Rear bumper build thread.

Discussion in 'Photo & Video Gallery' started by Jimmeh, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. Jimmeh

    Jimmeh Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    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.
  2. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Jimmeh I like your thought. I personally don't care for a body mounted tire carrier. The reason is when I had my ZR2 Blazer I didn't have the latch closed all the way and drove away. Once I turned a corner the tire swung away and put two big dents in the rear quarter panel. What I would suggest since you are building a new bumper anyway is to look into the swing out carrier's that many used with Jeeps. It basically uses a spindle for a mount as the pivot point. The other nice thing about using things like that you could also use it to mount jerry cans for water and gas, as well as shovels, hi lift jack, etc. Good luck and keep the pics coming.
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Spindle mount tires carriers work great because they dont put stress on the body, a tire and wheel depending on the size your running can approach 100lbs easily and thats a lot of weight to put on a corner of the body.
    Most of the spindle mounts also use roller bearings so they swing in or out nice and smooth even if the vehicles parked on an incline.
    And to combat a problem aloxdaddy99 pointed out, the tire carrier swinging out unintentionally many mfgrs use either a tether to stop the carrier short of body panels or they use rubber bumpstops mounted on the carrier frame that make contact with a part of the carrier frame.
    Another popular tire carrier style is the drop down style but they limit your approach to the tailgate if your loading stuff in the back of the truck.
    ShrockWorks has a nice style.
    Try googling "jeep tire carrier bumper plans" theres lots of info available to help you design.
  4. Sierraowner5.3

    Sierraowner5.3 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    looks interesting Jimmeh, keep the pics coming!

    that may be a project for me some time down the road.

  5. Jimmeh

    Jimmeh Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Apparently I didn't clarify: The carrier will NOT be mounted to the body of the truck, as I want it to be able to convert back to the factory bumper if I were to sell the truck. I removed the body mounting points from the carrier because they are not going to be used in the build.

    I have done a ton of research on this project which is why it is finally getting started, lol. Thanks for all the heads up! I will be adding some bump stops AND a tethering to the carrier to stop random swing aways, and will be keeping the factory mounted bump stop that you can see about mid carrier below where the tire mounts and adding a reinforcement for that stop to actually hit if the carrier were to swing back from a sever braking or something of the sort. My spare tire/wheel combination weighs exactly 84 lbs. The carrier will support that after we are finished, and with some extra reinforcement around the bumper mounts themselves, I have confidence in the bumper supporting that weight and more as well.

    The plans are in the builders hands now. I just need to get materials and a case of beer (as payment) and we will be getting started.
  6. Jimmeh

    Jimmeh Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Got a line on a sand blaster to blast the rust and crap off the swing out. Started working on it the other night a little bit. First thing I did was remove the spare tire mount from the carrier itself to see what I would have to do about getting those bolts to line up:


    Looks like it mounts awesome huh? Well, when I put the top stud into one of the holes, the other two studs land here and here:


    Thinking what I'll have to do is weld on a larger plate and then mount the studs where they need to go.

    The disassembled carrier:


    Started sanding it with my orbital, but it just wouldn't get it down to bare metal like I wanted, so then we went to my air powered wire wheel, which worked fine, but being as I only have a 25 gallon compressor it was running a little more often than I wanted. So, I switched to my dremel tool with some sort of sanding wheel that my old job provided when I was fixing some copper rings for light sconces. Switched from that to a polishing wheel every now and then, and it came out OK for now:


    I may get that blaster tomorrow after work, or maybe even Wednesday since I will be down there anyway to help install a king pin onto a drop axle at work. Either way, the carrier should be cleaned up by the end of the week, and I should have the rest of the materials ready to go!

    And I also got my coolant leak checked out by the dealer, and we found that my water pumps seal is bad. They wanted to charge me almost $600 to fix it, but after my discount with work, I should be able to get the parts for a little over $150 (pump, thermostat and coolant). I'll be getting the parts this week.

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