prerunner bumper build

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Accessories' started by reggiecab2000, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Member

    Alright guys Im gonna go ahead and start this thread for my bumper build and update it as progress continues...


    1) JD2 pipe bender
    2) 1.5" schedule 40 pipe
    3) level
    4) tape measure
    5) welder
    6) drill press

    Heres what I got started last weekend...

    had to mount our new JD2 pipe bender, since I knew we had no place other than dead center of our guest house garage, I knew it would also have to be movable, so I used female concrete anchors, so I could store it out of the way when not using it.

    IMG_2509 (640x480).jpg

    setup done, now time for lots of measuring and tedious thinking...

    here was my first two bends...

    IMG_2520 (640x480).jpg

    second two bends...

    IMG_2521 (640x480).jpg

    my brother is holding it up for a visual reference

    IMG_2522 (640x480).jpg

    once again visual reference

    IMG_2523 (640x480).jpg

    now to begin my point of no return...

    starting with sawing off the frame horns...

    IMG_2525 (640x480).jpg

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    here was after my first cut

    IMG_2527 (640x480).jpg

    IMG_2528 (640x480).jpg

    looking good so far after second (what was supposed to be final cut)
    IMG_2538 (640x480).jpg

    then I noticed this...
    IMG_2539 (640x480).jpg

    My truck was totaled my junior year in high school thanks to the most favorite NBS, ABS sensor defect, that GM has no motivation to ever fix. And i never thought that my left front frame horn couldve been replaced.... well apparently it was, and when it was replaced, it seem they cut about 1/2" extra off before welding the replacement horn back on, which is weird because my stock bumper sat just fine...

    its really not too much of a setback, since this is a CUSTOM bumper, but id rather everything be even on both sides just for easier measurements.

    IMG_2547 (640x480).jpg

    this is after I used some leftover rustoleum bed spray on the front frame to keep rust from attacking my fresh new cuts...

    thats all i got done for my first weekend...

    near future plans:

    1) make sure frame ends are even
    2) find some 1/2" sheet steel to weld into my frame horns to cap them off, and provide a solid mounting point for my bumper
    3) cap ends of main tube
  2. ahmitchell1

    ahmitchell1 New Member

    Looks like you got a good build going. You gunna be doing the welding yourself. And to bad your not in Ga I got stack of every size pipe you could imagine
  3. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Member

    yeah I will do my best to do my own welds with friends help and my engineering shop director's guidance as well... already picked up a lincoln 180 welder from lowes, thanks to income tax! This should be the biggest project I ever use it for, it should come in handy for the rest of my life though whenever i need it.

    after i finish my bumper i will start my headache rack.
    But everything will be the same size pipe, due to bending dies being $300.00+ a piece.
  4. ahmitchell1

    ahmitchell1 New Member

    Yea they ain't cheap. Whenever I get around to lifting my truck I'm gunna make some step bars that look like the nfab ones but with a lot more strength
  5. redNecKansas

    redNecKansas New Member

    I will be following your progress through this build as I am looking at doing a custom bumper build. But so far so good man looks like it will turn out pretty good.
  6. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    I don't personally tend to like the prerunner look, but I have such a deep respect for the time and attention to detail required for GOOD custom fabrication (be it electrical, fiberglass, metal, etc.) that I'll be following this thread.

    Remember every bump and gotcha you run into. There always are some ... and they're what make the work fun and interesting, even if they make you curse like mad along the way. They're also what make you respond with a 'hell no!' when someone with no clue about what you went through asks you if you'll make one like yours, for them ... and how much you'd charge. LOL (But it feels good to be asked that.)
  7. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 New Member

    What all is going to go on the bumper? Winch? Lights? Drings?
    It will be a great accomplishment to have a bad a$$ bumper on your truck that is custom built... by YOU!!!!
  8. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Member

    thanks guys, I can tell you for now itll be at least until may before i get an update on this, due to multiple things coming up on the weekends requiring me to stay in corpus christi...

    for now the plans are to incorporate 2 to 4 lights behind the main tube, i will also be incorporating a skid plate, and depending how I brace each side of the bumper will determine the ability to enclose the side/corners with some sort of skid plate as well (to fill the emptiness commonly associated with prerunner bumpers on the sides)

    my plan is light, strong and low profile because the less weight on the front of a 2wd THE BETTER!

    and for surreal, it is a prerunner type for lack of a better term, but i am taking what i like about prerunner bumpers and transforming it into something I hope to be one of a kind, because i HATE being like everyone else :)
  9. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    It takes time. Heck, my on board air project commenced in late Q3 of last year .... and here we are in Q2 of 2013. That's 6 months. I keep wondering where it went. Thankfully I work on other projects between the fab work, as there are necessary wait periods for what I'm doing (i.e. design/fabrication I simply can't do, myself, due to the cost of tools).

    Just make slow, steady progress.
  10. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Member

    well, this past weekend I was in San antonio for a couple days, and ran into my very first "snag" which ruined any progress on my build...
    Found out my welder required a different AMP rating 250V plug than either our compressor, dryer, or water heater had...
    they run on 30A, 250V connections, my welder requires a 50A, 250V connection, so needless to say i had to run to lowes to pick up a female plug, for it which is pretty cheap, but its the 8AWG wire thatll cost $1.93/foot to run through the walls and ceiling to get to the garage.... more time and money, but worth it in the end...
  11. truc.karl

    truc.karl New Member

    Looks good so far. Can't wait to see it completed.
  12. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Member


    1) bumper mounting plates made

    so summer school started earlier this week with some tough engineering classes, contrary to what I thought, I actually got some stuff done today with my shop teacher who was more than ecstatic to help me!

    heres a few hours work between my two summer classes...

    thankfully he had plenty of extra 1/2" steel laying around for me to use...

    so we popped it up in the bandsaw

    IMG_2896 (640x480).jpg

    my two pieces, yes there are already some drilled holes in them, but oh well, doesnt affect the quality of them

    IMG_2897 (480x640).jpg

    then the 4 holes for some 1/2" grade 8 bolts

    IMG_2899 (480x640).jpg

    IMG_2900 (640x480).jpg

    after cutting I test fitted and realized i needed to round the corners off

    IMG_2901 (480x640).jpg

    here they are in place to cap off my frame horns.

    IMG_2902 (640x480).jpg

    still need to tack weld the 4, 1/2" nuts on the back side of these plates, then weld these plates flush...
  13. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Member

    1) 3/8" steel for bolt on plates made
    2) nuts welded onto 1/2" mount plates
    3) mount plates welded onto end of frame horns
    4) grinded plate welds flush
    5) bolt on plate, bolted onto mount plates

    IMG_2921 (640x480).jpg
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    only welded three of the sides because my shop teacher said it was already more than enough.... though it may be true, i might finish the 4th edge for aesthetics...
    IMG_2932 (640x480).jpg
    IMG_2933 (640x480).jpg
    IMG_2934 (640x480).jpg

    all that left now is to cut and weld the bumper support arms onto the 3/8" bolt on plates, and weld the bumper to the arms as well.....
  14. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Super Moderator Staff Member

    I know your building this for strength and all but are you gonna design in a sacraficial crush can or anything like that so in case of an accident you crush or bend something replaceable instead of a frame horn or rail?
  15. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Member

    I dont really have any kind of crush zone in mind... BUT, I am doing this in the bolt on method as shown, rather than straight welding my bumper to the frame for a reason similar to the one you stated. Welding the bumper to my frame would mean if I was to hit something hard, and something got bent, its only logical that something on my frame would be affected. instead I opted to cap off the frame, and make a 3/8" bolt on plate which will be connected to the bumper, and I will be able to remove the bumper IF NECESSARY, but perhaps the 4 1/2" bolts would break if I was to hit something that hard, which might constitute for a crush zone you are referring to...
  16. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd New Member

    Looks good so far
  17. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ok, just remember not to make the mistake of using the strongest hardware available, then you negate the crush zone (or in this case shear factor).
    Just a costly mistake I learned on an earlier prerunner bumper build.
  18. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Member

    finished my bumper!!!

    only took a few months LOL
    but here she is...

    future plans will be to incorporate a skid plate and some sheet metal for gap filling then some light mounts...

    IMG_3102 (640x480).jpg

    IMG_3104 (640x480).jpg

    IMG_3105 (640x480).jpg
  19. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd New Member

    good job, glad you finally got it done.

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