How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safari

How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safari

Postby WimpTech [OP] » June 5th 2016, 2:32am

Image

Image


In my humble opinion, the best way to shed the mommy mini van look, is to pull the bumper covers. What you are left with is less than flattering, so why not kick it up a notch... BAAAAM! The stock Jeep Wranglers JK (2007-20xx) have a great, aggressive looking bumper. It lines up well and nothing interferes with each other, it would actually fit perfectly if not for the tilt on the bumper crush mounts. BTW- I'll show you how to fab up some brackets that will allow you to use one of those cool bumpers on a dime.

The best thing about it is a TON of people pull off the stock bumpers in favor of something with a winch plate, stinger, etc. Therefore, they are super cheap and quite plentiful, and come with damn near everything you'll need to install, just be sure you gather everything from your donor. Everything aligns very well and follows the body lines for the most part, so it doesn't look out of place in my opinion that is.

FAQ:

How big of a project is this?
Follow these "no welding required" guidelines, and any shade-tree mechanic can knock it out in about an hour. I did all the knuckle busting so your experience should be way less painful.

Can I use other Jeep Bumpers?
Well, so far swing and a miss, so perhaps not. If you do give it a shot, please post your experience here!

How well will this hold up on front end impact?
Hell I dunno, I'm not the NTSB, like everything here do at your own risk.

Supplies:
2007-2014 Stock JK bumper w/ the following:
-- Steel sub-frame
-- Plastic cover
-- 2x recovery hooks w/ 8 18mm nuts
-- 4x 15mm bolts (attaches cover to sub frame)
-- 2x fog lights (or get some aftermarket) $40 with LEDs/ bulbs for the pair... Link: http://a.co/0msPrN1

Also...
- 2x original bumper bolts (bring with you the the Hardware Store)
- 2x ~7 cm long bolts of same size/ thread as bumper bolts (sorry I forgot to write the size down)
- 2x ~3 cm long spacers (these will account for the slant in the original brackets, or you can fab your own.


Tools:

- 15mm socket
- 18mm deep socket
- Phillips Screwdriver
- Sharpie
- Cut off wheel or grinder
- Square or T-Ruler
- Measuring tape


Procedure:

- Remove front bumper cover and sub bumper support, donate to charity or equiv.

- Remove crush mounts from frame, bring to the bench.

- Using a square or level, determine height and angle of the spacers as shown below. Mark cut line and cut.

Image

- Once cut, insert bolts a few threads to ensure the spacers remain centered. Use epoxy or similar to secure them to the crush mounts (keep from sliding off or rotating during assembly) like this:
Image
Note: The bolts will not stand straight since there is a bit of an angle to the crush mounts. It's a little funky but it'll bolt, explained more below at that step...)

- Once completed, reinstall on van (remove new bolts first).

- Measure to find center of donor bumper, mark with sharpie. Align to the center of the grill. NOTE: The front grill support is NOT centered.

- Place donor bumper on crush mounts and center both vertically and horizontally. (Note: I found taping 2 washers (or quarters) to the top of the crush mount vertically centered the bumper perfectly).

- Mark off crush mount holes relative to the bumper. There are a few ways to do this... I traced the outline of the spacers on the back of the bumper, then used calipers to determine the hole center and a punch to start the hole.

- Drill holes, probably one at a time to ensure you are still on target. Do plenty of test fits, make slots and use larger washers if you are off target like I was, dang it only a 1/4" too!

- Once the holes are ready, feed the new longer bolts through the bumper with the spacer behind the bottom hole. You may have to add washers to ensure the bumper sits at 90 deg with the frame. Tighten everything down.

Image

Image
(Note: These photos were taken before I installed the bumper relocation brackets and after my 2" body lift; this is why it looks a little funky here)

- Using the 15mm socket, remove the crush mount from the frame while still attached to the bumper sub frame.
Image

- With the bumper cover laying face down, put the tow hooks into place in the cover. Then lower the sub frame onto the cover, align the 8 tow hook bolts through and secure the nuts with 18mm deep socket. Then attach the cover to the sub frame via the 4x 15mm bolts.

Image

- Add fog lights and secure with Philips head screws. Wire light in with pig tail or directly, how ever you like. A switch can be added easily in the cab to operate them, or just shove them in for looks (lame).

Image


- Place assembled bumper back on to frame by bolting on the crush mounts. Tighten with 15mm socket.


- Open beer or favorite frosty beverage and celebrate, you just made your van look that much more bad azz!


PHASE II: Crappy Bumper Relocation Strap (2”)

Here's my crappy bumper relocation bracket build for 2" body lift... only cost about $25 all in...


Since my fabrication skills and equipment are very limited, I was about to order up some bumper relocation brackets (for 2" body lift) to properly mount my new Jeep bumper.
I hear that OLV makes the best out there, but Journey also makes one for half price. When I looked at theirs, I quickly realized why that is... they kinda suck... and they are way over priced. So I set out to find a cheap easy solution.

Here's what I did...
On a trip to Lowes, I found some 1/4" think steel straps that looked like they might work. When I got them home I found not only did they fit, but the holes were already in the correct locations! Also, I could make both brackets from one strap... AND it was only $12!

Here is the strap, made by USP Structural Connectors, PN HST2-R, Lowes item# 140630
Image

Then measured off 7.5" from each end and marked off a cut line.
Image

Using my $20 HFT cut off wheel, I chewed through that strap until I had 2 bumper mounts. A little flat black paint later, I got it installed in under 5 minutes. As suspected the bolt holes lines up very well, although they were a little larger than needed, so I went ahead and added washers (photo is test fit).
Image

On the top hole, I added 3x 1.5" long 1/2" diameter spacers to keep the crush mount from crushing more.
Then added a grade 8, 5.5" 7/16 diameter bolt to the bottom to help hold everything in true position and cranked down those bolts as hard as I could.
Image


For 3”, use the instructions above with the following modifications:

These brackets will work, along with a couple 3/6 x 6" bolts...
Started with 8" long, 1.5" wide piece of 1/4" steel. after some fitting and trial, I decided to sit the crush mount right on top of the sub frame rails, juuust barely fit. Measure everything out like so...

Image

If you're having trouble reading this, its 2.38" between the center points of the holes on the mount, with 1.46" between them. Starting from the edge and measuring linearly, mark off at 0.8, 3.18, 4.65, 7.00"

Then hit the points with a punch and drilled them out.
Image


For the top holes use either 7/16 or 1/2" bit, bottom use 3/8" or whatever you are using with your 6" long bolts.
REMINDER: Use Grade 5 or better bolts on all these.
Image

Unfortunately the bung on the crush mount is still at an angle, so its not exactly 100% square on when you put the bolts in. I have found that spinning around the spacer to just the right angle will help minimize the offset. Also, the thin steel of the bumper will conform to the new shape when you crank it down.


Here is the positioning of everything. The crush mount sits right on top of the frame rails, giving us our new position 3" higher than stock. When making the bar stock mounts, be sure to position the top hole towards the edge of the metal to avoid interference with the body.
On the top, stock bolts were used to secure the crush mount to the brackets. On the bottom, 3/8 x 6" bolts with washers in all the right places.
Image

Here is the final product with 3" straps:
Image


UPDATE:
Many folks have tried, modified and improved this mod over the past year. Please keep reading to see their mods because they are excellent! AstroPop came up with a set of rubber inserts and method that better handles that dead space between the top of the bumper and the bottom of the grill (thanks for the kit my friend!)
Last edited by WimpTech on June 5th 2016, 6:54am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby markmitch » June 5th 2016, 3:45am

looks good and great write up. Thanks for a great contribution to the site.
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby WimpTech [OP] » June 5th 2016, 5:56am

Hope this makes up for my forgetting to respond on chat earlier haha

I hope it's useful, feel free to ask questions of anyone is interested.
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby Astrofarian » June 5th 2016, 6:27am

Only thing I wanted to "ask" was "if I could possibly impose upon you for the price of one hamburger, for which I shall gladly repay you...Tuesday". ( J. Wellington Wimpy-1946 )

Great modification and post; nice work!
-Mike-
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby WimpTech [OP] » June 5th 2016, 6:53am

Certainly Mike, anything fors me buddy!

I got a few close up shots to see the fitment better. Like I said, not as tight as a custom built bumper, build a whole lot easier and cheaper!
Originally I had the idea and just threw this together to see if the size, shapes and clearances all worked out. Turns out it did pretty well on it's own, so I'll probably just keep it... until I need a winch that is.
My plan was to get a XRC style bumper with winch plate and brush guard, but I think I like this better...

Image

Image

Image


Taking a page from Lumpy, I decided to see about making some better full-size brackets via CAD. In the next month or 2, I'll get around to getting these cut, mounted and welded together. This better bracket will be the ones for the XRC bumper and sturdy enough to actually use the tow hooks without buckling the whole deal.

Image

The idea is to have 2 of these ET looking brackets on either side of the frame rail, then welded to teh front plate w/ a 45 deg cross support. Then, drill out the holes to the same as the JK mounts, and you can mount pretty much any JK bumper. You might have to play with the frame side mounting to give you enough room to clear things, but the idea is there. Probably add back some more meat around the back/ top, which was cut short to clear the body.
Once built and refined, I'll post printable templates should anyone wanna give it a go.
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby nico541 » June 6th 2016, 10:47pm

Thanks for the write up! Great info. Its now on my list of things to do. Will keep my eyes peeled on the craigslist for one with a winch plate.
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby WimpTech [OP] » June 6th 2016, 10:55pm

nico541 wrote:Thanks for the write up! Great info. Its now on my list of things to do. Will keep my eyes peeled on the craigslist for one with a winch plate.


Welcome Nico, good luck with your build. There are stock style bumpers (like 10th anniversary version, etc) that have winch plate, but those are pricey. When it's time for a winch, I'm looking at the full size JK XRC style bumper like this one...

Image

In the mean time, I'm liking this $20 solution (I got the bumper on CL for free, originally $50 but the seller didn't get any calls but mine haha).
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby WimpTech [OP] » June 6th 2016, 11:00pm

Here's my crappy bumper relocation bracket build for 2" body lift... only cost about $25 all in...



Since my fabrication skills and equipment are very limited, I was about to order up some bumper relocation brackets (for 2" body lift) to properly mount my new Jeep bumper.
I hear that OLV makes the best out there, but Journey also makes one for half price. When I looked at theirs, I quickly realized why that is... they kinda suck... and they are way over priced. So I set out to find a cheap easy solution, and I hit the mother load!
Here's what I did...
On a trip to Lowes, I found some 1/4" think steel straps that looked like they might work. When I got them home I found not only did they fit, but the holes were already in the correct locations! Also, I could make both brackets from one strap... AND it was only $12!

Here is the strap, made by USP Structural Connectors, PN HST2-R, Lowes item# 140630
Image

Then measured off 7.5" from each end and marked off a cut line.
Image

Using my $20 HFT cut off wheel, I chewed through that strap until I had 2 bumper mounts. A little flat black paint later, I got it installed in under 5 minutes. As suspected the bolt holes lines up very well, although they were a little larger than needed, so I went ahead and added washers (photo is test fit).
Image

On the top hole, I added 3x 1.5" long 1/2" diameter spacers to keep the crush mount from crushing more.
Then added a grade 8, 5.5" 7/16 diameter bolt to the bottom to help hold everything in true position and cranked down those bolts as hard as I could.

We'll see if it works out in the long run. This is just a temporary fix until I can get the better brackets designed, fab'd and tested.
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby 00awdastro » June 10th 2016, 1:34pm

Picked up a JK bumper last night going to get it mounted tomorrow.

Thanks for the idea
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby WimpTech [OP] » June 10th 2016, 4:13pm

OUTSTANDING! Hope it goes smoothly, feel free to PM me if you hit any snags.

A test fit of the final version before mounting would be good, in case your clearances are slightly off from mine(I have 2" body lift). You can adjust vertical position with the washers mentioned in step 3.

I highly recommend grinding the 2 lower mounting spacers to an angle to match the offset on the crush mount, about 30deg or so. This will make fit/ finish better and make assembly much easier when you are not dealing with the funky angle.

Also, if you are wiring in the fog lights, you will need the 2 pin connector that mates with the bulb. You will definitely want to do this before final assembly because the cooler line support blocks access to the bulbs. I ordered LED bulbs, waiting to confirm the mating plug type...

PS- Sorry the price estimate keeps changing, nickle n dime stuff adds up. Final cost was just under $25 all in.
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby 00awdastro » June 11th 2016, 5:15am

I'll post pics tomorrow
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby 00awdastro » June 11th 2016, 7:55pm

Image
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby WimpTech [OP] » June 11th 2016, 8:33pm

:music-rockon: :character-beavisbutthead: :greetings-clappingorange: :handgestures-thumbup:

WHOA That turned out GREAT! I love how you blacked out the grill too.
How'd the install go? Any suggestions on my step-by-step?

Thanks for the pic, who's next?! haha
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby 00awdastro » June 11th 2016, 8:57pm

Install was good. Thanks for your step by step it was pretty straight forward.
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby 00awdastro » June 13th 2016, 2:02am

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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby tequilasunset » June 13th 2016, 2:53am

Go back to all black, it just looks killer that way! :)
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby tequilasunset » June 13th 2016, 2:54am

Wimpazz wrote:OUTSTANDING! Hope it goes smoothly, feel free to PM me if you hit any snags.

A test fit of the final version before mounting would be good, in case your clearances are slightly off from mine(I have 2" body lift). You can adjust vertical position with the washers mentioned in step 3.

I highly recommend grinding the 2 lower mounting spacers to an angle to match the offset on the crush mount, about 30deg or so. This will make fit/ finish better and make assembly much easier when you are not dealing with the funky angle.

Also, if you are wiring in the fog lights, you will need the 2 pin connector that mates with the bulb. You will definitely want to do this before final assembly because the cooler line support blocks access to the bulbs. I ordered LED bulbs, waiting to confirm the mating plug type...

PS- Sorry the price estimate keeps changing, nickle n dime stuff adds up. Final cost was just under $25 all in.


Sweet write up Wimp... thanks for sharing dood!
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Extra Info: AWD

Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby WimpTech [OP] » June 13th 2016, 3:33am

tequilasunset wrote:Go back to all black, it just looks killer that way! :)


x2, but both are huge improvement, well done.
WimpTech - Precision Guesswork... Questionable Results.

My Van Build: viewtopic.php?f=127&t=103714
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WimpTech
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L5)
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L5)
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Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby WimpTech [OP] » June 13th 2016, 3:35am

Thanks Bruce, can't wait to see your ride after the CCV trip, that's gonna be off da hook yo haha.
They wanted about $7k to do my van, hope you found a coupon or something
WimpTech - Precision Guesswork... Questionable Results.

My Van Build: viewtopic.php?f=127&t=103714
My Other Van: http://www.vcvc.org/showthread.php/3013 ... ersion-Van
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WimpTech
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L5)
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L5)
Years of Membership: WimpTech has been a member for 5 full yearsWimpTech has been a member for 5 full yearsWimpTech has been a member for 5 full yearsWimpTech has been a member for 5 full yearsWimpTech has been a member for 5 full years
Posts: 4402
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Joined: January 2016
Location: Texas!
Alias (AKA): =Wimpy=
Van Model Year: 2000
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: AWD 3+1 Lift

Re: How to fit a stock Jeep Front Bumper on Your Astro/ Safa

Postby tequilasunset » June 13th 2016, 4:10am

Wimpazz wrote:Thanks Bruce, can't wait to see your ride after the CCV trip, that's gonna be off da hook yo haha.
They wanted about $7k to do my van, hope you found a coupon or something


With the top and all the standard stuff it comes with... install Yakima rails and a Fantastic Vent...
$6,950 + tax...
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Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
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Van Model Year: 2005
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