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  • Bumper metal thickness opinions...

    Hi. Sometime in the next few weeks I am going to be starting construction on a front bumper for my truck. I am building it for offroad use, and I want it to be very sturdy and able to withstand impacts against trees, rocks, banks, etc. I will have two bumper shackle mounts, http://www.rokmen.com/products/diy_f...le_mounts.html mounted right over the end of the frame rails. These will pass through the face of the bumper and be welded inside and out and gusseted on the inside to prevent pull through.

    I was thinking of using 1/2" for the front face of the bumper and 3/8" for my top plate. Do you think this is overkill? Should I use 3/8" and 1/4"? I always have a tendancy to over build things.
    "When life gets tough and it looks like the gators are going to get you, step back, take a deep breath, and start killing them one at a time, usually the closest one first."
    -- PAUL HOWE --

  • #2
    for the vast majority of it, 3/16" would be plenty. only go thicker for your hard points (i.e. shackle mounts and winch plate). If you built all out of 1/2", your bumper would be dragging on the ground from the weight.
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    • #3
      you didn't mention the vehicle. if it's a jeep then your looking at 4000lbs lighter then a full size truck. my point is if you going to hammer a rock with 10000lbs or 4000lbs then your going to need thicker steel. I'm going to make some bumpers for my truck and I'm leaning toward just copying some of the ones on the market. there's no way I'd pay $2500 for $200 worth of steel.
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      • #4
        bumper

        Heres mine under way I used 3/16 on main body and 1/2 on supports Still have lots to do.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          something like this
          http://www.buckstop.biz/index.html
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          • #6
            You are probably right. I figured the weight would be just under 100 pounds. Hmmm. Maybe I will think thinner. I just want it to be really bullet proof.
            "When life gets tough and it looks like the gators are going to get you, step back, take a deep breath, and start killing them one at a time, usually the closest one first."
            -- PAUL HOWE --

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            • #7
              You can "diamond" the frame if you get very brutal...the outside of the bumper becomes a lever. The bumper needs to be somewhat sacrificial to save the frame. Or it can be super heavy between the rails but less outside of them.
              Snowplowing can be a bit much for some frames also.
              I'm not trying to discourage you even one little bit, just arming you with a bit of another perspective.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Scarsman View Post
                You are probably right. I figured the weight would be just under 100 pounds. Hmmm. Maybe I will think thinner. I just want it to be really bullet proof.
                if you design the shape of it right, the bumper will be very durable even made mostly out of 1/8". 3/16" is plenty for a 10,000 truck, and FK is right, you don't want to make it so rigid that it hoses your frame.
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                • #9
                  The truck is an '84 S-10 extended cab. It will have a 5" lift on it in the not too distant future. This bumper is not going to have a winch in it. I do not have a winch right now, and I figured when I do finaly have the money to spend on a winch, I will just build another bumper around it, and probably sell this one to someone else.

                  I realize the strains that can be placed on a frame. I have many years with trucks with plows, and I have seen what they can do to a truck!

                  I am not looking to make it like a dozer blade, I just want to be sure that if I hook onto it to pull someone out or get pulled out, it is not going to bend or distort.
                  "When life gets tough and it looks like the gators are going to get you, step back, take a deep breath, and start killing them one at a time, usually the closest one first."
                  -- PAUL HOWE --

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bretsk2500 View Post
                    if you design the shape of it right, the bumper will be very durable even made mostly out of 1/8". 3/16" is plenty for a 10,000 truck, and FK is right, you don't want to make it so rigid that it hoses your frame.
                    i agree.
                    i didn't give any thickness before, but most of the after market stuff is 3/16 with a 1/4 bracing behind the center. 3/8 frame tie-in's
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                    • #11
                      i think this are some of the nicest looking bumpers. (i'm going to copy for my truck ). post picturs of your bumper when you get done.
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                      • #12
                        sorry i forgot to put link. http://www.roadarmor.com/site/index.php
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                        • #13
                          I made one for my Jeep out of .250 wt rectangular tubing with 3/8" mounts and top plate:
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                          • #14
                            nice ride nocheepgas
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                            suitcase x-treme 12vs
                            miller 211
                            evolution rage 2

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                            • #15
                              Ok, well that does it. I will definately go with lighter metal. I think I am over thinking the strength of it.

                              VIN MAN those are pretty good looking. Mine will not stick out the front that far. It is going to be somewhat low-profile. This is because a lot of the trails I go on here are VERY tight, and just a few inches sticking out can make a difference. My main goals with this one are for a rock solid tow point and to have maximum approach angle.

                              I plan to take pictures as I build it. I have a mock-up that I made out of heavy cardboard for choosing the shape and angles. I should be able to get the steel next week after payday, and then I'll be making smoke and sparks!

                              Thanks for all the info everyone!
                              "When life gets tough and it looks like the gators are going to get you, step back, take a deep breath, and start killing them one at a time, usually the closest one first."
                              -- PAUL HOWE --

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