Project: Partial exoskeleton front end???

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May 9, 2003
Breckenridge, CO
So my cruiser got into a little accident and the hard top came off the "easy way". But the front end is pretty much mangled. Instead of sourcing replacements parts, hoping people are willing to ship them, and spending a ton on shipping... I thought I would build my own front end. I still want to resemble a 'cruiser, but I'm not to concerned about perfect looks. Right now my theory is to make some sort of roll cage type front end and then attach sheet metal to the rollcage-like frame. If I do that I shouldn't have to worry about any sort damage coming to the front end right? ;) Since I design this any way I'd like, any and all input would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I am going to replace the radiator, but could I get a non-stock one that is larger, since I am going to redo the front? I think so, any ideas....

I might incorporate some extra lights into the front end as well as some other things, but most importantly I want to hear your ideas.

Thanks for any input...
Greg :D
Glad you were OK. You were OK, weren't you?

Nice Cruiser Dawg pic :D

There have been a few really neat ideas posted here and at Pirate from time to time, but I sure haven't collected them. Nolen's fenders and a front bib posted here a month or so ago come to mind right away.

For a full awn crawler or a streetable rig? sure would make a huge difference.
I thinking of making it a dedicated crawler, but I still want it to be able to be driven to the trails.

By the way, I wasn't hurt in the crach, just a little bruised.
Good thing your alright man.

Instead of going to all of the work making the tube frame front end, make one of those over sized hoops on the front end.  They kinda look like a prerunner-style bumper, but the hoop is angled forward at about 60 degrees and extends to the hood line or a little above.  I've heard these help to keep the front end from getting mangled in a roll over.  But in your case, getting mangled again.

Might not hurt to invest in a roll bar too. ;)

Holy Hell!!! :eek: :eek: :eek: That cruiser is definitely screaming CRAWLER. Full-on rock-crawlers and rock-buggies are not my thing, but I can't even imagine trying to make that thing look like a nice stocker or close to stock... If you don't wan't a crawler, take the insurance money, sell that pile to someone who does, and get a new one. But if you want a crawler, i don't think there would be a better place to start than that rig... And as far as crawlers/buggies go, indeed check out Nolan's crawlin' 40, and I like Mike "Spaceghost" Smythe's alot too. There are tons more that I can't think of... Check out the LC section on and you'll see some SWEET crawlers...
as to your radiator question, i got a nice howe racing aluminum one from summit racing for $200. you will have to build new brackets and measur for wherever you plan on putting it, but if you are contemplating re-doing the front end anyway, you could build mounts into sort of a front cage assembly, or something. i am running a 19"x26" radiator in the stock fenders/location with a flex-a-lite black magic fan. they are available in ford or chevy water hose locations, so check summit before spending ~$500 for a custom cruiser radiator from man-a-fre.

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