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Thread: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

  1. #1
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    Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    I have begun the attempt to build a rear bumper for my old land cruiser. I plan to use 10 gauge steel to save weight, and I want to build a swing out for my spare tire as well. I have 2x2 1/8 tubing for the tire swing. I have already built my mounts out of 1/4" that will utilize the stock tow bar location and I plan to build my shell around that.

    I'm looking for advice on where/how to gusset everything to prevent sagging or anything. I plan to plate another piece of 10 gauge under where the swing out will be mounted and maybe place a gusset that runs from that plate to the inside of the lower bumper plate if that makes sense.

    I'm also looking to build a design similar to this below using hiem joints (should I use 3/4" or will 5/8" suffice?) I like this idea better than a spindle design (cheaper, adjustable and maybe stronger?)
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    I have also played with the idea of mounting the swing like this
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    The general shell design I am thinking will be close to this
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    I ordered this rod end bracket today thinking I could weld it to the bumper shell and place a 5/8" bolt through 2 hiem joints (threaded into the end of the swingarm) with a steel sleeve in the middle.

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    Below is the design that got me thinking about this build. My 1/4" mounts are built based off his design. The two recovery points you see go straight back to the frame where they are mounted, and the shell is built around that. I plan to weld another piece of 1/4" to the last bit sticking out of the bumper so the shackle mount is 1/2"
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  3. #2
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    I do of road fabrication in my off time. the areas you will want to make more robust is obviously the pivot mount on the bumper and the locking mechanism when it is close. You want to avoid any wiggle in it, that will result in cracks and fatigue. As far as the rest of it, definitely re-enforce the area the tire is bolted to. That are is a high "wiggle" area just going down the freeway. Then re-enforce where it mounts to the swing out horizontal square tube. I would use 3/4". It doesn't appear that there are any "Mis-Alignment spacer with the hiems. Some call then reducers,. I would also use weld in Bungs to house the hiems I would use them..
    Welds last longer than Love...

  4. #3
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Thanks for the input.

    So you would use 3/4" hiems instead of 5/8" or reinforce the area on the tire mount with 3/4"?

    Do you think the 10 ga will be ok if I add gussets around the swing arm mount?

  5. #4
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Quote Originally Posted by Noidea87 View Post
    Thanks for the input.

    So you would use 3/4" hiems instead of 5/8" or reinforce the area on the tire mount with 3/4"?

    Do you think the 10 ga will be ok if I add gussets around the swing arm mount?
    Yes, that is the route I would go..
    Welds last longer than Love...

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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Quote Originally Posted by sapperb View Post
    Yes, that is the route I would go..

    You know, I'm wondering if I should double up the 2 x 2 tubing on the swing and the upright holding the tire to add some strength. Basically weld to pieces together and make it 2 x 4.

  8. #6
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    I've gotten this far. I need to ream out the holes for the mounts a little bit. The bolts are M14 and the 9/16" holes need to be just slightly bigger to get it to thread in smooth. I also need to clean out the threads in the frame the bolts won't go in very easily. Now the hard part of trying to mock up and cut all the shapes I need to get around the body and not look terrible....

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    Once I get the mounts all ready to go and can bolt them in I will tack the top plate and front plate together and start building off of that.

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  10. #7
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Not sure why to heims. Id probly do a tube inside of a tube kinda thing with a grease zero. 2"x.25 on 1.5x25
    The heim is essentially a solid fixed pivot your waisting the misalignment plus they are small weak heims they get loose and sloppy

    Could possibly use a poly bushing but I also think that is idk.

    On the end away from the pivot id capture it solid so it can move up or down. If you hang a 30-33" tire on it its going to wear out and get sloppy probly no matter what

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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Quote Originally Posted by evan View Post
    Not sure why to heims. Id probly do a tube inside of a tube kinda thing with a grease zero. 2"x.25 on 1.5x25
    The heim is essentially a solid fixed pivot your waisting the misalignment plus they are small weak heims they get loose and sloppy

    Could possibly use a poly bushing but I also think that is idk.

    On the end away from the pivot id capture it solid so it can move up or down. If you hang a 30-33" tire on it its going to wear out and get sloppy probly no matter what

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    I think the idea of the hiem is solid, cheap and easily adjustable and replaceable. I had also looked at doing a 1" bolt with some brass bushings as well.

    I do plan to have a pad at the end of the swing (opposite the pivot) that the arm will push down into, and then another spring pin to keep it from moving forward and back.

    This is planned to have a 33" tire on it.

  12. #9
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    If you actually use the rig off I don't think it will hold up. If its a sometimes used street rig it may last awhile before getting sloppy.
    Yes small heims are a cheap consumable

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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Quote Originally Posted by evan View Post
    If you actually use the rig off I don't think it will hold up. If its a sometimes used street rig it may last awhile before getting sloppy.
    Yes small heims are a cheap consumable

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    I do use it off road, nothing crazy rock crawling, but mild trails. You think a sleeved 1" bolt with some brass bushing would hold up better?

  14. #11
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    I honestly don't see anything holding up. If you are much washboard. Some kinda sleeves. Probably expect to run some tack in after few thousand miles to tighten it up.

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  16. #12
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    I’ll be following along on this build. Been wanting to built a front wench bumper for the Bronco.

    thinking about the spare tire rack. Make sure the rack is as rigid as possible so there is limited to no flex once the load of the spare tire etc is mounted. I would not think the adjustable option is optimal. Too much room for flex and wear IMO.

    I like the idea of over building the areas that have moving and locking parts.

    Are you using lighter weighted material like cardboard etc for mock up?
    Lincoln, ESAB, Thermal Dynamics, Victor, Miller, Dewalt, Makita, Kalamzoo. Hand tools, power tools, welding and cutting tools.

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  18. #13
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Shhh don't give out our secret CAD design process

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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  20. #14
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Quote Originally Posted by N2 Welding View Post
    I’ll be following along on this build. Been wanting to built a front wench bumper for the Bronco.

    thinking about the spare tire rack. Make sure the rack is as rigid as possible so there is limited to no flex once the load of the spare tire etc is mounted. I would not think the adjustable option is optimal. Too much room for flex and wear IMO.

    I like the idea of over building the areas that have moving and locking parts.

    Are you using lighter weighted material like cardboard etc for mock up?
    I have some 2 x 2 and I think 1/8" wall tubing I'm using to build the tire carrier, just figuring out how to do the hinge. I may double the tube to add some strength.

    For the record I never do washboard roads where I'm at, it is slow slightly rocky trails or mud, but I know I have to minimize all movement if possible.

    I am using cardboard, I'm having trouble getting cardboard that is thick enough the **** I have is too flimsy so it's been hard to get the angle right.

    I've been having the most trouble figuring out the plate pointed out in the photo. I may have to go with a more blocky design if I cant get the angle figured out. This is my first big "fabrication" project so it's definitely a learning experience.
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  21. #15
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Quote Originally Posted by N2 Welding View Post
    I’ll be following along on this build. Been wanting to built a front wench bumper for the Bronco.
    Personally, Id let her ride in the cab, but if you want her to sit on the front bumper...

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  23. #16
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    I have built a good handful of bumpers professionally in my fab shop. 10 gauge is far too light to support a tire carrier, and heim joints are going to be problematic at best. I use a 1.5 piece of cold rolled (1018), a 2 tube, and bronze bushings from Mcmasters. It works well, I have had no issues at all.

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  25. #17
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    I have built a good handful of bumpers professionally in my fab shop. 10 gauge is far too light to support a tire carrier, and heim joints are going to be problematic at best. I use a 1.5” piece of cold rolled (1018), a 2” tube, and bronze bushings from Mcmasters. It works well, I have had no issues at all.
    With gusseting will the 10 ga be OK for the shell? What if I made the actual tabs to support the bumper pivot out of 1/4"? I had planned to add an additional plate on the back side of the bumper behind the pivot.

  26. #18
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    This stuff might help

    https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/STIRES.html

    https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/OUTRIG-45.html


    Not sure the out rigger will do you any good but its darn handy. Ive fabbed stuff like this. Sometimes just buying is way quicker

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  27. #19
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Quote Originally Posted by evan View Post
    This stuff might help

    https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/STIRES.html

    https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/OUTRIG-45.html


    Not sure the out rigger will do you any good but its darn handy. Ive fabbed stuff like this. Sometimes just buying is way quicker

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    The first link gives me an idea for a fuel tank holder. Cut up the front spindle from a scrapped lawn or garden tractor.
    Last edited by N2 Welding; 11-19-2020 at 10:41 PM.
    Lincoln, ESAB, Thermal Dynamics, Victor, Miller, Dewalt, Makita, Kalamzoo. Hand tools, power tools, welding and cutting tools.

  28. #20
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    test post

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  30. #21
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Its just so much easier to use 3/16, then everything is plenty stout, you dont have to worry in needing heim joints to adjust your tire carrier when things distort. I have used plenty of 10 gauge for bumpers, just not to hang a 4’ lever arm with a hundred pound tire and fifty pounds of fuel from a single point. Wouldn’t want to put a trailer hitch on 10 gauge either, and you will eventually want a 2” id tube on there, for a winch mount or something, but your structure will be too weak. Start with something stout, a piece of 4” channel, a piece of 2x3x.250 tube, make your mount points out of 3/16 or 1/4” then decorate or fill in to the body with all the 10 gauge you want. Then, when you decide you need some recovery points you have the structure to put them onto. If you make the structure out of 10 gauge you’ll end up on you tube as the guy whos bumper tacoed while getting pulled out.

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  32. #22
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    Its just so much easier to use 3/16, then everything is plenty stout, you dont have to worry in needing heim joints to adjust your tire carrier when things distort. I have used plenty of 10 gauge for bumpers, just not to hang a 4’ lever arm with a hundred pound tire and fifty pounds of fuel from a single point. Wouldn’t want to put a trailer hitch on 10 gauge either, and you will eventually want a 2” id tube on there, for a winch mount or something, but your structure will be too weak. Start with something stout, a piece of 4” channel, a piece of 2x3x.250 tube, make your mount points out of 3/16 or 1/4” then decorate or fill in to the body with all the 10 gauge you want. Then, when you decide you need some recovery points you have the structure to put them onto. If you make the structure out of 10 gauge you’ll end up on you tube as the guy whos bumper tacoed while getting pulled out.
    My mounts are made of 1/4". and the outer shell is 10 gauge. I only plan on having a single swing arm that will be about 4 ft long with a single tire on it so no extra gas cans or anything. The tire is a BFG 285/75 so around 33" so it does weigh around 100 lbs. I was thinking I would plate another piece of 10 ga or even 1/4" underneath the spot where the swing pivot is, then gusset it back toward 1/4" frame mounts if that makes sense. I wish I had more CAD experience so I could draw out what I'm thinking and have you guys evaluate it.

    I know it's not the ideal solution but I'm trying to make something more stout than the stock bumper that I can place a tire on without adding 250 lbs to the rear. I'd like protection, but I'm not going to be slamming it on rocks regularly either. The way the stock bumper is mounted if you get a mud flap caught on something it will rip the whole dang bumper off so I wanted to get rid of that, but I have no intentions of hanging a 35" tire, and 2 gas cans and a hi-lift off of this thing.

  33. #23
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Build and if it doesn't work rebuild it.
    I've don't plenty of stuff on offroad rigs take them out and be like wtf was I thinking. Come home start the demo process and start over.

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  35. #24
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Quote Originally Posted by evan View Post
    Build and if it doesn't work rebuild it.
    I've don't plenty of stuff on offroad rigs take them out and be like wtf was I thinking. Come home start the demo process and start over.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    Haha yep, exactly kinda where my head is. I figure if it sucks it was at least a learning experience.

    I made a little progress today, and tried to mock up some cardboard for the wings.Name:  20201120_111512.jpg
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  37. #25
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    Re: Looking for advice on building rear bumper

    Looks sweet

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