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Move Bumpers For Our Second Gen Dodge

Part 1, we start in the rear.

If you've ever spent time around a fabrication shop when a custom bumper is being built, or built one yourself that is a bit more than some rectangular tube and a beveled cut or two, you have more respect for companies that sell custom bumpers by mail order. Many custom bumpers require a custom fit that makes building them off the vehicle difficult and sometimes impossible. The other problem with selling custom bumpers for various vehicles is that folks are cheap and don't necessarily want to pay for what they are getting. Mass production might help bring down costs to some extent, but not much. We've talked to folks in the industry who have told us how many times potential customers have asked for a cheaper weld-it-yourself version of the bumper. And most won't even touch that because building a custom bumper is usually a bit more complicated than building a plastic model of that 69 Mustang, (or Camaro if it's got to be GM) that you always wanted. As a result, many custom built bumpers are one off, never to be duplicated again, what some would consider cost prohibitive, or just too complicated to trust with the home fabricator.

Move Bumpers

Enter Move Bumpers. Started in a small garage in Lewistown, Montana, Move Bumpers has quickly made a name for itself in the aftermarket steel truck bumper space. They are known for heavy-duty DIY truck bumper kits, which fit a wide range of truck makes, models and are durable and inexpensive. Move also has a commitment to using American made products. We, the staff at Four Wheeler, have built a few bumpers ourselves, and while it can be rewarding, it is also time consuming and can be costly. When we first heard about Move Bumpers, we were intrigued. Can it be that a company can make a durable weld-together bumper kit? We've got to dig into this a bit more ourselves. With that in mind, we reached out to Move for a set of Front and Rear bumpers for our 1998 Dodge 2500 4x4. The truck had outlasted both the front and rear factory bumpers, and because it gets used, we welcomed the chance to get a fresh start on the pointier ends of the truck. Move sent us the bumper kits, and we've started by assembling the rear bumper first. We figured the rear bumper will attract less attention than the front, and we could learn tricks and tips during the build, so let's start there and see how things go. Well, the bumper is together, and we are happy and impressed. Follow along as we assemble our Move bumper and customize it for strength as Move suggests any owner/builder could. Our Bumper is the Classic Series Kit, cut from 3/16 plate, with optional light holes, bumper steps and off-road clevis mounts. The kit, in this configuration, added up to $615,

Getting started with Our Move Bumper

Our Dodge's old rear bumper had seen better days. It was a bit dinged up from use and was definitely showing its age. With the Move Bumper Kit in hand, we began assembly following the included instructions. We started with the parts on the ground, and heavy-tack welded the center section of the bumper to the two wing pieces (labeled W1 in the instructions). We then flipped the unit over and heavy-tacked all the parts from the back. Then, we used some washers to space the included frame mounting brackets out from the frame. We did this because these parts will draw closer together during welding and can become difficult to get over the frame. Then, we could tack weld the bumper in place and check for center, level and to make sure the tailgate doesn't hit the bumper when opened.

More Tack Welding on the Move Bumper

We then continued to follow the instructions included with the kit and test-fitted the W2 parts, which are the outside bumper caps, and the Center Patches (P1s). If you are using lights that mount to them, you can add the Light Attachment brackets. Our lights are flush mount, so we won't use these. We also added the inner step parts last.

Remove the Move Bumper for Finish Welding

With all the parts supplied in the kit (minus the light mounts), we heavy-tack welded everything together and then pulled the bumper, so we could fully weld all the seams. Now this is a DIY bumper kit, but if you are not good at welding, you may want to find a welder or bribe a buddy who likes beer and knows how to weld into doing it.

We've been welding for a few years, so we fired up the Miller Electric 220 and set to burning the parts together. You may want to clean the edges that will be welded prior to welding, as slag from the cutting process can cause your weld to have impurities and pores. We had a few welds blow out, so we ground out the bad weld and re-welded those areas. You could grind down all the welds on the outside of the bumper for a stamped look, but we like looking at good welds. However, we don't like spatter, and the best way to get rid of it is with a grinder with a sanding disk on it.

Adding the Off-Road Clevis mounts to our bumper

We got the added Off-Road Clevis Mounts without Move Bumper. And while Move suggests perimeter welding the mounts to the bumper, we decided to take this one step further and ground slots that would line up behind each of the clevis mounts. This adds a large area for a hot weld to the back of the clevis mounts to ensure these parts won't come off the bumper when you are using them for tugging something. We use our truck and want to make sure the bumper is useful for more than just good looks.

Adding strength to the mount of our Move Bumper

The Move Bumper kits are just that, a kit to help you get a bumper started. The welding is critical, as is adding in gussets and plates to strengthen each unit. Move suggests adding reinforcement to their bumpers, and we did just that. First, we added a large rectangular plate made out of 3/16 steel that spans the gap from the bumper mount leg over to the center indentation of the bumper on each side; this will help add strength from side loads to the bumper. We also added a roughly triangular plate that runs from the bottom of the bumper along our slots welded to the clevis mounts, which ties both to the mounting bracket on each side. Another roughly triangular gusset runs from the bumper mounting bracket up to the upper surface of the bumper. These three plate gussets on each side should make our bumper that much more resistant to damage in the event that it gets hit or hits something.

Final steps on our Move Bumper build

The last step with those additional gussets tack welded in place was to test-fit the bumper and make sure that they don't interfere with any part of the truck. We can then remove the bumper again and fully weld them in and prep for paint. Last, we test-fitted, and then we drilled and tapped the mounting holes for our additional surface-mount backup lights. For paint, we used a direct to metal epoxy primer, which comes out as a sort of semi-gloss black that should be durable and is paintable if we decide to go that route.

Source:

Move Bumpers
844.505.4044
www.movebumpers.com

Miller Electric
www.millerwelds.com