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Discussion Starter #1
The title is to reflect the irritation I feel when morons get online and bash vendors for charging a lot for custom work.

This is Phase 1. Basically structure. Some cosmetic grinding, but mostly just tacking, fitting, and solid-welding the whole thing.

I'm reusing my old trailer hitch brackets. They are 1/4 plate, and already custom cut and drilled to my frame. Plus, they have been super reinforced.

The main beam, lower wing plates, and forward brackets are all 3/16. The top wing tubes are 1/8 because i couldn't find 3/16 in the size tube I wanted. I'm confident it is strong enough. The tabs going to the frame brackets on the bumper are 3/8" uneven angle. Again, I wanted 3x6, and that was the thinest I could get.

The frame brackets are held on with 4, 1/2" G8 bolts, the bumper is held onto the frame brackets with 4 more, and the front wing support is bolted with the same.

I'm *hoping* I won't have any further embarrassing bumper issues. We'll see.

On to the pictures.

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A DIY bumper kit? :D



Lining up the main beam. This was the most time consuming part. Measure, move, remeasure, move, measure, adjust...ad nauseum.



Finally got it straight. I also trimmed off the corners.



Tacked on the upper part of the wings...





Measuring for the wing-to-frame support, this table is pretty handy.



All tacked up, ready for welding. I bolted everything together to hold the bumper rigid to avoid warping. I also went VEERRRRYYYY SLLLOOWWWWLY to the point of irritation on my part. But, no warpage was worth it.





got scout?



Phase 1 complete....Fully welded.





Here is the Low down. I'm into this for 300 bucks so far. That is materials, and hardware. ONLY. That does not count the Miller welder, the cutting torch, the 200 dollar grinder, and the other butt loads of tools I used.

I have 16 full hours into this. And its not pleasant. Grinding, welding, taking this thing on and off to check fit, yeah, this is HARD WORK.

I figure another 8 into this to finish phases 2 and 3. They will be getting finished before AZ in mid Dec.

SOOOO, 24 hours to build this thing, figure a shop can do it in half the time. That's 12 hours. At a modest shop rate of 50/hr, you are looking at 600 bucks.

Which totals 900 dollars if they don't make any profit. Think about it before you bash vendors.

Anyway, enough soap box...

Phase 2 will be adding the receiver hitch (recovery), as well as the cosmetic welding. Phase 3 will be tail light hoops, and paint.

Stay Tuned....
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The fenders are getting cut back, so finished project will have bumper and fenders even.

I'm also torching off the lower portion of the frame brackets, so they don't hang down, like they are in the last two pics.
 

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So the 400$ I paid for this bad boy doesn't seem so bad is what you are sayin'... ;)

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmmm, 400 for a whole truck? no not bad :D

J/K

Seriously though, not bad at all. I'll bet half of that was steel and hardware.
 

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I like that bumper man. I really like how you did the wings on the side.


Personally i would rather build something for my truck, even if i break even, or in my case most of the time spend more money. It gives me something to do and i can always point at it and say "i made that piece of junk"
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I like that bumper man. I really like how you did the wings on the side.


Personally i would rather build something for my truck, even if i break even, or in my case most of the time spend more money. It gives me something to do and i can always point at it and say "i made that piece of junk"
Thank you.

I agree with you, and have done 99.9% of the work on my truck myself.

My point is that building a bumper is hard work. Everytime I hear someone talk trash about a vendor charging too much for a custom bumper, I want to smack that person. Clearly, they have zero idea of how much it takes to build something like this.

I'm all for people building their own stuff, but if you can't, don't whine about the cost of someone doing it for you.
 

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With the steel you used. Did you have someone cut it when you bought it or did you cut it all yourself?

It seems like your material cost was a bit high. But thats just based on the material i have bought for my sliders and bumper. Together i spent 100bucks for material. But i guess grade 8 hardware isnt cheap either.

And never mind the thousands of dollars worth of tools that reside in my/your garage. ;) I dont count them in the cost of the stuff i make. LOL But i will say that they have all paid for themselves.
 

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I like that bumper man. I really like how you did the wings on the side.


Personally i would rather build something for my truck, even if i break even, or in my case most of the time spend more money. It gives me something to do and i can always point at it and say "i made that piece of junk"
I agree too, but working with steel and welding is something I've never done. Thus I must pay dearly for someone else's skills...

Very nice Ike. Should be much beefier - you'll be able to bounce your truck off it!
 

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i could build it cheaper!






lol sorry i couldn't resist. i hear ya on that one. so many people look at only the material and everything like and say someone is overcharging. I built my rear bumper and while it could have been better i know exactly what it is capable of and it is there to do exactly what i ask of it. the time i spent thinking about it and drawing it up far outmeasures what it would ever be worth even if a shop built it.


props to you. im a big fan of if you want something to build it yourself.... that way when it breaks the only bad things you can say is about yourself
 

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Discussion Starter #14
With the steel you used. Did you have someone cut it when you bought it or did you cut it all yourself?

It seems like your material cost was a bit high. But thats just based on the material i have bought for my sliders and bumper. Together i spent 100bucks for material. But i guess grade 8 hardware isnt cheap either.

And never mind the thousands of dollars worth of tools that reside in my/your garage. ;) I dont count them in the cost of the stuff i make. LOL But i will say that they have all paid for themselves.
It was pre cut, but no cut cost. paid by the foot. I do not include tools into the equation, but I do include the 70 bucks for grade 8 hardware, 40 bucks for griding disks, flap disks, and cut off wheels...I've gone through 4 cut off wheels, 2 grinder disks, and a flap disk, and i still have phases 2 and 3 to go.


i could build it cheaper!


lol sorry i couldn't resist. i hear ya on that one. so many people look at only the material and everything like and say someone is overcharging. I built my rear bumper and while it could have been better i know exactly what it is capable of and it is there to do exactly what i ask of it. the time i spent thinking about it and drawing it up far outmeasures what it would ever be worth even if a shop built it.


props to you. im a big fan of if you want something to build it yourself.... that way when it breaks the only bad things you can say is about yourself
Absolutely. That is exactly how I feel.

I know a shop could probably go quicker, and be as nice or nicer, but there's something to be said for building a truck 100% (or almost) yourself.

I've done all but one mod on this truck myself, which was the initial gear install. Yeah, my truck isn't the nicest truck on the trail, nor is it the most built, but what built it is, I did, and that is what its about for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Phase 2 Complete, Phase 3 Started

Update:

Nice enough day, though my toes still froze even with two pair of socks.

Got the hitch hole cut, the hitch tube drilled, with a minor hicup. Welded fully, with AWESOME penetration. The hicup occurred when I was super stupid, and bought the wrong sized drill bit, the bit I bought being too small. So, after much walleyeing, the pin will now slide into the hitch with zero issues. It was frustrating though, since the drill almost ripped my hands off on more than one occasion.

I also got the corners lopped off at a 45 deg angle, and capped, though there was some issue with grinding too much off on the driver side, so now I have a little dimple. :mad: Gotta fill it still.

I ground everything pretty smooth, and got the tops of the mounting tabs ground so my cosmetic strip (fills the gap between the tailgate and the bumper) will fit properly.

Now, for the million dollar question:

I'm looking at putting the tailpipe routed through the bumper. Basically, I have my exhaust cut off under the truck, and wired up to the driver side frame rail.

I am considering cutting a hole in the driver side wing, and welding a small exhaust coupler (found at every auto parts store ever) into the hole. I will then connect the hard pipe to the coupler via some flex tubing.

Heres what I like: It gets the exhaust out of the way, and protected (can't tell you how many times I've crushed it before).

Heres what I don't like: I'm worried about carbon residue getting all over my nice bumper (vain, I know). I'm also concerned about it not being symmetric (even more vain). I want it to look good in addition to being functional.

So, opinions? :confused:

On to the pics! Sorry there aren't many of the various steps. I was under a pretty good crunch to get this done before the sun set. Normally, I keep the camera outside with me, and I can snap a few here and there, but it was cold enough that the camera kept telling me the batteries were dead, even though they were brand new, so I had to keep it inside. I was only able to get a couple.

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Cutting the hitch hole



Leveling the hitch out.



Welded in front and back. Front pictured



Finished with phase 2. Sitting on garage floor waiting to be loaded for the trip to Boulder.



Close up of front of hitch.



Corners cut. Purely cosmetic, but I was trying to make it look a LITTLE less like a box.





Backside of the hitch.

 
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