New Rear Bumper

I have begun what promises to be the first of many modification to my truck.  This latest build will allow me to pull a trailer with my bikes as well as look tremendously better than the piece of rust it is replacing.

When I bought my truck, the class III receiver was all but rusted through and I took it off immediately so that I wasn’t tempted to test its remaining strength.  The bumpers, both front and rear, are rusting from the underside out and before winter I had painted them to slow the corrosive progress.  Come Spring I checked on them and sure enough, the paint helped little.  With the idea to eventually get a trailer for the bikes, I set to work a couple weeks ago on a new rear bumper since I couldn’t find any that I really liked.  The front I will buy from All-Pro Off Road.

I must give credit for the design to Box Rocket on the TacomaWorld forums.  His original bumper that he built 4 years ago was my inspiration and I would have ordered one from him if he was currently making them.  So I found a local manufacturing company and bought some steel off them and set to work.  I picked up a 3×5 square tube, some 1/4″ flat stock, 1″ square tubing, and a hitch receiver from Harbor Freight.  I cut out the pieces after measuring and remeasuring more than I wanted to count.

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I created gussets out of the scrape cuts and tacked up the brackets for initial fitment.

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With everything in the right place, the remaining pieces were cut out to close it all up and I drove it down the road to a custom welder to finish it. My home MIG just couldn’t penetrate the 1/4″ plate enough, and with a piece that will have a lot of weight riding on it (literally), it needed to be done right.

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I went to work with a grinder and flap disc to clean it all up and prep it for paint. Note that the gussets from the bumper to the bracket arms are too large and I did need to cut them each down three inches so that the frame could clear.

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I painted and waited for a week so that the paint could get an initial cure. I used VHT Wheel Paint Satin Black and I highly recommend it. I was going to go with VHT Roll Cage and Chassis paint, but all they had was Gloss Black. I’m not sure there is much of a difference between the two, but I don’t think you can go wrong with either. I got home tonight and installed the new bumper. I also made a license plate bracket using a receiver and a piece of tin. I will wire up a license plate light for it this week.

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With the license plate “hitch”.
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And with a proper hitch.
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More mods to come!

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