Switcheroo - 1 Bored Clerk's 2013 Tacoma Build

Finished up the install! All the hard stuff is done!!




I still have to wire up the license plate lights, relocate the backup camera and mount the trailer wire harness. That's it!


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Finished up the install! All the hard stuff is done!!




I still have to wire up the license plate lights, relocate the backup camera and mount the trailer wire harness. That's it!


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WOW...!!! This looks awesome, one of the best home-brewed bumpers I've seen. Question, why the 5th wheel on the Driver and not the Passenger side..? Also, what is the plan with the real-state under the taillights..? Lastly, would you consider building one for others...? :victory:
 
WOW...!!! This looks awesome, one of the best home-brewed bumpers I've seen. Question, why the 5th wheel on the Driver and not the Passenger side..? Also, what is the plan with the real-state under the taillights..? Lastly, would you consider building one for others...? :victory:
Thanks! And all good questions.

Why the tire on the drivers side? - it's a matter of camp efficiency. I put a galley pump in a spare cap for the scepter MWC as our simple 'on board' water system. With the swingout open, the water will be on the traditional 'campsite side' of the truck along with the refrigerator which is behind the passenger front seat. Plus we can access everything from the curb side of the truck.

Real estate under the tailights? - not quite sure yet. I have a couple of ideas but I'm not sold on any of them: 1. Make a part to fill the space and that's it, or 2. Make a piece to fill the space and hold a backup light. Either way, it's not likely to be filled anytime soon as it doesn't bother me...yet. Haha!

Build another one? - if I was positive about my welding skills and the robustness of the whole system, I would consider it but I'd hate to sell something that would break! I'm just not there with my fab skills...yet. I'd be happy to design a unique bumper for someone, though. I have a lot to learn about welding (just getting good clean welds, fixturing and dealing with warpage in general, and using an angle grinder with more precision so everything comes out real nice and perfect).


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Loaded it up with two Jerry cans of water and headed out into the hills to give it a full weight shakedown run. Had a great time rolling around on some trails I've never been on. Got some good twisting and shaking in on the truck/bumper. So far, no rattles, squeaks or cracks.

I also got an LED license plate frame from Radiantz. It's actually really nice. It's heavy cast aluminum and powder coated black. The LEDs are super bright!


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This build is coming along awesome. I love that rear bumper build. Looks tough and functional.
Thanks! I like having stuff that's different from everything else but it comes at a cost in both time and money. At this point, "different" is winning for me. Haha. The camper may be my last big project for a while. I may swap and change stuff here and there but I'm really ready to get out and use the truck before it rots away in the driveway!


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So, I made a huge left turn on this. I sold the rear bumper that I just finished. I sold the truck bed. I sold the last camper I started to build. And, I replaced it with a UTE flatbed!


Here it is with 500lbs of fence material in the bed. It's pretty awesome. I like having a flatbed a lot.

Now this doesn't mean I've abandoned my camper build. I've just started over. I didn't like where the last one was heading for our uses so I switched gears before I sunk more time and money into the last design.

I also built a new rear bumper!


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The bumper is a simple design. Almost no welding!


Here's what I'm building. Taillights are different than what's shown here.


Some raw materials. The main bumper tube and some material to sleeve some through holes. And other steel for other projects.


Using two Teraflex JK shackle mounts...


And an FJ Cruiser hitch receiver


Everything should fit nice and clean


Frame mounts and fill plate back from laser cut and bend


Test fitting some of the pieces. Trailer hitch wiring plug on the left. License plate in the middle and the TRD OFF ROAD 110v outlet on the right. The backup camera will be above the license plate. A shore power plug may fill in on the far right. We'll see.


All through holes drilled with sleeves welded in to prevent crushing under force.


But plates welded in for the bottom bolts of the FJ hitch



Initial mockup. Looking good!


Tweaking and fitting. Making sure everything will work once powdercoated


Taillight mounts. Normally I would have had these laser cut and bent out of more reasonable material and with interesting shapes cut out but I didn't want to spend the calendar time for the shop to do it so I made these out of angle steel then spent way too much time and energy drilling 3/4" holes. I think it'll look cool but it'll probably be too subtle to have been worth the time and effort. Oh well! I should see the parts back the end of next week.



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Got everything back from powdercoat!


Looks pretty good.

Then I turned down the head size on the mounting bolts so they fit inside the recesses of the shackle mounts.




I used some cold blue for guns to darken the edges of the bolts. Didn't want to see any shiny in there.


Got it all bolted up this morning! Looks pretty good. I still have some small stuff to do: mount license plate, mount backup camera, cleanly route all the factory wiring and plug everything in. I have some end plates being 3D printed by a friend of mine. Those will go on when they're ready.



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Looks really clean. I love your use of the drill press and file to turn down the diameter of the bolt heads.
Thanks! The file/drillpress is great as long as you don't put yourself in a position to be harpooned by the file. Be smart and it works great for making round things. I've turned a piece of aluminum round stock into a sphere for a small sculpture and about a zillion other things. It's pretty efficient.


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Got my 3D printed endcaps. I'm going to wait to permanently install them until I get my underbed storage done: which I'll be working on this weekend. I also got my plan together for the backup camera. I'll get that mount designed this weekend and out for 3D print as well.




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