Simple beginnings...

I didn't bother to start this thread with the receiver hitch i just put on last week since that was just a couple of bolts, screws and plugs. Lego type stuff basically.

What I really wanted to start out with was to mount a winch hidden inside the stock front bumper shell. To make the winch fit as well as possible, I'll be remote mounting the relay box. There were no surprises unbolting the front bumper. PB Blaster helped the nuts come loose despite a bit of rust on the threads.

The vacuum pump will be getting moved behind the sway bar using an EVO relocation bracket. When I unbolted the vacuum pump, I found that a hose was broken off of it with part of the aluminum nipple stuck in the end. The area that nipple was from on the pump body was plugged shut with corrosion. So today I ordered a new pump as well as the EVO relocation bracket. The original pump bracket was cut off the frame and then the cut areas were ground smooth before getting a coat of paint.

For the winch mount, I trimmed the front and rear ends of the mount just enough so that it could lay upside-down on top of the frame. Next I trimmed the forward ends of the mount so that the front of the fairlead mount area lined up with the front of the bumper mount plates on the forward ends of the frame. From there, I bent the sides of the winch mount so they would wrap around the outer ends of the frame. I also cut a few pieces of angle iron that will be mounted to the inside of the frame while also butting up against the bottom of the winch mount. I still need to drill the holes for the bolts that will go through the frame, brackets and mount. In the mean time, I started out by grinding and sanding the rust off off the angle iron pieces before painting.

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I'll post more progress as I go. I might get slowed down a bit due to the 12"+ of snow we're getting starting tomorrow. 🙄
 
This is a really interesting idea. It seems more difficult to see the spool and perhaps the winch might be more likely to hit a rock. But it will look cleaner.
 
This is a really interesting idea. It seems more difficult to see the spool and perhaps the winch might be more likely to hit a rock. But it will look cleaner.
I'm thinking the crossmember directly under the winch will prevent any rock impact issues. It's true that I probably won't be able to see or reach the spool or the freewheel lever very easily, but that's a compromise I'm willing to accept for a stock looking bumper setup.

I won't be able to hide the fact that I will have different (thin LED type) fog lamps, but I also plan on swapping the headlights to LED later, so they shouldn't look too out of place.
 

jeeeep

Hooked
I've often wondered how much it would take to cut out the cross piece and use a modified winch plate to take its place and dropping the winch below the grill.
Looking forward to see how it turns out.
 
I've often wondered how much it would take to cut out the cross piece and use a modified winch plate to take its place and dropping the winch below the grill.
Looking forward to see how it turns out.
In hoping I won't have to trim that crossmember to clear the winch, but I won't hesitate to break out the angle grinder if needed. I'm going to only trim parts of the Jeep frame as a last resort and as little as possible. That's why I didn't want to mount it upright from below, which would necessitate complete removal of that crossmember.
 
Ok, sooo... hear me out for a sec.

You know how you make plans for something, and start making those plans happen, and then a rubber duck flies out of left field and hits you in the head hard enough to spin you around and next thing you know, you're facing a different direction, can't remember what you were doing before, and now all you know is that you have to pee?

That was me for the last couple of days...
 
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I got offered to trade my stock bumper for a mid winch bumper. I'm in the process of cleaning the rust off the mid bumper. I could only get partway done before draining all my grinder batteries. Until I finish removing all the rust from the entire bumper, I'll keep spraying the cleaned sections with rust converter paint. Once everything is painted, it'll get a coat of spray-on bed liner. That should hide most of the minor imperfections left after the de-rusting process.

Anyone interested in an upside-down hidden winch mount? 😁
 
Almost done after 3 days of grinding wire wheeling, shaping, sanding and painting. 1000002541.jpg 1000002542.jpg 1000002543.jpg

I still need to wire up the lights and then mount the winch. The winch relay box is going to be remote mounted, most likely under the hood.

On a side note, after seeing all the work that was required to get this bumper back into decent shape, I can now understand why the other guy was so eager to trade for my stock bumper. 😆
 
Ok, so now there's a full frontal LED treatment inbound next. I just ordered LED halo headlights, 4pc front and side turn signal set and fog lights.

I'm going to remove those LED fog lights I already put on the bumper as they don't really look like I was hoping they would on the steel bumper. They were originally bought to go into the stock bumper in the stock location, but I discovered they weren't bolt in for that application. I made them fit on the light mounts on the bumper bar, but they look kinda crappy up there IMHO. So, that's primarily why I went shopping for LEDs today.
 
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All the front end LED lights arrived today. So now it's time to get those installed on the Jeep. I went with blacked out turn and side lights and blacked out head and fog lights behind clear lenses. I'm trying to stick with the simple black on white theme that this Jeep already has going on inside and out.
 
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The fog lights need some nuts and bolts to mount them, so I'll get those tomorrow. I also need to install the front fender side marker LEDs, but that'll wait till tomorrow when it's supposed to be warmer and not raining.
 
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Good light cut off and amazingly noticeable light even when the sunlight is just starting to fade. With the old lights it would have to be just about pitch black out before I would be able to notice the light on the road in front of the Jeep.
 
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