This is part 2 of our build up of a tube bumper and winch mount for ‘Ol Blue. Today we Gusset the frame and add tube reinforcement, then mount and wire the winch!
I say “would like” on the picture above because even though I usually go in with a plan, parts of it are almost always changing. I like to not make my build plans too rigid that way I can change and modify the design as the build progresses.
I had an interesting issue with this build in that the clearance between the radiator/grill and winch plate was not large enough for there to be any reinforcement in front of the winch or I wouldn’t be able to get it out. This is a problem because typically the fairlead bolts to a vertical plate in front of the winch. My solution to this was to use two of the fairlead roller bolts and add two additional bolts to the rear. It should work out fine.
If I end up bending the fairlead someday, guess what? It’s only metal and at that time I can either fix it or build a new one that is even stronger.
I like to show the picture above with the chain come-a-long hooked to the bumper to show that fabrication isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. This is DIY metal fabrication after all, and it requires ingenuity. The gap between the bumper and fender didn’t quite match from side to side, so I had to use the chainfall to pull the tube out just a bit until I could weld in the reinforcement.
The gussets should really tie everything together and make it strong. Not to mention it cleans up the front end and makes it look a little bit more like a bumper.
You can buy a premade winch solenoid extension kit but if you need the solenoid further away than 18″ you will have to make your own anyways.
As seen in the pic above there are 3 main power wires going from the solenoid to the winch and I didn’t want to get them mixed up. So I bought colored electrical tape that was the same color as the terminal on the winch and solenoid pack.
More pics of it off-road here: KS Rocks Offroad Trip
This was a fun project, and it is one that you can do yourself at home with a welder, drill, grinder, and some motivation. It doesn’t have to have bent tubing in it. Simply adjust the design of the bumper to use the tools and abilities that you have. You can easily go out and spend $1,000+ on an aftermarket winch bumper, but that is expensive and you don’t learn anything. Nobody knows what you want better than you, so go out there and make it yourself.