My 2001 Pathfinder (R50 ) mild/budget build

stioc

Expedition Leader
Glad to see that you guys are as excited as I am. Just keep in mind I'm no Jesse James Garage by any means but I have a design in my mind and I did sleep at the Holiday Inn Express a few times lol

So a few thoughts about the bumper; it should be straight forward, the hardest part about fabricating anything from scratch is always measuring; the angles, the distance, the gaps and tweaks to level it all. Weight wise, my factory hitch weighed approx 45lbs and the OEM bumper approx 25lbs for a total of 70lbs. My hope and calculations tell me I should be approx 100lbs +/- 10lbs all said and done, which is only 30-40lbs more.

The goals, in the order of priority, are:
1. Needs to be strong
2. Not weigh a ton
3. Doesn't have to be a master piece but look good

Last but not least some progress:
 

stioc

Expedition Leader
The bumper is about 80% done.





Next I'll be dropping it off with a certified welder to have them finish up the welds on the main mounts and add some gussets for strength. My little 110v MIG can't get enough penetration into the 1/4" steel.

Hopefully they'll finish it up quickly so I can put it on the truck this weekend. I'll start on the swing arm the following weekend or the weekend after as I won't have much time in between anymore...sigh, so much stuff but so little time.
 
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stioc

Expedition Leader
Thanks guys! There's always room for improvement but overall I'm pretty happy...so far. I want to see how it looks when it's all done as there's still lots of little things that need to happen.
 

stioc

Expedition Leader
Brought the bumper back last night- the mounts are now solid! There was some warpage after all the heavy-duty welding so putting it back on the truck took a bit of fiddling but nothing a 5lbs sledgehammer couldn't fix. This morning I finished up the passenger side which I couldn't before due to the hinge brackets that needed to be fully welded. I just put a coat of primer on before taking a break today. I got 2 cans of Rustoleum gloss-black and one coat of flat. I was really looking for semi-gloss but couldn't find it. Hopefully the gloss black won't show every minor detail...we shall find out soon.

Oh I forgot to answer the question about the receiver hitch, it's in the plans but not a priority. I was thinking of adding more thickness to the mounts that hang down and put a shackle through which should work for forward/backward pulling. However if pulled sideways a single mount might bend so the hitch might become a necessity even though I prefer the cleaner look.
 

stioc

Expedition Leader
The bumper is done and mounted- I'll post those pics next. Here're some in-progress pics from yesterday.

The gussets that I had the welding shop do similar to the OEM hitch mounts:


Here's it is after the primer:


One of several little detail items, I reused the original plastic shield (cut to size) to cover up the large gaps behind it:
 
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stioc

Expedition Leader
Starting on the passenger side:


Straight ahead:


Driver's side:


Passenger side wing:


Driver side wing:


Close up of the bumper to the body:


The ends of the wings with pseudo mud-flaps (they look like it from the back or the sides, just for officer Law).


That's all folks...


Hindsight is always 20/20, the only thing I would nit-pick is that the bumper looks a bit more skinny than I would've liked. I wanted more departure and climbing angle than before but I think the angle for the bottom portion of the bumper could have been less severe giving it a wider look. Or perhaps it's the black paint that blends that section in too much. In the end though having never built one before I think it came out look pretty decent. What do you guys think?
 
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wolverine350r

Adventurer
It looks great. I am guessing the spare will be mounted on a swing out. What did you use to cut your pieces? And where did you source your metal? Again, looks nice
 
Looks great! Well done. I agree that the rear would probably look a bit better had it been a bit thicker. If angle is the concern, it wouldn't need to go straight down but angle off underneath the truck a bit, just come down lower to make it wider. But other than that, it really looks great! I think you will be happier with it once the spare underneath is gone and you have a full sized spare on a swing out. That will look great! Can't wait to see it.
 

stioc

Expedition Leader
Thanks! The spare will eventually be on the swing-arm but may take a few weeks before I find the time to work on that. As for cutting, I had the mounts laser cut on a CNC due to the thickness, all the rest it was mostly an angle-grinder and a chop-saw here and there. I sourced the metal from a local metal place around here called IMS, Industrial Metal Supply is what it stands for I think.
 

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response

Amazing work. spent a few days going thru all those posts. very envious of the trips you've taken. wow. great looking Pathfinder. my 97 SE is stock. hope to make some upgrades as i save up.

i'd like to do the following:
-Warn hubs(save wear and tear, as well as increase MPG some)
-upgrade to bigger, aggressive tires(unsure being stock whether to go up to 31s or if I insert spacers will 32s fit?)
-install roof rack
 

stioc

Expedition Leader
Thanks. As to your question I think 245/75/16 is just about the perfect size for our trucks but depends what you want to do with the truck. I always refer folks to Allof75's setup first, it's a well balanced package and has fewer compromises that will allow you to take the truck most places.
 
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