Jeep TJ Rear Bumper Project

Page 3

Gas Can Latch

Gas can latch

The latches we use for the gas can mounts come with an adjustable bar with a hook at one end.  These bars are bent so the hook end faces down when the latches are set on a flat surface.  We need them to hook to the right so we take the bend out using our hydraulic press and rotate them 90 degrees then put a slight bend back into them so that they now hook right.  This step is necessary for the gas can hold downs to work correctly.  If you don't have a press a vice and hammer will also work.

The hooks that catch the gas can handles are made from 3/16" x 1" flatbar.  We cut the bar at about 8" in length then bend one end back to form a hook  We then bend the hook end out just a bit so that it can reach the gas can handle.  The hooks are slid into the U-channel from the top.  We like to dip the hook end in Plastidip several times to put a nice rubberized coating on it and to help protect the gas can handle.



We then fashion a small bracket that attaches to the back side of the hook with a hole in it for the latch bar to engage.  This forms the hold down mechanism.  We drill and tap the bracket for two small screws.  The face of the hook has holes drilled into it for the screws to pass through and are tapered so we can use taper head screws that will be flush with the face of the hook bar when tightened down.  The large hole we put in the U-channel is for access to insert these screws.

As you can see in the picture at right a small tab of metal needs to be welded to one side of the U-channel that serves to keep the sliding hook assembly from popping out when moving it up and down.  This tab does not have to be very wide and should not interfere with the bracket that is attached to the back of the hook.


High Lift mount

The last item we add is a bar to mount the High Lift jack on.  We use a 14" long piece of 1/2" thick by 1.25" wide flatbar.   Using some solid bar stock just large enough to nicely fit through the holes in the High lift bar we cut two pieces just a bit shorter than the thickness of the bar itself.  These are welded at either end of the Flatbar so that the High Lift can set down on them.  We then drill down the center of these studs and through the flatbar and tap the hole for screw in knobs that will be used to hold the jack in place.  A hole should also be drilled through the flatbar mount to allow for a padlock to be inserted through the jack handle to secure it from theft.

A short piece of flat bar is fashioned to make a hold down plate that the knob can chinch down on and tightly secure the jack handle.   We also like to Plastidip these plates as well. 

Knobs of all different kinds can be ordered from Reid Tool  We prefer to use a knob only that allows you to insert a standard bolt through the top then cap it with a small plastic cover.  That way we can use a stainless bolt of just the right length available at any hardware store.

Jack Mount

The tire holder is made from 3/16" or 1/4" plate and a length of hitch tube material which fits into the receiver.  The plate is laid onto a wheel and the holes marked then drilled so that we can insert 3 bolts from behind for the studs.  We bolt the plate to the rim and then weld the heads of the bolt to the plate.  The tube hitch tube is welded to one end so that the tire can be mounted higher up and improve on departure angle.

If you do not wish to construct your own plate you can order a pre-made plate from


Rear Bumper

So there you have it.  Depending on the cost of metal and including powder coating and parts our bumpers work out to cost us around $350 to $450 to build.  Much better than the $1000+ prices these kinds of bumpers are sold for commercially.

Of course we have not covered every little detail here but at least if you have good fabrication skills and the right tools you should have an idea of which way to get started on your own project.

The great thing about building your own besides the pride of being able to say "I made that" is the ability to customize it exactly for what you want.  Tabs can be added for radio antennas, mounts could be made to add detachable cooler holders, T-bars for holding the back end of a canoe or kayak, the possibilities are endless.