Strengthen but keep OEM front bumper?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by kevsta, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. kevsta

    kevsta

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Ibiza
    after much research on both the supply of, and the legalities of fitting aftermarket armor to cars in Spain (difficult and expensive to get them "homologated" and therefore pass the road inspection) I've come begrudgingly to the conclusion that the best thing to do is stick to the OEM look as much as possible, but build custom steelwork underneath it, and then slot it back on as a "cover" to the real armor underneath.

    Ive searched the forum (and pretty much the internet) and not seen anybody do this before, has anybody done this or remember seeing it done before?

    Im thinking of fitting a winch on the standard plate on the chassis and then working off that to build a strong tubular design that the OEM bumper slides back on over the top.

    that way I can cut it around the winch etc without worrying about structural integrity as its really just a cover.

    I'll most likely lose the OEM endcaps, and the tubing will run out the end of the bumper and do little wrap rounds on the corners.

    any advice, experience, knowledge or comments and especially pics, gratefully received.

    gracias amigos.
  2. kevsta

    kevsta

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Ibiza
    this is about the only pic I can find anywhere of an endcapless OEM look

    maybe my searching skills are deficient :)
    endcapless.jpg
  3. jamisobe

    jamisobe

    Messages:
    2,013
    Location:
    Texas
    Maybe not strengthen, but rather replace after damage. The OEM bumper is cheap and their ability to crumple could save the frame from being bent during a collision. If you want to add a winch modifications need to be made on the frame behind the bumper to carry the winch.
  4. 86tuning

    86tuning

    Messages:
    2,560
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    I've also wanted to do this for a long time. I'd incorporate a grille guard as well, and trim the plastic corner caps for a bit more clearance. Problem is, by the time I'm done, it will cost just as much as a pre made bumper. But of course I do prefer the stealth look.

    On my truck I already installed a winch plate, and that definitely strengthens the frame horns by tying them together at the bottom.
  5. kevsta

    kevsta

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Ibiza
    yes I'm thinking mount the winch on one of these

    then build something like the main rail of this one, but without the bull bars

    [​IMG]

    with another parallel bar below, which tapers up towards the edges and both bars wrap round the corners, and then fit the OEM bumper on back over it.

    with regards frame damage, the bumper brackets are generally the assigned crumple zones for small knocks, but Im assuming that most if not all of these armor bumpers fix directly to the chassis, so it must be pretty strong, because I dont see ARBs etc having much in the way of crumple zones :)
  6. kevsta

    kevsta

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Ibiza
    why would it cost that much? its really just some plate and tube and a few hours of someone's time with the bending and welding equipment? I'm not planning on making it complex if at all possible, and it doesn't even have to look pretty except round the corners. Im certain it wont cost me as much as getting a real one shipped to Spain, even assuming if I was legally allowed to fit it.

    ordering tonight :)
  7. Duiser Offroad

    Duiser Offroad Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    1,498
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I like the OEM "look" in any shape or form. Building a tube structure behind sounds cool. The winch plate will definitely strengthen the front end. More power to you. :cheers:
  8. greentruck

    greentruck

    Messages:
    3,591
    Location:
    flat earth Midwest
    There are several good threads here on installing a winch behind the OEM bumper. They use the commonly available winch plate as a start. Worth checking out as a starting point.

    Then there are several threads by folks who've trimmed the steel on the OEM bumper. If you went with that look and put tube or fabbed strengthening behind at least a good part of the original bumper, will that satisfy the authorities?

    It's going to be really hard to duplicate the qualities of an aftermarket bumper by just doing the wings. You really need something that ties completely across the front to get better strength than just having the winch plate tying the frame ends together. Not matter how beefy a bolt-on wing is, it will eventually give at a lower strength than one that is an integral part of a bumper that goes completely across. So if you looking for added bumper strength, think along those lines.
  9. kevsta

    kevsta

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Ibiza
    yep seen them, theyre partly what got me thinking about this

    maybe? would depend how you cut it I suppose. I haven't come across any of those threads, any links you can remember would be fab. with regards to the authorities, as long as the bumper is the same shape and pretty much in the same place I dont think they would be too concerned about a bit more metal behind it, and a winch is ok as its classed as equipment not modification.

    I get that my home-made lash-up is never going to perform like a Slee or ARB in heavy impact, but I dont think it would be so hard to make a reinforced stock set up quite a bit stronger than the tinfoil brackets it's mounted on as standard? Im not hardcore wheeling it or anything really, i just want the front so a little bump doesnt mean its bent out of line immediately.

    without having got as far as bumper off to measure and start designing anything yet, I would imagine it will have common rails all the way across, and (hopefully) the OEM will be mounted on them.
  10. greentruck

    greentruck

    Messages:
    3,591
    Location:
    flat earth Midwest
    The stock bumper is mounted to two frame extensions that attach to the ends of the frame. That's where I'd guess you'd want to attach reinforcements. Pretty straightforward, but it's obviously meant to hold the bumper more than resist impact.

    Here's an article on a bumper trim:
    http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/593507-how-stock-bumpers-should-have-been-made.html
    I know I've seen others, probably buried in someone's build thread.

    Build it this way(s), then cover it with the skin of the OEM bumper:
    http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/292215-93-80-beater.html

    http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/580776-custom-front-bar-build.html

    http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/513176-new-bumper-build.html


    You'll find the A/C drier is behind the bumper and vulnerable to impact, so that's also something to plan on protecting better (or possibly relocating.)
  11. kevsta

    kevsta

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Ibiza
    you are a star, that's my reading material sorted for the next few days, many thanks :cheers:

  12. wildsmith

    wildsmith

    Messages:
    715
    Location:
    Stourbridge, England
    For small bumps the OEM bumper is ok if you don't mind a small dent, it's the mounting brackets that are really weak and crumple. A little reinforcement of the bumper and new mounting brackets might be as much as you need.
  13. kevsta

    kevsta

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Ibiza
    So I am still on this. I am frustrated by lack of workshop facilities and tools here at the moment but working on that, in the meantime I have time and the weather on my side and have been pushing on, on "adjusting" the appearance of the OEM front.

    I read through the previous bumper trim threads but as

    a) I am not allowed to substantially modify it whatsoever

    b) I didnt like the lack of strength that cutting the bumper higher and losing the bottom fixtures would give

    so I just bent the lower edge corners of the bumper upwards to give a slant upwards from bottom center, and cut out a slice of the endcaps and re-made and fixed them, for a more subtle trimmed look.

    the idea is that its so subtle, that the vehicle testing station dont even notice.. ..what do you think? ;p

    also the bottom pic of the 3 shows the extra front clearance gained, that breezeblock just snagged the bottom corner of the bumper previously, now we're well clear.
    DSC00003.jpg DSC00004.jpg DSC00005.jpg
  14. kevsta

    kevsta

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Ibiza
    before and after from the same POV, sorry lights not as good in the 2nd one but you can just about make out the new lines.
    DSC00031.jpg DSC00009.jpg
  15. kevsta

    kevsta

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Ibiza
    in case anyone's curious this is what the process looked like..

    hmm..
    DSC00016.jpg DSC00034.jpg DSC00042.jpg
  16. kevsta

    kevsta

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Ibiza
    heres a photoshop I did first, showing what I was aiming for

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I added a little reinforcement that used to be this door chin up bar, for now, primarily because I had to put something in the holes where the chrome trim used to be. it has also given it a little more rigidity.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    next up, build a new bumper structure underneath, replacing the current bumper mounting brackets, but with mountings in exactly the same place, to hang the OEM one back over.. :D

    as I use it every day I ordered some new standard brackets from Toyota which I am going to base the new structure around, cut them up and weld to new structure where required, but can leave the old ones on the OEM shell until its all ready.

    I also have a new receiver hitch on order, which leaves that old one looking like it really needs the end brackets cut off, (the holes all fit the front mounting holes exactly) to form the basis of the new bumper structure mountings, and the tow hitch cross bar mounted centrally between the front cross members

    I also have this old set of bull bars from the dump to play with.. that thickest bottom bar isnt too far away from the right size.. I think I can cut all this to fit what I want to do, ..which is build a big solid tube structure that runs along the top (underneath) edge of the bumper, curling round the corners into under the endcaps..

    and another set of braces from the corners, possibly down to my inverted tow hitch in the middle. the whole thing has to be bolt in and basically just replace the current brackets and set up, but allow easy reversion..

    I think there's room under there to do this well, whether I manage or not is another question lol
    DSC00051.jpg DSC00050.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012

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