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Old 05-03-2007, 04:46 PM   #1
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Front Hitch on Aluminess bumper?

Has anyone had a hitch welded to their Aluminess front bumper? I'm looking for a better way to carry bikes while leaving my rear hitch available for boat or dirt bike hauler, and this seems like a good option. Any input is appreciated! Does Aluminess offer something like this? Any issues I need to consider? Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2007, 05:22 PM   #2
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The reason SMB switched to the aluminum bumper (apparently) is because they were right at the max front end weight for the vans.

I would think that apart from the raw weight issue you would want to look at attaching to the frame or bolting to the bottom of the winch mounts over welding to the bumper- that's assuming the winch mounts (not the fairlead holes) are all the way through and provide a bottom surface to bolt to. Bolts will take the stresses better than welds too.

I'm unclear on which parts are aluminum and what any part other than the D-ring tabs and the winch mount can take in terms of weight. You're average welder isn't going to be doing aluminum welding anyway.

Of course having not yet seen an SMB bumper you have to take all this with a grain of salt.

There's a shot on badgertrek of the rear bumper with an MC carrier, I know it's the rear but it might give you some ideas for the front...

http://s94153639.onlinehome.us/sport...e/Bumpers.html
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Old 05-03-2007, 06:35 PM   #3
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Thanks, jage. Hidden hitch makes a frame mount front hitch that would be ideal, but it does not look like it will fit with the bumper without some modification and probably a hitch extender. Not ideal... I was hoping maybe someone here has some more info.

Also, I just now got the following reply from Aluminess:

We have a 2" receiver plate that bolts to the bottom of the bumper through the winch mounting holes. If you have a winch then you need to get bolts that are 3/8" longer. If you secure the bikes so they do not flex the bike rack back and forth when you brake or accelerate then you will be fine. If the bikes are loose to bounce up and down or back & forth then there will be problems. The receiver plate is $65 plus shipping cost.

Sounds like a possible solution, provided I don't do any offroading with the rack on the front... His disclaimer has me a bit concerned. :?

Gary
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:23 PM   #4
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I'd follow his advice and secure the bikes, plus check at regular intervals for cracks in the welds, loosening of the bolts, that sort of thing.

I think the exception is more for his protection - it doesn't mean it isn't a strong product that can withstand abuse, but more likely that he doesn't want to lose his business because someone didn't strap their bike properly and blames the hitch. Mechanically there shouldn't be any difference between the bolt on plate in the front of the van and an identical application in the rear.

I recently purchased a rear bumper for my Jeep that has a 2" receiver and when I called the company to chat about the D-ring ratings she misunderstood and said the hitch was rated at 3500 lbs but they had to remove it because it's a liablity issue. You can imagine someone who would actually put a 3500lb load on a Jeep Wrangler- :roll: or- who got a bike through the radiator going after the manufacturer.

If you want a little more piece of mind, when you get those 3/8" longer bolts go ahead and get Grade-8 hardware with locking nuts (not the Nylon insert type the full metal kind with rectangular dimples in 3 of the six hex sides). This kind of hardware comes with many Jeep aftermarket products and is about as strong as you can get without getting weird about it.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:05 PM   #5
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We have a front mounted class III receiver on our van. The receiver was provided by SMB CA, and bolts between the frame rails, just behind the bumper mounts.

When we recently obtained an Aluminess front bumper there was no interference.

I much prefer this solution since any load in the receiver places no loads on the bumper or frame horns, and the extra cross-member of the receiver provides a bit more stiffness to the frame of the van.

I believe the receiver was about 200$ at the time, and is compatible with the SMB 4x4 conversion (with the leaf-spring mounts in front which would prevent a standard Draw-tite or Hidden Hitch front receiver from mounting).

There is a photo of our receiver (with the stock bumper in place) on our web-site at
http://www.badgertrek.com/sportsmobile/exterior.html about 2/3 of the way down.

I suppose I can link to it too...


-Erik
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:08 PM   #6
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Re: Front Hitch on Aluminess bumper?



And I am not so much talking about a front receiver ON an Aluminess bunmper, but WITH an Aluminess bumper....

So I am wondering if anyone has used a front reciever (like the Hidden Hitch product) on a 2008 Ford?
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Old 02-01-2009, 07:59 PM   #7
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Re: Front Hitch on Aluminess bumper?

My Aluminess has one. It's not a 2" receiver, but bolts to the bumper where the winch would go and has a block-off plate for the front opening.

I'm getting a Powerplant soon so would sell it. P-mail me if interested.


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Old 02-01-2009, 08:07 PM   #8
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Re: Front Hitch on Aluminess bumper?

Tom,

I am not looking for a trailer hitch as much as a receiver for carrying possibilities, but thanks...
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