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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I really like the look of the stock front bumper on the 2nd gens. Only problem is that the plastic trim bits are rather flimsy and they got ripped off on last year's overlanding trip.

So, I've decided to build my own bumper using the main bumper piece as a starting point and replacing the plastic trim pieces with rectangular steel tube. And while I'm at it, I thought I'd add some rally style lights, headlight brush guards, and a hitch receiver for my winch tray.

Here is a very basic concept of what I'm looking to do. Feel free to criticize or suggest additions. Debating whether 5 lights is too much. Four seemed like it wasn't quite enough.



Looking to start fab on both this and my rear bumper/jerry can mount/spare tire mount either in December or January and have it done before our 2015 Overlanding Trip Memorial Day weekend. Will keep thread updated as it progresses.
 

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I think you've got something there! Every now and again I'll see a Ram with a one-off tube steel bumper and I think to myself... That would sell like crazy if you could just walk into a truck shop and buy it! post pics.
 

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I started with a very similar setup Brewtus, It worked great the first trip to the hills until I needed to uese my winch... then used my truck to pull out a high centered jeep and tore my bumper to hell. Make sure that when you make your receiver hitch cradle, you use different mounting points than the OEM bumper... Trust me... it will save your ass in the long run.. also you ned to run some interior strengthening to the bumper for the brush guardpoints, otherwise you aren't going to have enough strength to keep branches from tearing apart your new art work. Trust me... I have been there... and still working out some kinks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I started with a very similar setup Brewtus, It worked great the first trip to the hills until I needed to uese my winch... then used my truck to pull out a high centered jeep and tore my bumper to hell. Make sure that when you make your receiver hitch cradle, you use different mounting points than the OEM bumper... Trust me... it will save your ass in the long run.. also you ned to run some interior strengthening to the bumper for the brush guardpoints, otherwise you aren't going to have enough strength to keep branches from tearing apart your new art work. Trust me... I have been there... and still working out some kinks.
The plan is to put a plate between the sway bar mounts and the frame for the hitch mount. By the time i'm done, my intent is that the stock sheet steel bumper will effectively be an insert and not have much to do with it structurally.

one other question with all those lights, are you running a 200 amp alternator and dual batteries?
Planning on getting another battery. And an Uncle of a friend owns an alternator shop. We were going to see if we could get the parts to build them up at cost. My friend worked in his shop in high school souping them up so he knows how to do the rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Still in the works, but haven't really started. Was planning to have a friend down with his F350 so we could do both his back bumper/tire rack and my front bumper. Then he wasn't able to until after he gets his tax return.

But mostly, after my engine rebuild, I was done working on truck for a while. So I remodeled my office and a bathroom over the winter break instead. I'm probably looking at March or April before I really get this moving. :( But it needs to be done before summer so it's ready for the OBCDR trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok. So my fully custom build became a modified craigslist deal... for now.

So I picked up a front mount hitch from the wrecking yard and got it installed. A few days later, I happened across a brush-guard on craigslist for a 2nd gen dodge. Turns out, the brush guard and hitch use some of the same mount locations. So I had to cut off the ends of the hitch and weld them to the brush guard mounts. The brush guard mounts are actually much thicker than the hitch was, so it ended up being much stronger this way.



There are 18 10mm grade 10.9 bolts holding all of this to the frame for a combined breaking strength exceeding 100k lbs. Easily enough to turn my truck into spaghetti.

Here's the final product.



I added the light bar, which really finished it out.



Then I put in the Tweco plugs (Red circle) for my hitch mount winch:



All held up fantastically during our trip on the OBCDR.



I still plan to get another stock bumper and replace the plastic top and bottom with tube steel, but I like this brush guard configuration so I think I'll keep it.
 
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