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Old 07-06-2011, 07:21 PM
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Default Fabricating my own rear Bumper Steel or aluminium?

Well a year after my 2010 July 1st order date and no bumper from Bottorf fabrication. Only bright point with this debacle is I can still declare a lost on my 2010 taxes for the $550 I was ripped off theft/loss. Geez...somtimes its OK to file an extension I guess. I called today and they are restructuring = probably bankruptcy.

So I'm making my own bumper! So my question is should I make it out of steel or Aluminum? Seems I could be around 45 pounds with aluminum and probably about 95lbs with Steel. I have taken a beginning and intermediate welding class a few years ago and am confident I can make a tuff heavily reinforced bumper. Bottorf had a integrated gas tank skid plate that I though was cool. I may skip that and go for simplicity.

Today I found a local steel/metal shop that will sell scrap pieces of aluminum for $3.00 a pound. They have plenty of 1/4" and will also bend pieces that I need formed. I figure about $200 for aluminum in material max but probably less. $100 less if I went with steel.

I am going to make it wrap around all the way to the back of the fender arches. i also planned on a slight angled skid on the bottom, with support braces that bolt into the frame from each side. for rear fender protection. I will make cutouts for the reverse and fog lights. I will also integrate my reverse Park sensors into it. They are easy 1" holes. I plan to fully box it and maybe do kick plate on the top. As there are plenty of small pieces available at this local yard. Then spray it black with Rusolium truck bed liner. I wont have to worry about rust and using 1/4" with braces every 4/5 inches it should be able to take hit. My main focus is making the sides strong. As that is how my factory bumper got cracked. It seems your rear wheel goes down in a hole when you drop off a ledge and boom you bumper is cracked. I may cut holes directly through the lower portion of the rear fender and then bolt brackets on to the frame. What ever seems strongest as I draw it up.

Is square stock or round tube stronger for structural braces on the side protection?

I bet it will take about 3/4 rolls of aluminum welding wire to get it done. Welder is order today.

What is they saying? Necessity is the mother of all invention. Here I go!
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Last edited by bosshogt; 07-06-2011 at 07:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2011, 07:43 PM
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Fiberglass would be my choice becouse it is easier to repair. You can get a nice deep glossy surface as well.
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STOFFEL MASTERS & PROTOTYPES: Full production plastic injection molding and casting. Makers of the Land Rover Discovery 1 & 2 Sunroof Repair Kits and Power Window Regulator SNAP-IN Rollers and SOLID REPLICA Rollers. Do you have something you want made?
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:09 PM
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Fiberglass?
Wouldn't it have to be over 1" thick around the bumper and wrapped to a steel skeleton for support. Seems like that would cost more than the aluminum. I guess there is not much welding involved, but that is the fun part to me. Could you get to stong enought to support the rear end of the Discovery when it clanks on a rock? Or the rear scrapes over a ledge?
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:08 PM
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I saw several very nice aluminum bumpers at SEMA, but no one offers them for the Discovery anymore. Aluminum alloy is just strong as steel, depending on the alloy it may be more maleable and not wear as well. Go for the aluminum.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:59 AM
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Fiberglass has a strength greater than steel. It does not have to be thick. How thick is a boat hull? You can do alot of nice things with fiberglass. Repairs from bumps are easier to repair than pulling out dents. A couple brackets sandwhiched between the layers is all you need to hold it in place, add bolts if you want that look, but not necessary. The fabrication process is easy. Get some nice smooth thin panel board and create the shape. Apply a coat of paint to the inside of the panel board mould, then some resin and strips of cloth, smooth it out and you have a very nice bumper. Cheap and no one will no any better. Best part about it, you can make it look exactly like those extremly expensive steel and aluminum ones. Or even better becouse your not limited to bending the metal. Fiberglass can take on any shape you force it into. Youtube will show you the way.
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STOFFEL MASTERS & PROTOTYPES: Full production plastic injection molding and casting. Makers of the Land Rover Discovery 1 & 2 Sunroof Repair Kits and Power Window Regulator SNAP-IN Rollers and SOLID REPLICA Rollers. Do you have something you want made?

Last edited by LRD2&ME; 07-07-2011 at 03:05 AM.
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:11 AM
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i wouldn't pay $200 for aluminum to have to put all that labor in. I just bought a rear bumper from BritPart for $362. (that includes shipping across the pond)
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hilltoppersx View Post
i wouldn't pay $200 for aluminum to have to put all that labor in. I just bought a rear bumper from BritPart for $362. (that includes shipping across the pond)
I think my estimation was overkill @ $3.00 per 30 pound for aluminum from my scrap steel yard. At 35lbs max it would be $105 in materials.

How long did it take for that BritPart bumper to show up at your door step? Can you show me a picture. How heavy was it? Do your tail lights fit in it?

Dave
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:44 AM
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If you are installing a new bumper for protection and support go with 3/16th. steel, aluminum won't give you any sort of support.
Here is what I did for my truck.
Attached Thumbnails
Fabricating my own rear Bumper Steel or aluminium?-dscf0059-jpg  
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:53 AM
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Mike,

did you eliminate the lower tail lights all together?
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bosshogt View Post
I think my estimation was overkill @ $3.00 per 30 pound for aluminum from my scrap steel yard. At 35lbs max it would be $105 in materials.

How long did it take for that BritPart bumper to show up at your door step? Can you show me a picture. How heavy was it? Do your tail lights fit in it?

Dave

takes about 6 weeks for delivery. but i ordered it thru AB and am picking it up at their warehouse in upstate NY. yes it fits the stock tail lights. no it doesnt have sill protection.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:59 AM
 
 
 
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2011, bottorf, bumbers, bumper, discovery, fabricate, fabrication, ii, july, land, landrover, metal, rear, rover, steel


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