Custom Front Bumper for my '05

blakens Aug 6, 2019

  1. blakens

    blakens Test Drive

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    12
    I always liked the C4 Low-Pro bumpers they've got for the 4Runners, and decided to make one for the X.
    I stared by taking the front end apart to take pictures and get some measurements. I also traced the mounting plate for the front bash bar. That gave me enough info to start a rough design.

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    I didn't hate this design, but it looked too flat in the front, so I kept messing with it.
    Took inspiration from these 2 pics.

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    There were other iterations and prototype pieces to get the measurements right (at least close), but I ended up with this.

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  2. blakens

    blakens Test Drive

    Messages:
    12
    I work at an industrial fab company so I've got access to all kinds of awesome equipment, so I exported the flat patterns of the sheet metal parts and the framework to the CNC plasma table and stared cutting. the face of the bumper is 3/16". The frame is 1/2". Probably over kill, but whatever.



    After that, some of the parts needed to be bent up, so it was over to the CNC brake press. being able to bend a lot of this took a lot of welding and grinding out of it.



    I was so excited I had to slot the parts together in front of the car. You can see a bottom plate in the back of the next picture. This is where the winch would mount, but I some how forgot about the radiator, and this bracket ran into it by almost 2". I felt pretty dumb. I had to redo this part and it basically ended up being the same plate, but with the mounting tabs cut off the sides, so it currently only mounts to the front of the frame rails. I'd like for it to tie into the mounting holes on the bottom, so I'll probably add some sort of tabs down the road.

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    You can see the revised winch plate here. I also had the square bar at the top to keep it from warping. It came out later.

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    Once I tacked it all up, I test fit it to the car. I didn't want to cut the bumper just yet, so I couldn't see how it fit to the plastics yet.

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    This was my first real foray into welding. I'd played with the home depot welders some in college, but the machines we've got are the real deal. It's been a fun learning process. I didn't take any pictures of the really bad welds. Then it was just welding, grinding, rewelding bad welds, and regrinding for the next little while.

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    LBX, AlbatrossCafe, 29erClan and 3 others like this.
  3. blakens

    blakens Test Drive

    Messages:
    12
    Now that the main bumper was built, I had to put the thing on the car to measure and position the bull bar part.
    I'd reached a point of no return. It was time to cut the center of the bumper out. I sprayed it with some primer since I'd be driving with it on the car for a few days.

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    I got it mounted up and could step back and see it really coming together for the first time. This is also the first chance I got to see the fitment up to the plastics.

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    Now that it was on, I could figure out the exact placement of the bull bar. I bent this up work with our new pipe bender (another first for me).

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    Took it back to work to weld on the bull bar, shackle bushings, and fix a bunch of bad welds I had to grind out. It's amazing the mistakes that a coat of paint can bring to light.

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    You can see the gap between the bumper and the plastic. So I used some CAD (cardboard aided design) to fill it in.

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    LBX likes this.
  4. blakens

    blakens Test Drive

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    12
    It took some creative grinding to reach all the welds, but it's finally ready for paint and final install. Thanks for looking.

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    Final Before and After

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  5. kirk

    kirk Will get you lost in S. Dallas Moderator Supporting Member

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    17,071
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Thats nice, great work!

    and I'm stealing "Cardboard Aided Design", thats awesome.
     
  6. Fromfrontier2Xterra

    Fromfrontier2Xterra I spend more money on comic books than my X Super Moderator Supporting Member

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    Very nice. Good job.
     
  7. josx2

    josx2 Bought an X Supporting Member

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    182
    Location:
    Mebane, NC
    Awesome bumper man!

    I saw the part where ya said it only mounts to the frame horns, and not the tow hook holes on the underside.

    Just an FYI...other than you wanting to get a mount worked up for that.... do not run a winch until you get that taken care off. You'll rip that bad boy right off the frame rails if it's not secured to the tow hook mounts.
     
    pharaon19 and JeffNJM3 like this.
  8. C23rd

    C23rd Test Drive

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    Wow awesome!
     
  9. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

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    SLC, UT
    Very cool.
     
  10. AdventureRider81

    AdventureRider81 Bought an X Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Long Beach
    Wow! Nice work.
     
  11. JeffNJM3

    JeffNJM3 Test Drive

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    That came out great! X2 on using the tow hook mounts on the bottom of the rails
     
  12. 29erClan

    29erClan Test Drive Supporting Member

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    Awesome! I love the creativity and all the pictures. 1/2" steel!?!? :eek: Did you run any FEA on it? (Any pictures of that?) What was the total weight in the end?
     
  13. 13ADVX

    13ADVX Test Drive

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    Location:
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    nice design! I use CAD for alot of my stuff too.
     
  14. blakens

    blakens Test Drive

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    I did do an FEA with the original winch plate, but apparently I didn't save the file. I think I ran it at 20k# pulling on a shackle point and nothing broke, but it did have a some deflection. I haven't run anything with the new winch plate. Once I figure out a plan to mount to the tow hook points, I'll run it again.
    The geometry from the where it mounts to the frame to the shackle point is kind of odd, so I was nervous going any thinner. I probably could thin up the winch plate itself though and lighten it up a bit.
    I think the weight is just north of 80#
     
  15. josx2

    josx2 Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Mebane, NC
    Shrockworks makes a plate for the tow hook mounts....that bolts to the bumper...to give it that access. that'd work, rather than making it thinner to make that bend. I'll take a pic of mine for ya.
     
  16. josx2

    josx2 Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Mebane, NC
    I stole this one off of RockyMtnX's thread over on TNX about his winch bumper (I doubt he'd mind).... you can see the 'adapter' plate that bolts to the bumper...then wraps underneath the framerail.

    IMG_0097.JPG
     
  17. pharaon19

    pharaon19 Test Drive

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    Yeah I did the same thing on my bumper, you really don't want to go without using these holes.
     
  18. blakens

    blakens Test Drive

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    12
    Nice! Thanks for sharing. Just for the record, I want planning on putting a winch on till I got it bolted up underneath. I just got to a point where I was too excited to get it on the car to think about it yet.
     
    Me!Here! and josx2 like this.
  19. 29erClan

    29erClan Test Drive Supporting Member

    Messages:
    37
    Cool, count me in as a vote to see that colorful bendy goodness!

    I don't mean to be critical about the weight. Just imagining how to get it mounted made my back hurt. ;) Running the sim @ 20k# sounds like it'll be more than safe when you finish up.
     
    C23rd likes this.
  20. Me!Here!

    Me!Here! Bought an X

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    Looking good!!
     
  21. blakens

    blakens Test Drive

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    Not critical at all, it's definitely heavier than I had hoped. Put it on a floor jack to install it.
     
  22. AustinFound

    AustinFound Bought an X Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Man that looks really good!

    -Craig
     

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