'03 Disco SE
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Clearwater, FL, USA
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I'll try not to be aggressive, so please don't get defensive. My following comments are all constructive criticism.
1. The look is a matter of personal taste. If you like it, I like it. No argument from me.
2. Those welds are NOT good welds. I am a civil engineer who graduated UFlorida in 2011 and I currently work as an engineering consultant in the petrochemical industry (so I kinda know what I'm talking about). If one of our fabrication facilities released equipment with welds like that, I would refuse the shipment and strike them from our vendor list. And rightly so - they're unsafe. Those welds are probably only slightly stronger than standard tack welds and they certainly haven't fused the pieces together. If we had a chance to xray the welds I guarantee my theory would be confirmed. Likely what has happened is that you either used the wrong electrodes or your welder doesn't have enough juice to properly heat up the material - your technique also needs work. I appreciate that welding is difficult and that you are a beginner, but you probably would be better off practicing on some scrap first or at least reading a book about welding techniques before making finished pieces.
3. As a result of the weak welds, the structural rigidity is compromised. I would personally not count on either the frame mounts or the recovery points to not fail under winching load. The locations are good but the metal is too thin and the welds too weak. The best case scenario you could hope for is that the mounts deform somewhat under load, but I'm certain that by the second or third recovery the mounts will break loose and send a winch cable whipping through somebody's windshield. Not to mention there is absolutely no way to know how this bumper would respond in the event of an accident - you're airbags might not even deploy. Is saving a few hundred bucks really worth your well being?
I know you're proud of your work and you'll take anything we say very personally, but my advice really is in your best interest. Take the bumper off and put it up on the wall of your workshop as a "my first job" decoration, then research welding techniques and D2 bumpers until you find something that you can copy. After you've welded about 200 yards of bead on practice material you can take another crack at the bumper.