It’s about time for an update! And yes, I’m starting this off with another bridge picture:

On the way over the bridge

When last we left off, the welder couldn’t meet up with us, so we got a bunch of welds cleaned up, drilled holes for seatbelt mounts, and other smaller tasks accomplished. This Sunday I made it over the river by 10:15 and we were backing up to his shop by 11.

The first task was to mount up the swingarm. We clamped some plate to the top of the bumper, moved things back and forth and up and down, and finally found the right spot. He fired up the welder and got to work.

Prelim welding

Once that was in place, we greased and assembled the swingarm cups and bearings, pressed them in with a socket, and set it onto the spindle. Not bad!

castle nut

There’s a droop of maybe 1/2″ on the far side of the hinge, and even after torquing the castle nut down just a hair of vertical play in the arm.

Moving the swingarm

I wasn’t concerned about the droop all that much, because the next part was welding a receiver to the other side. After lots of consultation, we decided to cut a flat plate and weld that to the face of the bumper, and then weld a section of angle iron to that to act as the shelf it sits on:

That's beefy

While that was cooling down, I had him weld my seatbelt bungs into the rollbar, the spare tire plate onto the standoff, the bolts for the Hi-Lift to the bumper, and the bolts for the spare.

Then, we pulled the whole bumper off to weld two plates of angle iron in behind the outer bumper mounting holes–one side to the frame and the other to the flat plate across the back of the frame. This should provide support for the weight of the tire and bumper.

Setting up to strengthen the frame

Frame supports

Once that was all done, we threw everything into the back of the truck, paid the man, and headed back to Brian’s place. There we drilled out the mounting holes for the bumper, put that back in, mounted the swingarm, and tested the height of the receiver on the tailgate: too high! We had to chop about 1″ off the top of the receiver to clear the tailgate as it came down all the way, but there’s still plenty of backstop left to keep the arm from hitting the back of the truck. The last thing we did was drill a hole for a receiver pin; by then it was 6PM and time for a swim in the river.

Bumper in place with jack mounted

When I get home this evening I’ll shoot some pictures of the swingarm open and add them here for reference.

So, next steps are:

  • Pull everything back apart and clean up all the welds.
  • Bondo up any holes and sand everything smooth.
  • Etching primer on everything (POR-15 on the frame welds)
  • Some kind of black high-impact paint to finish everything off
  • Find a lock solution for the jack
  • Pick up some lug nuts for the spare
  • Find some kind of mounting solution for the license plate
  • Run wiring to the license plate for lighting
  • Mount it all back up and go!
Date posted: June 25, 2012 | Filed under Bumper, Friends, Progress, Trip Logs | Leave a Comment »

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