I had a feeling this day would come. After removing all the old bar padding I discovered multiple problem areas with badly rusted and rotted bars and supports.
Removing all of the old bar padding (Project #05) showed that many of the bars were literally broken in half. The front-end was so bad in places that I am surprised it didn't come off completely. Luckily, the guys at Vigilante Offroad in Prescott Valley, Arizona assured me that it was all fixable. However, it would need a lot of fabrication to fix the bad parts and then add all new cross-bars and supports to greatly strengthen the chassis.
This project required about 20 feet of raw steel tubing with 1.5" outer diameter (OD):
This project included the following tasks:
- Remove lights, wiring and anything else that would be in the way of cutting and welding
- Remove paint from areas to be cut and / or welded
- Cut off rotted bars and supports
- Cut new bar pieces to exact fit and prepared a couple sheet-steel (1/4" thick) plates for front-end side-supports
- Tack weld new replacement pieces in place to fix removed rot and then weld firmly
- Added completely new X supports over top of front-end, and welded into place
- Created a single-tube bumper section for very front (not interfering with the tow-bar configuration)
In the image above, you can see the newly fabricated structural cross-bars and supports, along with the placement of the new smaller spot-beam LED light pods.