Installation of Front Tow Hooks on a 1992-1996 Bronco
Many have wondered why front end tow hooks were never an option on Broncos and the F-Series trucks until our beloved Broncos were discontinued. Even now they are only avalible on 1 ton and above trucks. This tech article focuses on correcting this design flaw.
Get your tools and supplies together. Items you will need are as follows:
2 Tow hooks
A drill with 3/16, 5/16 & 1/2" drill bits
A Reciopcationg saw with metal cutting blades, try to get one with a short stroke, it makes cutting around the frame horns easier.
2 3/4" wrenches
A ratchet with a 10 MM socket
A mesuring tape
Some edge molding so you dont cut your hands when you use your hooks.
Take off your bumper by removing the 4 10mm bolts holding it onto your truck. I find it much easier to take off the grille to get to the top bolts. slide the bumper off the mounting tabs and set it aside.
Figure out where you will be mounting your tow hooks, personally I put them on the inside of the frame rail where they would have some backup from the bumper mount. Be careful You dont put them in a spot where the head of the bolt will hit the head of the bumper mount bolt.
Drill your holes. I found it works best if you drill with the smaller drill bits then make the holes bigger with the larger bits. When drilling the 2nd hole be sure to make sure it lines up with the hole on the tow hook. You can use the tow hook to streighten hout the 2nd hole if you have to, but expect a lot of binding and kickback from the drill.
Once your holes are aligned and drilled install your tow hooks using the 2 3/4" wrenches 19mm wrenches can be subituted for the 3/4 inchers.
This is the point where you have a choice, you can either hack on then bumper with it off the truck or with it on. Personally I rather do it withthe bumper on because then its held nice and steady, with it off it was very hard to cut since the saw kept moving it around.
If you want to cut with the bumper on the truck set the bumper on it's pegs on the mounts tap it against the hooks a few times then draw a rectangular box around the marks the hooks leave.
Here comes the pain in the butt part, if you know someone who can plasma cut your bumper use them, otherwise you will have to drill several holes in an "L" shape and connect them the other option is to get a bumper off a diesel.
If you are using a recipocating saw then use this pattern of cutting, I found it yields the best result and you end up with less shards to pick up. You will have to cut into the bump strip 1/4-1/2" in order to get full use of the tow hook. Don't worry, it doesn't look that bad.
After getting everything squared off and to the size you like install your edge molding around the hole. This will hide the imperfections, keep your hands intact and make the job look professional. Edge molding is avalible at most Industrial hardware stores.
If you cut your holes with the bumper on the truck pull it off and do your final installation of your tow hooks. Once they are tight mount your bumper and tighten it all up. In order to keep it from flapping you may want to cut 4" squares out of your mud shield so they wont catch the air. This will also help with cooling since now air is getting to the lower half of your radiator.
You are now done and its time to go out have some fun without worring about not being able to be pulled out head first.