Misaligned my stock Front Steel Bumper :(

dave12345

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I removed my bumper yesterday to install my winch and the Warn winch plate. When I put it back in place, everything went fine -- I did not notice anything weird. However, when I removed the bolts to put back my Warn Grille Guard, the holes on the driver side are now all misaligned and the bolts won't go back in (see picture). The holes on the passenger side are correct.

Is there a way I can fix this or did I mess that up? I know the bumper is built using many parts held together, so can I realign that if I take the bumper off?

Thanks!

20210919_183644.jpg
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Will

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I’m not familiar with the Warn mounting plate since I used the Artec version. You would have to pull it all apart to see if there is something keeping the bumper from sliding back all the way. But you may not even get it to align perfect that way. Tell you what I would do:

1.) use a heavy duty ratchet strap from the drivers side of the bumper to the frame to pull them together to get the holes to line up. I would try that before pulling everything apart because it looks like you only have a 1/4” to go and the stock steel bumper has a decent amount of flex to it with a little force.
 

OllieChristopher

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Shove a small screwdriver in one of the holes and pry. Make sure you have all your bolts loose.
 

OllieChristopher

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All the ones that hold on the part you are installing. In other words install it on loose, then tighten the fasteners. You might find you have to install the misaligned ones first.

Kind of hard to explain it here on a forum. I don't know your skill level and don't want to offend you. If you come to a point where nothing works, step away and come back later.

Looking at the picture the bracket to the right of the bumper skin may have to be loosened enough for it to line up. I'm sorry this is all I have to offer. Without being there it's hard to tell.
 
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dave12345

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use a heavy duty ratchet strap from the drivers side of the bumper to the frame to pull them together to get the holes to line up. I would try that before pulling everything apart because it looks like you only have a 1/4” to go and the stock steel bumper has a decent amount of flex to it with a little force.
I'll try that as well, thanks! However, if I "force" it in this position with the strap and then reinstall the grille guard and the bolts, won't it be hard on the hardware and the bumper when I'll remove the ratchet strap?
 

Will

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I'll try that as well, thanks! However, if I "force" it in this position with the strap and then reinstall the grille guard and the bolts, won't it be hard on the hardware and the bumper when I'll remove the ratchet strap?
If you can get them to line up with a ratchet strap it will be fine. Not enough force to cause issues. If you do have to remove the bumper/grill guard again, and the bolts are hard to turn, you may want to use the strap again to take the side force off of the bolts while you remove/install them. As mentioned above, back off of the other bolts that are holding the bumper to the frame. Don't remove them completely, to a couple of turns to make sure that the bumper can move freely. It's always a good idea when starting to install any part to hand-tighten your bolts before you screw them all the way down and that will relieve a lot of these alignment issues before they start.
 
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dave12345

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If you can get them to line up with a ratchet strap it will be fine. Not enough force to cause issues. If you do have to remove the bumper/grill guard again, and the bolts are hard to turn, you may want to use the strap again to take the side force off of the bolts while you remove/install them. As mentioned above, back off of the other bolts that are holding the bumper to the frame. Don't remove them completely, to a couple of turns to make sure that the bumper can move freely. It's always a good idea when starting to install any part to hand-tighten your bolts before you screw them all the way down and that will relieve a lot of these alignment issues before they start.
Thanks guys! I'll try that and let you know how it turns out! :P
 

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I removed my bumper yesterday to install my winch and the Warn winch plate. When I put it back in place, everything went fine -- I did not notice anything weird. However, when I removed the bolts to put back my Warn Grille Guard, the holes on the driver side are now all misaligned and the bolts won't go back in (see picture). The holes on the passenger side are correct.

Is there a way I can fix this or did I mess that up? I know the bumper is built using many parts held together, so can I realign that if I take the bumper off?

Thanks!

20210919_183644.jpg
Are you sure those three bolts were supposed to come out? I used the Mopar winch plate, so maybe the install process is different. (edit: read the opening post too fast, they definitely were) I think as a last resort maybe try taking the bumper off and getting those lined up off the vehicle. Would the bull bar be able to go on off the vehicle?

I wasn't able to get my bumper on at first, it turns out there are four "L" Brackets, one on each side of the left and right frame rails, that the studs in the bumper go through to attach to the vehicle. I had to loosen the bolts that attach those brackets to the frame and pull the brackets out of the way to get my bumper on/off, and then put the brackets back and tighten the nuts securing the bumper and then finally the bolts securing the brackets. Maybe the alignment of those brackets is throwing things off for you? I'll need to see if I can get a picture later today when I'm out.
 
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dave12345

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Are you sure those three bolts were supposed to come out? I used the Mopar winch plate, so maybe the install process is different. I think as a last resort you might want to try taking the bumper off and getting those lined up off the vehicle.
I removed these bolts only to put back my Warn Winch Guard / Bull Bar after the install was complete. There are 3 on each side that bolt the winch guard on the bumper. I did this plenty of time in the past, removing and putting the bull bar back and it always worked fine.
 

jpkp

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I removed these bolts only to put back my Warn Winch Guard / Bull Bar after the install was complete. There are 3 on each side that bolt the winch guard on the bumper. I did this plenty of time in the past, removing and putting the bull bar back and it always worked fine.
... skimmed through your opening post too fast apparently, don't mind me :facepalm:

Best of luck!
 

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Not sure if you're already doing this but whenever you're bolting up something with multiple bolts & parts, only tighten the bolts enough so that the bolts won't fall out and the parts can still move freely while bolted. Once you have all the bolts threaded, circle back and tighten all of them. That will allow you to make any minor adjustments needed to get the bolts in.
 

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You need to have ALL bolts lose, then you tighten everything up once it is all aligned. that's probably the issue.
 
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dave12345

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Thanks all for your help! I loosened the 8 main bolts that hold the bumper to the frame and then I managed to move the bumper parts a little bit to be able to fit the hardware back in place without too much pressure on it. The bull bar went on and everything works fine now!

I had tightened all bolts progressively and in a criss-cross pattern, and then I had tried to put the bull bar back on. I probably should have put the bull bar before tightening all the bolts.

Thanks all again for you inputs! :D
 
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