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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Not entirely sure I haven't lost my mind, this thread will show either the win or fail of my rear bumper build. I've never seen a bumper built like what I plan to do so keep that in mind! At any rate it will be something totally different. It'll give me a huge gain in departure angle and hopefully keep the same factory look.

Basically I will cut out the rear cross member and weld this in. The plastic end caps will be retained for now, surprisingly I've yet to knock them off. That one tree incident doesn't count. :badrazz:

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The following posts will be updated as I make progress. Hopefully it will be done this weekend. I've made some rough cuts tonight. No going back!

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
So this is the list of supplies:

-2 x 5 x 1/4" tube cut to 47 3/8"
-2 x 4 x 1/4" tube same length ($80 for tubing)
-Baja Designs S2 Sport ($100/pair)
-Old Budbuilt skid for scrap 3/16" steel (free)
-Ebay weld on recovery points ($30)
-Receiver hitch tube ($20)
-2" spare tire spacer ($30)
-Some welding supplies, cut-off wheels, blending pads...
-Tin snips and razor for stock plastic

So less than $300 including Baja Design lights :lol:

Here are some build pics. I completely cut off the rear crossmember, then welded both tubes together and welded that to the FJ. The first day I started there was still snow on the ground which made a mess in the shop.

Machined a tube on a Bridgeport mill for the light cut outs and receiver tube.
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Done and ready for some welding.
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All bumper plastic removed.
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Time to cut out the crossmember.
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Couldn't help myself. Dino with a mouth full of dirt? That was all sitting in the frame.
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Some cleaning up still to do but that's basically it.

Used the plasma cutter to cut out the backside for access to the Baja Design lights on both sides.
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Time to weld the 2 tubes together. I fully welded and ground back to flush the top and stitched the bottom side.
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I drove it like this for a week until I could finish:
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The old skidplate I've been cutting steel from:
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Frame closed back up and receiver tube welded in.
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Time to make some light mounts. BD's, best in the business!!! Could have went with their flush mount but like the look of these completely flush better.
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Tac'd on a recovery point. Is this strong enough? Better put a fat bead all the way around....
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So it took about 20 hours in the end of cutting, grinding, welding etc.... but the end result is awesome! Really happy with how it turned out. Squirted on some paint and....
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
My FJ's paint was absolutely nasty from metal dust and snow and me not washing it for 2 weeks. I could see metal specks in the paint. So I washed it up all good this morning to take pics. Like I said before, I'm in love! I may not even get the aluminum cover made. I like the plain black look. The trailer harness plug was welded to the receiver tube behind the bumper. Still need to wire the lights. It gives me 2" additional clearance at the bumper tube and 5.5" of clearance over the stock receiver hitch. Keep in mind I have a 1.5" body lift so I'm able to weld this up higher. I thought about making it completely flush with the hatch but wouldn't be able to stand on anything to reach the roof rack and if I backed into a tree the hatch would be crushed instead of the bumper. Keeping the stock plastic corners gives it a completely different look.
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There is 1" of clearance between the hitch tube and tire. Used some washers to space it away from the bumper. That means I can fit a 36" tire on there, and bigger with some modifications... I know its pretty close, I never tow anything but a drop hitch should still work.
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Discussion Starter #11
Picked up the steel tubing today. Goodnight this is heavy. Calculator says about 80 lbs. So it still weighs less than your average steel bumper considering I will be cutting out the rear cross member. Should have saved 14 lbs by going 3/16" but 1/4" will do the job better and what's another 14 lbs? I'm temporarily handing the project off to my brother to machine the light cut outs and receiver tube hole. I would love to do it myself but I no longer work at a company that allows me easy access to the machines. I made him promise to take some pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
This is after 12 hours of work until 1 AM this morning. I'm in love with it!

Still have to:
-Trim side plastic cleaner
-Weld on trailer harness plug
-Weld light tabs
-Spare tire barely hits
-Order bent aluminum cover (1 month lead time)
-Weld in receiver hitch tube
-Weld on recovery points
-Paint

Current measurement is about 2" additional clearance at the bumper tube and 5.5" of clearance over the stock receiver hitch. I could have went higher tuck but for a few reasons I decided to do it this way. I'll update the first post with build pics when I finish this thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks everyone.

Nice fab work!
Thanks! I went into it without a full plan for everything so it kinda tested me. I could have spent the hours on design time and nailed down everything beforehand, have a shop CNC laser cut the steel out for me etc... but kinda wanted a bigger challenge than what I've done in the past. Still got to use the "old school" handheld plasma cutter. I'm happy how everything's turned out so far. I actually was able to cut up my old budbuilt skids for some steel pieces. There's some more work to do, can't wait!

G'Day,
Looks great.... will look even better once its painted VB !!!!
cheers
Baz
:blueblob:
IDK about that.... :lol:
 
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