Today I started on building a rear bumper. Basic construction will by 2x6 rectangular tube. The plan is to incorporate a dual swing-a-way, tire and jack on one side and fuel/water cans and cooler on the other, and the usual recovery points. It will also have quarter panel protection which will also support a roof rack.
Today was mostly about getting the stock bumper off, and getting brackets fabbed up. After considering sinking a receiver in the bumper, I decided I wanted to keep the frame mounted hitch, as it has a lot more support. It did hang pretty low, so after removing the stock bumper I flipped the crosstube, raising the receiver position and giving around 4" more ground clearance on the departure angle.
Next, I fabbed up plates to mount the bumper to the stock location. I borrowed a plasma cutter from a friend while he's out of town for a couple of months so I could work on this and the front bumper. Boy, do I NEED
one of these!! What a time saver. Mounting plates are 1/4", and support will be added after they are tacked on.
Brackets bolted in place:
Here's a shot of the bumper, not yet cut to length, but the notch to clear the receiver is roughed in. It will later be angled out a bit and closed off.
That's it for today. Hopefully I can get the bumper tacked to the brackets tomorrow, get the length cut, and work on some gussets for the brackets. I still need to order the swing-a-way hinges, latches and the recovery points, so that stuff is a couple weeks out.
More to come...