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Sharing my winch mount/ tube bumper build


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My first Solidworks project... a couple major tubes are not pictured, but you'll see them as the photos come in (mainly a cross brace from the lower mounts to the center of the front boxed winch plate).


The plan:









I had a very disappointing realization just as the last tube was notched and tacked into place: the body was not centered on the frame... off by 1/4" on center. Totally my fault as just did a custom body lift. Only needed 1/8" shift to the passenger side, but I would always see the mistake so loosened all the body bolts while my wife sadly shook her head (she knows I am hopelessly A.R. about the things I do have control over). Completely disassembled the assembly and started over; luckily it didn't require too much mod'ing to get the tubes all happily married again within a couple hours. All the material is 1/8" wall, 1.5" round and square tubing (the one exception is the lower frame mounts which are 3/16" x 2" square tube)... I know that is on the thin side for off road but I am all about more triangulated tubes for strength rather than thicker ones. I'm using the Chassis Unlimited generic two piece winch mount plate.


I spent a lot of time on the mounts as I wanted it rigid as possible for the winch with a bunch of front clearance while still bolting to the unmodified frame. I'll post details of them tomorrow.

As I make more progress I'll post more pics. Goal is drop off at the powder coater's next week. Waiting on tabs for grill mounts and have yet to figure out turn signals, although the OEM driving lights mounted up really nice and well protected with full adjustability intact.


Thanks for looking. This forum has given a ton of inspiration and information over the last 6 months... some crazy talented and smart members.

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recognize the stock front bumper bracket:



modified and reinforced:




installed and access provided d/t body lift:



loosely installed/view through radiator support:



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Lower frame mount using stock frame nuts and a couple lateral drilled holes/bolts and round tubing welded through box tubing for one frame nut, second hole for water/dirt drainage, last to second nut in frame:





view of progress with diagonals tacked in:


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Thank you for the compliments. This forum has given my a ton of ideas (and lead to me spending lots of money :) )


poor angle: the aux lights mount on the rear-most bar.


biggest disappointment is my lack of planning in the design for d-ring mounts so I had to cobble up a less than optimal solution.


off to the powder coater in the morning...

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It is up to about 70 lbs i think; i'll get a final weight before i drop it off at the powder coater and another when it is dressed with the winch/lights/etc. it is just erw 1/8 and 3/16", about 30+ feet of tubing. it is getting a three panel expanded metal with U edging grill on the bottom, but that is a project for later. This was a much bigger project than i anticipated, and I've built many race cars (though of course the next one will be much easier). When this is finished I plan to build a simple rear tube bumper and high lift mount... tire swing is already finished with jerry can mount. Angle is bad, the tire actually doesn't cut into tail light view at all.




Going to the 24 hours of Le Mans in a couple weeks so everything will be on standby for awhile.

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85lbs+ brackets so a little over 90 Pounds... plus the warn 8000. Took all day to finish the grill tabs so it has to wait for tues morn for the powder coater. Cant wait to see it installed and done.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Once I get the front locker done and the wheels back on I'll get some good pics outside... it it hard to get good pics of black tubes in my dark shop. I am happy; it bolted right up with only a minimum of swearing. Kept its shape well despite all the welding. And rock solid to the pathfinder's frame. The stock auxiliary driving lights mounted very well and will make up for the illumination lost directly in front of the vehicle due to the bumper sitting below and in front of the headlights. I debated really hard but in hind sight I am glad I went with a high-mount winch location.






License plate hinge was worth every cent; local police have a hard-on for writing tickets if the plate is missing or even mounted anywhere but stock.





Cut fenders and nice finishing caps in tube ends:



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  • 2 weeks later...

My plan is to offer as complete instructions as i can including bend angles and fish-mouth templates when totally finished... as well as suggestions for improvements. Side note: 24 hours of Le Mans was freaking amazing; I suggest anyone who can to attend at some point in their lives.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's one of the best DIY winch bumpers I've seen, great job. I'll be stealing the design if I ever get around to doing one. The flip-up license plate is a nice touch. :aok:

Edited by jj big shoe
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  • 1 month later...

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