VW Beetle Repair
and Photos

 


Baja Bumpers

A Baja bumper is a tubular affair that bolts to the front or rear of the Baja Bug. The tubing is heavy gauge.

Rear Baja Bumper

I have the type of rear bumper that bolts to the shock mounts, and to the rear transmission mounts. Welding was required to fit this. Sadly, I bought it at the Manassas Bug Out from Jarrett Import. Jarrett has a big trailer of parts, good prices and nice sales people. They also didn't include instructions, and failed to mention the welding thing. None of the parts I bought from them had mounting hardware. I have a skid plate and I have only a vague notion how it is suppose to mount to my bug.

The rear Baja bumper might be intended to slide over the mounting tubes (included, but no bolts included). However, if I did that, the bumper wouldn't clear the exhaust that I also bought from the same company and the same time.

Since I bought a nice Lincoln MIG welder, I decided (in a moment of inspiration) to weld flanges on the top mounts, and matching flanges on the top tubes of the bumper. This is great. The welds were easy to make, I gained at least 1 and a half inches of length, so now my bumper clears my exhaust.

The flanges are 3/32 or 1/8 thick 2 inch wide mild steel. They are butt welded to the ends of the tubes, and drilled for 8mm bolts.

The transmission mount tubes that came with the bumper are long enough to just slip inside. I drilled through the bumper and mount tubes and bolted these. The interesting part was putting a jack under one side of the engine to support the engine and tranny while I removed the 20mm bolt on the tranny mount.

I welded 4 tabs to various location around the outside of the bumper to mount lights, etc. The tabs are just butt welded on both sides, and appear strong.

The Baja bumper was sold to me kind of oily. I got it home, cleaned it up carefully, wire brushed it, primed it and painted it white to protect it. Remember - primer is not water proof.

Photos of the flanges I welded onto my rear Baja bumper. Below are a couple of photos of the tabs I welded to the bumper for the lights, and how I made a tail light mount. I cut the taillight section out of my rear fenders, and welded some 1/8 mild steel (iron) to the back. I'll add more details soon.

 

Front Baja Bumper

The front bumper bolts to the lower torsion tube mounts, and to two flanges that you weld next to the shock towers. Yep, you must weld to attach the front bumper. Since the gas tank is only a few inches away, you'll have to remove that too. Remove the fuel sender, and siphon the gas out of the fuel sender hole. This is much, much easier than trying to siphon the gas out the filler hole. REMEMBER: Never start a gasoline siphon with your mouth. One full breath of gasoline can kill you dead, in seconds.

I mounted the bumber to the lower bolts, proped it up and checked the position of the flanges. Remove the bumper, and grind all the paint and undercoating from the area to be welded. I had also welded the seams of the shock tower, so I had to grind those welds smooth. Put the bumper back on, prop it up to the correct height, and clamp the flange in place. Make sure the bolt holes in the bumper match the flange. Weld. When welding vertically, start at the bottom and work up. Put a metal pan on the ground to catch spatter. Without the metal pan, you're kneeling on the ground and 5000 degree blobs of steel spatter are rolling around burning you. Spatter will instantly start a fire, even in moist grass. I know because it happened to me. I was watching and snuffed it out.

Have your fire extinguisher ready.

Remove the bumper, wire brush, prime and paint everything.

I decided to mount my headlights on the bumper, but recessed a bit so that tree branches won't knock off my lights. I welded on a couple of 1 x 2 inch tabs that I had pre-drilled with 1/2 inch holes to accept the headlight mounting bolts. Grind away the paint in the immediate area around the mounting point before welding.

I'm not sure how well this will work out. I'll probably have to make some guards for the lights.

I mounted my turn/marker light back on the fenders in the stock location. I used my old fenders to make a paper template to marke the holes.

 

 

 
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