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Old 10-21-2014, 03:14 PM   #31
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Re: Why bumpers and fender flares?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Where did you hear that the front shackles can't be used for recovery? Like any winch point I
understand they are rated for a specific load and have had my share or failures with heavy equipment
and even stock recovery points. I was talking with Dave from Aluminess at SMB who was working with
a customer who did rip one of the points off his front bumper but Dave said it was unusual and covered
the repair cost even though the owner admitted he had forgot to lock the hubs and was basically
pulling the van out of a mud bog w/o the aid of the four wheel drive. I know that the rear bumper is
not designed for recovery points and to have them installed requires modification. The Qatar rescue vans
had rear shackles installed to tie down the vehicles during transport but were not designed for recovery.

Has Aluminess changed their stance? I've pulled my van out several times and it's heavy. I use a receiver
shackle at the rear and even that is rated for a specific load.
I'm under the same impression after a conversation I had with Aluminess before placing my order. The front bumper is good but a hitch is recommended for rear retrieval.

-John
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:41 PM   #32
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Re: Why bumpers and fender flares?

I dunno about your van, but a quick look at the stock front bumper attachments doesn't bode well for pulling 10k lbs. I don't know what aftermarket vendors use as attachment points, but you'd have to check the bolt and other hardware. It's not just the shackle, or even bumper, but its connection to the van.

And the front of the frame rails is sometimes corrugated and designed as a crumple point. Again, not optimum for towing.

I have the same setup as E350, and it's pretty bomber. Welded, so is attached even more securely than the rear hitch mount. It also adds rigidity between the frame rails. Interestingly, my fabricator said that I'd probably pull off the hooks I have attached; they're similar to the E350 photos. I've only ever used them for real light stuff; for a heavy pull I either use my winch (which is mounted just atop the front receiver, welded) or the hitch receiver itself (eg with a recovery strap inside it).

And, with E350, I wanted to avoid added more weight. Yet another advantage of using a custom fabricator is that they can integrate a front hitch receiver, winch mount, etc with a minimal amount of junk added on you don't need, and keep the weight down.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:58 AM   #33
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Re: Why bumpers and fender flares?

daveb,

I don't remember the genesis of the "don't pull too hard on those shackle points" advice, but it might have been in literature I got with the bumper. Don't have any paperwork on that rig anymore, so we'll have to rely on e.g. JohnandMandi's corroboration.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:48 AM   #34
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Re: Why bumpers and fender flares?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redrock
daveb,

I don't remember the genesis of the "don't pull too hard on those shackle points" advice, but it might have been in literature I got with the bumper. Don't have any paperwork on that rig anymore, so we'll have to rely on e.g. JohnandMandi's corroboration.
A call to them might be in order. I feel safer with a number.
I use a snatch block often on my pulls.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:34 PM   #35
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Re: Why bumpers and fender flares?

Late to the party, but...
I went with stock bumpers to keep a 'factory' look vs the zombie monster look (signature SMB look!).
My van is not SMB other than the penthouse top.
I also painted my fender flares to match in keeping with the factory look. At least the front flares are cut-outs giving more tire clearance - not sure about the rears. I have specific rears flares to fit behind a sliding door (discontinued I hear), as I have. Ya I'm weird.
I have a winch fitted behind my stock bumper. Never used it. I haven't challenged tough terrain I guess (or I drive really good ).
My goal was to have a 4x4 van in more of a stock variation vs the traditional SMB brute of a van...
Works for me.


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Old 11-09-2014, 12:04 PM   #36
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Re: Why bumpers and fender flares?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwindansea
Has anyone installed a front receiver hitch themselves on a SMB 4x4 conversion (front leaf springs)? This is still on my list since I do not have a front recovery point. However, all the hitches I've seen do not appear like they will work because of the 4x4 conversion.
If you have a front Aluminess bumper and winch, Aluminess sells a front receiver hitch that bolts to the bottom of the winch.
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:53 PM   #37
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Re: Why bumpers and fender flares?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxacceleration
Late to the party, but...
I went with stock bumpers to keep a 'factory' look vs the zombie monster look (signature SMB look!)....
That's a beautiful rig. Personally, I prefer the monster truck look. (And you never know when the next zombie outbreak will happen; no point in taking risks. )

Aesthetics aside though, my Road Armour front end is there for when a bull elk crosses the road on a blind curve or some farmers black cow decides to take an evening stroll down the highway.
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:00 PM   #38
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Re: Why bumpers and fender flares?

I know the big Aluminess bumpers are part of the signature Sportsmobile look, but I don't think anyone has ever accused me of not having a "real" Sportsmobile. I have the stock bumpers, cheesy plastic air dams and all. I decided more of a "stealth" look was more useful for my planned use.



The rear custom bumper isn't necessary for an external spare tire carrier. Aluminess sells this carrier that bolts onto the van behind the stock bumper, and also attaches to one of the door hinges. http://www.sportsmobilestore.com/alu...-carrier-ford/. This is what I have. That said, this tire carrier isn't perfectly engineered. I've customized mine a bit to help prevent it from shaking, wearing, and sagging over time.

The custom bumpers aren't necessary for shackle attachment points. Hitch-attached D-rings can be used (like this one). Like several others here on the Forum, I had a custom hitch added to the front of my van for this purpose.

So, I see the following advantages for the custom bumpers:
  • more storage (yeah, this is the one feature I'd really love to have)[/*:m:3hqu2wgv]
  • bad-ass look[/*:m:3hqu2wgv]
  • winch mount[/*:m:3hqu2wgv]
  • tow points (but can use hitch-mounted alternative)[/*:m:3hqu2wgv]
  • rear tire carrier (but there is a stock bumper alternative)[/*:m:3hqu2wgv]

And here are some advantages for retaining stock bumpers
  • stealth look[/*:m:3hqu2wgv]
  • lighter weight[/*:m:3hqu2wgv]
  • cheaper[/*:m:3hqu2wgv]



-- Geoff
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Old 11-10-2014, 04:50 PM   #39
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Re: Why bumpers and fender flares?

Cheaper is the key point. Much cheaper.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:06 AM   #40
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Re: Why bumpers and fender flares?

Quadvan has engineered/fabbed a winch mount for behind the stock bumber. Fits in very clean and keeps with the sleeper look.
More than one way to skin a cat!

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