Hey guys, I thought I might share a bit of a project I'm working on at the moment.
As I live in rural New South Wales, Australia, I need spotlights... big ones—as well as an aerial for boosted mobile reception. The issue I've found with this is a lack of aesthetically pleasing mounting options for the front end of the WK2. Plenty of guys around here have bullbars but given how nice the front of the WK2 looks I'm not so keen on uglifying it. What I need is a really nice looking nudge bar with compatible tow hooks and no change in approach angle.
Now my wife calls it being a bit anal, but I'm very specific on the way I think products should be designed to reach a harmony between form and function. That's why after hours staring at the front of my Jeep, measurements upon measurements, a good twenty or more iterations and countless tweaks to my design in SolidWorks I have come up with the design sample rendered below.
My self-imposed design and functionality requirements were as follows:
- The bar should protrude from the lower grille area to appear integrated in the design of the Jeep
- It should be compatible with a tow hook in each mounting assembly
- There should be no change to the approach angle while offroading
- I should be able to mount a combination of accessories on the bar with the ability for these to change (2 or 3 spotlights, or a light bar with room for an aerial on each side)
- Wiring for these accessories should be able to be run inside the bar for a completely flush and seamless appearance
- The top of the bar should be no higher than the lower edge of the grille rings to suit the existing lines of the Jeep
- No mounting hardware should be visible when the bar is fitted
So that was the challenge I set myself—and to be honest, I'm pretty happy with the progress I have made.
I am currently in the process of getting some quotes to have it fabricated from 304 Stainless Tube for the bar and an appropriate steel plate for the mounting brackets. The plan is to have it all powdercoated in black, possibly with the recovery points in red or orange.
I have run numerous simulated stress tests in Solidworks well over any possible load that could be put through them in a sensible recovery scenario all with very encouraging outcomes.
I'd love some feedback on my design—I'll do a digital mockup of how it should look on the Jeep in the coming days to demonstrate how it meets all of my self-imposed design criteria and I'll be sure to post updates as I go through the process of having it fabricated and fit it up to the Jeep.