What is the cheapest way to upgrade your bumper? Easy, you gotta take this matter with your own two hands. Meaning that you can build a badass steel bumper completely from scratch without needing to spend an extra cent. However, this ain’t just a piece of cake, as you need to have some experience with welding. Since you need the bumper to offer extra protection, it’s important that you do a good job and don’t risk having the opposite result! So we’ve decided to help you out by guiding you through the DIY steel bumper process.
What do you need?
First off, you can find plenty of kits that give you all the pieces you need to get started. On top of the actual components of the bumper, you’re gonna need some tools such as a welder, tube bender, cold cutting metal saw, and a variety of drills. Plus, safety equipment - don’t do anything until you’re wearing a pair of safety glasses, earplugs, and welding helmet, gloves & jacket.
Building a steel bumper from scratch
Now that you’ve got all that you can possibly need, it’s time to base the design on your specific vehicle. This is one of the advantages of building your own bumper but requires some good precision. Here are the steps you can follow to give this challenge a go:
1. Keep your vehicle on a flat surface so that you don’t have to worry about the suspension. Then measure your OEM bumper to get an idea of the size.
2. Then, get that original bumper off your truck and have a good look at all of its components. Once you’re done with that, it’s time for some welding - firmly weld the main mounting brackets to the frame rails, as they will go on top of the bumper, and reinforce them for safety.
3. Now, it’s time to get the bumper on. Find the right balance between a sturdy material and one that’s not too heavy, and use the machines we recommended you get early on to build the plates and tubes. Watch out for the length of the tubes as it’s best to make them longer than needed and then trim them based on fit rather than before you mount the bumper. It’s also worth noting that most recent trucks will need the bumper to curve to fit well within the frame, so unless you’re driving an old truck, avoid building a straight bumper.
4. To make sure that the vehicle lifts over obstacles instead of getting stuck, you gotta weld some skid plate bars over the bumper. To keep it easy to clean, use individual bars instead of a plate that’s continuous.
5. Do you want a winch? Then now it’s time to add a few-inch receiver to the bumper and then add your winch to the receiver mount. You can then place the winch anywhere in the truck, but we recommend that you install this and the tow hack at the center to improve towing. After that, you can add the grille and light guards.
6. To ensure that your bumper is ready to face anything, weld some support bars across the top of the grille guard panel and the truck frame.
7. Finally, you can go crazy by painting it in any style you like. To ensure resistance against corrosion and any other damage, choose powder coating.
This can be quite the project to be proud of, but again we recommend that you try it only if you or a buddy of yours are experienced with welding and fabrication.
Otherwise, we’ve got plenty of heavy-duty bumpers at a great price that you can choose from - find it today with the help of our Ultimate Bumper Guide where you can get a better idea of which bumper matches your requirements.. If you need any advice, you can always get in touch with us either via live chat or by calling us on 281-404-2124.