d21-rear-bumper - A rear bumper and hitch receiver for my daily


This project was a long time coming. I got my truck, a Nissan D21 Pickup after it was rear-ended quite hard. That collision caused the rear bumper to be wrapped up underneath the bed, so one of the first things I did was remove the rear bumper and recycle it.

I debated for a while, whether I should simply make a roll pan to cover up the exposed back of the bed floor, or if I should go all out and make a proper bumper. Being that I wanted to be able to tow a trailer, I decided to commit to a full bumper.

After acquiring a suitable stock, the first step was to line it up with the truck where it was meant to go, and trim off the corners at an attractive angle.

From here, I had to attach some brackets that would let me hang the bumper from the frame. I had some spare steel angle laying around, so I cleaned it up a little bit and tacked it onto the bumper.

Because these brackets are purely structural and won't be seen, the bad pitting from rusting outside over the years is of no concern to me.

Anyway, after tacking the brackets on, I checked the fit on the frame and then welded them on solidly. I capped the ends of the bumper at the same time.

From here, the bumper is technically functional, but as I mentioned at the top, I want to be able to tow with this truck, so I went ahead and added a hitch receiver to the bumper.

Here I marked the center for the hitch receiver. I salvaged this one off of a scrap receiver bracket I had. It took far longer than I'd like to admit to rescue this receiver than I'd like to admit, even with the help of a plasma cutter.

I next notched out a slot for the receiver to slide into. The reason I notched the bumper instead of simply welding my receiver to the bottom of the bumper is twofold. First, to not loose too much departure angle, this truck has plenty of overhang to begin with. Second, it increases the weld length, and thus the strength of the connection.

I added a couple gussets to the joint because while this truck is only rated to tow 5,000 lbs, it will undoubtedly be used to move heavier loads around for short distances and I can use all the strength I can get. I also happen to think it improves the look a bit.

And here she is, installed and everything. I haven't gotten any pictures yet after I painted the bumper and installed the license plate illuminators, but those should be coming shortly. I happen to think this bumper looks quite clean and nice, it's a shame I'm selling this truck soon.

Here she is all painted, I finally got around to getting a picture. I think it's a good look, and should let me tow without too much problem.

For those wondering, the double hook in the hitch receiver is somewhat of a tradition in my family, and it serves as an excellent tow strap recovery point when dragging people out from stuck spots.


I am not a web design professional, nor am I an expert in many of the fields I post about. Take my word with a grain of salt, and always do research on your own.