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DIY winch bumper 'builder' brackets


hawairish
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Thanks for the encouragement, fellas!

 

As an update, I've requested quotes from local shops for the cutting services. The current quote from my steel supply shop is reasonable, but is only for two bracket sets plus some new front skids. I'm waiting for quotes for a batch of five sets before trying to determine a price, but I'm optimistically looking at a retail of under $200 for the brackets (unwelded), all hardware, and US shipping.

 

I would be in for mounts if I could mount up an aftermarket JY bumper with winch mount to it

 

Ideally, it would be best if I could mimic mounting points on the XJ (I believe that's what you meant), since there's no assurance that all aftermarket bumpers for the same vehicle use the same mounting points. But, I think eventually if the community can settle on specific bumpers (or vehicles) to use, then this is a possibility. The bracket would need a minor redesign to omit using a winch channel and shackle mounts. If anyone in my region wants to explore that as an option, it'd be helpful to have that bumper in hand to mock things up.

 

It'll still be a several days until I can get brackets made, but in the meantime, I've been mocking up my bumper.

 

b_ZGu4_XET2_CINCOk5_DIHKg.jpg

 

Getting ideal angles was more annoying than I thought it would be. The overflow coolant tank limits the angle a little, but it's that stupid pre-airbox tank that makes you want to slap a Nissan engineer. Short of a plate bumper, there's no good looking way to protect it. Aside from sticking out in every direction, I also haven't figured out a simple way to re-work the bracket that supports it either, short of just drilling new holes. It will eventually be removed...thinking about a hidden snorkel. It'll probably get ripped off by a rock before that, though.

 

Here's the full concept...

Front.jpg

Top.jpg

Bottom.jpg

Side.jpg

Iso.jpg

 

Construction will be 1.5" x .120 sq. tube, and some same-sized angle steel on the top under the headlights and above the winch. The only modification to the bumper brackets is cutting the green pieces. (Though, I'm gonna cheat a little and just have those pieces cut to size when everything is made.)

 

And in case you're wondering how the skids will turn out...

 

Skid_Front.jpg

Skid_Back.jpg

 

Plates will be 3/16" this time around. The Pathfinder piece is a separate mini-skid for shielding the exposed power steering line on the VQ trucks. The material from the port openings is repurposed to create ribs on the skid—they'll be plug welded on the front, and stitch welded on that back. Both plates are notched so that I can just loosen the bolts a little and slide the plates off or on. My mid skid and missing link will eventually get reworked, but for now are in good shape.

Edited by hawairish
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  • 2 weeks later...

Minor update on this...

 

So the past two weeks have been pretty lame. I found a few shops around with cutting services and requested quotes for my initial parts, and for a larger follow-up order. It's pretty discouraging that these "no job too small" companies couldn't even reply in a remotely timely fashion. Very disappointing, to say the least.

 

On the bright side, the company that gave me the most attention—my local steel supply—has also produced the best quotes. And after waiting as long as I could for other companies to reply, I finally put in an order today. So, I'm pretty stoked this finally moving forward. First pass at parts should be ready in a week. More details to follow...

 

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I like the option to be able to moc up a XJ bumper, like being able to attach a rough country bumper to this mount. The winch channels not a bad idea also if you have the ability to moc up your own bumper or mod the factory bumper. Thanks for updating.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Parts are finally real...

 

IBjml_Paf_RZe7k_Dz_E8_Za3_ZA.jpg

 

0r19x_Oag_Rd_Z1e_gy_j_EQ.jpg

 

They turned out well, but admittedly, I'm not over the moon about them. Not at all bad for a first pass, but I expected some parts to come out a little more precise. However...I think part of it is inherent and unavoidable due to the plasma cutting process, but the shop also had some issues with my files. Basically some weird ghosting where all vectors were being overlaid by some crappy segmented version of the shape, and it was confusing their pathing application. They didn't catch it until after the first cuts, and said rounded corners basically came out looking like saw blades. Yikes! For whatever reason I couldn't detect the lines in 3 different CAD applications, but after chatting with TowndawgR50 a bit (he knows how frustrating this really was!), he gave me a suggestion to try. The shop corrected parts where necessary, but probably didn't give as much detail to all parts as I would have if I could see the problem. But, I'm not complaining because they were willing to fix the files for free this time around.

 

Some close ups...

 

fullsizeoutput_100c.jpg

 

fullsizeoutput_100f.jpg

 

02a_RUa9_LSla_RUVM1_C1_I0s_A.jpg

 

Everything is totally usable though. I can fix some things, but I feel like the only true workaround is waterjet, and you don't want to know what I was quoted for that!

 

Tacked up...fit as expected.

 

vv_o_MJr7_Rh_Sj8_Qo_ZLj91_CA.jpg

 

26_SMm_T6i8_Sj_FD_l_CMi_A.jpg

 

Look ma, no jack stands!

 

Ece9n_FLTI62_Dfh_VLQTSa_A.jpg

 

gr_ZQER1_Sk28_Owj_ERo4b_SA.jpg

 

Haven't done anything with the front skid yet. I got two of the Pathfinder plates cut, bent this one to 90° and might see what 75° looks like, but haven't welded up the slit. Thinking I will paint the PS line and area black, but paint the plate silver or something vivid. Since I'm losing my sleeper status with this project, might as well make it known I proudly use this thing.

 

Side story about my local club's kick-off run the other week...buddy of mine (the guy with the red Frontier) was standing amongst the crowd as I was picking my obstacle path. I opted for a tougher route than what everyone else had taken (I've taken this route before without issue...well, except bending my trailing arms...and bent them even more on this particular pass...I bought the steel to make new ones). Some guys I hadn't met yet were asking him, "That guy thinks his stock Pathfinder will make that?" and I'm told there was even a "I'll get my winch ready." He was like, "Yeah, stock Pathfinder. He'll be fine." I surprised a lot of people that day. Really hope some videos or pics surface.

 

Anway, was only able to get the LH bracket welded up. RH tomorrow, and maybe skids. Bumper next weekend hopefully.

 

 

Edited by hawairish
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Awesome work as always! I'm very interested to see the progression and adaptability of these brackets, and may be interested in picking up a set, but probably not off the 1st run, as I have other more pressing issues. Are you still going to build your own bumper around these? I'd really like to be able use a hitch style bumper, something like this https://www.jcroffroad.com/product/DIY-XJ-F.html as I really like the versatility of a hitch mount winch, plus need to maintain the ability to use my Snowsport plow. Oh, and that upper skid design is great! I instantly thought about installing a red LED strip behind there, which is odd cause I'm definitely not the "flashy" type...

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Looks pretty good for a first run! I haven't run CNC plasma (just the hand torch, I'm envious of those straight lines LOL) but I'm guessing those fat spots showing up in the cuts are where the plasma starts up and has to pierce the plate. If you want to get rid of those, maybe you could set it up to pierce the plate a short distance away from the line and then move out to it--basically move the stab mark onto the piece you're removing. This wouldn't help with the bend line for the front plate but I assume that'll get welded/ground after it's bent, so cut quality won't matter so much there.

 

I have no idea if the software you or the shop is using lets you screw around with tool paths, but there's probably some workaround. Maybe model the cut areas with a thin whisker sticking into the area you're cutting out that would be easy to snap off and dress with a file? Again, I have no idea what you're working, with but I'll bet the process can be tricked into providing a cleaner result.

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Interested depends on price

 

If you've got a particular cut-off point, I'd love to hear it. Right now, I am decently under the $200 mark, shipped (US only for now). Still crunching the numbers, but price is also dependent on how many I can get in the batch.

 

Awesome work as always! I'm very interested to see the progression and adaptability of these brackets, and may be interested in picking up a set, but probably not off the 1st run, as I have other more pressing issues. Are you still going to build your own bumper around these? I'd really like to be able use a hitch style bumper, something like this https://www.jcroffroad.com/product/DIY-XJ-F.html as I really like the versatility of a hitch mount winch, plus need to maintain the ability to use my Snowsport plow. Oh, and that upper skid design is great! I instantly thought about installing a red LED strip behind there, which is odd cause I'm definitely not the "flashy" type...

 

Thanks man! I plan to have some extras made during the 1st batch, mainly because it drives down the prices for everyone if I can bump up quantities. I'll hold one for ya, just getting a general headcount for now.

 

But yes, I am still building a bumper off these. Gotta demonstrate proof of concept! Meant to start cutting the tubes tonight, but opted to go fly kites with my kids. Priorities, right?

 

One thing I was originally planning to do (I don't think I mentioned it earlier) was to add a 2" receiver tube. Harbor freight sells "step bumper receivers" that I was considering to bolt or weld (or both) to the bottom of the winch channel. These guys...p/n 69673: 3,500lb @ $19 and p/n 69670: 5000lb @ $22:

image_21337.jpgimage_20897.jpg

 

The only catch is that if you use a roller fairlead like I'm using, you'll need some sort of 3/4" spacers between channel bottom and receiver plate to clear the bottom of the fairlead. If using a hawse fairlead...just figure out how you want to attach it and you're good to go! I opted to not go that route because I don't think I'll use it that much (for sure not for recovery since I'll already have 4 attachment points). If I ever get/build a trailer, I'll reconsider it since it would surely simplify maneuvering through my side gate.

 

Looks pretty good for a first run! I haven't run CNC plasma (just the hand torch, I'm envious of those straight lines LOL) but I'm guessing those fat spots showing up in the cuts are where the plasma starts up and has to pierce the plate. If you want to get rid of those, maybe you could set it up to pierce the plate a short distance away from the line and then move out to it--basically move the stab mark onto the piece you're removing. This wouldn't help with the bend line for the front plate but I assume that'll get welded/ground after it's bent, so cut quality won't matter so much there.

 

I have no idea if the software you or the shop is using lets you screw around with tool paths, but there's probably some workaround. Maybe model the cut areas with a thin whisker sticking into the area you're cutting out that would be easy to snap off and dress with a file? Again, I have no idea what you're working, with but I'll bet the process can be tricked into providing a cleaner result.

 

Yes, the inherent problems from probably worst to "less" worse in my opinion are 1) tight angles, 2) piercing, 3) cutting stops where the plasma cutter is turning off while stationary over a position, 4) small geometries, and 5) redirections, like changing 90° as you can see in the letters. #1 was particularly bad in one of those images, and it's clear the pathing software doesn't account for kerf width (cut diameter) to create a path that won't overlap...but, I only have 3 spots that meet that criteria and I can fix those. The pathing software does, however, start all cuts off the path unless it's just a line.

 

I have an application that can generate tool paths, but it's for my CNC router, which can be set to run inside, outside, or "on" a given path, and the 3-axis that plunges into a path to start. I think with 2-axis CNC processes like plasma cutting, it's just "on" a path. But in regards to that, ti worked out fine. Only thing is that it adds half-kerf to the line...and basically kerf-width to some shapes. The width is relatively small, but not negligible. And the thicker the metal, the larger it'll get.

 

#4 is a tough one. Most of the holes are 9/16" to give reasonable tolerance for a 1/2" bolt. Well, holes were probably closer to 5/8" than 11/16", and also not "perfectly" round, but close. I may put a 1/2" circle on my drawings and let the process add tolerance. There are some 1/4"-diameter semicircles/notches that didn't come out that too nice...but, I don't need them to be as they're just aid with assembly.

 

There's a very good possibility I pick up a CNC plasma cutter in the coming months to save myself a LOT of hassle I've experienced with the industry here, in general. I have way too many pending projects that will rely on a process that's still far from smooth, and I think I can cut out the middleman in that regard.

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Under 200$ shipped sounds amazing, hell I'd be willing to pay more. I have a trail run around March 11th and I'd love to have my winch mounted up before then, any chance I could get a set before then?

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A chance. I've not had a moment to try to rework any files to fix that ghosting problem or make any other adjustments. The steel shop usually has a 3-5 day lead time. That could get them out the door before next weekend if everything goes smoothly. Let me see what I can accomplish this week.

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As Ive already said, Im 100% in. I love the idea of adding the front receiver tube. I plan for my bumper to have recovery points so I dont need it for that purpose, however, a front receiver is SUPER handy for moving a trailer around tight places, as youve noted. I dont need to do that often but having the functionality in reserve is great. While I know you cant help yourself in your pursuit of perfection, most of the metalwork will be hidden and the skid plate, which is likely the only thing actually seen, turned out remarkably well!

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