Moses Ludel’s 4WD Mechanix Magazine – Dodge Ram 3500 Makeover: The Bumpers & Winch Assembly
First and foremost, the 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 4WD with Cummins power is a serious tow vehicle. The pickup tugs our car-hauling trailer with the XJ Cherokee on board and also meets the magazine’s other needs. A backup for 4×4 trail rigs and foul-weather assistance for stranded motorists, the Ram 3500 serves a variety of roles.
A winch is a utility tool, much in line with the Ram truck’s profile. A no-fluff hauler and recovery platform, the Dodge Ram 3500 truck is an ideal platform for heavy winching. For service at that level, we turned to Warn Industries‘ M12000 winch.
To support a 12,000 pound (single line pull) rated winch with 3/8″ diameter cable, there was only one front bumper choice: Warn’s heavy-duty bumper. This bumper will handle a Warn 16,500 pound winch! In our case, a 12,000-pound rating is more than ample. An extra 4,500 pounds of built-in strength makes this front bumper even more appealing!
Warn engineering is unquestionably tops. This bumper kit came complete with precision templates for drilling holes. Such tools assure a precise and safe fit. Notably, the OEM scheme for mounting the original front bumper to the frame consisted of two shear-positioned bolts per side. Warn affixes the heavy-duty bumper and its additional braces with a total of twelve high-grade fasteners per side!
By far the safest installation for winching, this Warn heavy-duty bumper is also an eye grabber. At the 2011 Off-Road Expo, the “must touch” item on the Dodge Ram 3500 was the Warn front bumper.
In addition to great looks, this heavy-gauge metal, powder-coated utility bumper also takes into account the needs of lifted trucks. This includes intelligently designed radiuses on the curved ends of the bumper.
Mounted behind the bumper is the formidable Warn M12000 winch. This workhorse has a reputation for reliability and genuine delivery of single line rated pull. If you need quality and a winch you can depend upon, consider the M12000 for heavy-duty use on a 3/4-ton or larger truck like the one-ton rated Ram 3500!
For the rear bumper, Buckstop was our first choice. This step-type bumper has the classic utility look desired plus substantial material upgrading from the OEM bumper. In our quest for non-chrome accessories, the Buckstop rear bumper provided the powder-coat match for Warn’s front bumper. Buckstop can custom match colors to your needs.
Worth noting with both bumpers is the straightforward fit. In an era when the word “aftermarket” often implies modifying and massaging parts to fit, each of these manufacturers has done its homework. While the Buckstop bumper by design and intent is easy to fit, even the more complex Warn heavy-duty bumper mounted up readily.
We are very pleased with the utility, looks and public response to these bumpers. They perform well and look great.
Note: For those interested in brush protection, the Warn bumper can be ordered with a full front brush guard! We opted for the bumper-only approach, as our Ram 3500 will not see “expedition” use.