Front height with steel bumper

Shdwdrgn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
568
For you folks running stock height with a steel front bumper - did you notice any sag from the extra weight? I have Mark's front shims, giving me about 3/4" lift, but I'm wondering if I need to start investigating into leveling kits to keep the front end from dropping to much?

Materials pricing seems real good right now... using a combination of 3/16" and 10ga steel for the front, I'm probably looking at around $160 in materials, including the 2" receiver and tow shackles. I'm still trying to find suitable fog lights, and nobody seems to have any cardboard available right now that I can use for making my pattern. Amazing what stupid little things can hold up a project!
 

Shdwdrgn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
568
Oops! Meant to drop this under the off-road section. Could someone please move it for me?
 

Bartonmd

Member
Nov 20, 2011
545
Bone stock, mine dropped about 1/2" in the front with the bumper and both skids on it...

Mike
 

The_Roadie

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Nov 19, 2011
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Portland, OR
I moved the thread.

It's pretty easy to estimate the droopage you'll get. My bumper was about 110 pounds, or 90 pounds over stock. Winch, if you have it, is another 60-80 depending if you have synthetic line. Skid plates are a bunch more, but not as heavy as a bumper nor so far forward.

So just get a 100 pound person to step on the front bumper while you measure the sag.

Same way we estimate rear sag due to trailer hitch weight, although a 400 pound person usually needs a stool to step up to the hitch. :wink:

Added: You can also do the math if you knew what spring rate your springs were. Assuming 350 pounds per inch for the typical ones (440 for the stiffest "89" springs), times two (one spring per side), times 0.67 for the lever arm effect of where the struts mount to the lower control arm. So you have about 450 pounds/inch force resisting any increase in load, so about 1/4" drop the the typical bumper. See ... math is useful.
 

Shdwdrgn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
568
OK, so at worst I'll be back down to the stock height (ugh).

I finally found a place that had shackles today. They're drop-forged, but rated for 6500 pounds, so I figured they would work. Still not having any luck finding cardboard. Everyone crushes their boxes as soon as the appliances are unpacked. Sheesh.

Hey Roadie - I'm following your lead in mounting the hitch receiver flush with the front of my bumper. Did you ever come up with a solution for the 5/8" pin? I can get steel rod here from the welding shop, so I was considering taking a piece of 5/8 about 24" long, bending the last 4" down 90 degrees on one end and turning a taper on the other end. Then I can use some 3/4" pipe on the inside of the bumper and make a channel for this pin to slide in. This will put the 4" 'handle' out to the side of the radiator shield, making it easier to reach up underneath and pull the pin in and out of the receiver. Maybe find a way to require a 1/4 turn of the handle to lock the pin in place, but I'm thinking overall this might work.
 

navigator

Member
Dec 3, 2011
504
would you lose much strength if you cut two holes in the bottom of the bumper one on each side just big enough to get your hand in there and put the pin in?
 

Shdwdrgn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
568
navigator said:
would you lose much strength if you cut two holes in the bottom of the bumper one on each side just big enough to get your hand in there and put the pin in?

The underside of the bumper will be open. The problem is the skid-plate protecting the radiator, which closes up the area in the center of the bumper (which is where the receiver is located). I'm just trying to use a longer bar so the hitch pin is extended out to the side to a place where the underside of the bumper is still open and exposed.

I'm also curious is the pin needs to be hardened steel, or if mild steel is ok for it? I would think you are working on the sheer-strength of the steel anyway, so mild should be fine?
 

The_Roadie

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Nov 19, 2011
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Shdwdrgn said:
Did you ever come up with a solution for the 5/8" pin?
I never did. It's in a hateful place and I end up using long tongs to sneak the pin into position, and then long tongs to hold the locking clip while I push on it with a piece of rebar (same rebar I carry to bang ouf CV shafts). I'm getting a new Mike Barton radiator skid plate soon and need to come up with a FaUSttPP (Final and Ultimate Solution to the Pin Problem) by the time I install it. :redface:
 

Shdwdrgn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
568
Roadie - I'll get some pictures as I work out the mock-up. I know I suck at explaining ideas, but I have a couple of ideas on how to make this work, and the pin only needs to be slid over about 4" to provide good clearance and a solid lock.
 

The_Roadie

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Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
suburbs said:
I was told there would be no math.
No math on a technical forum I hang out in? :crackup: Not happening. :raspberry: Here, EVERYBODY gets a daily dose of math. :wink:

Good one. :thumbsup:

Mid-terms next week. :eek:

View attachment 18907
 

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Shdwdrgn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
568
So I'm thinking about improvements I could make while designing this new bumper, and one area that keeps getting my focus is the grill guard (aka 'push bar'). If I weld this straight to the new bumper, any impact through it will transmit directly to the vehicle frame. This is good for solidity, but bad for vehicle survivability in an accident. Also if I use this to bump another vehicle, you get a pretty solid thump on the initial contact. My idea is to cut the vertical framework as normal and weld this in place to the bumper. Next, I want to find some small-gauge leaf springs (like from a utility trailer?) that have the curved profile similar to the front of the guard. Position one leaf of the spring in front of each vertical frame of the guard, welding the top of the leaf to the top of the frame so that the leaf sticks out about an inch in front of the frame. The bottom of each leaf would be pinned to the bottom of the frame with a ring that keeps the leaf in close contact, but allows the leaf to slide as pressure is applied. Once finished, the leaf could be wrapped in a similar heavy rubber as used on typical push-bars.

The idea here is to end up with a spring area. When you first come in contact with another vehicle (or object), the leafs will absorb a small amount of the impact, then start to compress back towards the guard frame until they are touching. At this point the leafs and guard frame will appear and act as a single solid unit like a typical grill guard.

Will I use this to push other vehicles often enough to be worth the extra complexity? I don't know. But it seems like a fairly straightforward setup that would give that extra bit of cushion when required.

One other consideration I've had... In the case of a sideways impact, something catching in the grill guard can really mangle things up. I'm wondering about using a handful of smaller bolts to attach the guard to the bumper, with the idea that if there is too much strain on the guard during an impact, the bolts would either break off, or pull through the bumper BEFORE the bumper itself was seriously mangled and caused stress on the vehicle frame. Any thoughts?
 

The_Roadie

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Nov 19, 2011
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Portland, OR
Shdwdrgn said:
Will I use this to push other vehicles often enough to be worth the extra complexity?
I'm normally a boy scout about helping other folks, and I would never consider pushing on some other vehicle's plastic bumper. Not unless I got them to sign a damage waiver form first so they wouldn't sue me when their bumper crumples. And why would you even need to push another vehicle? If they're stuck, pull them out with an extraction strap IF you can locate a suitable tow point. If they're disabled, they need a tow truck or a friend, not a push. Liability city. Offer to call them a tow, drive them to where they can get fuel, or give them some of your spare fuel if you're in expedition mode. If the disabled one is your friend's vehicle and you know he won't sue you, just use your normal bumper with a tire carcass as a push pad.

If you can't locate a suitable tow point, you'll be in the next video like this:

[video=youtube;19hUTpbm9OM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19hUTpbm9OM[/video]
 

Bartonmd

Member
Nov 20, 2011
545
the roadie said:
I'm normally a boy scout about helping other folks, and I would never consider pushing on some other vehicle's plastic bumper. Not unless I got them to sign a damage waiver form first so they wouldn't sue me when their bumper crumples. And why would you even need to push another vehicle? If they're stuck, pull them out with an extraction strap IF you can locate a suitable tow point. If they're disabled, they need a tow truck or a friend, not a push. Liability city. Offer to call them a tow, drive them to where they can get fuel, or give them some of your spare fuel if you're in expedition mode. If the disabled one is your friend's vehicle and you know he won't sue you, just use your normal bumper with a tire carcass as a push pad.

If you can't locate a suitable tow point, you'll be in the next video like this:

[video=youtube;19hUTpbm9OM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19hUTpbm9OM[/video]

Exactly. IMO, too much time, effort, and marginalization put into it for something you shouldn't be doing anyway...

Mike
 

Bartonmd

Member
Nov 20, 2011
545
the roadie said:
I never did. It's in a hateful place and I end up using long tongs to sneak the pin into position, and then long tongs to hold the locking clip while I push on it with a piece of rebar (same rebar I carry to bang ouf CV shafts). I'm getting a new Mike Barton radiator skid plate soon and need to come up with a FaUSttPP (Final and Ultimate Solution to the Pin Problem) by the time I install it. :redface:

I actually wanted to mount mine flush, but seeing/hearing what a PITA Bill's is to install and remove, I figured it would be better to have it stick out another 2" and have the pin outside, rather than have people who actually use the 2" receiver with any regularity cussing me all the time...

Mike
 

Shdwdrgn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
568
Regarding the pushing... I frequently see people who have broken down in the middle of the road for some reason... sitting at a light and their engine dies, that sort of thing. In my area, a high percentage of folks drive SUV's, and a good number of vehicles I see broken down have steel bumpers. My consideration is mostly for the cases where someone just needs a quick bump to get them over to the shoulder. I wouldn't dream of doing such a thing to someone with a plastic bumper. However, the more I think about it, the more I doubt the effort is worth it.

As for the mounting of the receiver... I don't believe I will be using mine very often, but it never hurts to have the option available. Unfortunately, I must have a front license plate in my state, and with a shorter bumper height, I'm running out of room to locate the plate. I am considering hanging my plate from the middle cross-piece between the grill-guard frame (the location on most guards where extra lights are mounted). I want to let it swing on a hinge so that normally it would cover up the receiver, but then I can pull the plate up out of the way when I need to. Its still a concept, as I need to figure out the placement of parts to see if it will even work, but I have to figure out something. The other option is to have a spring-loaded hinge along the bottom of the plate, and that may turn out to be the better option for allowing clearance when the receiver is in use.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
You don't have to have the plate mounted directly in the center of the bumper. I see a lot of Ford E-series vans with it off to the driver side, for example.
 

Shdwdrgn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
568
Sparky said:
You don't have to have the plate mounted directly in the center of the bumper. I see a lot of Ford E-series vans with it off to the driver side, for example.

Agreed, the law does not make it a requirement to mount the plate in the center of your bumper... however my OCD does require it. :crazy: Also there is the issue that by the time you add the grill guard, tow shackles, and fog lights, the center of the bumper is the only place left.

And yes... the radio and onstar antennas being off-center DO drive me nuts.
 

The_Roadie

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Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Shdwdrgn said:
... however my OCD does require it.
You really have to get over that before you do any offroading, or else you'll lose sleep at night over asymmetrical brush scratches. And heaven forbid you obsess over an asymmetrical frame ding caused by a rock hitting one frame rail in preference to the other one.

Here - you can fall asleep while contemplating my plate location. :wootwoot:

View attachment 18982

You know, the exhaust manifold makes your entire engine a hotbed of asymmetry. Better get the V8. Oh, wait - the air intake on the V8 is on the passenger side. Oh, WAITAMINNUTE! The steering wheel isn't centered in the vehicle!

There are pills for that, you know. :frown:
 

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Shdwdrgn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
568
You're mean :frown:
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
:crackup:
 

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