6. The caps will be edge-welded at the end of each tube.
7. I dressed the weld along the cap with some 80-grit paper on a DA. The DA allows me to round the edges in a uniform shape. I’m going to run these nerf bars bare so things need to be as dead-on as possible!
8. I want my nerf bars to have a floating look; therefore I’m welding two 3⁄8-inch bolts into the back side of each bar. Keep in mind, the length of the bolts depend on the distance you want the bars to be from the vehicle.
9. Along with the actual bars, I’m going to make a set of brackets as well. The idea is to make an I-beam style bracket with oval inserts placed inside of it. Here’s my template that I’ll trace onto 3⁄16-inch steel.
10. In order to cut out the ovals in the center section of the brackets, I drilled a series of three holes inside each oval outline.
11. From there I used an air saw and die grinder to remove the remaining metal inside the ovals.
12. Three 1-inch-long pieces of oval tubing were cut and inserted in the bracket. Next, the bracket was spaced accordingly and the oval inserts were welded in position.
13. Fast forward a bit, and here’s how the finished product turned out. Once I completed the center section I welded 1-inch strap along the top and bottom to form an I-beam look. The mounting tab for the frame is welded to the end of the brackets, but I’ll hold off on the mounting pad for the nerf bars.
14. The top nerf bar will mount to the bottom of the bed bracing just below the tailgate, therefore I drilled mounting holes accordingly.
15. The mounting pad for the nerf bars is a 2-inch strap. I drilled three holes in the strap with the desired spacing for the nerf bars. The top hole will align with the hole in the bed bracing, and the top nerf bar will insert into both holes. The other nerf bars will simply mount to the remaining holes in the pad.
16. To keep things simple, the rear of my brackets mount to the stock Ford bumper bracket holes. With the nerf bars in position I mounted the brackets and welded the nerf bar mounting pad to the opposing end of the bracket.
17. The plan is to chrome the nerf bars and brackets, but for now it was time to get creative again. The nerf bars and brackets were ground with a DA and sprayed candy green. All-in-all these nerf bars and brackets are how you can make a big splash with a little coin.