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MOVE Bumper’s DIY Kit

Diesel truck enthusiasts are a very unique breed of people, maybe it comes from their upbringing, growing up around cars and trucks with their dads or just because that’s the kind of friends they ran around with in high school. Regardless, a lot of truck owners out there love being able to save themselves a little coin on aftermarket parts because they can do the labor themselves—or, simply because they are willing to put in the effort and learn as they go. Looking to cater to the DIY crowd and save them a little on expenses, the folks at MOVE Bumpers of Lewiston, Montana, saw an opportunity to take a different approach to offering an already hot item.

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HD Bumpers

The aftermarket steel bumper really exploded over the course of the last few years, and there are now dozens of companies out there that offer bumpers with stronger impact resistance and mounting locations for extra lighting and winches. A big drawback to some of these bumpers, however, is the labor-intensive fabrication and high-freight charges that leave them with a hefty price tag.

That Standard Bumper kit from MOVE offers a sleek but bold design for a heavy-duty front bumper. With mounting locations for two sets of square lights and a 20-inch light bar, the 2001-2002 Chevrolet HD will soon be mounted on should be able to turn the day into night while looking great and offering great front-end protection.

Obviously the first part of this project will be getting the stock bumper removed. It’s always smart to disconnect the batteries when working on a truck, especially when you plan to be grounding the vehicle to do some welding.

With the grille shell, bumper, and fog lights the factory tow hooks will also get unbolted as the new bumper brackets will bolt in their place.

This is where MOVE Bumpers came into the picture. The design and engineer team at MOVE have developed a complete line of DIY style bumper kits to fit just about every make and model in the light-duty market. By supplying the customer with laser cut steel pieces that have been precisely formed and bent to fit each specific application, anyone with a welder and some fabrication skills can put one of these bumpers together. The DIY kits are substantially cheaper than completed bumpers on the market, and an owner can take a sense of pride in knowing he’s built something with his own two hands, not to mention their three main designs (Standard, Pre-Runner, Full Grille) look incredible on the front of any truck.

With the supplied upper-and-lower bumper brackets bolted loosely into place, the main center section of the bumper can be lifted into place and centered. The help of a few friends will make this a little easier, but the floor jack and ratchet strap also proved useful. While a square and level can help dial in the location of this center piece, a good set of eyes to make sure the lines all follow along the grille and brackets like it should is key.

Once the centerpiece was tacked into place and measurements were taken to be sure it was even and perfectly centered on the truck, the outer wings could be tacked into place. MOVE’s engineers put in a lot of effort to make sure these precut and pre-bent pieces would all fit the truck perfectly.

With both outer wings tacked into place, you’ll finally get a good look at what the finished product is going to look like on the truck. There is still a lot of work left to do before this project is finished. Notice how nicely the centerpiece follows the grille and how the wings follow along the lights.

The last main pieces to go on are the outer end caps; these will really complete the look of the bumper and help add rigidity to the structure as a whole.

The endcaps have been tacked into place and the bumper can now start being finish welded. Remember to take your time and skip around from place to place when putting in the final beads. The steel will move and warp with heat, so be prepared to spend some time checking to make sure nothing moves too far out of place.

Designed on state-of-the art 3D simulators, MOVE’s CNC and metal-forming machines turn ordinary 3/16-inch plate steel in easy-to-fabricate kits that can be turned into a completed bumper in a matter of hours. Kits can be special ordered through their website with multiple options to choose from, each bumper kit comes standard with square cutouts for two sets of lights on the outer edges and a 20-inch light bar in the center. Kits can be modified for more or less lighting and even a winch mount.

Tiger Lights out of Tangent, Oregon, makes a pretty big assortment of LED lights that all offer Limited Lifetime Warranties. Their new 20-inch Crossfire Light Bar and two sets of their LED Square Flood lights will fit perfectly into the new bumper and help turn the night back into day.

The fully tacked bumper was removed from the truck to help make tacking the light bar brackets and tabs into place easier. Access to the back side of the bumper was a bit tough and this will ensure everything is located perfectly so the final installation will be easier.

The MIG welder was fired up and the final beads were laid down along all the joints, both front and back. After all of the welding is complete, you’ll want to go over all of them with an angle grinder and some flap discs. You may need to go back and fill some spots with weld to make sure there are no holes, but the more time you spend prepping and smoothing these joints, the better the finished product will turn out.

After an hour or two of grinding and sanding, the bumper is finally ready for its finish coat. This particular bumper will be headed to powdercoat for a textured black finish, which should look great on the glossy black truck. Spray-on bed liner is also a popular choice for these bumpers, as it stands up really well to the road debris and is hard to chip and damage. Follow along next issue to see the complete bumper get installed and wired up for lights.

The kit used in this article is the Standard Bumper kit for 2001-2002 Chevrolet Silverado HDs; it uses their standard lighting setup and will be powdercoated and outfitted with lighting from TigerLights.com. Part 1 of the project will cover the fabrication of the bumper with Part 2 following up with the finishing, coating and wiring of lights. The fabrication process can be rather time consuming and will require the help of a buddy or two (obviously the more experience you have under a welding mask, the easier this job will be). A good MIG welder, 4.5-inch grinder with various flap and sanding discs, and basic hand tools will be required. Once the fabrication is completed and all the welds and are cleaned up, there are multiple options to finishing it off: powder coat, paint, or even a spray-on bed liner can help protect the steel from rusting and offer great durability from road debris for years to come.

MOVE’s found a very interesting angle at offering a product that could be much easier for some owners to justify thanks to the lower initial investment , after a little elbow grease and sweat of the brow any DIY’er can have a fully custom heavy duty bumper without blowing their budget. DW

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SOURCE:

Move Bumpers

MoveBumpers.com