Aluminess Front Bumper Install - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 11:08:AM Thread Starter
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Aluminess Front Bumper Install

So I finally took delivery of my Aluminess front bumper and thought some of you might like to see some more detailed pictures and insight on the installation process.

Executive Summary: Looks great and is well made with a few minor QC issues and a PITA install process that is at the very extreme end of "bolt-on".

First thing I will note is that if you have any ability to pick it up direct from Aluminess you should. I had mine shipped to Colorado and it was damaged in shipment the first time around. Chris from Aluminess was really great about getting it repaired and turned back around, but it still created a big delay. (My roof rack has been damaged twice in shipping now...still waiting to get that one resolved.)

First thing you do is pull the front bumper cover and bumper beam off your car. At this point I will note that the instructions are pretty mediocre. If you are an experienced mechanic they will probably be fine, but if you are a novice you should get some help.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 11:13:AM Thread Starter
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Bumper Beam Removal

The first tricky part of the install is removing the factory front bumper beam. Ford spot welded it in place in two spots on each side after bolting it on. To remove the spot welds I cut the outer ones with a cut-off wheel, and drilled out the inner ones with a 12" long 5/16" drill bit. (That was trip to the hardware store #1 .) After some coaxing with a BFH it came right off!

Before moving forward I took a day to clean up the weld residue and cutting marks with a flapper wheel and then primed and painted the bare metal on the mounts. Not a good place to have it rust out on you!

Also, it helps if your friend's son is visiting from college so you can enlist him as an intern for this part of the process....
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Last edited by Uber Wagon; 12-28-2017 at 02:28:PM.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 11:17:AM Thread Starter
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Fog Lights Wiring

While I was waiting for the paint to dry I worked on wiring up the fog lights. I used Hella 500 'Black Magic' for no other reason than they are cheap and because they matched the black/gray of the van nicely.

For getting power to the lights from the van, I tied into the Aux 1, up fitter switch by making a harness from the high speed interface connector to the up fitter pass through connector (located to the left of the center console), and then another plug from the engine bay to the lights themselves. The BEEM shows the location , pin out, and type of each of these connectors and was pretty critical for getting this part right.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 11:23:AM Thread Starter
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Now it's time to start bolting the new bumper brackets on. I also opted for the optional washer fluid cover which I strongly recommend as it looks way nicer and offers some protection to that big ugly piece of white plastic! Aluminess was smart enough to spec longer bolts assuming most will opt for mounting this cover, but then managed to get the length wrong in my kit which meant they had too long a shank and were unusable. (Trip to the hardware store #2 .)

Also, the inner bolts on the driver side are very difficult to get to. I recommend using a socket and 12" extension so you can get around all the A/C stuff in the way. That is what worked for me anyway.

I also recommend keeping these mounts slightly loose at first so you can get the bumper centered after first mounting it up.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 11:29:AM Thread Starter
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Bumper Install

Next up you 'simply' slide the bumper in place and bolt it up. This is a two person job minimum.

A few notes:

1. There is a plastic shroud for routing air into the radiator that will interfere with the bumper. You could probably just push or bend it out of the way, but I chose to cut the lower portion out and then tie wrap it in place so it is more secure.

2. On my bumper the light tubes interfered with placement of the two upper bolt on both side. This is a bit of a design flaw in my mind, but perhaps Aluminess will see this and can comment further. I made it work by gluing the washers to the nuts ahead of time and bending the end of the light tube slightly out of the way for more clearance. Not ideal, but it isn't visible after installation is done.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 11:35:AM Thread Starter
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Under Body Panel Mount

Next step is to bolt the Aluminess provided bracket for holding the underbody panel in place. Again Aluminess provided bolts that were too long here and they needed to be replaced with shorter ones (or at least bolts without a shank). This would have been trip to the hardware store #3 , but I had some sexy metric stainless ones in the bin that were the perfect size.

The underbody panel bolts right up to it and everything fits nice and tight. I kept the ducting for the intercooler in place on the underbody panel, but will need to monitor it as it it no longer has the additional mounting points holding it in place in the OEM installation.

The Aluminess bumper does have some generous cutouts on the bottom of the bumper so I don't think air flow to the intercooler will be impacted too negatively. If anything Ford blocks off part of it for condensation reasons anyway, so I could remove part of that if I see things getting too hot in the future.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 11:38:AM Thread Starter
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Final Details

Now it is just final details:

1. Trim the fender flares to your taste and reinstall.
2. Don't forget to reinstall the driver's side splash guard (took me forever to remember where it went!)
3. Front license plate mount. I modified the factory front place mount to work. It came out really nice, but I geeked out on it for way too long...
4. Fix the crooked sticker that Aluminess applied at the factory. (Did I mention I am a bit OCD!?)
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 11:40:AM Thread Starter
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Step back and enjoy your new bumper! Good for pushing both cows and the occasional Prius out of the way...
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 01:26:PM
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Looks awesome! Really appreciate the incredible detailed install and the "real world" perspective on getting through the instructions. You're right...definitely not for those without an array of tools and know how to tackle everything from wiring to cutting to mild fab.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 01:45:PM
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Great write up!

I still don't like how the sides of the Aluminess bumper look. Opens up too much below and in front of the front wheels. From the front it looks great.
I wish they had an option that goes up and around the head lights. I am afraid that the headlights are still deer or elk fodder
I worked some with a couple other bumper manufacturers to get them to make a Transit bumper, but they appear to have lost interest.

Question: Did you find any Air bag impact sensor switches in the front of the van when you took the cover off and cross member?
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