When I originally installed this chrome bumper it really bugged me that it did not go all the way up to the tailgate and it left this ugly gap. This would be the time to remedy this.
Also, I want to install this Draw-Tite trailer hitch that I picked up at the scrapper for twenty buckaroos. The ball/hitch on the chrome bumper is not heavy duty enough to haul a trailer.
This bracket holds the spare tire in place but it sticks out to far and interfears with the dual exhaust so I plan to “chop” it. Also, the long bolt holding it is using one of the holes that will be occupied by the bolts for the trailer hitch. I have a plan for that too…we get to that later.
“Chopped spare tire holder bracket thingy”
In order to bring the bumper up I had to elongate the mounting holes. I can spend hours drilling or filing or I can engage my FAVORITE tool in the shop. The Plasma cutter. Bought at one of those discount tool houses when it was on sale and they accepted a 20% coupon on top of the sale price. They litterly gave it to me.
Side note: Mmmm…I never look at myself from this angle and why would I? It’s pretty thin up there…well, more like bare! Oh well, who cares! Moving on…
While I had the bumper removed I took the opportunity to clean up the area behind the bumper and paint it. I used etching primer and then a coat of semi gloss black.
Mo betta!…don’t you think? It’s sometimes the small things that makes the overall look work. Here you can see another favorite tool: My motorcycle lift. Great for…you know…lifting things!
To make sure the shiny tail pipes stay in place I will use these clamps. However, I don’t like when the “shoulder” of the clamp ends up on the bottom and you can see it from behind.
The solution is to weld the shoulder to the hanger. That way you will only see the thin U-bolt wrapping the exhaust.
Even though it looks like a megaphone at this angle it is actually 2.5 inch of polished stainless tubing. It will serve as tail pipes. Polished stainless and chrome will make the vehicle go faster.
It just so happens that the bumper had a hole in it right above where the pipes will go. I am pretty particular as to where the pipes end up when finished. I want it to come out one inch and about the same distance to the bumper above the pipe.
This way I can install the tail pipes exactly where I want them and then then I will build the exhaust to meet them. That way the tail pipes will be at the location I want. The outer clamp will of course be removed when it’s all done. Also, here you can see the benefit of the “upside down” clamp previously mentioned.
“Mandrel bent to go”
I jumped on that big WWVWW (World Wide Very Wild Web) and bought a selection of bends in 2.5 inch diameter. 45, 90 or 180 degrees, take you pick. Works great when you build a system.
X-factor: The early crossover connection in the system is suppose to make it quieter and offer more bottom end. I will be the judge of that!
Tail pipes to go
The polished stainless material welds very nice to the mild steel pipes. I like to paint it past the weld with high temp paint so the welds don’t rust.
The long bolt that holds the spare tire bracket was using one of the bolt holes now occupying by the trailer hitch.
This is that long bolt that holds the spare tire carrier. I cut off the top and welded on a coupling nut that will attach to one of the bolts holding the hitch.
Tada! Here we are…I got duals, man! Wroom-Wroom!
Something about duals that make grown men act like children. Anyway, after that social observation I fired up the truck and the V8 sounds great. A little on the loud side but I have to see (well, listen) once I hit the freeway. Wroom-Wroom!…did I say that already?