So i went over to Eastwood today, bought some epoxy primer, and their extreme chassis black. Supposed to be pretty durable, and its an aerosol so i dont have to worry about trying to brush it on the bumper, and into all the crevices. Hopefully i can start painting them in a week or two, but first i need to deal with this:
I dont want to cut the sheetmetal, so im modifying the clutch lever again. If all goes well, ill have this sorted tomorrow!
In case you were wondering, i weighed it, and the bumper comes in at 130#. The winch weighs in at 72! And thats w/o 90' of 7/16 cable on the drum.
So id call this project complete but if you look closely, youll notice the clutch lever is behind the valance!
Im gonna look into it tomorrow to see if ill be modifying the lever again, or making an extension or something.
Welding is basically done!
Mocking up window for fairlead:
This Powerwagon winch has an usual handle (it was also cut down at least once before i got the winch). It also doesnt clear the bumper.
Pulled the winch apart to modify handle, as i dont want to cut a notch on the bumper. The inside is nice and clean, and recently greased too
i straightened the handle and reassembled to mock up:
Then bent a 90º in it in a different place.
Tomorrow im going to do some touchup on a couple welds & corners, then pull the cap back off the winch to reseal it (it still needs rtv on it). Then ill throw the whole thing back on the bronco for some proper 'finished pics'!
Gussets for the bumper brackets:
I decided on two for each side. While im sure one would probably be sufficient, it just looked out of place with one, and i figure a second cant hurt.
Time to weld those seams!
...and more welding....
...and more welding!
So if all goes well, ill be removing the bumper wednesday to begin grinding all the seams and getting them cleaned up, then lots more welding & grinding after that.
I got the driver corner finished:
I knew i was going to be doing some tube work, so i ordered some stuff, and took a couple days to upgrade the bender:
New base with swiveling locking castors, and a hydraulic conversion courtesy of SWAG Offroad.
Just in case i might ever want to switch back to manual for some dumb reason, i added 1/2" holes to bolt it to the floor, and the castors are bolted in place via tapped holes in the base plate.
It is soo much easier to use than by hand! Wish i did this years ago, makes bending tube so much easier to do by myself. No spring-back on the bends either, which is a huge plus over manual bending. So with that done, lets bend some tube!
Monday i took some measurements and got the main hoop bent and tacked in place:
..and then bent up some side bars yesterday:
Man, i am super excited with how this thing is coming out!! Hopefully tomorrow ill be out there working on it again; i want to add some gussets to the bumper brackets, and then im going to start welding up all the seams.
At some point, the bumper needs to come off so i can mount the winch, and then lay out the window ill need to cut for the cable to come thru. We're getting close to completion on this thing!!!
So i tinkered a bit, this is what i came up with. Its very similar to what i had originally, just some minor changes to the corner to tighten it up a bit:
4" across the bottom, the angled pieces taper up to 3"
...and from there tapers again...
...until the corner, which ends at 1".
Pretty tight to the body:
The end is capped, and i added a bent piece in the bottom to add rigidity to the corner.
Im pretty happy with this, i think its going to work out well. Now i need to duplicate it on the other side!
I still need to add gussets from the bumper brackets, add a tubular brush guard, mount the light bar, cut the opening for the winch fairlead, and then do an absolute ton of welding!