Bumpers are a necessary evil. They protect your 4x4 from trail obstacles as well as road obstacles like deer, cars, and grocery carts. However, big aftermarket bumpers add weight over stock bumpers and in some cases reduce approach angles and add unwanted length. Nonetheless, the benefits often outweigh the disadvantages, especially when a new bumper offers solid mounting points for tow hooks, off-road lights, and a winch. Bumpers can also give the mundane 4x4 a more aggressive, adventurous look if that’s important to you. The classic chrome bumper on our F-150 had a dent, making it less than pristine. Though it was nice and light, we felt something tougher up front would be more useful when scrapping over trail obstacles or getting drug out of sloppy mud pits.The classic chrome bumper on our F-150 had a dent, making it less than pristine. Though it Our ’79 F-150, BluFerd, worked just fine without any fancy bumpers, but night vision wasn’t great and we wanted to test some of the new KC HiLites LED lights. A simple light bar would have been sufficient, but a bumper ready to house one of the many new winches that are equipped with winch rope instead of steel cable, such as the MileMarker Sec8 Scout, would add a bit of security to our ranch Raptor. A quick search led us to the Proto Fab line of bumpers sold through Jeff’s Bronco Graveyard. Wrestling a healthy combination of 3-inch, 2-inch, 11⁄2-inch tubing, and 1⁄4-inch plate into place on the front of a truck that may have a slightly out-of-square body from years of use isn’t easy. Our Harbor Freight Tools engine hoist made a two-person job much easier.Wrestling a healthy combination of 3-inch, 2-inch, 11⁄2-inch tubing, and 1⁄4-inch plate in We opted for the prerunner-style winch bumper. Designed for early fullsize Broncos, they required slight adjustment to fit our F-150, but the result is a set of armor better suited to trail use and recovery than the classic chrome pieces we’re now storing in the shop rafters. With the bumpers test-fitted, we sent them out to Powdercoating USA for some color. All the parts are sandblasted for a clean surface for the powder to adhere to. The bumpers and a set of old wagon wheels we had color-matched were preheated and then primered. The color powder is then sprayed on before going in the oven to bake.With the bumpers test-fitted, we sent them out to Powdercoating USA for some color. All th Yes, orange is the color of choice. The powdercoat will give years of protection, and the bright color is reminiscent of the good old days before everyone “murdered out” their trucks with black wheels, bumpers, windows, taillights, and so on.Yes, orange is the color of choice. The powdercoat will give years of protection, and the To install the Proto Fab Bronco bumper on our F-150, we had to drill mounting holes on the sides because the stock holes didn’t line up. A total of eight 1⁄2-inch Grade 8 bolts hold the bumper on BluFerd. An adapter bracket was needed to mount the rear bumper.To install the Proto Fab Bronco bumper on our F-150, we had to drill mounting holes on the The Mile Marker SEC8 Scout is an 8,000-pound electric winch with 96 feet of Dyneema synthetic winch rope. The 4.8hp motor draws the rope in through a black anodized aluminum fairlead. Though the bumper adds weight, the lighter rope-equipped winch reduces it a fair bit.The Mile Marker SEC8 Scout is an 8,000-pound electric winch with 96 feet of Dyneema synthe On top of the bumper we fitted two of KC HiLites’ piercing new 8-inch LED lights. Unlike the many LED lights on the market that use multiple lights in a bar, these use two high-output LEDs aimed at an acute reflector to give a long-range beam not common to LEDs. The best part is that the old-school yellow KC light covers give BluFerd that classic look while hiding modern technology.On top of the bumper we fitted two of KC HiLites’ piercing new 8-inch LED lights. Unlike t Though we’d like to think we are now sufficiently prepared with our 8,000 pounds of pulling power, it doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan like a quality tow hook. A Warn bolt-on hook is hidden along the bottom side of the bumper just in case we ever need a tug loose.Though we’d like to think we are now sufficiently prepared with our 8,000 pounds of pullin SOURCES Harbor Freight 3491 Mission Oaks Blvd Camarillo CA 93011 800-444-3353 www.harborfreight.com Mile Marker Pompano Beach FL 800-866-8647 www.milemarker.com ProtoFab P.O. Box 967 Dewey AZ 86327 928-632-0216 www.protofab4x4.com KC Hilites P.O. Box 155 Williams AZ 86046 928-635-2486 www.kchilites.com Jeff's Bronco Graveyard 7843 Lochlin Drive Brighton MI 48116 248-437-5060 www.broncograveyard.com Powdercoating USA 440 Sherwood Road Paso Robles CA 93446 805-237-8886 www.powdercoatingusa.net Warn Industries 12900 S.E. Capps Road Clackamas OR 97015 800-910-1122 www.warn.com By Fred Williams Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!