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Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... #1033771 09/03/11 01:48 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 326
Peabody Offline OP
Mudrunner
I want to replace the stock bumpers on my Sporty with steel-types. And I'd like to be able to mount a winch on the front. So I took off the plastic bumpers to get an idea of how to mount the front so it could handle the pull of a winch. But I don't see any solid-access to the frame, just the body mounts, and then the crumple-zone in the frame right behind them. And the body lift on my Sporty (3") seems to only add to the design-confusion. I know others Sporty-owners have custom bumpers with winches. Are the body-mounts solid enough to handle the pull? Can anyone explain how they did it??? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Here's a photo of a stripped front-end that I found on 4crawler's website (part of the install-instructions for a body lift kit)... for reference.

[Linked Image]


1997 Sportage 4x4, auto-trans, Warn manual hubs, 4" UPYOURKIA front lift, TJ 106AA rear springs, 2-5/8" body lift, 31x10.50 treads, SmittyBilt SRC front and XRC rear bumper, swing-out tire mount, OBX LSD front diff, Track Finder rear locker, 5.38 R&Ps and... really crappy gas mileage! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />
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Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... [Re: Peabody] #1033772 09/04/11 12:52 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 42
shorty_sporty Offline
Getting the Wheeling Fever
From what I know about truck bullbars and also from the recent installation of my own bullbar, a majority of the strength actually comes from the mount that attaches to the chassis

This will need to be steel the same thickness or bigger than that of the chassis rails. Notice the tube between the rails where the factory nudge bar mounts to. It will need to attach to the four bolts there.

If you plan to fab one yourself, I strongly suggest you see if you can have a look at an accessory or auto parts store that has a winch bullbar in stock that will let you have a look at it

If there was enough interest, I could probably talk custom alloy here in oz to design a winch bar to suit the sportage

www.customalloy.com.au if you are interested to look at there website

If this is not possible, pm me and I will see if I can get a diagram or picture from our bullbar supplier at work to give you a better idea


1997 Sportage - Extended forks, Dobinsons 2 inch front lift coils, rear Dobinsons TJ lift coils, GME UHF, $8 bullbar (I love eBay!)
2001 HZJ78 Troopcarrier - 2 inch lift, extended shocks, Ex Mine vehicle. Still has yellow reflective stripe! - GONE
2011 Toyota Aurion - For the wife!
Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... [Re: shorty_sporty] #1033773 09/05/11 07:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 326
Peabody Offline OP
Mudrunner
Shorty - thanks for the info. I have gone out on a limb and bought aftermarket bumpers made by Smittybilt. These are made for the Jeep Wrangler. But I spent a few hours at the 4x4 shop where I bought them to measure the Sporty and the display-bumpers to see if I could find some that would work. Here are links to the two I bought (front & rear):

Front bumper

Rear bumper

I'm hoping the rear mounts with enough clearance so I can add the tire mount. But we'll see how that pans out...

I was able to spend the afternoon working on the front bumper mod. Here are a few photos of the progress, along with a few of the body lift & the mod to make the stock bumpers fit after the body lift...

[Linked Image]
Tabs used to lift the stock bumpers.


[Linked Image]
Nudge-bar nubs left after cutting them off so the front bumper could be relocated after the lift.


[Linked Image]
Don't look! I'm naked!!! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/notooth.gif" alt="" />


[Linked Image]
Smittybilt front bumper mocked for mounting at frame-level.

[Linked Image]
Same mock-up from the side.


[Linked Image]
Shifting the bumper up to the level of the lift-blocks.


[Linked Image]
Above the frame, from the side.


So here's where I'm at with the front-bumper install... I'm trying to decide if I should mount the bumper at the level of the frame or just above it - even with the body blocks. As I see it, mounting at frame-level will likely be stronger. And it will be easier to accomplish. But I though the mounting looked more "natural" with the bumper above the frame. That won't be as easy to pull off, because I'll have to replace the front body-blocks with steel to provide a mounting surface for the bumper... Then I showed the photos to my wife. And she said it looked better with the bumper set low <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shame.gif" alt="" />, which left me procrastinating... but leaning towards the "easier to accomplish" route. I'm off tomorrow (Monday) for Labor Day (U.S. holiday... celebrating working by taking a day off and getting mad because all the stores are closed to honor the holiday... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />). So I hope to make some progress... on the front at least. I'll try to post the results.


1997 Sportage 4x4, auto-trans, Warn manual hubs, 4" UPYOURKIA front lift, TJ 106AA rear springs, 2-5/8" body lift, 31x10.50 treads, SmittyBilt SRC front and XRC rear bumper, swing-out tire mount, OBX LSD front diff, Track Finder rear locker, 5.38 R&Ps and... really crappy gas mileage! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />
Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... [Re: Peabody] #1033774 09/07/11 05:58 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 326
Peabody Offline OP
Mudrunner
Here's a quick update on the front bumper...

I've decided to chop off the body mounts and replace them with 4"x4" steel tubing (3/16" wall thickness). I'll weld the new mounts to the frame, along with a 2"x4" cross-brace (3/16" wall, 35" long), to which the bumper will mount. The new mounts will rise 3" above the frame, with the cross-brace attached at frame-level. And I'll weld the stock body mount's mounting surface to the top of the 4"x4" tube. That will allow the body to mount directly to the frame - no plastic blocks or extension-bolts on the front end. Its going to be a lot more work than I had expected. But it should be rock-solid when I'm done... I hope. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" />

I'll add that the body-lift blocks are part of the reason I'm taking the long road. They were cut flat off a log of HDPE round stock of a larger diameter than the recess in the body mount (i.e. the depression that mates with the rubber body bushing/washer). So they sit over the recess - not in it, and appear to have shifted a bit, though only very slightly. I plan to replace the remaining six mounts with a set of properly-machined blocks - recessed on one end to receive the rubber bushing and a "bump" on the other that will sit in the mount (not above it). I'll try to post some photos on Thursday... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />


1997 Sportage 4x4, auto-trans, Warn manual hubs, 4" UPYOURKIA front lift, TJ 106AA rear springs, 2-5/8" body lift, 31x10.50 treads, SmittyBilt SRC front and XRC rear bumper, swing-out tire mount, OBX LSD front diff, Track Finder rear locker, 5.38 R&Ps and... really crappy gas mileage! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />
Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... [Re: Peabody] #1033775 09/08/11 12:02 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,221
logansportage Offline
Body Damage is Cool
I think you could make a mounting bracket that would work without having to replace your body lift with steel tubing that you would also weld too.

Grind the rest of the crumple zone off so there is a flat surface where the original bumper mounted. Then put a flat plate over the triangle piece the original bumper mounted to, but extend this vertical to the height needed to mount this new front bumper. Basically a flat plate that is in front of your existing body lift block that connects to the flat surface of where the original bumper mount is. Then use a gusset in the shape of an L that braces the back of this flat piece. This L gusset would extend back along the frame rail and would be welded to the back of your flat piece that is mounted flush to the triangle piece where the original bumper was mounted. This L gusset would start out at the same height, or shorter if needed, and taper down as you got closer to the frame rail.

You could always cut off the edge of the flat plate on the inner side to give you an access point to get to the frame bolts that secure the L gusset to the frame rail, or to be able to weld the L gusset to your frame rail.

For the left side, imagine a large lower case letter h with an offset smaller letter L set just to the left and over the down leg of the h. This letter L is extending back the length of the body mount tab that sticks out.

For the right side, everything is just mirrored.

Logansportage <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />


White 1998 4 door KIA Sportage 4x4 w/Eibach 2.5 spring lift and TJ rear coils, 4crawler 1.5 body lift, Monroe Sensa.trac shocks, Bosch 4+ plugs, Eaton LSD, 31x10.5x15 BFG KM tires, 2.5 cat back exhaust w/SpinTech muffler
Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... [Re: logansportage] #1033776 09/13/11 05:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 326
Peabody Offline OP
Mudrunner
Well, I was able to spend much of the weekend cutting, grinding and welding on the front end. My Sporty is a "salvage title" vehicle - its been in an accident, which seems to have only involved the left-front end. The frame looks and measures straight from the radiator to the tail pipe. But there's a bit of lift and twist in the very front, to include the front-body mounts. So, after much contemplation, I decided to chop it down to the frame and build it up from there. It's the only way I can get the bumper to mount up square and level... and it will be solid. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/evil.gif" alt="" /> I'll post some photos soon...


1997 Sportage 4x4, auto-trans, Warn manual hubs, 4" UPYOURKIA front lift, TJ 106AA rear springs, 2-5/8" body lift, 31x10.50 treads, SmittyBilt SRC front and XRC rear bumper, swing-out tire mount, OBX LSD front diff, Track Finder rear locker, 5.38 R&Ps and... really crappy gas mileage! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />
Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... [Re: Peabody] #1033777 09/24/11 08:11 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 326
Peabody Offline OP
Mudrunner
I was able to work on the bumper-project today. It's been dragging out because there were a few "dimensional issues" that have had me stumped. I know some of the problems involve a slight bending of the front end (frame and body), which I mentioned in my last post. So I decided to check out the body lift done by the previous owner, which was not a prefabbed kit. After spending countless hours measuring and scratching my head ( <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />), I finally realized that the lift blocks were not of uniform size. They ranged from 3" in the front to 2.75" in the back - but did not taper to give a "pre-runner" look. And it appears the shorter blocks were "shimmed" using rubber matting (the outdoor v-groove type). So what I thought (and was told) was a 3" body lift actually created about 4" of lift, though not uniformly <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/zombie.gif" alt="" />. In fact, the lift was so "not uniform" that the left-rear of the body actually "popped" when I unbolted the body - like it was under spring-tension. Now I understand why. If you're wondering how 3" blocks created about 4" of lift, I will explain... If you take a 3.5" diameter chunk of HDPE round stock and set it on top of the Sporty's body mount, the block will sit ON TOP OF the body mount. It will not fit in the mount's recess, which is about 3/8" deep. And if you leave the top of the block flat and lower the upper body bushing onto it, you gain at least another 1/4-3/8" of lift because the bottom of the bushing is designed to sit in the body mount's recess. But wait, you can also get even more lift if you add a layer of outdoor matting to give the self-lubricating HDPE some traction (so it won't slide on the body mount)... and then add a few extra layers of matting to "shim" the blocks that were cut to different heights - you know, to bring them all to a semi-uniform level. Yep, all that can give you an additional inch of lift! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/notooth.gif" alt="" />

So once that stunning-epiphany smacked me into a prolonged state of "what the <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif" alt="" /> was he thinking", I decided it would be easier to scrap the body blocks and start from scratch <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/angry.gif" alt="" />. Fortunately, there's an industrial plastics supplier in the area. And I was able to find 7 blocks of Acetal (Delrin) round stock (3" diameter) in the scrap bin, which were cut to 3" lengths (all uniform). I only needed enough stock for 6 blocks because the front blocks will be replaced with steel tubing (so I can mount the bumper). And the nice lady working the service counter was kind enough to let me have all 7 for $50 <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />. That might sound like a high price. But these are Acetal blocks (the generic form on Delrin), which is stronger than HDPE or UHMW... and more expensive ($56/ft of acetal, $28/ft of HDPE and $16/ft of UHMW). And they were already cut to a usable, UNIFORM size. So I only had to do some simple "machining" to prep them for the install. That said, here's the "photo essay" of the process...


Here are 6 of the blocks (the 7th was held in reserve, just in case something "bad" happened <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" />). I have included one of the lift blocks that came with my Sporty, for reference.

[Linked Image]


After marking the center of each block (both ends), I used a 2.5" hole saw to cut a groove in the top-side of each block. The groove was cut to about 1/4" deep. I used the groove to define the edge of the recess to be cut in the top of the block - to receive the base of the body bushing.

[Linked Image]

I used the hole from the center-bit of the hole saw as a starter/reference-hole for drilling the bolt hole (using a 7/8" spade bit). I would have liked to have drilled the hole a bit smaller. But 3/4" was the next-smaller bit in my box, which was a just a little too tight for the extension bolts that were used with the original lift. And I had to reuse them...

[Linked Image]


Next step - cut the recess. I did this using a $10 trim router I found at an auto parts store. A 3/8" carbide-tipped double-flute straight bit was used to cut the recess at 3/16" depth. I probably should have used a 1/4" bit because the cheap trim router didn't have a lot of horse power... Oh yeah, it only cost $10... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" />

[Linked Image]


The last step was to taper the base so it would fit in the recess of the body mount. That was easy to do using the router armed with a carbide-tipped 45-degree chamfer bit. I set the depth-of-cut just deep enough so the base of the block would fully-seat in the recess. I did this step with my router table. But a trim router would do the job well.

[Linked Image]


Installation was relatively-easy. I used my floor jack with a stack of 2x4s screwed together for a lift-block to lift the body from the side. If the lift-block is long (3-4 ft), it will allow you to lift the body without bending the undercarriage. And that seemed to be much easier than lifting the body from the front and rear, as I've seen described in other body-lift "how to's". Here are some pics of the blocks installed...

[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]



I must say that I'm very happy with the fit - it's tight. And the black acetal looks much better than the white HDPE. I did add a "donut" of non-slip material (shelf liner) between each block and the body mount (acetal is also a self-lubricating plastic). Oh yeah, after machining, the final lift was reduced to 2-5/8". But that's fine with me. I think 3" (or 4") is a bit excessive because it stresses the brake lines when the wheels hang (especially the front). And there were also issues with the shift-lever on the transfer case (which I had fixed once... hopefully I won't have to fix it again). Honestly, it doesn't look much different with a 2-5/8" lift. The good news is that many of the "dimensional issues" have been fixed by using UNIFORM lift blocks. So I hope to get busy mounting bumpers soon enough. And best of all - its easy to fabricate your own lift blocks with a router, drill (drill press is best) and a saw (though I lucked-out with the pre-cut blocks)... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />


1997 Sportage 4x4, auto-trans, Warn manual hubs, 4" UPYOURKIA front lift, TJ 106AA rear springs, 2-5/8" body lift, 31x10.50 treads, SmittyBilt SRC front and XRC rear bumper, swing-out tire mount, OBX LSD front diff, Track Finder rear locker, 5.38 R&Ps and... really crappy gas mileage! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />
Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... [Re: Peabody] #1033778 09/28/11 04:29 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,221
logansportage Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Peabody,

Nice write up and nice job on the lift. It looks good. How are the lines to the power steering reservoir and fuel tank?

Logansportage <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />


White 1998 4 door KIA Sportage 4x4 w/Eibach 2.5 spring lift and TJ rear coils, 4crawler 1.5 body lift, Monroe Sensa.trac shocks, Bosch 4+ plugs, Eaton LSD, 31x10.5x15 BFG KM tires, 2.5 cat back exhaust w/SpinTech muffler
Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... [Re: logansportage] #1033779 09/28/11 11:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 326
Peabody Offline OP
Mudrunner
The power steering lines are fine. The reservoir is "free floating". But the hoses seem to keep it quite secure (won't tip or shift). The fuel lines are good too. I had replaced the hoses recently, less the filler hose. The filler hose doesn't look stressed. But jacking up the body to remove and install blocks does tug it around some... the brake lines too. So I'm going to check everything over very closely once I'm done and ready to bolt the body down for good. Regarding the brake lines, I read an old post by Dave Scott that said you can extend the front brake lines at the wheel well by adding in one of the rear brake lines. I might give that trick a go when I replace the brakes, which is on my fixit list, along with the new diffs... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/baby.gif" alt="" />


1997 Sportage 4x4, auto-trans, Warn manual hubs, 4" UPYOURKIA front lift, TJ 106AA rear springs, 2-5/8" body lift, 31x10.50 treads, SmittyBilt SRC front and XRC rear bumper, swing-out tire mount, OBX LSD front diff, Track Finder rear locker, 5.38 R&Ps and... really crappy gas mileage! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />
Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... [Re: Peabody] #1033780 09/29/11 11:50 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 387
4
4runnernomore Offline
Mudrunner
Hi Peabody,

Here is one from Brazil I think. Shows you what it could look like. Similar bar setup to yours with winch and lights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JTSt8Izddo&feature=related

Cheers, Chris <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" />


97 Sporty, snorkel, K&N filter,chipped, ext forks, 40mm Dob Springs, KYB struts, 35mm Jeep TJ Springs, RAV 4 OME shocks, Kaiser Locker 5.38 R&P's, 1&3/8 body lift, 245/75 R16 D674's Sports steering wheel, bullbar, extractors & 2 1/4 exhaust engineered.
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