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4x4 Iron Front Bumper

Finding a decent front bumper that fills all of the needs that you are looking for can be a challenge. I needed something that would sacrifice minimum approach angle, protect the whole front, mount a winch and lights, and give me places to hang some ďDĒ shackles. Sounds like a tall order and it is. I was not having any real luck and was getting ready to have a local shop custom build one. But then after having installed and abused 4x4 Ironís rear solid bumper with the optional side armor. I knew where to go to get a front one. When I saw that Tim at 4x4 Iron was prototyping a new prerunner style with all the things I wanted, I jumped on the phone and ordered one right away. He called me back and we spent some time with the measuring tape. At the time, this was a new line of bumpers and Tim was still developing the patterns. Itís my understanding now that they are a more of an off the shelf item. We took measurements of the body lift (3 inch) and how high I had trimmed up the fenders on the side. I also asked for about a 2 foot stinger to stick out the front. I liked the idea of the stinger, but did not want a vary large one. After we had finished talking about the design, He hung up and a few weeks later I received a call from the shipping company. Like the rear bumper, the front bumper was a popular item at the shipping company. We threw it into the back of the truck and took it home. First impressions were very positive. The stinger was exactly what I wanted and it even had two places to mount the clevises. The bumper came bare and ready to paint to the color of my choice. It also came with a bag of mounting hardware. I pulled out my hi-tech spay paint cans and gave the whole thing a coat of gloss black and went to get my Blazer ready.


 

What I was running on the front of my Blazer was pretty sad. I had long ago removed the stock unit and had installed a Warn classic bumper with an electric winch. The Warn Classic is a good looking bumper but does not have the strength for serious abuse. It also was not built with approach angle in mind. I had managed to tear the ends off and had flipped the mounting brackets around to raise the winch to above the frame rails. I ended up having the winch where I wanted it but with absolutely not protection for the body or the winch. I went ahead and removed the winch and stripped off what was left of my old bumper. I then spray painted the frame horns for a clean look.

I was able to lift the new bumper up and place it into place. The top winch plate and the side mount slide over the frame horns and held the bumper up until I was able to place some clamps on it to fine tune the placement. I slide it into the body as tight as I could and everything fit like a glove. I noted that the side protection was right where I had trimmed the fender and angled up from the center to take into account the body lift. Two holes on each side lined up so I bolted it on with the supplied bolts. I then drilled two new holes on each side and bolted in the remaining bolts.


 

Now that the bumper was on, it was time to install the remaining accessories. These include the winch, the roller fairlead for the winch, and the Off-Road lights. I also plan on installing a holder for the quick connect for the on board air but will do that sometime in the future. The first thing that I connected was the roller fairlead. The existing holes were perfect and I simply bolted it on. Next was the winch. Now, when I first discussed the style of bumper that I wanted from Tim at 4x4 Iron, part of the discussion was what winch that I planned on running. I planned on upgrading to a Warn 8274 sometime in the future so he built it with enough room for one. If not, he was going to build the whole bumper slightly closer to the vehicle where a smaller winch similar to my current Warn 8000i. The end result was that I had plenty of room and that I would have to drill my own holes for the winch. I simply took the old winch plate from the old bumper and laid into place. I then took some orange spray paint and sprayed through the holes marking where they needed to be. I then drilled out the holes and bolted in the winch. The last things I installed were the off road lights. There were two mounting tabs already in place and I simply bolted on the lights and ran the wires.

Now it was time for a field test. I waited until the local 4x4 club went on a run and I went with them. I spent some time trying to get the bumper to hit the rocks. I was able to but it wasnít easy. Several times I came down hard onto rocks and the bumper just took it in stride. I was able to try several obstacles that before I would have avoided due to poor front end protection. The off road lights were completely protected and the winch was up and out of the way like I wanted it. The stinger front turned out to be a handy place to grab onto when I had to get underneath and remove a smashed steering stabilizer. All in all, It did everything that I wanted it too. Now, what else can I get from 4x4Iron?

It has come to my attention that 4x4 Iron has gone out of business. I'm going to leave this article up because I spent a bunch of time writing it. Maybe you can use the design in your own build or something.




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