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My rear bumper with swingout tire carrier

Brian1

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Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
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I made a new bumper for my Explorer and just finished it up today. It has been built in stages over the past 6 months when I had time The overall design was kept in mind so no changes had to be made along the way.

I needed a tire carrier once I got bigger tires since the new spare wouldnt fit under the chassis anymore and it was taking up too much cargo area. I also wanted a bumper to match my front bumper and to provide better off-road protection and recovery points. It also needed an integrated receiver hitch since I tow trailers on occasion. The new bumper increased my departure angle which was greatly needed. I was always hitting my rear receiver hitch on something while wheeling.

Start off with the CAD design using Solidworks
newrearbumperassembly3.jpg

newrearbumperassembly2.jpg


From there I started cutting the material. A carboard template of the frame plates was made then plasma cut out of 1/4" steel. 2 sets of holes were drilled for stock and 1" body lift height.
frameplates.jpg


The clevis tabs are welded to the front and back of the bumper and to the frame plates for added strength
frameplateandclevistabwelded.jpg


From here the bumper started taking shape. I cut a strip of 1/8" diamondplate and stitch welded it to the bumper on the underside.
bumperfab1.jpg


The bumper portion pretty much finished up
BumperFab2.jpg


The hinge is a custom design of mine. It uses a 1 1/4" socket head cap screw in double shear, a bronze bushing in thick wall DOM tube and thrust bearings. A nut was welded into the bumper before the caps were put on the sides. I use a clamp from Destaco (??) rated for over 1000lbs. The weight of the carrier when closed rests on a small Delrin pad. It also has a backstop to rest up against and protect it from swinging into the body.

I drove the Explorer around and wheeled it for a few trips before starting the swing out portion. After a few months I assembled the hinge and made the base of the swing out. Then I drove around and wheeled it like that for a few more months.

1/2 way finished
jemez-bumperhalfcomplete.jpg


Then I figured I better finish it and I started to finish the swing out carrier a few days ago.

Checking tire fit:
carrierfab1.jpg


Fabbing the tire hub. I found some old lugs and nuts that came off the explorer and used 3 of them. I also used some pipe to center the wheel on so when the tire is lifted up the weight can be rested on it while the holes are lined up with the lugs. It will also act as a lock for the tire. It is drilled for a padlock to fit into. The hub is on a receiver hitch that uses 2 1/2" bolts to secure it to the main carrier. This way it is adjustable for differet tires and backspacing. 1 of the 1/2" bolts will be tack welded for added theft prevention.
tirehubfab.jpg


The finished carrier/bumper
finishedrearviewnotire.jpg

finishedprofileviewnotire.jpg


And with the tire installed:
finishedrearviewwithtire.jpg

finishedprofileviewwithtire.jpg


The tire carrier will have modular accessories added to it later when I figure out what I want on it (hi-lift, basket, Jerry cans, etc.) They will simply bolt on to the tire carrier using u-bolts.

I designed and built the carrier for a maximum size of a 37" tire which the Explorer will use at a later date. I completly forgot to add in some gussets before it was painted but will do so before a 37 is put on. It is strong enough now for the 31.

Extra pictures can be seen at http://photobucket.com/albums/b141/Brian4x4/Offroad Fab projects/Explorer Rear Bumper/
 
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Brian1

Elite Explorer
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KG5BAQ
FROADER said:
Very nicely done sir. Are you still going to make a mount for the jack like int he cad drawing?

Thanks. Right now my roof rack still has a mount for it so it probably will not get done for a while. I will probably mount it lower either on the lower main bar or at a diagonal like the "checking tire fit" picture above shows.

I also forgot to mention I picked up a new Explorer wheel for the spare from the local U-pull it for $10. It is so much lighter than the steel wheel and makes lifting it up easier, plus it matches the other 4!
 
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FROADER

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Brian1 said:
Thanks. Right now my roof rack still has a mount for it so it probably will not get done for a while. I will probably mount it lower either on the lower main bar or at a diagonal like the "checking tire fit" picture above shows.
Cool.
I also forgot to mention I picked up a new Explorer wheel for the spare from the local U-pull it for $10. It is so much lighter than the steel wheel and makes lifting it up easier, plus it matches the other 4!
Plus it stays true to your drawing. :) Again, nice work. I wish I had the tool and the space.
 
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expo5.0

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very nice work and excellent welding- why did you make it THAT heavy though? or maybe it isn't as thick as it looks in the pictures.
 
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ryf

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I'd guess he's over-engineering since he put a tow hitch in it. It looks good though, I like it. and when you get into the larger rectangular tubing, at least around here the thickness's are way slimmer pickins
 
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Brian1

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Its not way over engineered, it was pretty much built to industry standards from what I have seen of this type of bumper except for the hinge. A few aftermarket bumper companies have similar hinges however. The main bumper is 3/16" wall and the tire carrier frame is 1/8" wall. The diamondplate is 1/8". Only a few pieces of 1/4" were used.

FROADER said:
Cool.

Plus it stays true to your drawing. :) Again, nice work. I wish I had the tool and the space.

Well except for the beadlock ring :D That would be cool to have on my wheels though.
 
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expo5.0

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ah, i just saw what looked like 1/4- sounds about right
 
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JoshC

Only rolled it once honey
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EDIT, i just saw where you designed the hinge yourself, how is it holding up?
 
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JoshC

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lol, thanks!
 
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98 sport

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Nice work! When do you go into production? Can't wait to see it fully loaded (cans etc.)
 
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Brian1

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98 sport said:
Nice work! When do you go into production? Can't wait to see it fully loaded (cans etc.)

Hopefully sometime before the Moab trip in May. It wont take long to make the modular racks once I know how I want it and what I want to have on there. For right now Im thinking about a holder for a water jug since whenever I go wheeling or on a road trip I keep it inside and it is always leaking on the carpet.
 
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SkanlaxJMO

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nice bumper do you have to mount for the gas can and the jug done? What size tire doy ou have on it?
Edit: Just saw it is a 31
 
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rookieshooter

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Looks good, I like the looks and the fact you went with 3/16 which will be more then enough. IF you get a chance I would really like to see a pic with the sun shining directly on bumper. All those shadows hide your nice work.
 
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rookieshooter

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