The rear step bumper on my truck had a minor dent it in when I purchased it. It looks like he may have backed into a tree or a pole. It was also slightly tweaked with the driver’s side being angled slightly downward. It looks worse in person, in my humble opinion, and it was enough to bother me.
After living with it for about six months, I started looking for a used bumper. I wanted to keep the factory look and, as far as I know, you can’t buy a new one from Dodge. While perusing Craigslist, I noticed several ads for Dodge Van step bumpers that looked identical to what was on my 1st Gen. The part numbers were different between the van and the truck, but I really couldn’t see any difference.
After several months of searching for both truck and van bumpers, I found a really nice bumper from a 2003 van that had been sitting in a garage since 2003. The owner took it off and replaced it with a standard bumper right after he bought the new van. So, I bought it and brought it home.
Then I noticed the differences. The truck bumper has an additional metal plate welded to the bottom center of the bumper, where you'd mount a hitch ball. The Van bumper also has some reinforcement, but it's a bit different. No problem there as I have a Class 4 trailer hitch and don’t tow from the bumper anyway.
I took off my old bumper and started to mount the van bumper when I finally noticed another difference. The ends of the truck bumper are notched out slightly on top, while the van bumper is not. The picture below has the two bumpers side by side. The van bumper is on the left and the truck bumper on the right.
I was able to use my angle grinder to cut out the notches. I painted over the freshly cut metal edges to protect against rust.
Van Bumper after cutting:
I removed the step pad from my original bumper and put it on the van bumper, since the pad also has the notches. Note the difference in the pad below.
The mounting points are identical for the van and truck bumpers – three bolts on each frame rail and one bolt on the angled support bracket. Everything bolted up perfectly. I’m happy with the result. It looks factory except to the discerning eye. Of course, after the fact, I found a shop that could repair my factory bumper, but this solution was less expensive.