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Pipe Tech 101

Gmc Suburban With Pipe Bumper
Fred Williams
| Brand Manager, Petersen’s 4Wheel & Off Road
Posted May 1, 2013

How To Build A Low-Buck Bumper

Pipe is not supposed to be used on trucks. Pipe is designed for transferring fluids, whereas tube is designed to be used as a structural material. But from the dawn of man being behind the wheel of a 4x4 there has been this urge to take giant pieces of pipe and make big bash bumpers for the fronts of said 4x4s. We could easily say it’s wrong, don’t do it, it’s ugly, it’s heavy, blah blah blah. But on the other hand, what if we actually tried to build a nice-looking functional bumper with a piece of low-buck schedule 40 pipe?

Quite a few of you can get your hands on a piece of pipe without much work. We found ours at a scrap yard while dropping off scrap, so it was practically free. In fact, most of the metal we used on our bumper was recycled, rusty, or found behind the shed. That’s the same way many of you budding fabricators may find your material.

We rounded up 8 feet of 5-inch schedule 40 pipe and a winch

Pipe is cheap, but that doesn’t mean you need to build a cheap-looking bumper. If you take your time you can actually build something that doesn’t make your truck look like a total death wagon (or does make your truck look like a death wagon). We’re showing one way to build something out of inexpensive materials, since not everyone is able to spend big dollars on TIG-welded chromoly tubing, billet aluminum, or an aftermarket bumper.

You’ll need some tools of course, but that’s a given with any fabrication project. We used grinders, a reciprocating saw, a Miller MIG welder, a plasma torch, and a tape measure. Since we wanted to mount a winch in our bumper we sourced a winch mounting plate as well, but you don’t need all that if you’re just looking for a bumper to protect your front end.

Photos

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Sources

Miller Electric
Appleton, WI 54912
920-734-9821
www.millerwelds.com
Swag Off Road
Oregon City, OR 97045
541-915-2775
www.swagoffroad.com
ComeUp Industries
503-783-6142

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