World’s first polished Aluminess bumper.

Oh, right you haven’t met the Friday the 13th van here yet.  You didn’t I’d be satisfied with a spaceship and motorcycle did ya?   This is the modness.  It never ends.  🙂

Here’s how it showed up.  Nice package!



What a mess.  They went INSANE with the deburring tool.  Aluminess, please, if somebody tells you they are going to polish the bumper DON’T DO THAT.  Only debur the actual welds.  It took 36 hours to polish.  Partly using a sander.  They do that so the powder coat sticks.  I get it, but I told them from the start.  ‘Polishing it.’

Here’s the work the first weekend.



Meh.  Barely looks polished.  Lots of swirls.   Then months later I get another weekend…


And all I needed to do was start again from the beginning with 220.   LIke a summer breeze.  Time to put it on.

A tip.  The goal when drilling the top hinges out, is drilling the hinge pin cap off.  That’s the goal.  Like everybody says, you’ll need an air hammer, but you’ll need a V shape in the bottom of the pin to prevent the tip from jogging.


The key to that is to use larger and larger bit and drill a little less deeply with each bit.


Drilled them on the car with cardboard cutouts protecting the paint, and that seemed to work well.  After all that the bumper went on pretty quick.



Then I slapped the cabinets on.  But here was what I dreaded.  Backing up this beast without a camera.   I pulled the back door panel open and found the camera.  I managed to pull it out without too much work.


Made a simple case for it and mocked it up where I thought it might work.


Bad pic I know, and bad Idea!  It would take 120″ of wire times 6 wires to splice a wire between the econoline’s camera and run it back into the door.  It just seemed *crazy*  Even for me.    But wait what space (4″ to center) between the door seam and the cabinet.

pull the camera wire inside the door taught.


Drill and notch the licence plate mounting assembly.  Run the wire out the side through the notch.  And remount the plate holder.  Drill a hole in the door and mount some dressed up angle iron directly to the door.  Attach your smaller (spare) pin straps in a V and you’ve got a new camera mount!



Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.  BTW that’s yellow box is a small sorting bin from a Stanley 14725 hardware box.  With a 1″ hole and the lip on the camera it’s a perfect fit.  Looks like a gopro or something right?  Nope, factory Ford Econoline back up camera.

If the angle iron is right at the edge of the door and the straps are on the outside.  It clears the RH cabinet by 1/4 of a inch.

Looks good. 100% better than no camera.  Dovetails just fine with the towing mirrors.


Hey I think a another first here.  First factory camera relocate!  That I’ve seen at least!

So there it is, the final product.  You can see the North Dakota Hill front bumper a bit.  That one came ready to go.



Off to camp.   See you soon.  so… much… more… to… come.


2 thoughts on “World’s first polished Aluminess bumper.

  1. Very nice. Sorry we missed the polish note. We have a front bumper polished for a 2008 and newer Ford E350 if you want a match. I went through the same painful exercise to polish it. We used it for trade shows but it is available for sale now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I bet you’re arms looked really awesome after that! Sorry not changing the title of this modness. Too many cross links, but it sounds like it’s First rear polished bumper now. LOL.

    Thanks, that’s OK. I’ve already picked up a front Dakota Hills foreman. Happy with it. Aluminess has higher ground clearance but DH has more metal and is better suited for driving away from an animal strike. Of course both look good, polished. 🙂

    Really I can’t believe nobody took a pic and put it where google could find it. I guess chrome /polish is old school. To me the flat paint just looked too mad max. That works with other colors, but to me mirror works better with black.


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