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Old 06-03-2012, 10:14 PM   #1
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Low Profile TJ Front Bumper - Rokmen inspired

I have recently made some friends in my company's manufacturing department. Two guys have been kind enough to give me hand in making a front bumper for my TJ. One of the guys has been taking care of the initial cutting and bending of plate, and the other guy will be doing the welding. We are doing this with scrap material, in spare time. I do not weld and will not be learning on this project, but I hope to for future projects.
I am helping with the design for starters, but also getting it fitted and lined up how I want it.

My Jeep's future will contain hi-line, no-flare front and rear fenders. To match that, I want a front bumper that does not extent beyond the frame rails.

The general design comes from a Rokmen custom front bumper, I am sure many have seen. I have a huge admiration for the design, so we are attempting to recreate it in our own fashion.


The bumper is built from a piece of 1/4" plate steel. It will wrap under the frame-rail, and will be capped on the sides.
The initial build will consist of just the bumper with d-ring shackles welded through. The second stage will include a grille and winch hoop.

I will drill for a winch and we will add a fairlead mount in this stage.


Not much to post yet as we just started, and as mentioned, it is being done in spare time.


Basic piece cut to proper width and first try at the front bend.




A view from the top after just setting it in place for more measurements.





They are going to add some more bend to it. It needs to come back about an inch toward the frame, at the bottom. Then it will be formed to wrap under the frame to tie in there.




For now, I run a factory swaybar with disconnects. I am going to drill the top of the bumper to allow the swaybar to be reinstalled. When I add the grille hoop, I will then decide if I am going to work around it and allow the swaybar to remain, or remove it and go without until I get an Antirock.
The side caps will cover the round crossmember, but would be cut when the Antirock is added.


I also plan to build a steering box skid while we're at it all. I have been thinking about incorporating it to the bumper and welding it on, but I'm also considering just making it a separate unit.
Thoughts/opinions on that would be appreciated.


I am ordering the d-rings from Rokmen.



My Rokmen inspiration:


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Old 06-03-2012, 10:16 PM   #2
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Finally got around to ordering the shackle mounts from Rokmen.
A minor detail, but they will match the shackle mounts on the rear when I get their rear bumper.



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Old 06-04-2012, 11:44 AM   #3
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i would think you'd want the steering box skid to be a separate piece. that way if you have to replace the steering box, the whole bumper/winch/steering box skid wouldn't have to come off.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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my98tj, I think you're right. I was thinking it would be easy enough (and I think it would be) to add the plate to the bottom side of the bumper in a steering skid format, but I agree that it would probably make for a huge PITA if I had to remove the bumper/winch just to service that box.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:06 PM   #5
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This is the baby press we are using. Had to give it another go with the bend because the front wasn't kicking back far enough (i.e., too right angle).



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Old 06-05-2012, 10:40 PM   #6
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That sheet of steel looks like it came from the titanic. That rust is hard on your press break dies. I own a 300 ton press break and won't let my guys put rusted metal in my dies.

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Old 06-06-2012, 09:58 AM   #7
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I would not have thought surface rust would be an issue for break dies like those, but the guys are doing the bending for me. I just told them what I was looking for.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:15 PM   #8
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When the material begins to bend some of the rust will come off and coat the surface of the dies which will then scratch the crap out of the dies and then scratch any metal that is bent in those dies in the future, the same goes for the shear blades, I don't shear any rusty metal either.

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Old 06-07-2012, 11:14 AM   #9
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I think this will do just fine......well, I'll see when I get home and lay it on the Jeep.



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Old 06-07-2012, 11:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30-284 View Post
When the material begins to bend some of the rust will come off and coat the surface of the dies which will then scratch the crap out of the dies and then scratch any metal that is bent in those dies in the future, the same goes for the shear blades, I don't shear any rusty metal either.

Donn
Good to know. Honestly, I'm sure they don't normally do that, but they were doing me a quick favor. We're using a piece of scrap plate, so I wasn't too picky about what it looked like. It will be sandblasted before it's coated.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:48 PM   #11
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Not sure if anyone is following along or if I'm moving too slow with nothing to report, but hopefully it will pick up.


The Rokmen shackles should be here today, so those can get burned in next week.


I dropped the plate on the frame last night. It's exactly the angle I was looking for. They are going to get it marked and have the bottom part of the bumper bent under.






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Old 06-08-2012, 03:24 PM   #12
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i'm definitely looking forward to seeing the finished product. that way i can see somebody's jeep changing. mine just gets driven right now.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my98tj View Post
i'm definitely looking forward to seeing the finished product. that way i can see somebody's jeep changing. mine just gets driven right now.
Sounds good to me!



Rokmen shackle mounts came in today.

mmmm beefy!




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Old 06-13-2012, 12:06 PM   #14
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We notched the top center part of the bumper to wrap around the grille a bit and then cut the long lower lip off the front. My job now is to line up the shackles so they can be welded in (going with design #2 from the previous page), and then the bottom piece of the bumper will get welded on. We left it off yesterday because with it off, they will have more room to get the backside of the shackles welded in place.


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Old 06-13-2012, 02:09 PM   #15
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I'll get the measurements you asked me for straight away... gimme a few...

From middle of front winch mount hole - 2.5" roughly to the front of the bumper. But my design is different from yours. I have a Jeeperman with the box steel that sits in front of the frame. You just have a sheet of steel. So factor out about 1.5" or so for the box steel of the Jeeperman (I forgot to measure that).

And FYI the width of my winch plate front to back is 7.75" or so.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:24 PM   #16
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Thanks Paul! The fairlead mount is being worked as we speak. I just needed to know how far back to space the winch mount holes from the front edge/back of fairlead mount.

I have the measurements for the winch bolt hole spacing (10" x 4.5").
I saw in a post somewhere that 1.25" spacing is common from front winch mount hole to back of fairlead mount.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:36 AM   #17
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1.25" sounds about right. Any closer and you may have binding issues with the cable between the winch and fairlead.

If you really wanted to beef up the winch plate, run some angle steel under the bottom of it to provide some reinforcement. If you mount your winch further back, that would help with plate strength.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:58 PM   #18
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I fit the shackles in place this evening. I think I'm going to like the way it looks. The shackles fit right up under the top side of the plate making a large weld surface. I will snap a picture of that tomorrow.

I threw it in the back of the Tahoe to bring up to work to have my bud weld them up.








ps....can't wait to have this thing sandblasted. The rust is obnoxious.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:45 AM   #19
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This pic shows the contact points of the shackles from the underside/backside. I attached the d-ring to aid as a reference point.


A typical shackle that is welded front and back of a bumper has 8 total weld passes (4 front, 4 back). The way this is setup with the shackle fitting right under the top part of the bumper, it allows an additional two surface/contact points for welds to be made, for a total of 10 total weld passes front and rear.




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Old 07-18-2012, 08:27 PM   #20
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All of the winch plates that I have made I have put a 1" lip at the rear, (where you have cut it for clearence,) to stiffen it up so as to keep the winch from pulling the plate up at the rear, and on mine I have a 1" lip up then a 1" lip going rearward for max stiffness. If you find the plate flexes too much, you can always add a piece of angle iron on edge underneath to do the same thing. also use one or both of the sway bar mounting bolts as well to hold the rear secure.

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Old 07-19-2012, 08:21 AM   #21
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You are reading my mind. I plan to add a "cover" for that cutout area at the center of the grille. It will add some stiffness to the plate, and make it a cleaner look, hiding the cutout.

I was thinking of have some 1/4" strips welded to the underside running front to back to add some additional strength.

With the distance the plate goes back along the frame rail, I will be able to capture both of the swaybar holes and will use those bolts.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:17 PM   #22
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In order to add a significant amount of stiffness to the plate, use a heavy 1" angle iron welded to the bottom but run them (however many you can fit,1-2) right to left not front to rear as front to rear would still allow the plate to pull up in the center (I have seen this happen). Wish you were closer Patrick, I would weld one up for you.

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Old 07-26-2012, 09:38 PM   #23
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Shackles are welded up! I drilled the top mounting holes this evening (not shown).
I will be mocking up the bottom and sides this weekend so those pieces can be welded.

I am working with someone to custom laser cut a fairlead mount for me. I could go with some basic tabs, but I kinda wanted something "trick" for that since the rest of the bumper is fairly plain.

I'm not a welder, but it looks like he did a good job.






Underside/Backside of shackles...
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:47 PM   #24
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did your welder grind away the rust first? those welds look like they run into the rusted area.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:35 PM   #25
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Nice Green Jeep!
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:42 PM   #26
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Nice Green Jeep!
This is an older pic.....it has working headlights now.


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Old 07-29-2012, 09:17 PM   #27
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did your welder grind away the rust first? those welds look like they run into the rusted area.
My thought exactly
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:55 PM   #28
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Quote:
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did your welder grind away the rust first? those welds look like they run into the rusted area.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 30-284 View Post
My thought exactly
They said they cleaned up the steel right at the weld (before welding), but did not bother going too far. It was 'heli-arc'd'....not sure on the spelling there and they said it burns so hot that the surface rust would not have any affect on the weld.


Bolted it on so I can finally get the bottom mocked up (without worrying about it shifting). Got the passenger side swaybar mount bolts drilled. Need to do the driver's side. They are there, so I might as well tie the bumper into them.
Going wheeling on Saturday. Hope to have it done by then.

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Old 08-08-2012, 11:52 AM   #29
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Thats looking real nice; excited to see it finished.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:14 AM   #30
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I have been meaning to update this. The bumper structure is done. I need to do some cleanup on a couple spots and have it sandblasted. I am working on the fairlead mount as we speak. Once I am done cutting it out and tacking it on, my welder will do the final welding on it....then I'll have it blasted and painted.
I also have one little trim piece to add at the back of the bumper. It will make more sense through pictures.

I still plan to add a winch hoop and grille hoop (tubes sourced from www.jeeptubes.com), but those can wait for a little bit. I am ready to get this mounted up and the winch back on.








The underside is admitedly unattractive. I was going for as much coverage on the underside as is practical, although I might trim an inch or two off of the bottom plate to save a little weight.



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