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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I ordered and welded up Hardcore's Nissan Xterra (2nd Gen) Rear Bumper DIY Weld Up Kit with a receiver. They're currently $224.

Here's how the kit came.



And here's a picture I found of the back side of one welded up (not mine). Looks like there's a tire carrier on this one.



I'm a hobbyist welder. I'd gas, stick and MIG welded since I was a kid and I took a semester welding class at the local community college last year to fill in the basics. I used my Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG to weld this bumper.

I'd had a pretty bad failure on my previous Shrock rear bumper, which I talk about here, so I wanted to beef up this bumper.


I liked the Shrock design for the plate that attaches to the frame and how it ties in the extra bolt to the frame like a stand alone receiver uses (Shrock shown in photo)



So I copied it. The cut out and ramping of the one bolt hole makes it so you can leave one bolt in the frame and slide the bumper on it. Super nice not having to hold the bumper up when getting the first bolts started.

I cut a piece of 1/4" plate, beveled the side that faces the frame, filled it with weld, ground it flush and then gusseted the inboard side.









I wanted more support for the receiver than what my Shrock had so I added a piece of tubing. I got lucky and was given a piece of 3" x 2" x 1/4" wall rectangular tubing.



I cut a square out of the tubing and welded in my receiver tube.



Then I tacked everything together.




The stock cut out for the 7 pin connector wasn't going to clear the tubing I added so I extended it.





Then I welded everything up.





I also added a piece around the end of the receiver tube, I thought that looked a lot nicer on the Shrock I was copying and the extra strength shouldn't hurt either.



For the license plate light I decided to copy the Shrock again. I actually like the cheapy light that goes in there.





I decided at least for the moment this is going to be a painted bumper. The Shrock was powder coated, and while it was nice it also meant I couldn't take off some coating, weld to the bumper and then cover it again or just plain old touch it up like I can with paint. I used 2K paint, it's got a hardener in the can you release and you've got 24 hours or so to use it all before it hardens in the can. The supplied nozzle worked nice for a spray can (it's adjustable) but I didn't do a good enough job of clearing the nozzle when I quit for the day. I had to steal a nozzle off a new can to use up the rest of the can the next day.




Primered, sanded, re-primered, almost ran out of primer (1 can total) You can see where the welds caused high spots.







I used about 1 1/2 cans of the satin black and sanded between two different multi-coat applications.







Crappy photo I took the night I put it on for good.







A couple things I learned along the way...

First off, the scale was absolutely miserable to get off this plate steel for some reason. It actually had me fooled for a while when I'd use a flap wheel where I thought it was cleaned off when it actually wasn't. After it was partially welded up I realized if I didn't want to paint over scale I was going to have to do something to remove it, so I soaked it in a vinegar/water bath for 8 hours and the scale came right off with very little Scotch Brite elbow. If I had it to do over that would have been my very first step.

This picture is before the bath. I'd been trying spraying vinegar on and letting it sit, which worked but was hard to keep from rusting, especially what leaked behind the tubing.



Also, once I had the tubing tacked on to the plate I realized how very much easier it was to slide the bumper plate steel piece on and check for clearance. I'd tacked the plate bumper onto the plate that mounts to the frame earlier in the process to test fit the bumper and it's way more work bolting that thing on and off again while test fitting. The pieces of sheet metal on the X (the whole piece just below where the T goes in to lower the tire) need bent over with a plastic mallet and it was so nice being able to bend a little, test fit, bend some more, repeat until it fit without actually having to hold anything up and being able to get under it to see what wasn't clearing. Even if I hadn't had the tubing I could have still bolted the plates to the frame and test fit the plate steel bumper before tack welding it.



I like how the Shrock mounts its recovery tabs. It actually goes through the plate and is bigger than the slot on the inboard side, so even if the weld failed the tab would have to bend the plate slot open to come out. I was running out of time before I needed to tow with this bumper, so I put a heavy bevel on the recovery tab and then laid down 5 passes to the plate. I think it's strong enough, but I'm a belt and suspenders kind of guy so I like Shrock's method better, but I recognize Hardcore's kit is a balance of value and function.

All the pieces Hardcore supplied were nice finish, deburred and good fit. The bend was square and the metal was flat. I'd do this all over again using their product :thumbleft:
 

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Nice work man! I'm currently in the middle of fabricating my own... Bending the 3/16 inch steel sheet has been the most difficult part by far. I don't really trust face mounted shackle mounts so I'm considering tying them into the frame mounts somehow.

I also want to fabricate my tire swing on top of the bumper and have been browsing so many DIY forums for it... Your build definitely got some gears turning! Thanks!!!

I'll have a build page up as soon as I finish as well. Haha. It won't be nearly as pretty, I think but it'll be better than stock.... I hope.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Nice work man! I'm currently in the middle of fabricating my own... Bending the 3/16 inch steel sheet has been the most difficult part by far. I don't really trust face mounted shackle mounts so I'm considering tying them into the frame mounts somehow.

I also want to fabricate my tire swing on top of the bumper and have been browsing so many DIY forums for it... Your build definitely got some gears turning! Thanks!!!

I'll have a build page up as soon as I finish as well. Haha. It won't be nearly as pretty, I think but it'll be better than stock.... I hope.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
Thanks!

How are you bending the plate? Brute force or using heat? I'd considered bending my own using a rosebud torch for heat, but there's no way I could have gotten the bend as square along the length and leave the plate flat like they did. Something to be said for a real brake.

I'll try to remember to take a picture of the back side of the Shrock's recovery tabs and add it to the write-up.
 

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Thanks!



How are you bending the plate? Brute force or using heat? I'd considered bending my own using a rosebud torch for heat, but there's no way I could have gotten the bend as square along the length and leave the plate flat like they did. Something to be said for a real brake.



I'll try to remember to take a picture of the back side of the Shrock's recovery tabs and add it to the write-up.
I've actually been scoring the plate with an angle grinder, then clamping it down to a sturdy bench and then clamping steel tubing to the broad side and using brute Force. It's been working miraculously, but I have to keep opening up the score marks (which will be welded back later) to accommodate the bend.

I've been considering heat too, but haven't gotten around to refilling my acetyline and oxygen tanks.

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Nice work!

I started with the hardcore bumper cover/skin and their mounts when I built my bumper and my dad’s also (this was before they made the weld up kit). Sourced my own hitch and shackle mounts so I could mount them through to the bracing, not just the face. I also extended the mounts to get to that farthest forward bolt like you did. Would buy again without hesitation.

That was definitely the way to go for reinforcement too imo. Mine was very similar with some adjustments to fit lights in on my dad’s.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nice work!

I started with the hardcore bumper cover/skin and their mounts when I built my bumper and my dad’s also (this was before they made the weld up kit). Sourced my own hitch and shackle mounts so I could mount them through to the bracing, not just the face. I also extended the mounts to get to that farthest forward bolt like you did. Would buy again without hesitation.

That was definitely the way to go for reinforcement too imo. Mine was very similar with some adjustments to fit lights in on my dad’s.
Thanks!

Do you have any pictures of the back side of either of your bumpers you could share here? I couldn't find much before I made mine so that's why I started this thread.

I got lucky twice, the tubing was just the right size and dad had it laying around for decades. I forgot to give credit to @29erClan for inspiring me to begin with and sharing tips he learned when welding up his diy kit. For that matter I should credit him too for talking about welding in general on this site and getting me inspired to take a class and eventually buy my own welder.
 

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pics of my build start here in my build thread and span over 5 pages or so:
https://www.thenewx.org/forum/50-members-xterra/146826-jsextons-07-titan-swapped-locked-35-s-back-road-8.html

On both I boxed in the bottom lip with 2" angle iron.

Here are pics of mine before I extended the mounts and added the vertical receiver tubes (got creative to add a winch and receiver):







Here are pics of the one I built for Dad, also before the extended mounts. The back side pic, the bumper is upside down. I did not add shackle mounts on this one.





Edit:
On both, I had them skip the tow harness plug mount on the bottom lip. On dads we drilled a hole through the face of the bumper and mounted it up there (similar to maxterra). On mine, I have it mounted (zip tied lol) on the frame tucked up under. I would have torn mine off within about 15 mins offroad if it was mounted where hardcore normally puts theirs.
 

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Nice! Just ordered this weld up kit. I will have to get creative and modify the mounting plates quite a bit. The bumper mounting points on my X will not align since the frame got somewhat bent after getting rear ended last year. But pretty confident it's doable. I love playing with metal anyway. Thanks for posting this, it gives me a better idea of what I'll need to do. Also really like the hitch receiver reinforcements. Cheers!
 

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I wonder if you could have done this on the recovery hooks.. Cut out the bumper for them and then groove hook and bumper and weld from the inside first and then lay a bead around the outside. Grooved would mean the weld is kind of tapered inside to the outside, and most welds fail at the tie in area or from flux contamination (you used gas shielded mig right?) so if there was any flaw it would be under compression and still hold up better than welding the point to the outside surface. Not as good as Shrock but better than just on the face.

You do your cuts with oxy or plasma? I'd love a nice hypertherm plasma to go along with my Miller 211 and Miller old school AC buzz box.
 
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