Prerunner Bumpers and Light Bars

If you are building a serious prerunner you know you are going to need a few things to add protection to the vehicle and you will need a place to mount off-road lighting. You might need multiple places to mount lighting.

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Taking all these factors in we decided our project Explorer prerunner was going to need custom front and rear prerunner bumpers, and a wicked light rack.

The front bumper would give use room for 2 lights and the light bar would give us room for 4 more lights.

Another idea we got to blow this build over the top was to build a custom rear light rack that would house two red lights and two amber lights so we can been seen better by faster traveling vehicles in the dust.

At Woolworth Motorsports Robby started by bending up a series of tubes that would eventually make up the front bumper. One of the tricks with building prerunner bumpers is it helps if they can be bolted on. This way if you nerf something or someone and bend the tube you can easily remove it to replace it with another bumper. Making the bumpers bolt on adds to the design equation.


First was the lower u shaped tube that will be the lower mount for the front skid plate.


Next out came the sawzall to cut off the factory frame horns that held the factory front bumper. These were capped with steel, and later would be used as one of the mounting places. In this shot you also see the first of two vertical tubes tacked in place.


Here you see the second tube in place. These tubes will become the main support of the top tube that will hold a pair of 6in HIDs from Acro Lights.


Robby then bent up the top tube. We wanted the front bumper to have a very clean look since the rest of this prerunner was going to be so over the top. We chose to have a single tube that followed the body lines of the Explorer with no upper hoops. In the design of this style of bumper, Robby had to look into the future to know how far to build this bar out so the tabs for the Acro HIDs could be mounted on the backside of the tube and still have enough clearance for the internal ballasts on the back of the lights.


This picture shows the finish of the bolt-on horns and how the skid plate is mounted. Robby went the extra mile when he used allen screws flush mounted into the aluminum.


Knowing the owner of this Explorer like pixies (yes a woman is the owner of this prerunner) Robby got the idea of cutting out a pixie in the front skid plate. He had me find a picture online he could use as a template, and traced the outline on the skid plate.

With a steady hand Robby free-hand cut the pixie out with the plasma cutter. Then to set it off he took wire mesh, painted it red to match the powder coated suspension components.

Rear Prerunner Bumper


Now it was on to the rear bumper. Here you can see 2 support tubes welded to the frame. These will act as the main supports for the rest of the rear bumper. You will notice how we cut down the hitch receiver and incorporated it into the bumper.


Here is the bumper before it went to paint.


After 3 coats of primer and 3 coats of color, here is the finished bumper.

Custom Roof Mounted Light Bar

Six inch Acro HID lights produce a lot of light, but we felt we needed more. It was time to build a custom light rack to house 4 8” Halogen lights by Acro Lights. We chose Acro’s halogens for this because of their slimline, giving us more room when we needed to lay it down.


After the 2 main tabs were welded to the body, the main support was cut and bolted in.


Then Robby bent up the u-shaped top tube and tack welded it on along with the tabs for the lights.


Here is a closer look.


This is the finished light bar. You will see the struts on the side give us the ability to lay it down when not in use, and as a custom touch Robby used the set screws for the roof rack as stoppers for the rear mount of the strut bar.

Custom Roof Mounted Light Bar


When you are prerunning a course it is important for the other prerunners to see you in the dust. So we decided to create a custom rear light bar that would house 2 red LED lights and 2 amber LED lights. Ron “Pops” Woolworth headed up this project, and created a one-off light bar for us. He reinforced the roof rack attachment points and mounted the light bar to the roof rack. This way it can be removed and he didn’t have to alter the stock look with extra holes in the roof.

Custom Nerf Bars


Knowing the owner of this Explorer prerunner is tiny, she is only 5’2”, Robby had the idea of fabbing up some custom nerf bars that she can use as steps to get into he Explorer.

We want to thank everyone at Woolworth Motorsports for their creativity and craftsmanship. These custom prerunner bumpers and light bars really set this Explorer off.

In an upcoming article we plan on doing a full test on our Acro Lights. At the time of writing this article we are having a full moon, so we can't get a true test of the overall brightness of the lights. We have used them already and they definately turn the night into day.


  • Woolworth Motorsports - Front and Rear Bumper, Nerf Bars, and Front and Rear Custom Light Bars
  • Acro Lights - 4 - 8" Halogen Offroad Lights, 2 6" HID Lights


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