Ol’ Blue ’71 Chevy – Rear Tube Bumper Build


Finally scrounged up some time to build a proper high clearance rear bumper for Ol’ Blue.

Check out the build on how I did it.

Check out the rest of build post on how I did it.

Trying to get a vision of the future. Step 1: throw some parts up and stare at them. Step 2: go do some internet research and find some good ideas.

Trying to get a vision of the future. Step 1: throw some parts up and stare at them. Step 2: go do some internet research and find some good ideas.

Appears as though some trimming is necessary

Appears as though some trimming is necessary

No going back now.

No going back now. I cut as high as possible without exposing the bed crossmembers.

Removal is done, time to start adding stuff back on.

Removal is done, time to start adding stuff back on.

I usually add vehicle trim molding to cut sheetmetal edges to give it a finished look and prevent cuts/scrapes. Sometimes this stuff is hard to work with, so I put it in the oven on the lowest setting for ~5-10 minutes to soften it up.

I usually add vehicle trim molding to cut sheetmetal edges to give it a finished look and prevent cuts/scrapes. Sometimes this stuff is hard to work with, so I put it in the oven on the lowest setting for ~5-10 minutes to soften it up.

Added edge molding

Added edge molding

Brainstorming......

More brainstorming. Already got the first tube cut/capped and tacked on under the tailgate.

Before I got to add any more tube, I had to move half the stuff in my garage to get a fresh tube out. A 24' tube in a ~25" deep garage is a tight fit.

Before I got to add any more tube, I had to move half the stuff in my garage to get a fresh tube out. A 24′ tube in a ~25′ deep garage is a tight fit.

Always remember to clean your tubing before running it through your bender. Mine had a lot of grinding dust and some light surface rust I had to remove before bending.

Always remember to clean your tubing before running it through your bender. Mine had a lot of grinding dust and some light surface rust I had to remove before bending.

Time to bend some tubing!

Time to bend some tubing!

Measuring so I can trim the ends.

Measuring so I can trim the ends. Notice I taped some pictures of similar ideas onto the tailgate to reference.

Time to notch some tubing to make connectors between the two tubes.

Time to notch some tubing to make connectors between the two tubes.

Making a notch for the receiver hitch tube.

Making a notch for the receiver hitch tube.

Welded in Receiver tube. It will receiver more bracing shortly.

Welded in Receiver tube. It will receive more bracing shortly. Tube looks a little rough, but I’m OK with it since it was recycled form another project.

This is as far as we got day 1. To be updated/continued soon!

This is as far as we got day 1.

Cutting out a template for reinforcement brackets. Thin card board works great for this.

Cutting out a template for reinforcement brackets. Thin card board works great for this.

Laying out on 3/16" steel and marking with a soap stone. Can also be marked with Sharpie.

Laying out on 3/16″ steel and marking with a soap stone. Can also be marked with Sharpie.

Cut out two plates with the plasma cutter. Just need cleaned up.

Cut out two plates with the plasma cutter. Just need cleaned up.

My tools of choice for cleaning up steel. 7" grinder for shaping and initial smoothing then 4.5" grinder with abrasive flap disc for final smoothing/finishing.

My tools of choice for cleaning up steel. 7″ grinder for shaping and initial smoothing then 4.5″ grinder with abrasive flap disc for final smoothing/finishing.

Plates done and mocked up on the truck.

Plates done and mocked up on the truck.

More bumper reinforcing brackets, same process.

More bumper reinforcing brackets, same process.

All 4 bumper brackets on. Actually found an already bent piece of scrap tubing that fit perfect to reinforce the side of the bumper. Got it cut and fitted here, need to make another one for the other side.

All 4 bumper brackets on. Actually found an already bent piece of scrap tubing that fit perfect to reinforce the side of the bumper. Got it cut and fitted here, need to make another one for the other side.

Gertrude says "close enough, quit over-analyzing....."

Gertrude says “close enough, quit over-analyzing…..”

As you can see in the picture above, I bent a piece of scrap to match the angle, but due to the design of my tube notcher, I couldn't notch it. It never looks as pretty when done with a grinder. So I tacked it to another scrap piece of tube then notched it.

As you can see in the picture above, I bent a piece of scrap to match the angle, but due to the design of my tube notcher, I couldn’t notch it. It never looks as pretty when done with a grinder. So I tacked it to another scrap piece of tube then notched it.

Almost done. Time for some grip/footing material since this is a truck.

Almost done. Time for some grip/footing material since this is a truck.

Cut out and laid in expanded steel. Made it flush with the tops of the tubes, so if you get down on eye level, it doesn't stick up above the bumper.

Cut out and laid in expanded steel. Made it flush with the tops of the tubes, so if you get down on eye level, it doesn’t stick up above the bumper.

Finished product.

Finished product.

Finished product. I still need to cut off and cap the tube nearest to the tire, but I ran out of time. I will fix it here soon.

Finished product. I still need to cut off and cap the tube nearest to the tire, but I ran out of time. I will fix it here soon.

I was going for light and simple, but still wanted an integrated receiver hitch and some protection should I encounter any trees/rocks/shopping carts/Honda Civics while out and about.

For some more pictures of the rear bumper outside and in action check out the pics in my post: Ol’ Blue Chevy – First Shakedown Run

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