True North Fabrications 6th Gen Bronco (2021+ Bronco) Rear Bumper Install Without Swingouts & How to Tap Factory Reverse Lights
We chose to install the rear bumper without swingouts to save weight. We may install the True North Fab swingouts in the future but for now, we’re running the bumper only.
Note: This is not the full installation guide with the spare tire delete and the swingouts. If you’re interested in adding the spare tire delete kit from True North Fab, you can see that full installation guide here.
Find It Online:
Tools & Materials:
- Metric Sockets 8mm – 19mm
- Metric open-end wrenches
- 3/8″ extensions
- Grinder with cutoff wheel or pad disc
- Needle nose pliers
- Klein electrical crimps
- Kline electrical strippers
- Heat shrink
- Tessa tape
- Blue loctite
True North Fab Rear Bumper Overview
Table of Contents
Step 1. Organize Parts
First, set out all your parts and account for all hardware and tools needed for the installation.
Step 2. Unplug Wiring Harness & Remove Bumper
If you’re unfamiliar with how to remove the bumper, reference this post.
Unplug the license plate and sensor plugs on both sides of the Bronco. This plug can be found behind the side wings of the stock bumper. Be careful with them as these plugs will be reused and connected back together with the new bumper.
Next, remove the four (4) 19mm recovery point bolts and the side bracket bolts.
While looking towards the rear bumper from the wheel well, you will see a bracket on each side that holds the bumper to the side of the frame rail. There is one bolt on each side that will need to be removed to release the bumper. Underneath each frame rail, there are two bolts on the bottom holding the stock bumper to it. Once these are removed, the bumper should slide off the vehicle. Remove slowly and make sure no wires get pinched.
You do not need to remove the stock tow hitch to remove your stock bumper. However, depending on your hitch, it may need to be modified if you plan to keep it installed with the new bumper.
Once the bumper is removed, you can fully remove the wiring harness.
Step 3. Remove Exhaust Hanger Bracket
To install the bumper, you will need to remove the exhaust hanger out of the way temporarily. While looking through the frame rail you should see two bolts holding the hanger bracket to the frame. Loosen these bolts and remove the mount from the frame. It should slide out by pushing the frame to the right.
You can reinstall this bracket after the bumper mounting brackets have been installed and before the shell is installed.
Step 4. Position Mounting Bracket
You should have a left and right mounting assembly that will sandwich the frame and cross member. These will be installed by reusing the two 19mm factory bolts holding the recovery points in place and the long 3⁄8” bolt.
Start with the top of the bracket. Use the long 3⁄8” bolt with two washers and a lock nut to loosely hold the bracket around the frame rail. Then, move on to the lower 19mm bolts (two on each side).
Step 5. Mounting Bracket Bottom Bolts
Once the bottom two bolts are tightened, you can fully tighten the 3⁄8” bolt and squeeze the frame rail. This bolt doesn’t need to be overly tight – just enough for about 1⁄8” of thread to show through the locking nut on the backside.
Step 6. Recovery Points
Locate your two CNC shackles and the (6) bolts, (6) locknuts, and (12) washers.
Next, slide the shackles into the mounts and install the bolts. Make sure that the locknuts are on the inside (towards the center of Bronco). If these are installed towards the outside, the bumper shell may not fit during installation.
Make sure to tighten the bolts down and that the 1⁄4” plate tightens around the shackle.
Step 7. Hinge Supports
The hinge supports will bolt into the side of the new mounting brackets along with the wing that comes out from the frame rail.
Using the supplied 3⁄8” hardware, loosely mount the hinge supports. Do not tighten these all the way yet as they will need to be able to move during the installation of the shell. Keeping all hardware hand-tight for now.
I believe we got an older hardware package so we had to modify the frame rail bolt. We added a large 1.5″ and then a stepdown washer over the bolt so that it would clamp over the large hole inside the frame rail. If you don’t use a larger surface area washer, the washers provided will slide through the hole because there’s not enough surface area to grab onto.
Step 8. Wiring Bumper Lights
For the reverse lights, we decided to tap into the reverse light wire on the passenger side of the Bronco. We started with mounting the element reverse lights and merged both of those leads into one lead which will run up into the D-Pillar and then to the rear cargo area.
Step 9. Tap Bronco Factory Reverse Light Wire
Note that the picture above shows two green wires – One has an orange stripe and one has a brown stripe.
The factory reverse light wire is the bright green one with a brown stripe. We tapped into the lead with the brown stripe. The T-taps are not provided in this kit so you will need to source these on your own.
Step 10. Test Reverse Lights
For testing the lights (before installing the bumper), we grounded the negative lead to the chassis and crimped a temporary female tap onto our positive lead. Once we confirmed power to the lights when putting the Bronco in reverse, we cut off the positive lead’s T-Tap so that we could later run the wires through a small hole in the D-Pillar.
Step 11. Grind Down Hitch Receiver
Now let’s get the bumper shell installed.
If you have a tow package, you will need to cut the side holding the plug and rotate it down about 1⁄8” so the bumper shell can clear it. True North recommends that you uninstall the plug from the hitch assembly when you slide on the shell and then reinstall it afterward.
We’re not running a full tow package yet, however we do have an aftermarket hitch receiver mount from Curt.
We did have to grind down about 1/4″ of material off our hitch receiver for the bumper shell to clear the lip on the edge of the receiver. After we confirmed fitment and clearance, we painted the exposed area.
Step 12. Bumper Shell Bottom Bolts
The main bolts that hold the bumper shell to the mounting assembly are the (4) 3⁄8” bolts under the frame on each side of the cross member.
Grab some help and slide the bumper shell around the shackles and over the hinge supports. The bumper can then rest on top of the cross member/hinge supports.
Make sure that you can easily access the wiring for the reverse lights as those harnesses will run through the bumper shell and up into the D-pillar.
Next, loosely install the (8) 3⁄8” bolts under the frame to hold the shell in place. Don’t tighten these down fully yet.
If the bolt holes do not line up right away, you may need to use a punch to position the bolt hole alignment. This was a bit of a process but eventually, we got it.
Step 13. Bumper Shell Top Bolts
Line up the (4) holes and the main hinge hole with the hinge support. This can be difficult, just take your time and move around both the shell and the hinge supports to get them lined up. Utilizing a screwdriver or punch through the holes can help line everything up.
Start with one bolt at a time. Once one hole lines up, install that bolt and washer. Then, move on to another hole that lines up. Eventually, everything will line up and the bumper fitment will come together.
Step 14. Bumper Shell Hinge Bolts
Underneath the shell, you should be able to see where the hinge and the (4) bolts have gone through it and the hinge support.
Once all the top bolts have been positioned, you can fully tighten these down.
At this time, you can fully tighten all bumper bolts; the lower (8) bolts, and all hinge bolts.
Step 15. Run Wiring Up D-Pillar
Now that the bumper shell is on, we can run the wiring harness up the D-pillar and into the cargo area. There is a small hole in the sheet metal that we ran our harness through.
Step 16. Ground Wire
After you pull your wiring harness through this hole, connect a new T-tap on your positive lead and a ring terminal onto your ground lead. Heat shrink everything, connect all your leads, and then clean it up with zip-ties.
Step 17. Reinstall Factory Plastics
Finally, reconnect all your factory wiring harnesses to the plastics and reinstall the plastics.
The installation was pretty straightforward, although getting those bolts to all line up was a bit time-consuming. Other than that, the installation was simple enough.
I think the design here was well thought out by True North Fabrications. I really like how the recovery points are integrated into the bumper and tied to the frame rail and reinforcement brackets. That will give me added peace of mind when in recovery situations. As a bonus, you can paint your recovery points to match whatever color scheme you’re going for. We decided to have Agency6 located in Roseville powder-coat ours to match our front winch shackle.
The integrated Element lights are a nice addition. The pigtails and wiring harness provided are very universal so you can wire them to the provided switch, an upfitter switch, or tap them into your reverse lights as I did.
The bumper also comes with radar sensor holes all the way around. Since we don’t utilize any of these electronics or the swingout pivots, we covered them up with 1 x 3/8″ caps for the swingout pivot holes and 1 x 1/4″ plastic cover caps for the sensor holes. We will update some photos once those arrive to show you the finished look.
Finally, the True North Fab Logo on the back is subtle and tastefully done.
All in all, the bumper is very well mounted to the frame rail using a mind-boggling 22 bolts. It’s not going anywhere on a big hit. I am stoked to get this thing out on the trails so we can slam it on a few rocks.