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1999-2004 Ford Super Dutys T.R.E.A.D Off Road Bumper - Choosing The Right Bumper

Posted in Product Reviews on September 1, 2005 Comment (0)
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There's a big difference between that chromed grilleguard they sell down at the local truck accessory store and a real off-road bumper that will stand up to actual use. In the off-road world, form always follows function, so when shopping for a bumper it's important to look for the key components (2-inch receiver mount, approach angle, corner protection, winch mount, light mounting tabs) that separate the real thing from the poseurs.

While researching various options for our Ultimate Super Duty (USD), we came across this handmade tubular bumper from T.R.E.A.D Offroad. It's a true off-road ready platform that we can mount our winch, lights, and front hitch to. It features a 11/44-inch steel plate foundation that bolts to the front framerails in 14 locations. The hefty main tube and hoop are made out of 211/42-inch 0.180-wall DOM tubing to protect the headlights, fenders, and radiator. This is the kind of protection you need on an off-road vehicle. And no, it's not available in chrome! We spec'd our T.R.E.A.D Offroad bumper with four optional light mounting tabs and a front 2-inch receiver mount to make maneuvering our trailer easier. Unfortunately, we screwed up when specifying the winch-mounting configuration. The Warn M15000 winch we use needs to be installed with the mounting feet facing forward, not down as shown in the photo. When ordering your bumper, make sure to specify what model winch you plan to use.

Paint Vs. PowdercoatingSerious off-road bumpers are typically shipped in bare steel or with a light coat of primer to keep them from rusting. Most people will choose to either paint the bumper with spray paint, or will have it professionally powdercoated. The upside to paint is that it's cheap and can be touched up after you scratch it. The advantage of powdercoating is that it will look better and be tougher to damage. The downside to powdercoating is that when you do scratch it or chip it, the whole piece will have to be sandblasted and powdercoated to look new again. For a fullsize bumper like our T.R.E.A.D. Offroad piece, figure about $250 to powdercoat it and maybe $30 to paint it.

Bumper Specs

Fits '99-'04 Ford Super Dutys
  and Excursions
Bolt-on installation Yes
Airbag compatible Yes
Winch capacity 16,500 lbs
Factory tow hooks retained Yes
Number of light mounts available 8
Number of bolts that hold  
it to the frame 14
Top tube and hoop
211/42-inch 0.180-wall DOM
Lower tube 2-inch 0.135-wall DOM
Mainframe 11/44-inch steel, fully boxed
and gusseted
Weight 175 lbs.
Price $800 plus shipping

Sources

Warn
Clackamas, OR 97015
800-543-9276
www.warn.com
Andrews Powder Coating
818-700-1030
http://www.powdercoater.com

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