Jeep Wrangler Gets Pressurized Water Right Out Of The Bumper

[Ed] got pretty creative with a hack that adds a pressurized water tap to his Jeep Wrangler. The tap on the rear passenger bumper now lets him hose off the vehicle after mudding, rinse his SCUBA gear after a dive, and just generally comes in handy.

If you want running water you’ve got to have a place to put it. This is actually what sparked the idea for the project. [Ed] noticed that the bumper was hollow and had some drain holes on the bottom. After plugging those and adding a fill hole to the top he found that he had a reservoir for about seven gallons. To get the water out he added a pump deigned to be used on an RV. It’s got features that make it work perfectly for this application: it runs off of battery voltage, it will turn on and off automatically when the tap is opened based on water pressure, and it will shut itself off if the reservoir runs dry. He designed a bezel to give the spigot a professional look. Just out of frame in the image above is an attachment for pressurized air. His next planned project for the Jeep is to add an air compressor.

After the break you can see a demo of the installed system, as well as a water pump test.

Finished Demo:

Pump test:

122 thoughts on “Jeep Wrangler Gets Pressurized Water Right Out Of The Bumper

  1. Excellent!!! I’m glad to see someone else doing it aswell!

    It’s something that comes absolutely handy under some circumstances.

    The best is water source in the interior with a faucet popping up from somewhere plus Exterior Faucet plus Air and Electricity Outlet behind a modified “popping out” fender.

    On a Utility vehicle it’s definitely something needed.

  2. Neat! Hopefully that extra weight in the bumper doesn’t cause any problems though, I’m guessing the way it’s attached wasn’t exactly designed for that extra, but who kows.

    1. That’s exactly what I had in mind!. I imagined someone driving next to you to tell you that your bumper had fallen off a kilometre away!, but a very impressive and useful hack all the same.

        1. This is where the metric system is your friend :-)
          In Europe or Asia, the writer would have said that the bumper could contain up to 26.5 litres of water. Less than a second later you would realise that the weight of that would be 26.5 kilo grams.

          1. What nonsense! Conversions from weight to volume can be achieved in the imperial system as easily as the metric system. In every country more than one units system is used every freaking day, get over your useless self.

          2. A pint is a pound, the world around.
            And an ounce weighs an ounce.

            Just as, if not more, intuitive than 1 gram = 1 cubic centimeter = 1 milliliter.

        1. Add interior baffles, like they do inside rocket tanks. But then you might as well build your own bumper from scratch. (You could cut off the top of it, and weld it back, or maybe bolt it over a seal so you can do maintenance…)

    2. I also wonder how being full of water effects it’s performance as a bumper. If it is hollow plastic, I presume that it is intended to crush. Water is much less elastic than air.

      Regardless though I’d probably still do this mod until some one could demonstrate a pretty sever safety risk.

      1. It looks like a plastic bumper to me. If anything it might have a plastic honeycomb structure inside to make it seem more solid for everyday use. If this was a Chrysler steel bumper, it would make its own drain holes after a handful of uses.

        As for safety, I’d expect the drain hole plugs to fail or the walls to rupture if it takes a hit while full. I’d be more worried about stagnant water and algae growth. As long as they use municipal water or add a capful of soap or bleach when it gets filled up it should be okay.

        1. Or, you could look into swimming pool chemicals (for chemists, it’s a buffer solution) so chlorine.. Which as anonymous said above, is pretty much bleach. Or the other way around. I’m not a chemist haha
          They also put chlorine in drinking water…

      2. There’s a reason they use water barrels to guard the wedge between exit ramps and the freeway here in the US. The water is less elastic than air, which means it slows you down more quickly, but it is more elastic than steel, concrete, or dirt, which slows you down instantly.

        I would think with a bumper-worthy tap it would squirt a little water and pop the fill hole. I think if it was impacted with any severe force, the bumper would be the least of your problems, but in that case it would probably still cause less damage to occur to both vehicles than if it was just full of air with an easy escape.

        I direct your attention to this video:

        1. On barriers: The trick is that there is always an opening or rather lid that pops off to let the water escape when used in barriers, they would not put it in welded shut spaces.

          1. I don’t think it’s a real issue here with the car, I was more responding about the barrier thing. But I don’t think the fill opening is big enough to work in the barrier way, but I expect the seams would simply crack and let the water out in a heavy collision, so it’s still OK

            My caveat with the car is that water is heavy and every ounce costs fuel. (and increases pollution – depending on the type of engine.)

      3. I would do that as well, in USofA they use safety devices in form of plastic barriers/barrels, filled with water, once you hit it, water takes energy and goes flying around, unlike other materials such as sand…

  3. Many people use a piece of pipe as an air reservoir, consider that for the compressor. Eliminate the water pump and then just use the compressed air to pump the water out in typical air over hydraulic fashion. This way you can get water pressure as high as your compressor will pump. This is how water is pushed out of air tank drains here in the compressed air industry.

    1. Nah, it’s a mudder. Sometimes you get a nice sharp stick shoved right through a fender. It is a way people occasionally get hurt going off-roading, two-tracking, etc.. Don’t want an unnecessary source of compressed material.

    1. water doesn’t rust steel or iron, its when oxygen hits the metal after its been wet. most cast iron pipes never rust from the inside out only because they’re constantly filled with water and lack any oxygen pockets. however this bumper is plastic and therefore will not rust out.

  4. First thing he mentions is the bumper being plastic. Plastic doesn’t rust. :) Suppose my concern might be the liquid sloshing around. Gas tanks are baffled to prevent the liquid’s inertia from adversely impacting the handling of the vehicle. This is a cool proof of concept, but perhaps a purpose built baffled bumper/tank would be better in the long run.

  5. I like this idea. I would coat the inside of the bumper just to be sure it won’t rust out.

    Didn’t the Land Rovers or similar have a feature where the engine would shut off fuel and spark to one cylinder so that you could use it as an air compressor? That would be perfect if you could do it on the Jeep.

    1. If he wants to go true hacker style, without compromising one cylinder of his engine, he could also get an engine-driven compressor.

      Just replace the included engine with any belts/gearing/clutching needed to have it compress properly at idle. Maybe a cable-operated clutch/transmission to give the compressor an on/off switch by engaging or disengaging engine power.

      1. TRUE hacker style is what i did. I took a York Airconditioning Compressor, modified the upper cylinder lubrication circuit, mounted it to the engine, installed an air filter on the low side, a 150PSI switch on the high side, plumbed high to a 2.5 gallon tank from a semi, wired in the PSI switch+on/off switch to the clutch, and done.

        I now have an engine powered air compressor that can put out 9CFM (when i rev my diesel up to 2100rpm) and gill my 2.5 gallon tank to 100 PSI in around 15 seconds. My van can now happily feed the air needs of even the most insane air tools. Inflating tires takes no time at all.

  6. Umm isn’t the bumper designed for the purpose of minimising damage during a crash? You’re filling a light compressable structure with an incompressable liquid. Any slight bump could be more easily transferred to whatever is holding the bumper in place, causing perhaps deeper and more expensive damage. Also wouldn’t this invalidate all the car safety tests, and perhaps make it illegal to drive?

    1. That’s a point, but sine the bumper is plastic you’ed think that it would crack, releasing the water, before enough energy could be transferred to do much more damage than it would without water.

      1. I wouldn’t think that at all. An impact taking place over a few milliseconds is going to render it rigid, regardless of any cracking. The energy transferred to the chassis would be substantial.

        1. In an impact providing THAT much force, the bumper is pretty much useless. For a tap, I imagine the water’s rigidity would prevent denting and pop the fill hole in a humorous way. For any real impact, it’s going to decimate the whole rear end of that car.

      2. Water doesn’t compress very well. The bumper will crack on impact for sure, but there definitely isn’t enough time between cracking and transfer of energy for the water to escape. The “air holes” at the bottom of the bumper were there for exactly the reason of allowing the bumper to collapse. This hack is great if you’re in the outback a lot and have no real need for a bumper. If however you are driving around other cars…

        1. Got any references for that comment? I call BS – the amount of force to compress the air in the bumper that small amount is negligible…doubt me? Put a cap on an empty 2 litre pop bottle and see how much you can squeeze it.

        2. The incompressible nature of water means you only need the tiniest of crack to relieve pressure and any further pressure build-up will result in the crack simply widening. The bumper will burst and it will be no more dangerous than hitting the water barriers on the side of the freeway.

          You can see the difference in stored energy by looking at failed pressure testing video. A failed hydrotest at 1.5x design pressure will typically result in a crack and a small puddle. A failed pneumatic test at 1.25x design pressure can result in the destruction of the gear and the building in which it was contained.

    2. Any hit on the back weather or not the Bumper will absorb it will immediately hit the frame of the Tow Hitch which is tied to the Jeep’s Frame which is quite inbendable which will stop the impact right where it is.

      The only problem is you’ll get some extra G-Force in the Cabin,but literally speaking,it wont have any effect as most cars on the Road are low laying Crumple Zone’d lightweight matchboxes compared to a boxy Body On Frame SUV,which means they will hit the Jeep at the Height of the hood and will also absorb by their self any excessive energy before they even transfer it to it.

      You can search for Crashes with Inbendable Offroad Bumpers,most of the times the bumpers were beneficial and protected the Vehicle,BUT ALSO didn’t caused any more damage to the Other Vehicle which got the Crumple Zones activated and absorbed the Crash protecting the passengers (as far as we talk about new Cars with High Safety Structure and Crumple Zones).

      Illegal to Drive? Where are you,i don’t wanna know.

  7. Glad to see a fellow Fire Fighter doing something with there personal vehicles. :)
    Living in the North East, i have a Shore Power inlet (120v 20A) working on a DIY AutoEject system. Attached to a Battery Maintainer, Air Compressor, Boot+Glove Drier/heater, GPS Charger, and heater.

  8. There is no issue with the bumper, brackets or bolts carrying the extra weight. My goodness, this is a 2.5 mph bumper mounted to a 4000+ pound vehicle! On that note, the bumper is only clad in plastic. There is an aluminum beam inside covered with foam. In an accident, the plastic cladding is sacrificial. Impact protection comes from the foam and beam. Yes, some of the impact effectiveness of the stock bumper is lost when you fill the space with water. So what? It’s a Jeep that sees other than mall parking lots. That plastic cover will not withstand pressure. Note that the RV water pump only establishes pressure downstream of the pump. That’s fine; the plastic cladding sees hydrostatic pressure and it can handle that. An air-over-water pressurized system, though, would blow out. The OP set it up correctly – except for the issue of freezing (not a Florida concern lol) for those who live elsewhere.

    1. I gotta call BS on your last line. I lived in Orlando fall of ’90 and our pipes froze the night before Thanksgiving. The plastic may have better insulation than PVC, but it does freeze there. I assume if the weather calls for freeze the OP would drain enough for expansion.

  9. I think you are mistaken about the pump shutting off when the bumper/reservoir is empty – none of the RV pumps I’ve encountered have that capability (and it would be very useful if they did, I’ve had to retrofit with a flow meter and timer circuit in the past)

      1. It matters if you can’t shut the electrical supply off to the pump, as the pump diaphragm will suffer from mechanical failure if run dry for an extended period of time (and his battery will run flat). I asked in the hope that there was indeed a commonly available RV pump which shut off automatically when run dry, not to be picky or ‘clever’.

  10. Bunch of over thinking going on. It’s a jeep, vehicles that get flipped over for fun, not a perfectly balanced projectile going Mach 10. Personally, I would use 6″ schedule 40 steel pipe as a bumper, makes a great air tank and water tank, not to mention you can actually pull on it with a wench in true jeep fashion.

      1. So you’re saying that something else bolted to the frame is stronger than a 6″ piece of pipe bolted to it. Obviously I must have never used welded pipe to lift industrial equipment.

          1. 6″ schedule 40 isn’t likely to be the weak link on this vehicle, where the frame would be likely to give first. Maybe it would be a weak link on a 6 axle carrier with a oil well servicing rig with a 90 derrick mounted. Yying to the frame is good rule of thumb to begin with, but from there it’s relative until you see what you are actually facing

          2. Good lord! I am surrounded by a void where reading comprehension and critical thinking skills should be.

            My point is that if you need some serious force to move a vehicle and decide to attach the cables to the bumper instead of frame, all you are going to do is rip off the bumper.

            Jesus! It is the connection of the bumper to the frame that is the weak point. Not the bumper itself and not the frame. It’s like none of you have ever seen this happen. If you don’t know what you are talking about, then it might be time to not talk!

          3. Yes the lack of comprehension by the wanna be safety police here is funny. Lots of small trucks have offroad type bumpers and real trucks don’t have much of what you would call a bumper. For reference my bumper is a inch thick plate of steel that is about three by five foot welded to the frame that is for the pintle hitch to mount on. So I find the notion of the bumper flying off in the post above funny and the arguing over the safety of filling plastic with water is homurous too.

        1. AFAIK equipment is rarely, if ever, welded to truck frames. Using the appropriate grade of bolts have been the convention for a long time now. The purpose constructed lifting equipment you use is an unrelated matter. Having said that a properly construct & properly mounted** schedule 40 bumper would not be a weak link as another characterized it as.
          ** Using a double shear attachment if possible with the proper grade of bolts

  11. I’m going to be a killjoy here. It is my understanding that the bumper is hollow as part of the original design specifications to help protect in case of an accident with a human pedestrian. All automobiles now days have been deisgned to help minimise the injury potential when a colision with a person occurs. I would suspect that by filliong the bumper with water, one would have substantially altered the maner in which way such an impact would spread the force. Mind you, I’m not pasing any moral “you should/ shouldn’t” judgement, just giving a heads up. Is this for the front or back bumper?

    1. look at the picture its the back bumper so
      a) running a pedestrian over in reverse sound like a real odd accident to me and
      b) the big reserve tire would hit a pedestrian long before the bumper does…
      don’t know about the “designed” specification but from a practical point of view 0 difference pedestrian wise.

      1. Ouch! You hit me with the rear bumper of your Jeep! I’m gonna sue you for all your Jeep is worth!!!

        Ouch! You hit me with the modified rear bumper of your Jeep that was filled with 60 lbs of water! I’m gonna sue you for all your water filled Jeep is worth!!!

        I don’t see much of a distinction here…

        1. I was thinking more of a car running into this vehicle, and then the insurance company saying, “oh we don’t have to cover you, because you modified a required safety feature and made it no longer work as intended.” Oh but you are right, they would never do that.

          1. No. They wouldn’t.

            Go back to your basement. Your original ‘killjoy’ post was amusing enough. Your phrasing clearly telegraphed how intelligent and important you were trying to sound.

    2. There are millions of older Jeeps like this and dozen other older cars that were made with heavy inbendable Steel bumpers and Front Ends and are driving around more than you can think.

      There are more chances one of these will get involved into an accident than the car of a random guy who filled his bumper with Water.

      This can be spotted randomly probably less than 2 times a year,whereas Buses and Semi Trucks that are moving walls and unmodified Older Spec Vehicles with “dangerous” parts can be spotted in dozens at every Red Light,but no one has ever discussed about it.

      I see too much of Alarmist Style Discussions.

  12. Great hack! Very useful in many different situations.

    As for the worriers: go stick your head back into the sand you just pulled it out of. Life is too short to worry constantly about each and every little thing you see.

  13. What all of you idios who posted about water in the bumper and it being plastic and the problems risks and such. Are you all to stupid to know about freeways, Exit off ramps, and some onramps. They have what it is 50gal or 75gal Trashcans filled with dun dun dun WATER!!!! for…. DUN DUN DUN IMPACT!!!! at what offramp speeds of 35-60mph. They release the water via he top, they dont act like BOMBS as some of you are insuating, and it saves the car, and the driver, do none of you understand this? AS well the bumper has DUN DUN DUN… a BIG inlet for the water to be filled up…. so…. DUN DUN DUN AIR ESCAPES just like the trash can(i figure the outlet will prob break off too if hit hard enough). As well, if a trashcan gets hit, it does break, so will the bumper DUN DUN DUN!!! YAY!!! SOLVED! If you are telling me that the freeway trashcans are DANGEROUS just like this bumper then file a complaint about it with your congressman to get the trashcans removed, but thoes trashcans filled with water have saved lives, and vehicles, as well as saved the cars from fires from the engine blocks cause the hits to the K-Rails, so in turn this is the EXACT same IDEA put on a car lets see just DUN DUN DUN PORTABLE!!!! WOO WOO!!! As for the bumper being a metal bumper on the inside, some are some arent. Mine isnt, It is a hollow injection molded 4 bolts holding it on with Zinc Bolts, it is From what I can tell about 2.5mm thick so it is decent bumper and I can stand on it and such and jump on it and it wont break off, it is good for towing and pulling hell no. That is what my ball is for, and my winch on the front, this is the back end it doesnt get much use/action unless to step and put drinks on. As well, this is just enough water to wash off stuff not alot to do a whole fleet of cars. Really good for drinking water when the jeep is full of other things, as well as showers too, this is an ecelent idea, with no risks involved at all for the bumper and people.
    Only problem i see is the pump getting damaged from rocks, a plate would be good or a enclosure from the mud. ALong with sealing the power and hoses from exposure from the elements and crap under the vehicle. I got dirt and mud into places that I didnt think it could get in to, so it is possible.
    RV pumps do turn on only when the pressure from the outlet is lower then the needed to shootit out the pressure inlet has nothing to do with it turning on. Meaning the outlet hose is always pressureized period once this drop the pump turns on, this is a standard for RVs and alot of pressureized systems for houses that have been reno’d and they are too far away from the hotwater heater or the cold water has no pressure, they install these under the sinks that have the problem with low pressure and poof it only comes on when needed. This also includes POWER, the power is only used when the pressure is to low it turns on and poof u get pressured water. The ‘membrane’ as someone said here is gonna get worn and such, no it wont. Cause the pressure isnt there on the membrane look up the schematic of any of these pumps it never touches the membrane when off.
    I know which pump he used, and it is used in the midrange RV’s actually, and it is used in houses as well, this is actually one of the quieter pumps around not silent but quieter. His setup is great, and I am glad he did it.
    So get your facts straight and do your research before you start spouting off about something you dont know. And use your past as what can happen, and what has happen and use instances i your life for similar things. You young idiots dont want to use your brain anymore, this is why morons are pouring out of the system and the degrees are worthless cause you dont learn a damn thing. Use your brain, use math, look at your surroundings to find what is similar. I gave you it above the one perfect instance. ANd proved your statements are wrong and idiotic and what you said shoudl have never been said.

    1. To much caps, so didn’t bother to read the whole thing. Keep in mind those motorway “trashcans” have a huge opening, so water can escape.

      Try this experiment. Get 3 1.25 litre coke bottles. The first one, take the lid off and try and squeeze the contents out using hand strength. The second one, cut the entire neck off and try and squeeze the contents out (easy right). Finally get an empty coke bottle, squeeze the air out with the lid off. Notice how the air is able to escape quicker and easier than the liquid? That’s compressive strength.

  14. Given that there will be some sloshing in the tank… can this be used to force the water through some sort of purification filter? Perhaps a smaller internal tank (even if it’s just a litre or two) of drinkable water might be feasible. Anyway, this is a really awesome modification.

    1. I wouldn’t want to drink water that came out of the back bumper of a car. If it’s only for a couple liters, it would be safer and easier to use an existing bottle that’s already designed for portable water. (Soda bottles or the gallon water jugs you can buy at grocery stores.)

    2. I would think it would be easiest to attach the filtration system to the spigot, then you could drink the water if you were thirsty, otherwise leave it off, and spray what needs sprayed

  15. Regarding real metal vs tin foil in cars…
    I got rear ended by a 68 caddie last year, 6k to my car(Versa), The caddie just suffered a slight dent in the front..

    There is a difference, ask my neck the question…

    1. Now run that caddy into another caddy or a wall, before the advent of modern safety features cars were death traps. Met with even modest force a car like that will typically buckle in the cabin area as that is the natural weak spot resulting in crushed mangled passengers. In an accident where the car dose not crush all the impact force is imparted to the occupants. The fact is even though it suffered major damage your car with its safety features did a great job of protecting both you and the other driver. Don’t trick your self into thinking we would be safer if we all drove old barges cause its not true. There are many pics available from the good ol’ days showing what typical crash results were pre crumple zone..

      1. That Cadillac has a great advantage in crashes over 90%+ of the vehicles you will see in traffic nowadays.

        Not only it wont get damage but the passengers wont feel a bump either.

        1) The crumple zones of the other cars will protect both cars’ passengers but only the cadillac will drive off with minor dents,the other will look like folded tin foil.
        2) With the momentum of the mass of 1700kg+ it will displace many vehicles that will pop to its front like a Cruise Ship a Fishing Boat,but both the cars’ passengers will be safe due to the just One’s Crumple Zones,but again only the Cadillac will drive off while still looking like a Cadillac.

        Side collisions and crashing on Walls is another story.

        Conclusion? The Cadillac wins as far as there’s no other Cadillacs on the road.

        Of course if we swap the Cadillac to a Vehicle like a brand new ultra heavy Chevy Suburban with all the safety features up to date being present even the Cadillac would be out of the question.

  16. OK, since I posted the question about it being a hazzard to a pedestrian, and then a few people said something to the effect that it wouldn’t matter, ’cause the pedestrian would be hurt anyways, I thought I’d spice it up with this scenerio:
    You get in some freakish accident where your back bumper is somehow involved, and someone is injurued.. like maybe in the car that ran into you. Because there is an injury, the police do a writeup, and note that the bumper was modified. Think your insurance company will just payout with a integrity of the safety mechanisms in the car being modified?

    1. Yes, they will because there is an overarching law that forbids restraint of trade. Otherwise your same logic would preclude insurance coverage if you as much as switched tires from what the OEM supplied.

    2. jgn is entirely correct. It’s still your car insurance. The only thing that might get negated would be a warranty claim on your bumper… but you’re already cutting holes in fenders and adding custom plates – so who cares.

  17. Clever use of an unused space!

    One issue I’m wondering about, which I don’t see previously mentioned. While the *bumper* is plastic and won’t rust, does the *mounting hardware* protrude inside the now sealed bumper cavity? If so, is it metal, and will it handle continuous water exposure?

  18. Odd that he doesn’t cover that pump when it’s on the underside of a jeep, because a jeep is off-road and stuff I would have the tendency to cover it a bit. Even when it’s higher up

    1. That wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s probably well protected by the transaxle right there. It’s hard to see from the video, but I wonder if it’s in the line of travel for the transaxle if he really jams it up there.. might get smashed.

      A suggestion would be to have a QD or something to a second water source, so he could add a bag of water or something in the back for extra capacity. (Though having water inside would be a little more disconcerting, where leaks/disasters are concerned.)

  19. Just a note to add. Though I think this is a coll mod, in the winter the water would freeze, expand thus cracking your bumper. Removal of the water would definitely be needed in most climates.

  20. I think this is a pretty cool mod, but you’d have to remember to drain it in the winter in most climates as the water would freeze, expand and crack your bumper which would be a real bummer, plus you’d need to blow out the spigot and line too or that’d crack and split also. But in the months above freezing I think this would be awesome.

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