We continue to work on our 2006 Ford FAST-150 2WD Prerunner project. This month, we turned our attention to the tail of the truck. It was time to jettison the factory bumper and low-hanging receiver hitch so we could install something more appropriate and useful for our needs.
Since we wanted to retain the ability to tow, we fabricated a square tube crossmember for the rear of the frame and added a hitch receiver socket. This will serve duty as a tow hitch point and as a recovery point when we need extraction. Below that we mounted a Hawse fairlead to help route the synthetic rope feeding from a Rugged Ridge winch added under the bed. The winch is mounted to a fabricated plate bolted to the frame rails, and the solenoid pack is also mounted under the bed. We chose to use an 8,500-pound winch, which should provide us sufficient pulling power for rear extractions without going overly heavy with winch weight.
Since we tossed the chrome step bumper, we fabricated a tube bumper from 2-inch tubing and mounted it to four of the original bumper mount holes on the frame. We can remove the bumper for powder-coating later. Within the bumper, we mounted a pair of KC Hilites C-Series LED flood lights for bright reverse lighting. The small 3-inch cubes fit easily within our bumper space and throw out great auxiliary lighting.
With the factory spare tire gone, we needed a place to mount our spare 37-inch BF Goodrich Baja T/A. We’re keeping the tailgate and were concerned about taking up too much space with the spare lying in the bed all the time. We came up with a solution by building a spare-tire carrier that normally lays flat in the bed, but flips the tire vertically when we want to use more of the bed space for hauling dirt bikes or other large items.
For other recovery gear, we added a Factor 55 FlatLink winch shackle mount that lays flat against our Hawse fairlead and sits behind a license plate that flips up to reveal the winch fairlead. Other recovery tools include the addition of a Harbor Freight aluminum racing jack mounted to a DMZ Fab aluminum skid plate for jacking work in the dirt.
Take a look at our progress this month as we finish off some steel work and address some recovery and dirt essentials on our project truck.