4x4Wire TrailTalk

Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper...

Posted By: Peabody

Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 09/03/11 01:48 AM

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]
Posted By: shorty_sporty

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 09/04/11 12:52 PM

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
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 09/05/11 07:57 AM

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...

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Tabs used to lift the stock bumpers.


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


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


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Smittybilt front bumper mocked for mounting at frame-level.

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Same mock-up from the side.


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Shifting the bumper up to the level of the lift-blocks.


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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.
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 09/07/11 05:58 AM

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="" />
Posted By: logansportage

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 09/08/11 12:02 AM

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="" />
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 09/13/11 05:32 AM

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...
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 09/24/11 08:11 AM

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...

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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="" />
Posted By: logansportage

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 09/28/11 04:29 PM

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="" />
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 09/28/11 11:15 PM

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="" />
Posted By: 4runnernomore

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 09/29/11 11:50 AM

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="" />
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 09/30/11 12:43 AM

Chris - Thanks for the link! That looks very-much like the bumper I'm installing. That guy has several videos of his Sporty on YouTube. And watching them has been helpful in planning the mounting of the bumper so it can hold a winch. That has been my most-recent hurdle because the bumper will mount right under the front grill (slightly). However, this is a Jeep bumper (TJ and YJ). There are a few inches of stick-out on a Jeep's frame rails, where the bumper mounts. SmittyBilt designed it with the idea that a winch would mount behind the cross-rail of the bumper, not in front of it. So I stopped by the shop where I bought the bumper and gamed it out with one of their techs. It will be easy to shift the winch forward to clear the grill-area with some simple modifications and still have a solid mounting. It looks like I can stay with the same plan. Thanks again for the link! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 10/03/11 06:04 AM

Just wanted to post a quick update on the front bumper... I finally decided to keep things "simple" and just extend my front end to match a Jeep. That may sound complex. But it actually seemed easier to me because it eliminated the need to mod the bumper and winch mounting plate. So now I have an extra 4" of frame behind the new bumper. I'm not done. But I have reached the point of bolting on the bumper, with the new frame extension welded up solid. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />


Here's the new body mount design. Its 1/4" steel tubing. I cut it in half down opposing corners (diagonal) to make two brackets. I'm going to add some gussets to reinforce the back end. But there's a bit more work to do there, which will be discussed once I get some more work done on it.

[Linked Image]

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I used 4"x4" steel tube (1/4" wall) to extend the frame off the bracket. I plan to box the ends so the extensions will be stronger.

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The bumper mounts on a 2"x4" cross bar (3/16" wall) that connects the frame rail extensions.

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I assembled everything with Grade 8 bolts. Once I had it all bolted up and square, I welded it all up. So this mod is permanent! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/zombie.gif" alt="" /> My welds aren't pretty. But they are solid...

[Linked Image]


So here's a photo of "how far I've gone" with the project. You can see from the side view how the extension gives more room for the winch. I feel safer having gone this route than trying to hang the winch off the end of the bumper. I may have lost some approach-angle. But I think everything will perform better, overall, in the end...

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More progress-pics in a week! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" />

<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: logansportage

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 10/04/11 12:45 AM

Look at it this way. You kind of replaced the crumple zones that were cut off before. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/butwiggle.gif" alt="" /> Well not really cause it will take one heck of a hit to get these 4x4 blocks to crumple.

Nice work so far.

Logansportage <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 10/10/11 05:35 AM

OK, here's my weekly update on the front bumper...


The top of the body mount-bracket was a lacking enough surface area to support the lift block. So I added a top plate of 3/16" steel to fully-support the block and ran it across the extension to provide additional strength...

[Linked Image]


As noted in my previous update, this frame-mod is permanent. I welded up the nuts on the grade 8 bolts before proceeding to box up the extension...

[Linked Image]


Consistent with my tendency to over-engineer everything I build, I added a bit of 3/16" plate to brace the inside of the extension tubes. The idea behind it was to reinforce the tubes against the pulling force of a winch. They also add another layer of protection against compression, though I have no intent to test the latter theory... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" />

[Linked Image]


Then I boxed up the ends with more 3/16" plate, which was cut ground to fit slightly-inset within the tube. Now the tubes are all closed on both ends...

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Being that the top surfaces of the body mounts are now flat, I fabbed up some "C" rings from some rod that I had laying around. The body blocks will set inside of the rings...

[Linked Image]


I was having so much fun welding, I decided to cap off the 2x4 tube... and I justified it with the idea of keeping the inside dry and protected from rust... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/notooth.gif" alt="" />

[Linked Image]


Here's a look at the lift blocks bolted up. Everything went together well. FYI - I was going to buy one more piece of the acetal round stock to go with remaining piece I had already. But I had to buy a foot. And that would have been another $50. So I bought a foot of 3" round nylon scrap for $10 and had it cut to size. It machined alright, but not as cleanly as the acetal. I went with the nylon because the tech at the plastics shop said it would handle the compressive forces much better than HDPE and UHMW, which he said are softer (more so in the heat). I know HDPE and UHMW both work fine for the application. But the scrap was cheap and it was gray, not white. Hey, it worked... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" />

[Linked Image]


Though I think the mounting brackets were strong enough as they were, I added some 3/16" plate to support the backside, so they were similar to the original mounts...

[Linked Image]


Here's a side view of the bumper and winch plate mounted. They are actually bolted on!!! Now you can see how the winch will mount. I've added 6" to the length of the frame, to include the bumper's mounting rail (it sits under the winch plate). And that will position the winch just in front of the grill... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/zombie.gif" alt="" />

[Linked Image]


And here's a view from the front...

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I'm happy with the progress so far. Everything feels solid. I've started working on fabbing up a grill from expanded metal and closing up the areas from the bumper to the fenders. The stock grill and filler pieces below the headlights were already in bad shape. So I figure it will be easier to just add some steel to fill it in... and it gives me another excuse to weld!!!
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 10/19/11 04:01 AM

Here's the weekly-update...

I've started working on building up the grille and closing up the areas under the headlights. And then I realized that I needed to install the universal fender flares I had picked up long-before buying the bumper(s). So the fender flares were the project for the weekend.

I have a 25 ft roll of 4" flare-stock (Pacer brand, I think). And it's a surface-mount product. So it requires about 1.5" of flat surface for mounting. The front fenders don't have that much flat area at the wheel-well. But I was able to fix that with a dead-blow hammer (mallet) and some body dollies. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" /> It isn't pretty. But I was able to mount the flares. I was also able to rough-out a grille from expanded-steel sheet. And then everything came to a grinding halt because I had to figure out how to attach the new grille and parts below the headlights. That process was complicated more by the body damage and the way it was repaired. And that, in turn, lead me to go "shopping" at a wrecking yard for a functioning hood-latch and a stock AC condenser fan (the fan in the photos above isn't stock... took me all weekend to figure that out! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/angry.gif" alt="" />). Fortunately, I was able to get those parts today... only to realize that when the dip-<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif" alt="" /> that "repaired" my Sporty after the accident (several years ago) used a non-Kia fan, he cut off the Kia connector and spliced the wires to the non-Kia fan and connector. Now I have to go back to the bone yard and get the connector for the Kia fan... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/baby.gif" alt="" />

Anyway, here's a few photos of the project. It's still a work-in-progress...


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<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 10/27/11 02:20 AM

Here's a quick update on the front bumper...

I spent much of the weekend working on getting the placement of the headlights "better" than before - this due to the slight-shifting of the front end due to the wreck. And I decided to hit a bone yard and get another fender for the driver's side. The original fender had some stress-cracks in it from the idiot that did the original repair... His idea was to bend the fender to fit the body where it attaches below the turn signal. Not good. So I made an extension-tab to relieve the stress on the new fender at that location. Mounting the fender flare to an already-weakened fender was too much for it. And the thought of wind drag left me fearing the fender might give out while driving. The new fender went on fairly easy... and I pulled the little under-the-headlight trim pieces from the donor vehicle too, which will make closing up the gap from bumper to fender that much easier. And all of that filled the weekend... though much of the time was spent eye-balling the appearance and making little adjustments until I felt everything was good enough. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cyclops.gif" alt="" />

Here are some pics...


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<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 11/01/11 04:59 AM

Time for another update...

I was able to get the grille done and made good progress on closing up the area below the headlights. I still have some minor stuff to do before painting. But I'm getting close to being done with the front bumper... until I get a winch, at least. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/notooth.gif" alt="" /> And then I can work on the rear bumper, the OBX diffs, and replacing the brakes - all before the Thanksgiving holiday! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" />

Here are some pics of the progress. Sorry about the "headlight trim" shots. It was getting dark when I finally had everything bolted on for a photo... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/baby.gif" alt="" />

Grille...

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Headlight trim shots...

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<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: fokion

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 11/05/11 07:31 AM

WOW!!!!

How much weight fave been added to the front syspension?
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 11/07/11 05:00 AM

Greetings Fokion - I'm guessing that the weight will increase by about 100 pounds per end, likely less, not including the weight of a winch. The front bumper is lighter than the rear. But I've added more steel to the front than the rear so I can mount them. Once I get my Sporty back on the road, I'll know how the added weight effects the ride. The 105AA springs in the rear are pretty stiff. So the rear shouldn't be a problem. The front... guess we will see how the stock springs handle the weight.

That said, here's my update from the weekend...


I have the front almost done and was able to paint the new steel. I used Rust-oleum truck bed paint (spray), which has a textured finish. I wanted to use a durable paint. And I think that type of paint will do the job. I guess time will tell. Here's a photo of the finished paint job:

[Linked Image]



Once the paint was drying, I started on the back bumper. And that was much easier to work out than the front since my Sporty's never been damaged in the rear. I've removed the stock bumper's mounting-plates welded to the end of the frame and fabbed a set of "U" brackets that wrap around the ends of the frame (don't have any photos of it yet... but you can see some of the lower-portions of the brackets in the photos below). The "U" brackets extend up a few inches and are topped with a cross beam, to which I've attached 2 pieces of 4"x4" steel tubing (3/16" wall). The 4x4 tubes provide the mounting points for the rear bumper. I have the mount tack-welded and will pull it off to do the final welds and give it a coat of paint. Then I'll mount it up, weld it all to the frame and do some touch-up painting before the rear bumper goes on for good. And now for the pics... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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If all goes well, I might have everything done before November 23rd and my trip to SoCal, to include the OBX diffs. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" /> But the weather is getting cooler and the rainy season is starting (had rain over the weekend and temps in the 50s... Fahrenheit). That makes it hard to weld and paint. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/angry.gif" alt="" /> But I'm making progress!!! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 11/14/11 06:35 AM

And now for the weekly-update...

Spent the weekend finishing the rear bumper mount. I was able to get it finish-welded and coated with primer. The next step will be to paint it with truck bed liner, then mount it on the frame, weld it in place and do some touch-up painting on the welds. On another note, I was also able to confirm that the Smittybilt tire mount (swing out) will clear the rear hatch. So I picked one up and will bolt it on once the rear bumper is on for good. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" /> If all goes well, I will have the bumpers done next weekend (yes, both!). That's my last chance before the holiday-trip to So Cal. Unfortunately, I won't get the OBX diffs installed in time for the trip. But I should be able to get the brakes done... which I really need to do because the big tires were already causing the front brakes to fade. I know the extra weight from the bumpers will only make it worse. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" />

Here are some pics of the mount, just before I capped the open ends of the tubes and went wild with the primer. For reference, the "U" bracket consists of a 2x2 upright with a short length of 2x2 extending from the bottom (which slides into the stock tie-down bracket on the frame and will be welded in place), another short length of 1.5x1.5 extending above it (will be welded to the top of the frame) and a piece of 2" c-channel between the two extensions (slides into the open-end of the frame and will be welded in place). The rest of it should be straight-forward, I think... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/baby.gif" alt="" />


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Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 11/21/11 06:54 AM

Here's the last weekend update before the Thanksgiving holiday (an American excuse to eat lots of food <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/notooth.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/barf.gif" alt="" />). I'm knee-deep in "crunch-time" to get my Sporty on the road Wednesday morning... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" />

The rear bumper is "done" - done enough for the trip. I will work on filling in the open areas later, perhaps in the Spring, when the weather is warmer and dry. We've been getting rain a bit earlier than usual and cooler temps too. That's definitely thrown a wrench in the plan. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/angry.gif" alt="" /> Now I'm working on getting everything reassembled after lifting the body, finishing up the fender flares and maybe adding some mud flaps (to keep the cops off my back), and hopefully getting the front brakes done (at least). Here are some pics of the rear bumper in its "finished" state...


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There's a good-bit of space between the spare tire mount and the rear hatch now. I plan to fab a cover plate for the gap between the bumper and the body. I might take advantage of the space to add a mount for some "pioneer tools" and a Highlift jack. Overall, I'm happy with the results. If I'm lucky, I will get the OBX diffs installed and the brakes completely done before Xmas. I will try to post one more update before I hit the road to So Cal. Oh, almost forgot that I need to fab up some license plate mounts, too... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />

<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: ackerman

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 11/22/11 02:27 AM

Looks really good. I like the spare tire mount <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />.
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 11/29/11 04:31 AM

Here's a quick update... no photos yet...

- Got the Sporty back together last Tuesday night. But the change in the body lift threw the tranny's shift linkage off.

- Got up early on Wednesday morning to adjust the linkage (couldn't get the key out of the ignition and it popped out of park randomly <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" />). Found out there's no room to move wrenches on the linkage while connected to the shift lever. Also found the old cotter pin was brittle and had to take it out in about 30 tiny pieces. Once the linkage was dangling, I had to cut about 1/4" off the threads to get it adjusted. All of that only took about 2 hours...

- Decided to install the TruSpeed speed calibrator box, as described by Everett in the "Bigger Tires" thread. Thought that would be easy. Turns out one of the previous owners had cut about half of the wires from their connectors and spliced them together to bypass. I can only assume this was done because the floor got wet - likely from a leaking heater core(?). Regardless, I had to find all of the blue+black stripe wires (there were only 2), cut them individually and see which of them killed the speedometer. Turned out to be the second wire. Once the box was wired in (twice - wired it in backwards the first time... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/baby.gif" alt="" />) and the box was calibrated, another 3 hours had gone by.

- Took the Sporty to a local lube shop to get the oil changed and the tranny flushed. That doesn't usually take more than an hour. But it was the day before Thanksgiving and everyone driving out of town had the same idea (oil change, at least). And so another 2 hours floated away...

- Finally got out of town. Seemed that every 4x4 that drove by had a turned head in it. Even an old man driving a Cadillac stopped by at a gas-stop to tell me the Sporty looked good . And he didn't look like the wheelin' type... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif" alt="" />

- Spent all of the time in So Cal with family. Realized quickly that I wasn't going to touch dirt on this trip... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" />

- All was well on the return trip until I stopped to get gas about 30 miles north of Bakersfield, CA. That's when the starter died. I like to think it went to heaven. After 150K miles, I'm sure it has earned it's place. But that left me scrambling to get a tow back to a Pep Boy's in Bakersfield to replace the starter - this all happening at 4 PM on the Saturday of a major holiday weekend. We made it there, just in time. And after 5 hours, 2 mechanics and the effort required to figure out that Kia used the manual tranny's starter on the 4x4 with auto trans (i.e. the mechanics installed 2 different starters), we were back on the road! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" /> So the 7 hour trip back to Nor Cal turned into a 12 hour adventure. Oh, all of the guys at Pep Boy's gave me kudos on the Sporty. I guess lifted and tricked-out Sportages really are rare beasts... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/evil.gif" alt="" />

Photos will come soon... once I get can take some pics with the sun out. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 12/01/11 01:57 AM

OK - Here are some photos of my Sporty with the bumpers installed. I'm not done yet... still have some "close it up" work to do on the rear bumper. And I'll probably work on a mount for a Hi-Lift jack and a gas can...

Oh yeah, I had to install a set of hood pins because my hood latch kept popping from the vibration of the road. Seems the two "gears" that mesh together (catch and release plates?) started shifting out of alignment. This happened on the trip to So Cal. Being that the only tool I had access to my father-in-law's cordless drill, hood pins were the only fix. I like to call it "field-expedient", and not an inch of duct tape was involved... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />


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Look! The hatch opens!!! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" />

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But it was REAL CLOSE!!! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" />

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<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Sportege_Panicmech

Re: Question(s) about installing a front winch bumper... - 12/01/11 07:07 AM

haha... was wondering why you had the underside of the stock fenders but then I noticed the next pictures with the aftermarket fenders bolted onto the OE.. Pretty clever! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> She looks really good! I like it!
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