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Iron Cross Shop Tour

Made in America with state-of-the-art technology and old-fashioned hard work

Joe Greeves
Jan 2, 2014
Photographers: Joe Greeves
Before you can start a business, you first have to recognize a need and determine what it takes to fill it. The automotive aftermarket fills the need most of us experience when it comes to personalizing our trucks. The end of the assembly line becomes the beginning of the creative process for drivers who don’t want to own cookie-cutter vehicles. Fortunately for those of us behind the wheel of a big, lifted truck, there are lots of options. One of the better-known enthusiast companies in the States is Iron Cross, which is famous for its strong steel bumpers, brushguards, and running boards.
Photo 2/17   |   The 320,000-square-foot facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was quiet when we visited on a Sunday afternoon, but hundreds of freshly cut steel bumpers were wrapped and ready for shipment.
Founder Troy Bundy has been involved with bumpers as far back as he can remember. His father was a steel fabricator specializing in building tall steel structures all over the world. As a favor to a friend, he built a bumper for the man’s pickup truck back in the day when many Detroit trucks rolled off the line without them. Before long, Bundy Bumper Company was an aftermarket supplier filling that need. While today’s trucks come complete, enthusiasts are still looking to set their vehicles apart from the crowd. Thankfully, Troy has the design and manufacturing skills to accommodate their requests.
Photo 3/17   |   With a copy of 8-Lug magazine on the desk, Iron Cross owner Troy Bundy discusses plans for the latest product.
Operating from his huge, 320,000-square-foot facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he has a staff of 65 personnel that handles every phase of production. Raw steel enters the plant, is cut by modern CNC machines, shaped by huge presses (some of Troy’s own design!), then jig-welded and powdercoated—all in-house. He even creates the plastic end caps and steps for the tube steps in-house with his own injection molding machines. The company offers a wide selection of heavy-duty bumpers, fitting everything from Wranglers to Raptors. Variations include tube extensions (some call ’em bull bars) and mesh grilles, along with attached shackle mounts, cutouts for driving lights, LED lighting kits, and winch mounting plates. Made of heavy gauge steel, they have a massive look that is scaled to blend with the lines of a modern lifted truck. While everyone loves the look, few realize the sophisticated engineering involved that combines different gauges of steel to achieve the careful balance between high strength and lightweight. The same versatility applies to the company’s line of running boards, which is offered in several designs that not only ease entry and exit but also provide a measure of protection in off-road excursions. Choose from two- or three-step nerf bar styles or the sleek Endeavor that Iron Cross supplies to Toyota as OEM equipment.
Photo 4/17   |   Tube steps, custom designed for a perfect fit, come in polished stainless steel or powdercoated black with slip-resistant step pads.
Troy’s facility reflects his personality: ever-changing and always incorporating new technology as each new product line is developed. The combination of CAD/CAM software and binary files from the manufacturers allows the Iron Cross team to create accessories for new vehicles and have them ready by the time the new trucks are introduced to the public. Each new accessory begins with a computer rendering that is further refined with in-house 3-D modeling that tweaks the final design prior to production.
If you’re in the market for something that will personalize your truck with a sleek and rugged look, find a dealer close to you via ironcrossautomotive.com.
Wondering about that symbol? The eight-pointed Iron Cross is a centuries-old symbol of honor, courage, dedication, and loyalty. Each bumper bears this symbol along with the company name—your assurance that these made-in-America products are of the highest quality and crafted by people who care.
Iron Cross’ Lifted ’03 Chevy: Favorite Shop Truck
Most business owners in the automotive aftermarket recognize the value of an up-close-and-personal view of their product. Of course, if you happen to be in the big, lifted truck business, one of the best ways to spread the word is to create a shop truck that showcases what you’re offering. Potential customers get to see (and maybe touch), giving them a better idea about you and how your products would fit into their design scheme. None of these advantages were lost on Troy Bundy, owner of Iron Cross Automotive.
Since one of the most effective corporate marketing techniques is to showcase your new product at SEMA, Troy and his team decided to build a lifted truck that would be on display in the Iron Cross booth. In six short weeks prior to the 2002 show, his brand-new ’03 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab 4x4 was reworked from bumper to bumper (literally!) and was completed just in time. It was very well received, and the company began expanding its product line.
Photo 14/17   |   2003 Chevy 2500hd Crew Cab
While the business was doing quite well, the truck was another story. Within two weeks of its return to Tulsa, a driver ran a red light, causing a multi-car pileup that totaled two cars and damaged the brand-new Chevy. Troy and his staff rebuilt the truck—adding lots of new details along with a custom paintjob—and displayed it again at SEMA the following year. It fared much better once it returned to Tulsa (thankfully with no traffic trauma), but the team decided to take it down to its frame and strip the body to bare metal. It was reassembled, the lift was updated, and it received its third new paintjob for its third appearance at SEMA.
The truck has been filling many roles since then, acting as a daily driver at the shop during the week, and on weekends hauling either a car trailer, heavy machinery, or multiple, 1,000-pound bales of hay. It’s easily up to the task, thanks to the frame that was braced and suspension points that were gusseted prior to installing the 16-inch lift kit from 3rd Coast Suspension in Pasadena, Texas. Twin Bilstein 5100 shocks snub each front wheel, while the Deaver Suspension leaf springs and a second pair of Bilsteins stabilize the rear. Antisway bars control the movement of the stock axles, which are fitted with 4.10 gears and Currie internals for added strength. Providing a combination of style and additional height is the set of 22x9.5 KMC Rockstar XD775 wheels and 40x14.50R22LT Interco M-16 rubber. Helping the Duramax diesel turn those big meats is a Bully Dog cold-air intake, a 5-inch exhaust system, and an Edge Performance module.
Upgrades inside began with a complete Katzkin leather makeover for the four bucket seats and an elaborate stereo that features a Pioneer head unit controlling the Kicker amp, four 5.25-inch component sets in custom fiberglass door housings, and four Kicker L7 10-inch subs behind the rear seat. As you might expect, among the first additions to the exterior were the latest versions of the company’s heavy-duty bumpers. Up front, the 2-inch Push Bar version was fitted with a heavy-duty winch, shackle mounts, and Iron Cross’ LED lighting kit. The rear bumper also features shackle mounts, an inset license plate, and an adjustable height trailer hitch. Black powdercoated wheel-to-wheel steps simplify the entry and exit. A mesh grille and Rhino liner in the bed wrapped up the mods. The distinctive Candy Blue over raw metal paintjob was accomplished in-house by Cole Stevens. The completed truck has been great fun—capable of dozens of tasks around the shop and a rolling billboard when it’s on the road.

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