Installing a 90's Montero Bumper on an
Older Montero or Raider
The original location of this bumper, on a 93 Montero in Tennessee.
Many older Monteros and Raiders (especially 80's vintage) are
beginning to literally drag their rear ends around. The rear bumper is open on the inside,
and has a shelf where contaminants such as salt can accumulate. Over time this can greatly
shorten the life of the bumper.
When shopping for a replacement bumper, I found that 80's style bumpers were almost
impossible to find, and those that were available looked like they should have gone down
with the Titanic. Generic aftermarket bumpers do not address the problem of bumper end
caps, so I decided to try a different approach: I acquired a bumper from a late model (in
this case 93 - Thanks James!) Montero. These bumpers have less of a lip on the bottom, and
are chrome, so they seem to stand up to the elements much better. And as an added bonus,
they have built-in reverse lights, to make backing up in the dark with tinted windows much
Step One: Removing the OEM Bumper
This original bumper would hardly stand a direct look, much less a
direct hit! Salt is bad...
This was one of the more difficult parts of the procedure - liberal
amounts of penetrating fluid need to be employed in order to avoid breaking the mounting
bolts (An impact wrench helps!). After the eight main bolts and four endcap bolts have
been removed, have an assistant (or a set of friendly jackstands) support the bumper while
you remove all the mounting bolts.
Separate the end caps from the bumper, and then find a use for the diamond plate steps,
because chances are they haven't rusted a bit! You should now be left with four plates
protruding from the chassis...
Step Two: Installing the New Bumper
The OEM and the 90's bumper mounting brackets line up almost
perfectly, with no holes to drill. The only difference occurs in the spacing of the
outside mounts, which means you have to shim the mounts and get longer bolts. I used
stainless steel flatwashers to fill the space, allowing the mount to be solid enough to
stand on. Once you have lined up the mounting holes and shimmed the outside brackets, you
can go ahead and align the bumper and finally tighten the mounting bolts.
The factory holes line up with the new bumper's middle mount.
Washers were used to shim the outside mounts. The difference is 1/2
Outside view of middle mounting plate (only adjacent holes line up).
Step Three: The End Caps
This is where the install got a little more creative. The 90's end
caps are too short, and leave a void in the rocker panels behind the rear wheels, so you
have to adapt the OEM corners to fit. I used several angle brackets, and some stainless
steel fasteners. I bolted two angle brackets on to the side of the end cap to attach it to
the wheel well, and then I drilled two large pan-head #10 sheet metal screws through the
back to keep it onto the bumper. A small hole was drilled (in line with a hole in the
corner of the bumper step) up through the bottom of the end cap, amd ,making sure it did
not poke through the top, I bolted it up with a small stainless capscrew. Finally, I used
a stainless bolt and nut to bolt the bottom corner of the end cap on to the bottom corner
of the bumper.
The end caps are tricky to install, especially if the mounts are
Notice the extra angle bracket needed to anchor the side of the end
You may need to drill two small screws into the back of the end cap.
Step Four: The Reverse Lights
The new backup lights are a great supplement to the tiny OEM lights.
The mounting braket is a good place for a ground for the reverse
With the bumper in place, you can now turn your attention to those two
extra backup lights! The easist way to light these babies up is to tap into the existing
backup light circuit.
Start by finding the hot wire in the harness for the backup light circuit and then use a
connector to tap into the wire (I used the type that taps in without having to strip any
wire off). Attach the other wire to a good ground on the bumper with a ring terminal. The
backup lights should now light up with the factory ones!
I'd recommend removing the strip below the hitch mount (already
removed in this picture)
The bumper where it now sits, on my 89 two-door Raider.
Now that you have the bumper installed, you might notice that the rear
tow hook is rendered ineffective, because of the close proximity of the new bumper. I
simply used a grinder to cut out the bumper, to provide plenty of clearance around the tow
hook mounting point. While you're cutting, I'd recommend removing the narrow lower strip
below the tow hook, altogether. With this strip removed, you have a much better place to
anchor your hi-lift jack should you ever need to raise the rear end.
I now have a bumper that will weather the elements better, provides a slightly better
departure angle, yet still gives me the utility of the original step bumper. And just as
important, it is much easier to find at a scrapyard than the 80's style derrière.
*Special thanks to James Webb for providing the bumper for this project.
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