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2005 chevy trailblazer_lt
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2,636 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well it finally happened...



The bumper project that I started back in late March was finally installed!



The bumper started as a Kennesaw Mtn bumper... but with some tweaks, and a lot of custom work. Anyone recognize the resemblance to my old WAAG?



The push bars were pushed only 2" out from the normal mounting location, and worked into the bumper design.



Notice... no fender overhang, as is prevalent in every other Kennesaw bumper I've seen.

All of the custom work was completed by my fabricator, Eric. He's the same guy that made my kick-butt rock sliders.



After much review and debate, I decided to mount up new fog lights. Part of me liked the stock fogs, but their performance was just awful. So I found the perfect lights, with the perfect beam. Not surprisingly they were another set of Hellas.

Hella Micro DEs:



Figured I'd give you some background of the build over the past couple months:



The bumper came with some deficiencies... which were addressed by Eric and his masterful welding, grinding, and plasma cutter skills:



Test fitment with some of the adjustments:



Working on the grille guard (fabbed from scratch):



Center section tacked in for measurement and debate:



Welding in the headlight hoops. They were welded while on the vehicle in order to get them perfectly (in my eyes) matched and aligned:



Here's the final test fitment of everything before sending it off to the powdercoaters (even if I had wanted a powdercoat from Kennesaw, they don't offer it):



Fully powdercoated and finished... EXACTLY as I had envisioned it:



I have to compliment Kennesaw though. They produced a decent bumper (a nice, strong base) for me to begin with. Kyle (with KMA) was very helpful, and worked with me through my many, many questions and inquiries. I bugged the crap out of him. They were a two weeks behind on delivery (which is pretty good for a bumper company), but it saved Eric and I the hassle of making time to start from scratch. With work these days, there's no chance it would be done by now.

Eric, at Freaky Tree Offroad, did a great job dealing with my deadlines, constant nagging, and perfectionist yammering. I'd fully recommend him (again).

As always, the project is never finished... my next step is to find the right winch to mount in the receiver.

I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do.
 

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Banned
2004 gmc
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26,181 Posts
:hail: Oh, drool. It's superb. Eric's like Henry Higgins, turning the Kennesaw's original Eliza Doolittle into a trail-worthy work of art.

And probably tripling the price by the time he's done. Had to be.

Did you weigh it?

Do you have pics of the interior to see how the winch force from the receiver gets transferred to the frame mounts? Al and I included a bit of overkill there to prevent warpage and flex at 9000 pounds worth of force.

At this point, it's looking like a $2000 ARB. :thumbsup:
 

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Registered
2006 chevy trailblazer_lt
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1,055 Posts
All right James, welcome to the off-road bumper club

:woohoo: :grouphug: :woohoo:

One suggestion I can make about a winch, if your budget can cover it. I would go with an integrated electronics setup - instead of having the electronics box separate. It makes the connections easier if you are going to be removing it. And also, Warn makes excellent extreme heavy duty coupling connections (Roadie has them, and so did I).









AG
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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916 Posts
Cool looking bumper and very functional. :thumbsup: I considered going with a winch on a hitch but decided to get one permanently fixed to the bumper. I plan on installing the winch in October, but the bumper has already been prepped for a Superwinch EPi9.0S.
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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237 Posts
Congratulations James, that Bumper ist fantastic! :hail:
Good idea on integrating the waag (or the style) to the bumper.
If i wouldn´t live in Europe, i would give Erik the request on producing one for my Trailblazer, good workmanship!
Karsten
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter #14
Wow james; I can't believe that is the same truck I saw at Carlisle last year. can't wait to see it again this year; and see some action shots of the new bumer out on the trail:hail:
I can't either... I'm way ahead on my build timeline... mainly because I'm obsessed. I'm planning to get some good off road shots a little later this month...

how much does it weigh?
In our haste to get it installed, I completely forgot to weigh it. My best guess from picking it up is about 110 lbs. To give you an idea, before and after measurements of the frame yielded a ~3/8" drop.

Do you have pics of the interior to see how the winch force from the receiver gets transferred to the frame mounts? Al and I included a bit of overkill there to prevent warpage and flex at 9000 pounds worth of force.
Another thing I meant to do, but forgot in my haste to install it. I'll make a sketch instead. The receiver goes through the front plate and is welded on both sides. The bottom rib shown in the photo below was done by Kennesaw. Eric and I agreed that we wanted a little more support, so we added in the upper ribs. The upper ribs are welded to the receiver, the front plate, and the top plate.

In addition to that, he reinforced the left and right corners. If something did hit the light hoops, we didn't want it to bend the bumper and allow the light hoop to hit the hood or headlight.

Next time I take it off, I'll be sure to take some pictures.



One suggestion I can make about a winch, if your budget can cover it. I would go with an integrated electronics setup - instead of having the electronics box separate. It makes the connections easier if you are going to be removing it. And also, Warn makes excellent extreme heavy duty coupling connections (Roadie has them, and so did I).
Thanks for the pointer. I'm still not sure what I'm going with, winch-wise. I've been doing some shopping. Good idea about using the quick connectors, I'll have to keep that one in mind.

I considered going with a winch on a hitch but decided to get one permanently fixed to the bumper.
Since mine is my daily driver, I wanted to make sure not to overstress the suspension during my commutes (of course... that would give me an excuse to get NEW suspension!). I also decided that I didn't want to subject the winch to more weather than it needed, in an attempt to prolong it's life.

If i wouldn´t live in Europe, i would give Erik the request on producing one for my Trailblazer, good workmanship!
Thanks! Sadly Eric said he probably wouldn't reproduce this one. Some of the changes were a royal pain to get right and without the vehicle present, it would have been nearly impossible. ;)
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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125 Posts
Well it finally happened...


Fully powdercoated and finished... EXACTLY as I had envisioned it:

Damn!! That looks awesome!! And I just realized your running the stock rims just blacked out.. They look perfect on you ride.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_lt
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294 Posts
:iagree: with everyone else, that is the ultimate bumper to me, fits all the lines like a stocker. Fender and bumper angle is perfect as well. :thumbsup::hail:
 

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Northeast Chapter
2004
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1,502 Posts
And, again, you make a mod on your truck that makes the masses in the offroad section envious!! Love the look man. Can't wait to see it in person at Carlisle........
 
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