Okay, so it's been a bit since I posted anything about the Bumper project. As some of you may have seen on my main build thread (Vandit Build Thread
) I was pretty occupied for a while getting my 4x4 conversion finished up. Now that I have finished that and have taken some time off from focusing on a big project I have started to dive back into the bumper build.
When I last posted about the bumper build I was still in the planning/design stage, and unfortunately, I still havenít moved much past that! There is a good reason for that though. I have started trying to teach myself some new software that is going to work much better for getting some workable parts and files that can hopefully better communicate with machines like CNCs and laser cutters. So I began re-modeling my original design in Fusion360. Itís been a slow process to learn, and I feel very much like I donít know what I am doing but itís been a fun exercise and I think overall it has helped me get a better design going. It has brought some problems to light and has helped me make a more real world workable design.
So a few things that have shifted from the previous design iteration.
- I have decided to make it out of steel rather than aluminum. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is cost. Even with this being out of steel I think it's going to be a pricey bumper. My current plan is to have the same fabricator who did my sliders help me build the bumper as he is a great fabricator and has access to lots CNCís, press brakes, and more.
- I have eliminated the idea of a storage box within the structure of the bumper as I think it would yield a very minimal amount of storage and would overly complicate the design. Instead, I will most likely add a center skid (where the factory spare sits) where I can mount my air tank and compressor and can maybe come up with a system to utilize that area as extra storage if need be.
- I changed the swing arm designs to hopefully help make them lighter and stronger by using sheet metal that is bent and welded rather than a square tube structure that I had before.
- I changed the pivot design as I felt like I wasn't going to get enough strength out of the small bolt design similar to what Aluminess does. So I currently am planning on using a Carrier Hinge Bearing system (Link) that should give lots of rigidity and strength to the swingouts. (This was another driving factory for steel construction. I have yet to see one of these pivots out of aluminum.)
- I am sure there are some more tweaks, but these are the main ones I can think of right now.
I feel like I am getting closer to actually having a ready to go design to start building, but still have a few things to dial in. I am hopeful that I will have the dimensions 100% in the next week or so and then hope to start getting things going on this within the next couple of weeks. The ultimate goal is to have it completed by the middle of May or at the latest by June.
Below are some updated renderings of the new design if anyone is interested in it. Please excuse the very crappy low quality 3D scan of the rear of my van. It was a quick scan done with my phone just as a test to see how things were stacking up. It's not a good scan but at least it gets the point across.