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Kreepin1

Kreepin1

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So GTC stands for Get To Cutting. The bumper was well packed in like four layers of cardboard. Fit and finish is top notch. But there are no freakin' instructions. Just a bumper and a pack of hardware tucked up inside. A couple of calls to Excessive Industries and no call back. Well, shucks, it looks like I'm on my own on this one. I guess they figure if you order a frame chop bumper you don't need no stinkin' instructions. So I'll go ahead and document what I did in call any other hardy souls venture into these uncharted waters...

The easy way to do this is to cut 1" off the frame rails, cut the bottom of the frame 3/8" behind the rear bolt hole and angle up from there at a 45 degree angle, and cut out the rear cross member.

However, I know how floppy a frame can get when you remove cross members, so I'll be keeping at least part of mine. Here are my initial cut marks. Note the bottom of the body mount needed to be trimmed as well:
IMG_3226.JPG


IMG_3227.JPG


I whittled away at the frame trying to keep as much of the structure as possible. Here are the final cuts. Note that I only cut 3/4" off the ends of the frame rails to preserve the crossmember weld. The reason for this cut is so you can fit a shackle in the recessed hole. I might end up grinding a short section if the shackle doesn't clear next time I test fit the bumper.
IMG_3233.JPG


IMG_3234.JPG


IMG_3237.JPG


You have to cut the crossmember about 3/8" from the top in the rear all the way across. The front side can be cut about 1-1/4" from the top but I stopped 11-3/8" from the frame and angled down to form a gusset:
IMG_3236.JPG


I swear this thing was made to be welded on. This is looking up through one of two windows cut in the bottom of the bumper. They align perfectly with the front of the crossmember, I could so lay a bead in there, but then, if I ever want to remove the bumper there would be hell to pay! My plan it to bolt the bumper to the crossmember to stiffen things up even more.
IMG_3232.JPG
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KAMIECON

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That's an awesome build! I am really considering getting either the Mopar Tube doors or a set of half doors. Leaning heavily towards half doors. great build!
 
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Kreepin1

Kreepin1

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Okay, wrapping up this rear bumper. I could have ordered it with a tow hitch but didn't. Excessive's hitch is flush with the bumper for maximum clearance but requires you to notch a small section of the tub where the jack is stored. That might be fine for a desert rock crawler, but here in the Midwest we often run creeks and mud pits. So, here is what I came up with...

First up was laying out the hole for the hitch. I use a small drill bit to make sure I'm centered on the mark from the punch.
IMG_3241.JPG


Then I gradually work my way up to the radius of the corners. Here's the bits I used on this one. Keep in mind you are also punching through a stiffener plate to the rear of the bumper.
IMG_3242.JPG


Ready to connect the dots. I use a 4-1/2" angle grinder. I save my nearly worn out cutting wheels for jobs like this, a large wheel is more likely to leave divots at the ends of the cut.
IMG_3243.JPG


The blue tape is where I would have had to cut into the tub...
IMG_3245.JPG


View from the back:
IMG_3247.JPG


And from the bottom. Excessive expects you to reach up in here to remove the pin. That wouldn't work for me since I kept part of the rear crossmember.
IMG_3248.JPG


So I elected to drop a pin from the top. And made my first boo-boo. I marked the center line with a combination square on the back edge of the bumper. I didn't notice it has a slight radius to follow the curve of the back of the Jeep. Sigh.
IMG_3249.JPG


And the final product. I got the pin from McMaster-Carr. It has two retention balls and grips pretty good. I had my buddy weld it up. Mine hold but they don't look like this. He was amazed at the quality of this bumper. Can't say enough good things about it!
IMG_3257.JPG
 
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Kreepin1

Kreepin1

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Moving around to the front the instructions are a little more specific. "This bumper requires cutting off the factory crash bar as well as cutting off the factory bumper mounts." So, time to put on my big boy pants and figure this out!

The factory bumper mounts look pretty straight forward. But how much of the crash bar goes? This mark is 5" off the crash bar. Any higher and you begin to compromise the sway bar mount (you can see it at the top of the second picture).
IMG_3259.JPG


IMG_3261.JPG


So off come the bumper mounts and let's see what we've got. This is how far the GTC bumper slides on before hitting the outside of the crash bar. Judging from their web site, the outside and front of the crash bar gets cut off but you leave the inside and rear to provide support for the sway bar. It should move back another 1-1/4" and be about even with the oval hole at the top of the frame. This means I need to cut 1/2" or so off the front of the frame rails.
IMG_3267.JPG


That additional 1-1/4" should have these two holes line up. More evidence that this is the correct play.
IMG_3265.JPG


A quick check of winch clearance shows my I'll have about an inch of clearance between the grill and my trusty old Warn HS9500i
IMG_3268.JPG
 
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Kreepin1

Kreepin1

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I think having the pin come down from the top is awesome, it looks like you could actually make the pin flush with the bumper too if you wanted.
Capital idea! I think I'll do just that!
 
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Kreepin1

Kreepin1

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@Kreepin1 You could have at least put “on next weeks episode “ at the end! Who knows when the show is gonna continue!!??!??!?
LOL! I didn't mean to leave you with a cliffhanger! Let's see, where were we... ahh yes.

In last week's episode dastardly Snidely Whiplash cut the bumpers off poor Wilson leaving him exposed and defenseless. Will our hero ever regain his dignity? What other perils await him in Snidely's den of terror? Stay tuned for answers to these questions and more citizens!
 
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Kreepin1

Kreepin1

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After pondering how to fit remote reservoir shocks without the crash bars I felt confident about removing most of them. I cut just below the sway bar mount but left gussets at the front and rear. Here is a shot of the inside passenger frame from underneath.
IMG_3271.JPG


And the outside of the driver side frame. Here you can see the front and rear gussets that tie into the sway bar mount.
IMG_3273.JPG
 
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Kreepin1

Kreepin1

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Here is my plan for the shock reservoirs. I'll ask for hoses 8" longer than in this picture terminating in a 90 degree elbow pointing down attached to the reservoir clocked out 90 degrees so the bottom of the reservoir points at the camera in this photo.

At this point I'm glad I didn't trim anything off the front frame rails. This should leave enough room between the bumper and grill for the hose, which gets bent up over the frame, down between the bumper and grill and mounts with the bottom of the reservoir pointed forward. (Thanks @Moto_21 for the great photo)
FoxShock.jpeg


So I tacked a few footman loops on the underside of the top of the bumper. I figure a couple of hose clamps should hold the reservoirs in place. Functional, not fancy.
IMG_3285.JPG
 
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Kreepin1

Kreepin1

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Now to punch a few more holes in the front bumper. One in the top for a flag mount. These two in the bottom to drain the center compartment (this is the only deficiency I've found in these bumpers).
IMG_3286.JPG


Then four more holes to mount the license plate.
IMG_3280.JPG


A little bending and trimming of the license plate...
IMG_3281.JPG


and after a few hours of smoothing the rough edges, the front bumper is ready to send out to get powder coated!
IMG_3282.JPG
 
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Kreepin1

Kreepin1

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Metalcloak Spare Tire Delete Kit
You might have noticed that the Excessive Industries rear bumper doesn't have the recess for a spare tire or provision for a license plate. So let's take a short detour and relocate the license plate...

Metalcloak is a top tier company and it shows. The product is well thought out and high quality. Excellent instructions are found on their site. I'm only going to cover the few things I did differently here. First up is routing the wiring through the tailgate. Instead of using the OEM location, I thought it would look cleaner if I punched a hole in the tailgate between the vents. I used a big assed step bit.
IMG_3293.JPG


It seems to me that this was what Metalcloak had in mind from the beginning. The cutout in the lower plate aligns perfectly! I found a grommet that fit in my old stockpile and moved to the inside.
IMG_3295.JPG


...and there is a nice pocket in the magnesium frame so you only have to drill through the thin aluminum skin. I routed some wires to each side of the center brace so I had some strain relief and from there straight down to the OEM harness where some zip ties tidied things up.
IMG_3298.JPG


The camera and brake light wires plug in nicely, the only thing you have to wire is the license plate light. Metalcloak provides bullet connectors, but I like to waterproof all my connections to keep corrosions out of the wires. NAPA has this handy adhesive lined shrink tubing plus a dab of dielectric grease and we are good to go...
IMG_3294.JPG


Here I'm feeding the license plate wiring through the fabric protector:
IMG_3301.JPG


and down through the hole Metalcloak suggests. They should have provided this grommet but didn't.
IMG_3303.JPG


The only thing I didn't like about the kit was the use of those clip-on wire splices. I get that they are easy to install, but over time corrode the wire and can result in hard to trace electrical gremlins. I elected to use the OEM license plate wire harness so I stripped it out of the rear bumper and routed it across what remains of the rear crossmember. Here I'm testing the LED polarity before finalizing the connection.
IMG_3304.JPG


Add some waterproof butt connectors and pigtails to the LED lights in the bumper...
IMG_3307.JPG
 
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Kreepin1

Kreepin1

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Oh yeah. I forgot about the LED lights in the rear bumper. So, I ordered the bumpers long before my Jeep was delivered. I ASSumed it would have those back up sensors to go with the backup camera. I'm glad it didn't as I don't want the Jeep beeping at me everytime I backup on a trail. But, what to do with these four holes? They are an odd 1-1/8" in diameter. I was unable to find a perfect fit, but was able to make these lights from Grand General fit. They come in two versions, one with a rubber grommet that is 1-1/4" in diameter and calls for a 13/16" cutout one that has a rubber gasket and a plastic nut for mounting in a panel. I figured I'd get the rubber grommet version and use a nut and washer to hold it in place since my holes were too big for the grommet. Turns out the thread are this weird 5/8-16 size that I couldn't find anywhere. I mean ANYWHERE. So I contact Grand General and let them know I can't find these nuts on their web site. The next morning I get a call from Kevin in there warehouse. He ships me four nuts and gaskets for free! I mean what the hell? Customer service in this day and age? I almost fell over!
IMG_3309.JPG


I ended up stacking some rubber washers to hold them in place. I forgot the crossmember blocks access to the inside of the bumper and didn't want to be in a situation where the bumper had to be removed to replace a damaged light. Not the best solution.
IMG_3308.JPG
 
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Kreepin1

Kreepin1

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Cavity Wax
One last detail before the bumper goes on. I know, it sounds like something you'd want to use in the privacy of your own home with a few very close friends. But it is a really great way to keep frames and bodies from rusting out. There is a 3M version, but I like the SEM product as it wicks into seams a little better. The tip on the hose sprays a 360 degree pattern so you just slip it into a hole and spray as you pull it out. Damn, that doesn't sound right...
IMG_3305.JPG


Anyway, I stopped short of the bumper mounting holes since it's so messy, but I'll go back later and coat this section.
IMG_3306.JPG
 
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Kreepin1

Kreepin1

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Kirk
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Time to install the rear bumper. Weight is not my top priority, but I've built enough rigs to know that weight is your enemy. The stock rear bumper, tire carrier and hitch weighed 60.4 lbs. The GTC bumper and tire delete weighed 74.8 lbs. Add another 5 lbs. for ratchet straps to secure the spare tire and splash guards for the tail lights. That's a 20 lb. increase for a bullet proof bumper with seriously increased ground clearance and departure angle. I call it a good deal!
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Finally, I wanted to give a shout out to @Bulldog4xFour for his suggestion to flush mount the pin, it worked out great!
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