How to install push bumpers and grille guards
Push bumpers and grille guards are an essential part of police vehicle safety, and give the officer some shoving power up front. Push bumpers are considered mandatory by most fleet managers for these reasons, and because they immediately convey to nearby civilians that this is a police vehicle. Push bumpers and guards have that intimidating aesthetic that every police fleet aims for, but they back that aesthetic with strength. Police push bumpers and grille guards are usually made with steel and built with a single piece construction that strengthens the bumper further.
But as tough as push bumper are, they can be installed with the use of basic tools and some elbow grease. Given the bumper’s size and weight, it is best to get a second person involved, especially if the primary installer has back or shoulder issues. Those stipulations aside, this is a job most amateurs can handle.
Installing a push bumper or grille guard
The primary obstacle to getting the push bumper in place is the existing OEM bumper. Fortunately, that’s easy enough to remove. From there, it’s all about hardware, as the bumper or grille must be secured to the vehicle without fail, and without the presence of vibration. This can be managed easy enough with attention and with a basic set of tools.
Here’s how to get the push bumper and grille guard on the vehicle:
1. First, remove the OEM bumper and grille – Police vehicles are designed with bumpers that can be removed and replaced with little issue. This isn’t the case with civilian vehicles, where essential safety sensors are installed just behind the bumper. Installers don’t generally have to worry, then, that the push bumper will affect the vehicle’s performance.
So, the original bumper has to go. Every vehicle model comes with a different design, so the process for removing the bumper isn’t always the same. In general, though, the first bolts that need to go are under the hood. Pop the hood and locate those bolts, removing them once found. The bumper is further anchored on both sides with more bolts of varying sizes, and these will have to be removed by getting under the vehicle.
When the bolts are removed, the bumper should slide off without much resistance by jiggling it loose. There may be some fluid lines that need to be disconnected, depending on the vehicle model. Make sure these are accounted for so they can be reconnected once the push bumper is in place.
2. Second, install the mounting brackets – Believe it or not, the hard part is over. Once the original bumper is off the vehicle, it’s a matter of finding where to mount the bumper and grille components, and then using the appropriate hardware.
First are the mounting brackets, which are made from sturdy, thick steel and hold the push bumper and grille in place. These brackets normally consist of several components, so they should be pieced together before installing them on the front of the vehicle. Doing so will prove to be easier and ensure a tighter fit.
Once the mounting brackets are put together, anchor them to the vehicle’s front. There should be multiple apparent mounting spots for the brackets. Pair them off and place both of the primary brackets.
At this point, it’s wise to temporarily place the push bumper and grille to get the right measurements and fit. It will be harder to make changes later on. Once satisfied with the bracket spacing, tighten the hardware and secure the brackets entirely.
3. Third, replace the OEM bumper – The push bumper will fit over the OEM bumper, so now that the mounting brackets are in place, it’s time to put the OEM bumper back. This is the reverse of step one, so with a second person, put the bumper back into position and reinsert the bumper hardware. Even after the OEM bumper is back on, the mounting brackets should be visible and easily accessible.
4. Fourth, mount the push bumper to the brackets – The push bumper is a single piece of construction, so it doesn’t need to be assembled prior to installation. Merely attach the bumper to the mounting brackets with the heavy-duty bolts, tighten the hardware and test the bumper to make sure it is attached snugly.
If there are additional bumper segments, like wing wraps or lighting, these will often need to be installed separately and attached to the bumper’s ends or crossbars. Some bumpers already come with these installed, but there are obvious mounting points for these components should they need to be attached separately.
And that’s it. Push bumpers and grilles are among the most straightforward upfits to install on a police vehicle, and don’t require much in the way of expertise.