22 August 2011

How to make a bumper out of scrap

For some reason I couldn't live with the stock bumper on our van.
The bolt-on tow hitch was the real issue,
it was too low for some of the trailers we pull.
There must be a bunch of Ford E350 vans that can't pull trailers with this hitch.

In addition,
 the hitch would hit the curb when loading up the van at the shop.
Two excuses is enough for me to start a low priority project!

good ole van

At the time we were working on a job that used some perfect donor pipe.
Finally I had scrounged up the parts needed to build a decent bumper.

last view

The bumper part was easy,
it was trying to figure out how to attach the bumper that was difficult.
I drove around without a bumper for a couple days.


The old bumper was a perfect template for the new bumper.

new bumper
old bumper

we had used over 30 or so feet of this 4" pipe,
so yeah this is considered scrap!

almost ready to go

I wasn't too worried about removing the bumper,
so some funky looking brackets were torched out.
Its surprising how thin the stock frame material is.

bumper mounts

Hopefully they would be straight.
The bumper fit in perfectly.

new bumper

There have been some heavy trailers pulled and the bumper hasn't fallen off.
Actually this was built long enough back that I used it to pull Chief to the GNRS!

after a few months

There are some things I would have done differently.
The bumper gets a little slippery,
so some welded bumps or grip would help.
I may add some of non-skid tape or some epoxy + sand.

Some ramps would be helpful too.

air tank

Also I should have triple welded those 90's and caps.
At the time I was thinking "show" bumper and wanted smooth seams.
Not really important just looks more industrial or pipe-fitter correct.
The bumper is leak free,
and some bungs were welded in so it can be used as an air or water tank.

caution - bumper

And finally over the weekend the kids and I installed the cherry on top,
the yellow and black caution tape,
since it doubles as a "maintenance department" van.

hit me


Now how to do the front.



  1. Yeah, I was like, that is awful! Then the tape... Big improvement --looks official! I'm not joking, the tape helps.

    You are one crazy guy.

  2. Thanks AJ.
    There was something missing.
    Something cheesy yet crucial.
    It looks alot better from far away.
    Hopefully it keeps someone from rearending me,
    and ruining their car!