Part 2: Weld-It Yourself
In the June issue of Diesel World, we introduced the first part of this bumper project. Move Bumpers of Lewiston, MT, engineers and designs pre-cut and pre-formed pieces to allow you the end user the pieces needed to fabricate a perfectly fitting off-road bumper for your specific truck. The Move Bumper DIY kits are not only less expensive than other options on the market, but they can save a fortune on freight and shipping costs since the plate steel pieces can be shipped inside a standard box via FedEx/UPS right to your front door. For the guy with some fabrication skills and the proper tools, like a MIG welder, grinder, cutoff tool, etc., these bumper kits can be pieced together in just a few hours and hug the factory body lines almost perfectly. There is a sense of pride that comes from building something with your own two hands, especially if you can take your time, producing a fine looking final piece to hang off the front of your truck.
In part one, the bumper pieces were all tack welded together using the truck itself as the jig. The frame mounts were bolted on, followed by the center piece which was lined up to follow along flush with the bottom of the grille. Once it was tacked in place on the frame brackets, the outer wings could be positioned and tacked onto the center. The end caps to the bumper were then tacked to the outer wings, and the bumper could then be removed from the truck for final welding to be completed.
For this bumper, it was decided to weld both the front and back side of each seam. This filled any holes and valleys where water could collect and start corrosion points within the bumper; it also helped make it the strongest it could be. Once all the welding was completed, the bumper was test fit back on the truck to make sure nothing moved or tweaked out of place from warpage. Knowing it all fit like it should, the bumper came back off and about an hour was spent grinding and sanding down all the welds along the outer edges. Smoothing them down with the grinder first and following up with a fine grit sandpaper on an angle grinder made the pieces all become one. After getting cleaned up it was dropped off at the local powder coat shop who promptly sand blasted it and covered it in a zinc based etching primer which would help the bare steel fight against rust and corrosion. After proper drying time, the bumper went into the spray booth to get a thick coat of textured black powder coat that was baked on for proper adhesion and strength. The color turned out perfectly and looks great on the all-black Chevy truck it was built for. While the owner opted for the powdercoat, these bumpers could also be painted to match any truck or even coated in a rubberized spray-on bedliner material.
Let There Be Light
For lighting the way, a couple sets of LED lighting kits were ordered up from Tigerlights.com, which included two sets of their square floodlights and their 20-inch Crossfire LED Light Bar. Using all stainless steel hardware and patented dual row side emitting led bulbs, they offer a cleaner more efficient light output than many others on the market. The all-aluminum housings are both dust and waterproof to ensure years of trouble-free performance, regardless of conditions; and they look great too.
The outer fog light kits were mounted up inside the pre-cut holes on the outer wings of the bumpers. It was decided that the outer most set of lights would be angled out to broaden the field of light to show the sides of the highway since the inner fogs and 20-inch light bar would be used to brighten up what was exactly in front of the truck on the road. Tiger Lights also suppled professional wiring harnesses with waterproof connectors, loomed wires, relays and quality toggle switches.
While the supplied toggle switches would have worked fine, the truck owner didn’t want to add more holes and switches to his dash board, so Edge Products was called upon to supply their latest EAS Switch kits, which can be used with the expandable daisy chain-style Edge Accessory System that works in conjunction with the CTS2 Insight monitor the truck was already running. The Edge CTS2 Insight was already being used as an in-cab monitor for watching fluid temperatures, EGT’s and a back-up camera, so why not use it to turn on some 12-volt accessories, as well? With the new EAS Switch kits, the new lighting could be wired into some under-hood pigtails that would daisy chain into the EAS kit already on the truck and allow the lights to be powered on/off via the in-cab touchscreen. This meant no more wires had to be routed through the firewall, and no more switches had to be mounted to the dash. Everything is controlled via the CTS2 screen.
MOVE Bumper has created a unique product that can fill a large void within our market, offering an inexpensive product for the DIY truck owner not afraid to get his hands dirty and do a little fabrication on his own. When outfitted with a couple LED Tiger Lights and the Edge EAS Switch system, it all works out to be a great addition for any truck, whether it’s used strictly off-road or running down the highway on a dark backcountry night. These heavy duty bumpers are inexpensive, effective, good looking and they even add some additional functionality to your truck: a homerun on every count. DW
When it comes time to lay the final beads on all the seams, remember to take your time and bounce around from one spot to another. Too much heat in one place can cause the pieces to start to warp and knock the bumpers alignment off when it goes back on the truck.