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Front Bumper Parking Aids

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Old 10-15-2015, 06:32 PM   #11
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I've thought about a front camera
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Old 12-22-2015, 08:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by zach92r View Post
i use my brush guard to judge when to stop
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Old 07-14-2017, 12:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by billf View Post
The 2012 F150 I just bought is the biggest vehicle I've ever owned. I've been having trouble navigating tight spaces, and pulling in and out of parking spaces. I realized it would be a lot easier if I knew: (1) where the front wheels really were and (2) where the corners of the front bumper were. So here's what I did:

First, I put some suction cups from Harbor Freight on the hood directly above the front tires so that while looking over the top of the hood I can see where the tires are, and hence where the truck will turn.

Second, I fabricated some markers that I can see while driving and that show me where the front corners of the front bumper are.

Here's a picture:

Attachment 122876

And here's what the bumper markers look like from the driver's seat (with the suction cups removed):

Attachment 122863

Mounting the suction cups should require no explanation, so I'll concentrate on the bumper markers. Here's a picture showing how they extend out into the air above the corner of each bumper:

Attachment 122877

And here's a close look at the installation of one:

Attachment 122865

Fabrication was straightforward:

(1) I found two pre-existing holes in convenient places, so I didn't have to do any drilling.

(2) I straightened a 3' piece of 12 gauge solid copper wire (the kind used for electrical wiring in houses).

(3) Then I created a model of what I wanted by carefully bending and fitting the copper wire into the somewhat convoluted shape that the marker needed to be. I used long-nose pliers to make sharp bends, and kept re-bending and re-fitting the wire until it fit correctly.

(4) Then I took my model into the workshop and used it to bend a 3' long piece of 3/16" diameter brass rod into the exact same shape. Starting at the outside tip (that sticks up into the air) I held the wire model next to the brass rod, marked the bend spot with a Sharpie, put the rod in my vice and carefully bent the rod in the extact direction and to the exact angle needed to match the model. I repeated this for each segment until all the bends were in place, then cut off the excess length: resulting in the rod being an exact copy of the model.

WARNING: Be careful not to bend the brass rod too far. If you do this then try to bend it back it will break. You can only bend it "forward" to a desired final angle -- there's no going back.

(5) I cut a piece of rubber tubing into a 1" length, slit it lengthwise, then placed it on the rod where the hood would close on it. This helps keep the rod from scraping the paint where it emerges from under the hood.

(6) I sprayed the segment of the rod that would extend into the air with dayglow orange paint. The brightest I've found I got from the local hobby shop. It's from Krylon's "Shortcut" line, which is a series of dinky little cans of spray paint. Then I let it dry.

(7) To install it I jockeyed the tail end of the rod into the pre-existing hole towards the rear (seen in the picture above). Then I laid the rod in place, extending forward towards the front of the truck, flexing it slightly as needed to get it to fit into place and checked for a good fit.

(8) Then I bolted it into place using a second pre-existing hole. I used a large, thick fender washer to clamp the rod down, and used a short 1/4" bolt on top and a nylon filled metal nut from the bottom.

These parking aids have really helped me a lot. I think of them as training wheels that I can take off once I've gained a satisfactory level of proficiency.
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