Hi! here is a quick little walkthrough to ensure a successful installation of your new XJ builder bumper kit!
You are going to want the following tools on hand:
-Basic hand tools.
-A welder and necessary safety equipment.
-An angle grinder with coarse grit flap wheel.
First lay out your bumper kit and make sure you have the following on hand. In addition to all pieces shown you are going to need approximately 68" worth of 1.75" OD tubing. We use .120 wall HREW or DOM primarily, thicker is always welcome but we do not reccomend using thinner tube.
First, You will be needed to bolt your side plates (with all the mounting holes) to your XJ. We reccommend installing every bolt at this time, steering box removal is necessary. Here we use a jig. Once installed you can slide your lengths of tube in. Make sure the tube is poking out past each side plate, or at least flush with one side. You will sand these down later.
Once the tube is in place, tack weld it as shown. Do not tack weld where the top winch mounting plate or bottom plate will sit.
Now you can position your winch mounting plate, it goes on top and has the four winch mounting holes and two slots in it. make sure the slots are foremost on the bumper. When positioning the plate, be sure to leave about 3/16" of a channel to later weld as shown. The top plate should be barely higher than the top of the foremost tube.
NOTE: at this time you may realize your top plate is too long. We design them long to account for people with frame stiffeners. If this is the case, shave slightly off of each side until a desired fit is achieved. We will often use an angle grinder with a sanding disc or coarse grit flap wheel.
Once properly positioned, tack weld in place as shown.
Once fitment is double checked and everything looks straight you can begin welding. We like to use an anti-spatter spray.
When welding we recommend using a fire blanket or other barrier between the header panel area and where you are welding to avoid damage to the finish on your jeep.
You should weld the entire top end of the bumper at this time.
Next, its time to begin mounting the fairlead mount, it is a 3 piece design with the two side pieces being keyed. You can drop them into the slots on the top plate as shown and using a square of magnetic square make sure they sit flush and straight to the top plate and tack weld in place.
next, take the center of the fairlead mount and position as shown. Use a square or magnetic square to ensure a straight fit as shown. Be sure to leave a nice little groove to weld the 3 pieces together. Some minor sanding may be required to ensure a nice fit. Tack weld in place.
Next weld these pieces in as shown in the next two images. You may elect to weld the face to the tube as well.
With the bumper still on the vehicle you can now quickly sand down the sides of the tubes to sit flush with the bumper plates. Let the sander do the work, pushing too hard may take away too much material.
Now it is time to unbolt the bumper from the vehicle and begin installing the bottom plate.
First, we recommend stitch welding the top plate to the side plates and tube. Also, this is a good time to further weld the tubes to the side plates, be sure you don't weld where the bottom plate will sit however.
Next, you will place the bottom plate in place. The openings should match that of the the top plate. Ensure the plate is centered properly, leaving approximately a 3/16" gap between the bottom of the side plates and face of the bottom plate.
NOTE: Just like the top plate, you may need to sand the sides of the bottom plate down for a nice fit.
Stitch weld. You may elect to completely weld, but if you do, be sure to do it in stages, allowing the bumper to cool so it doesn't warp.
Finally, with your bumper cooled and painted you may install it back on your jeep!
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call or e-mail us!