My 4x4 labs bumper build - 100 series 2/2020 (1 Viewer)

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I just did this build yesterday. I have a friend that is an excellent welder, but has never done a bumper before. So it was basically me doing the fitting/cutting while I told him when and where to weld. Everything went great, my only mistake was that I tacked the top hoops onto the top of the side plates while we tacked the shell into place. It fit PERFECT when we tacked them on, but once we pulled the bumper and then finish welded everything...when we put it back on, the driver side sat higher and at a different angle. Bummer. I'm going to loosen the bolts and try to pull it down to a better angle. Worst-case scenario I'll just cut the welds off and re-adjust that tube.

Other than my user-error....everything went smooth. just a ton of welding haha.



One last thing...I did not cut my rear resonator off. Currently working on just fabbing up a quick post onto the bumper crossbar and mount the hanger at the very end of the muffler.

View attachment 2600525
@J1000 did something like this for his resonator. I don't know if he posted those details on mud or not. Maybe we can get him to throw the details on this thread.
 

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
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I have a few pics, but had a couple of bad seams in them that I am redoing today so don't expect much from my welding. @bgolf247's directions were a big help, and the the areas that needed more clarity I asked him questions and we exchanged a picture or two of the issue.

A couple things that I am running into but that are not issues.

1. I typically weld thinner stuff than this, but didn't feel like switching my .30 spool out to .35. I was pouring plenty of heat into some of the thicker pieces a few times, but my wire speed was pretty close to maxed to do it. Pulling voltage and speed worked but I'm not pumped about those welds so am going to grind and run a few of them again. At those high wire speeds, if I put a twist in my stinger cord I was getting small variations in wire speed.

2. The hydraulic table is the only way to go if you're solo. I have built my entire bumper by myself and was able to do it pretty easy with a 500 lb table.

3. I have an epoxy garage floor and weld occasionally so this isn't a new issue - just a unique one maybe to a few people here. Don't forget to put down fiberglass blankets (or some cement board or something) as you'll burn the epoxy surface without it.

4. When using any type of grinding wheel or flap disc, wear a mask.

5. When you tack it up in the vehicle, make sure you get good tacks and stitch it evenly and often. This is just a general welding thing but should help those who had fitment issues.

6. Move around the piece when seam welding and support the wings with some wood. I had no fitment issues. My rule of thumb is that when I can feel heat radiating into my gloves I would move to the other side. I wear TIG gloves for 90% of my welding as I prefer them, and I can feel the heat through the glove if I hang around an area for too long.

I'll post some more pictures separately from this comment on specific parts.

I mounted my latch differently. This has worked with tailgate clearance. The stupid aftermarket lift gate cables are too long though, so I need to get some OEM ones that are the right length.

PXL_20210301_013846411.jpg


More to follow.

Overall it's a good kit and I'm impressed that 4x4labs can put it together. There were some minor mis-pack things on the kit so far, but nothing you can't figure out.
 
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AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
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PXL_20210227_224802805.jpg


I would install the cross member prior to tacking up. I had to grind a very small amount off of mine, roughly 1/16th.
PXL_20210227_224751810.jpg

My driver's side fitment wasn't as perfect as the passenger, but not a big deal. On the right is an example of why checking penetration is important - I ran heat into one side but it was uneven. I did redo this inside seam weld.

IMG_20210227_183128_02.jpg


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For spacing the arms, I threw a board on my table saw and ripped it at 1 and 1/16th and cut it in half. It supported the arm easily and looks to be the right gap.
 
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I'm glad I got held up finishing my son's 4runner bumper, before starting on my 4x4Labs kit. Now I have these nice pictures to reference! I just wish the hydraulic lift table weren't so much $, and that I had more space to store things in my shop. No matter, I'll figure something out. Am I correct in my guess that a very full weekend will get the bones of this done? I can assemble the tire carrier and can basket another time, but I need to be back to work using my vehicle pretty quickly.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
470
Location
Denver
I'm glad I got held up finishing my son's 4runner bumper, before starting on my 4x4Labs kit. Now I have these nice pictures to reference! I just wish the hydraulic lift table weren't so much $, and that I had more space to store things in my shop. No matter, I'll figure something out. Am I correct in my guess that a very full weekend will get the bones of this done? I can assemble the tire carrier and can basket another time, but I need to be back to work using my vehicle pretty quickly.
If it were my hydraulic table and I wasn't borrowing it I would let you use it. I think a full weekend will get you pretty far. It took me 4-5 days, but that was a bit here and there, my OE hitch took a bit extra to get off, I didn't have the table/help for the first parts. FYI the tire carrier was pretty quick. The basket takes a bit more time, but still just 1-2 hours.

I did drive my vehicle without the rear x member, but basically just to the shop and back (8-10 min). I think others have noted you could bolt the tow hitch back up as a rear stiffener if needed.
 
Joined
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If it were my hydraulic table and I wasn't borrowing it I would let you use it. I think a full weekend will get you pretty far. It took me 4-5 days, but that was a bit here and there, my OE hitch took a bit extra to get off, I didn't have the table/help for the first parts. FYI the tire carrier was pretty quick. The basket takes a bit more time, but still just 1-2 hours.

I did drive my vehicle without the rear x member, but basically just to the shop and back (8-10 min). I think others have noted you could bolt the tow hitch back up as a rear stiffener if needed.
Thanks for the thought. I'll cruise CL and see what I can come up with. As for driving around, I need to tow, so have to get the main structure wrapped up so that I can use it the next weekend. But my tow bar, resonator, spare tire carrier, are all gone already, so that'll save me some time.
 

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
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Thanks for the thought. I'll cruise CL and see what I can come up with. As for driving around, I need to tow, so have to get the main structure wrapped up so that I can use it the next weekend. But my tow bar, resonator, spare tire carrier, are all gone already, so that'll save me some time.
2 days is a bit rushed. I did get the main portion finished in a weekend but everything seemed to go smoothly without any issues. They were long days.

The hydraulic table is spendy but by far the best tool for the job and IMO the only way to do it solo.
 

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
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Here are some pictures of the tire mount going together. I also had to cut down the gussets as the ones I received were too big.

My advice now would be to keep the telescoping piece in the arm as you weld it up. I really ran heat into this piece and the "pinching" mechanism of the arm tightened up. I'm going to have to hit it with a torch and then bend it out. Not fun but oh well.

Also, as per @bgolf247, you want a small gap underneath for adjustment. I wedged in a piece of 1/8th scrap.

Shaky hands on the welds here but they will work.

The picture with the white circle is where you want to put a piece underneath prior to tacking. In the second picture down you can see that chunk wedged in there.

IMG_20210301_190655_01.jpg


IMG_20210301_191422_01.jpg


IMG_20210301_191313_01.jpg


IMG_20210301_191038_01.jpg
 

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