It may be tempting to build your own steel bumper for your truck. It’s inexpensive and you get to customize the bumper any way you want. However, this type of project is not for everybody.
Making your own steel bumper is a lengthy and difficult process, and the bumper may still not come out as neat and sturdy as you’d like it to be. Before deciding to get yourself a DIY steel bumper kit, ask yourself this question…
Can You Make A Good Weld?
Image Credit: RedEyed Jack
To put it plainly, you need a lot of welding experience to build a sturdy steel bumper. Even though you’ll save some money when you build your own steel bumper, you might not get a lot of value out of the end result with a subpar weld job.
How A Good Weld Provides Protection
When it comes to steel bumpers, welding is everything. A good weld job ensures adequate protection in the event of a crash. The weld points are the first areas to buckle under pressure, especially if they’re already cracked and rusted as a result of a poor weld job.
When the parts aren’t welded together perfectly, a crack will develop, and it’ll eventually become rusted. It can also happen because:
- The weld cools too quickly
- The weld is contaminated with dust or moisture
Basically, you’d be responsible for your own safety in case you get in a crash with a DIY bumper on your truck. There are some DIY steel bumper kits that are designed to provide some safety even with a bad weld, but these are far and in between. (Here’s a little more about welding if you are interested.)
How Much Value Does A DIY Steel Bumper Really Offer?
Even if you’re an expert welder, you may still want to think twice about building your own steel bumper.
If you want a sturdy bumper that looks good, you’d be better off splurging a little bit more on a custom steel bumper made by professionals. Even though the upfront cost of a DIY steel bumper kit may seem attractive, it may end up costing you a lot more in the long run because of:
- Bending/filling: The pieces in a DIY steel bumper kit are made individually, meaning they will not always fit together perfectly. You may need to bend some of the pieces before welding, and/or fill the gaps after welding them together. Depending on how much you value your time, the additional work may end up costing you an extra $100 or so.
- Finishing: Don’t forget that your DIY steel bumper will need to be finished, too. You’d have to pay an extra $200-$400 or so to get your bumper finished.
- Reinforcement: It’s common for a DIY steel bumper to require additional reinforcement, which isn’t included in the kit. You’d have to pay an extra $100-$200 minimum for the materials to build reinforcement. And then spend even more time cutting and welding the steel plates together.
- Test fitting: You will need to continually test fit the bumper on your truck throughout the build process to make sure that the project is going well. This is a tedious task that requires a helper, so the build will take up more of your time than you may think.
- Time: A lot of people don’t realize that it takes a few dozen hours to build your own steel bumper from a kit. If you consider your time valuable, it’d be a good idea to leave it to a professional.
Basically, the expenses associated with building your own steel bumper will add up over time. Your $500 DIY bumper kit will turn into a $1,500 bumper in the blink of an eye.
If you have the skills, patience, and right welding tools to build your own steel bumper, you may end up with a solid bumper that will offer adequate protection in the event of a crash. Otherwise, you’d be better off ordering a custom steel bumper made by professionals.
Ordering A Custom Steel Bumper
A good shop that makes high-quality custom steel bumpers, such as Throttle Down Kustoms, puts a lot of time and care into building a custom steel bumper with:
- High-quality welds
- Precise fitment
- Premium materials
- Unique features and add-ons
We offer built-to-order steel bumpers that are hand-welded and warrantied for life. You have many different designs, finish options, and add-ons to choose from to make your bumper truly custom. Learn more about our custom bumpers here.