Visitor # 38413 since 28.AUG.2001
After a fender bender (or two - thanks to previous owners) a SmittyBilt dual tube front bumper was added. The stock front valence was left hanging by a few screws and bolts. It was so loose that it rattled, so I finally pulled it off. This left me with a problem, where to put the license plate and those nifty fog lights I just bought.
I started measuring and found the a piece of 2x6 lumber (steel tubing would also be nice, but I've got more wood working tools!) would fit nicely where the valence did and would also wrap around and fill in the gap between the front of the wheel well and the bumper. Here are some shots of what I came up with:
A Hella 550 fog light fits in the recess, covered by a wire grill. I mount it through the top steel plate using its mounting bolt. A 1/2" Grade 8 bolt fits through a hole in the frame to hold it securely. I have semi-circular cutouts for the tow hooks. The license plate screws to the front. A 4-wire connector for the fog lights allows easy removal of the valence. I added steel reinforcing bars to the bottom and front.
To protect and weather-proof the valence, I covered it with a rubberized paint over a polyester fabric. This is the same stuff they use for mobile home roofing. Fiber glass would also work, but this material is much more forgiving (and you have to buy it in 100 ft. rolls, so I've got a boatload of it to use up!).
The valence sits high and back enough to be within the front approach angle. I've hit the valence a time or two off-roading and it seems to take some abuse. If the going looks too rough, it only takes a minute to pull it off and throw it in the back.
To further fill in the gap between the front wheel well and the bumper, I added a small mud flap.
1 8' 2x6 redwood $10 2 1/2"x5 Grade 8 bolts/washers/nuts 10 - Misc. steel reinforcing 10 - Finish materials varies -------------------------------------------- Total $30(+/-)