make a slide-in, removable bumper guard.
 




MountaineerGreen

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Leave the bar off and make a slide-in, removable bumper guard.

I sold the bar already, and have a hitch shackle mount in the mail :D
 

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Dan Whitaker

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You need to paint the hook red because it looks like your Mounty is sticking it's tounge out at a JEEP.:D :D :D
 




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