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Old 04-26-2016, 12:19 AM   #1
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A new '92-15 Ford E-Series/Econoline front bumper option

Even though I currently have an aftermarket bumper(a custom stubby JCR Jeep bumper fab'd by Brad to fit the E350; a very well done fab job I must say), I was looking for something a bit different, and with full width protection.



As many of you know, the options for Econoline front bumpers are slim pickin's;
--UJOR aluminum tube; Ujointoffroad
--Aluminess; Ford Van Front Winch Bumper '92-'07 | Aluminess Products, Inc. Ford Van Front Winch Bumper '08-'14 | Aluminess Products, Inc.
--TrailReady; TrailReady Bumpers for Ford Econoline Van
--Buckstop; Heavy Duty Winch Bumpers for Vans by BUCKSTOP Truckware

None of them were quite what I was looking for aesthetically(ok, I'm really picky).
When I heard that Michael at MG Metalworks was looking to create his own bumper for the E-Series, I contacted him to see if he was going to offer one for the earlier vans like I have. Thankfully he was aiming to do just that! He had already started on bumper sketches, incorporating some very unique features which I also was looking for in my bumper. However, the cost of a full custom bumper built from scratch was starting to really add up--superior engineering & fab work isn't cheap.

We threw some ideas around and one stuck; take an existing bumper from one of(if not THE) highest quality, best engineered bumper companies in the world, and see about adapting it to the E-Series. After sorting thru a few possibilities on the ARB website, looking at schematics and measurements on Ford body builder, taking lots of measurements of my ('07) van and his ('13) van, an ARB bumper was chosen.



Take a look at the ARB bumper production video here. Impressive stuff!


Seems that the early '92-07 vans have frame horns that stick out further; '08-15 are tucked under the grille more. MG went to work CAD-designing a "starter" adapter plate to mate the ARB to the E350 frame horns;


Notice the truss design for strength, but also for proper airflow to the radiator/condenser.

He started by removing my stubby bumper;


Taking a look at the new ARB as is;




MG's CAD-designed laser cut adapter plate mounted;


Some modifications were made and round1 of test fitting for the '92-07 Econoline begun(I cannot tell you how excited I am to get this bumper on!!)
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:24 AM   #2
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MG went to work precisely measuring the proper depth of the bumper to the early front end. More of his adapter pieces were added;


Seeing how the 30" Rigid E1 looks;



While I could have fit a 40" E1 on there, it would stretch past the bottom of the grille, so it was decided to stick with the 30".

While ARB states that the Warn 16.5Ti(the winch I was originally thinking about, thanks to advice from Chris at UJOR), is meant to fit into this bumper, in my winch research I decided on what I feel is an even better option, the ComeUp Seal Gen2 IP68 Waterproof Series' 16.5S(bolt pattern is the same 10.0" x 4.5" as the Warn); SEAL GEN2 16.5s, 12V WinchÂ*| COMEUP USA
ComeUp used to make many of the Superwinch's for Superwinch, and I'm told that ComeUp is the #1 winch line in Australia, and Asia too I believe.
One of my search and rescue teammates works at ComeUp USA and schooled me on some advantages of it vs the Warn 16.5Ti;
ComeUp 16.5S vs Warn 16.5Ti
5.8hp vs 4.6hp
343:1 vs 315:1
1/2"x82' synthetic vs 7/16"x90' wire
132lbs vs 138lbs
Contactors vs solenoids(pretty unique difference when it comes to long term reliability)

The ComeUp 16.5S fitted to the ARB(might be the first time this was done--was the first Chad at ComeUp had heard of one going into an ARB);



Whoops, having some contact issues with the T-handle up against the bumper, and thus the bolt pattern is a bit off;


Good thing this isn't MG's first rodeo! Taking matters into his own hands, the aluminum end cap was removed and re-clocked to put the T-handle at the bottom of the bumper(the only good option). Notice the beefiness of the gears;


There, that's a bit better;


He clearanced the bumper for the new T-handle position (ace fab work here by MG--watching this guy in his element is simply incredible!);


However, since the '92-07 bumper frame horns are sticking further out than the '08-15's do, and in order to allow the best approach angle possible on the '92-07, the bumper needs to suck in towards the van as much as possible, while also keeping in mind the correct aesthetic for the side bumper "wings";
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:31 AM   #3
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But because the big beefy ComeUp winch is back there, MG's custom truss-bumper adapter needs to be further modified, leaving only a pair of bumper adapters to remain;


These MG bumper adapters(early set like mine or late like he has) will allow this specific off-the-shelf ARB "Sahara" bumper to be bolted onto the E350 chassis...
Yes, some trimming of the ARB bumper will be needed for the correct fit(MG's already started on templates for DIY'ers), but a DIY'er comfortable with a few tools will be able to do that. A welder would need to weld 2 of the ARB brackets into a different location on the inside of the bumper, but AFAIR that's it.

ARB states the Warn 16.5Ti winch will fit without modification to the bumper, so no mods to the bumper would be needed there. I've just decided to go with the ComeUp 16.5S and wanted to document here what MG's had to do to make that work.

Here are the bumpers(early; '97-07 like I have) and MG's own late('08-15). You can see that the bumper on the left for my '07 had to be cut back a bit on the ends to match the fender well. The '08+ vans don't need this mod;


Here's a shot of the mounts for the '08+ vans;


And now........Bumper is on (was my delay--working too damn much);



SO impressed and pumped to have this on. It looks like it was made for the E-Series!!

HUGE kudos to MG and his skill with this modification. Hugely impressive.

If you're interested in the same, contact him for bumper adapter kits. And good luck finding the ARB bumperettes for use without their chrome bull bar. They're like hens teeth!
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Old 04-26-2016, 06:52 AM   #4
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Looks nice! Thanks for all the pics. I've been wanting to know more.

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Old 04-26-2016, 08:48 AM   #5
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Great write - up --- !!

Question however --- is everyone able to see all the images on this thread?

I've opened this up on two separate computers (a Windows PC at work, and a Mac at home), each time attempting it with at least two separate browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc)....as well as on my iPhone using two separate browsers (Chrome and Safari)...and no matter where I open this thread, only ~two images total~ from this entire thread display. The rest show as "broken image link" icons.

I *do* see the video link (and image for the video) shown however.

Anyone else experiencing this?

(*** Side Note:
This "missing image/broken image link" phenomenon seems to be becoming a more common occurrence (at least in my SMB Forum browsing experience). I have no doubt that I could be repeatedly doing something idiotic to make this happen, but my ego is not ready to accept that as the reason for this *just yet* *** )
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainBikeRoamer View Post
Anyone else experiencing this?
yes, the exact same scenario with me. i am able to see and watch arb video though.
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenrie View Post
yes, the exact same scenario with me. i am able to see and watch arb video though.
Ok so it's not just me.

BUT THIS IS ODD:
I just now stumbled onto the parallel thread that mk216v posted on Expedition Portal for this same bumper development process. Crossing my fingers that the posted pictures would display properly over there, I logged on to EP (I'm also MountainBikeRoamer on EP) and kabam! Sweet. All of the images displayed there on EP, no problem.

So just now.....
.....coming back over here to the SMB Forum to check in on this thread (and share that link for anyone looking for more information....) I found that now, magically, inexplicably *all of the images on this SMB Forum thread* are now displaying properly. I'm at a complete loss to understand why this would be.


In any event --- here's the parallel Expedition Portal thread about the same excellent MG Metalworks ARB bumper adaption:
A new '92-15 Ford E-Series/Econoline front bumper option - Expedition Portal

Great discussion over there too.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:45 AM   #8
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Looks like it was made for the van. I really like it, great work of art
I mounted quite a few ComeUp winches to ARB's here in Germany, never had any warranty claims with them.
What vehicle is the bumper originally made for? F-series truck?
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
Looks like it was made for the van. I really like it, great work of art
I mounted quite a few ComeUp winches to ARB's here in Germany, never had any warranty claims with them.
What vehicle is the bumper originally made for? F-series truck?
Originally for '08 F-series truck.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainBikeRoamer View Post
Great write - up --- !!

Question however --- is everyone able to see all the images on this thread?

Anyone else experiencing this?
Yup, same problem here, no photos showing. I was able to see the video though, having spent many years in the metal fabrication industry it was quite interesting. Most interesting though was the fact that the GoPro survived a trip through the shot blaster and the wash cycle. Thanks for the great write up, I"m looking forward to seeing more great things come out of MG's shop..............

Update.... I had the exact same experience after going to Expo. Now the photos show here. Some sort of coding issue I suppose. Perhaps the owners of this site will look into this since Expo seems to have solved this issue long ago.
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