Tech Corner: Installing an Aftermarket Bumper

Tech Corner - BeginnerCongratulations, you’ve just bought a new bumper–an awesome upgrade. Now the next step is installing that heavy chunk of metal. On paper, the job sounds easy. But there are some important things to take into consideration, like weight, sensors, and matching up those body lines. These are all things that, if forgotten, can quickly throw a wrench in the spokes for any technician. So, if you’ve got questions about installing an aftermarket bumper, we’ve got answers. Read along and we’ll help prepare you to get that bad boy in place.

This Might Seem Obvious But…

The first step of installing an aftermarket bumper is removing the old one. Managing the old bumper by yourself can be awkward and even lead to damaging parts. Before going too far, call up a buddy or two to help manage things.

For typical applications, the factory bumper simply bolts in and out of place. But before removing any hardware and lowering the bumper, it’s a good idea to disconnect any lighting or sensors it may be housing, even if they aren’t essential to the new aftermarket bumper. If the old bumper is severely out of shape, it may be a little trickier to remove, but as long as the mounting points to the vehicle are good, the job will remain fairly straightforward.

Wires, Sensors, and Mods

Once the old bumper and any wiring are loose, it’s time to start installing the new one. Certain aftermarket bumpers can work with factory lighting and sensors, but sometimes splicing may be required. It’s good to get any wiring issues or sensors in place before mounting the unit, as it may be difficult to do so once installed. Additionally, now is a good time to mount a winch to the bumper if you wish to add one.

It’s worth mentioning that when installing an aftermarket bumper, sometimes modifications need to be made to the frame. If this is the case and the mod feels like it’s outside your comfort zone, there’s no shame in seeking out the skills of a professional technician.

Grab a Helping Hand

It’s time to lift that new bumper into place, and here’s where having friends around helps. Remember that the goal isn’t to just bolt it on, but also to make sure that the body lines match up as well. That means that not only can you hurt yourself twisting around trying to maneuver the bumper on, it might sit twisted as well. There are a lot of tricks to keeping an aftermarket bumper steady while mounting it up, but nothing beats the human touch. Buy a case of beer, call up some friends, and have a good time with this part.

No Room for Careless Work

Throughout the whole process, it’s essential to remember the purpose of a bumper: They are there to take hits and keep you and the vehicle safe. Additionally, if it’s holding a winch, it’s going to see more than a usual amount of stress. There are no corners to cut here, no areas to leave at “Eh, it should be okay.” You need to know that it’ll perform when called to do so. It’s a straightforward process that can typically be done in an hour, if all goes well. So, have a little fun, get the job done right, and love your ride’s new look.

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