Rear bumper build thread.
As some may know, I plan on using my truck as a road trip/expedition/rv type of rig. I hate sleeping in tents, so the sleeping platform was built. I plan on redesigning that because it's just not built for comfort (especially when you're a single guy used to a king size bed, LOL!). My original plan was to just design the bed so that I could put the spare closest to the tailgate underneath it (back when I first got the topper was when this idea came to fruition). Since then, I have seen trucks with rear swing out tire carriers, and started pondering how to come up with that. I've talked to several different builders since then with some of them flat out turning me down (apparently it's a difficult process!) and some charging way too much money (seriously, I got a quote for $3500 for a bumper. WTF?!?!). My dad then got a welder, and I thought of doing it myself, but decided not to do that simply because I want this to look as professional as possible.
I noticed that one of my co-workers that works in our shop had a custom made bumper on his pickup, and I asked where he got it from. He said that some local company built it for him, but he plans on doing one of his own for his other truck. He then showed me a headache rack he built for somebody else at work, and it came out great, so I asked him what he thought of my idea. For awhile we bounced some ideas off each other, and he told me we can start as soon as I get the materials.
So, to start, I picked up this number:
It's off of a late 90's Bronco (yeah yeah, Ford parts on a Chevy....oh well), so for starters the bolt pattern is off for the wheel. No big deal since I can just put my wheel up to it and drill some new holes with new carriage bolts.
Here's a pic of it mocked up:
I removed the body mounting things and plan on using a bar of some sort instead. In fact, as I type this I realize that the top mount will have to be moved so that the bar does not block illumination from my tail light. Anyway, I'll figure that out at some point.
The next task is how to keep the swing out closed. The latching mechanism is what got me to like this design over the GM ones on the blazers. First, it's easy to get to with a tire on it and second, a piece of round bar should fit right in when it is closed. With that comes the problem of where to mount the bar so that the latch catches it. I would like to keep the piece as close to the body as possible, but if I mounted the bar to the tailgate, frame flex off road may bend or break it if the body does not follow the frame.
The bumper itself is going to look pretty much the same as the factory bumper, just square instead. I am thinking I may put some flush mounted, high power reverse lights in, but that would be about the extent of lighting. D-rings will also be mounted as an extra tow point, since I plan on retaining the factory trailer hitch as well.
Anyway, I will update this thread as I go. Next is to get some material from one of the steel distributors around. That will probably be on my next pay day.