Fabricating a Bumper for a Jeep Cherokee XJ
The bumper on my off Road Jeep is very simple. It consists of a couple of pieces of angle that extend the unibody frame rails out. The winch plate is mounted on top of them. There are a couple of pieces of curved pipe extending to each side to protect the bottom of the head light surround.
Since Jenny drives her Jeep everywhere she goes, she wanted something that was both functional and nice looking. Had I been fabricating form scratch, I would have used a piece of 2×6 tubing and tapered the ends to make a nice looking bumper. However, the cost of a stick of steel was out of budget for the moment.
What I had to work with was a damaged bumper on a parts Jeep sitting in the grass by the barn. It was made from heavy steel it was just not exactly the shape I wanted. It also had a brush guard and winch plate integrated into the design. Jenny did not want the brush guard and does not have a winch.
I began by removing the bumper from the parts XJ. There was an extra bolt that simply would not come loose. I had to cut it with a torch to get it out.
I began by cutting off the brush guard and its mounting brackets. Next I cut out the winch plate. This left a big gaping hole in the center of the bumper. I cut a couple pieces of angle and used those to fill in the gap.
I did not like the way the bumper stuck out from the front of the Jeep, so I relocated the mounting holes to pull it in closer to the grill. I would have liked to have tapered the ends but that would have meant extensive reworking of the bumper. By setting it back, the tips don’t really stick out too far.
I painted the bumper flat black to mask some of the weld marks and to match her rear bumper. I trimmed the ends of her rear bumper to be similar to the cut of the front bumper.
I removed her twisted stock bumper and the stock air dam.
Mounting the bumper to her Jeep Cherokee, required trimming the front fenders since part of the bumper extends back under the grill. I used a straight edge and a sharpie to make a mark on the fender. I used a cut off wheel in my grinder to make the cut. I touched up the raw edge with spray paint.
I tied the vacuum bottle to one of the fender supports with wire for now. I will move it inside the engine compartment later as the cut of the bumper leaves it venerable to breakage where it is.
The new bumper gives her Jeep a muck more aggressive look. It also improves her approach angle for off road obstacles compared to the stock bumper.