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Old 05-15-2013, 02:02 PM   #1
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Hey guys, bought my rig from the dealer with a SB bumper/carrier on it last October and didn't notice any issues at the time. Last week I noticed the carrier was leaning sideways and upon further inspection noticed the hinge was shot. One of the bolt heads had rusted completely off and the attachment itself is cracked in half. Its a wonder it didn't fall off on the highway and kill somebody!

I've attached pics.

Anyways the shop that did the work for the dealer said they would replace it but I've seen this issue on a couple Jeeps from searching around and want to make sure Im not replacing a carrier once a year (it was just installed back in February 2012).

Would a spray of rustoleum be enough to protect it? If so do I need to prime it or anything or just spray it on? I suppose its available in clear coat and not color? Anything else I need to consider?

Thanks!



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Old 05-15-2013, 02:15 PM   #2
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Good that the shop is going to replace it, but I would still call Smittybilt directly and see what they say. There is no reason it should be rusting like that after only a year, much less be cracked.

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Old 05-16-2013, 09:08 AM   #3
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Good that the shop is going to replace it, but I would still call Smittybilt directly and see what they say. There is no reason it should be rusting like that after only a year, much less be cracked.

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Well I agree there is no reason for it but I'm not sure what a phone call will accomplish. I'm already getting a replacement part at no cost.

Anybody have any advice on the Rust-oleum?
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:52 AM   #4
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Well I agree there is no reason for it but I'm not sure what a phone call will accomplish. I'm already getting a replacement part at no cost.

Anybody have any advice on the Rust-oleum?
I can't really tell from the pictures, but it looks like it's the textured finish, right? If so, Duplicolor Bed Armor dries to look almost identical to the Smittybilt powder coating. If you want to make sure it won't happen again, get a can of that and coat the area you're worried about. Sand the current finish off, or as close to bare metal as you can get. Then just spray the bed liner on and you'll be set.

Hope this helps! PM me if you have any questions.

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Old 05-16-2013, 11:26 AM   #5
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I love the look of SB products but I do not get them for this reason. The bed liner will help the next one but IMO SBs quality has gone down. I would ask for credit for the price of the bumper and select a better quality bumper. Just my 2 cents....
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:54 AM   #6
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I've had mine on for over four years now and no issues.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:06 PM   #7
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I love the look of SB products but I do not get them for this reason. The bed liner will help the next one but IMO SBs quality has gone down. I would ask for credit for the price of the bumper and select a better quality bumper. Just my 2 cents....
Eh I would be surprised if they gave me a credit after 15 months, especially since I am not the original owner. I am fine with a replacement if I can keep it in working order.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:06 PM   #8
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I've had mine on for over four years now and no issues.
Do you keep yours parked in a garage?
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:08 PM   #9
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I can't really tell from the pictures, but it looks like it's the textured finish, right? If so, Duplicolor Bed Armor dries to look almost identical to the Smittybilt powder coating. If you want to make sure it won't happen again, get a can of that and coat the area you're worried about. Sand the current finish off, or as close to bare metal as you can get. Then just spray the bed liner on and you'll be set.

Hope this helps! PM me if you have any questions.

-Zach
Its not really the finish I don't think. I may not be describing it correctly but it is the actual metal piece that connects the tire carrier to the bumper. It has 3 bolt holes into the bumper and swivels out when you open it up, if that makes sense. I will try your idea though. Thanks.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:13 PM   #10
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Eh I would be surprised if they gave me a credit after 15 months, especially since I am not the original owner. I am fine with a replacement if I can keep it in working order.
You are probably right. It was just a thought, at least you are getting it fixed for free. Like I said though I do love the look of SB products.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:15 AM   #11
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Do you keep yours parked in a garage?
Only in the summer I do, because I run bikini top and no doors all summer.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:44 AM   #12
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Its not really the finish I don't think. I may not be describing it correctly but it is the actual metal piece that connects the tire carrier to the bumper. It has 3 bolt holes into the bumper and swivels out when you open it up, if that makes sense. I will try your idea though. Thanks.
VTBalla,

I just realized what you meant now. I'm sorry, I was looking at the pictures all wrong. That bolt was rusted and might have been too weak to hold the carrier. When you get the new carrier, go to your local hardware store and get some grade 8 bolts that will fit in there. You can even get stainless steel hardware which shouldn't rust away like that.

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Old 05-17-2013, 09:36 AM   #13
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VTBalla,

I just realized what you meant now. I'm sorry, I was looking at the pictures all wrong. That bolt was rusted and might have been too weak to hold the carrier. When you get the new carrier, go to your local hardware store and get some grade 8 bolts that will fit in there. You can even get stainless steel hardware which shouldn't rust away like that.

-Zach
Cool I will definitely do that but its not just the bolt that rusted--its the whole darn hinge. I'm sure the broken bolt head put a lot of torque on the hinge plate but it cracked in half too which looks like from rust (and torque of course). Was thinking it would be beneficial to somehow coat the whole setup.

Is there not some sort of clear coat product that would fit the bill?
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:08 AM   #14
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Was the bumper put on by the original owner or the dealer?
Do you know if the Jeep was a local trade? Because it could have came from somewhere up North and was bought at an auction.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:12 PM   #15
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Was the bumper put on by the original owner or the dealer?
Do you know if the Jeep was a local trade? Because it could have came from somewhere up North and was bought at an auction.
Dealer had a local shop put everything on it, including bumper and carrier, in February 2012.

I have seen more than one complaint for this exact issue. It is obviously a problem. My question is what can I use to coat it to protect it?
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:31 PM   #16
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Dealer had a local shop put everything on it, including bumper and carrier, in February 2012.

I have seen more than one complaint for this exact issue. It is obviously a problem. My question is what can I use to coat it to protect it?
Maybe try POR-15, a lot of people coat their frame with it. It prevents rust.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:31 PM   #17
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Avoid Smittybilt! They have too many complaints about their products.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:33 PM   #18
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Maybe try POR-15, a lot of people coat their frame with it. It prevents rust.
Awesome. That's what I was looking for. I'll check into it. Appreciate you taking the time to read the actual question. Thanks brother.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:34 PM   #19
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Avoid Smittybilt! They have too many complaints about their products.
Well that ship has already sailed obviously so I don't think its at all relevant to the problem at hand.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:57 AM   #20
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Awesome. That's what I was looking for. I'll check into it. Appreciate you taking the time to read the actual question. Thanks brother.
No problem. Good luck.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:49 AM   #21
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Just an update I went and picked up the new carrier over memorial day weekend. The shop was only doing a replacement part but not the labor, which is understandable.

They quoted about 2 hours at $70/hr so I just had them take off the old one for $30 and would install it myself. Figured it would be a fun project to get my hands dirty on.

This thing was a huge pain in the ass. There is no key/legend for the parts, only a list. The list was totally wrong on most of the bolt sizes and quantities so that was a pretty frustrating guessing game. There was also way more parts than actually needed with absolutely no mention of them in the instructions.The instructions were pretty good and easy to follow once you figured out which parts they actually wanted you to use though.

Took me about 4 hours I would guess working alone. Half of that time was spent trying to sort the parts discrepancies out. Pretty shitty job on SB's part putting the package together.

I still have about an hour of rework to do because I mounted the tire bracket up too high on the mount and it partially blocks my third brake light. It would not be hard at all for them to put a guideline together for different tire sizes but they obviously didn't feel like that was worth the effort.

Decided not to coat it and just to keep an eye on this one. It seemed rougher than the original so hopefully the material is a bit more robust. I have a garage now too so it won't see shitty weather as much as it had.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:16 PM   #22
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Posting an update. Looks like May is a bad time for my Smittybilt products, since it was May two years ago that I had the first issue. I guess there is something to be said for not having any issues in two years?

Anyways, over the winter it looks like my SB tire carrier crapped the bed again. I started having problems opening it as it seemed to be out of alignment. Further inspections showed that yet again, a bolt head had sheared off and compromised the integrity of the pivot base:

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Pulled the spare and started disassembling the carrier and as soon as I went to loosen the bolts, another one broke off. I was able to drill it out pretty easily at least. So of the three pivot base bolts, two were severely compromised and the third one didn't look to be in great shape either.

I had a couple of these size bolts left over from the kit the dealer replaced for me in 2013, so I stuck them in there tonight and put it back together.

Now the alignment is off and it won't close at all:

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Loosening and tightening the pinch bolts on the swivel base moves the latch up and down as expected, but the problem is it is too far over to the left, as you can tell from the picture.

I am going to get in touch with SB customer service to see if there is anything they may be willing to do to correct this situation caused by their questionable hardware.
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:58 PM   #23
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What specific bumper is this? I was thinking about buying a smittybilt atlas rear bumper.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:18 PM   #24
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Bed line it and replace the hardware with some better quality stuff might be a start? Or replace it with something that is good to begin with

I bought some light protectors for looks, and they are rusted badly after only one winter too. Same with the Gorilla lugs and Banks SS Monster exhaust I got, they are rusting bad after one winter and look horrible! The Tough Stuff protectors I got peeled off after only less than 1.5 yrs. Hard to find good stuff now
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:54 PM   #25
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What specific bumper is this? I was thinking about buying a smittybilt atlas rear bumper.
XRC Rear Bumper (76653) and XRC Tire Carrier (76654).

I have had no issues out of the bumper, either front or back. But this damn tire carrier....
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:57 PM   #26
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Bed line it and replace the hardware with some better quality stuff might be a start? Or replace it with something that is good to begin with

I bought some light protectors for looks, and they are rusted badly after only one winter too. Same with the Gorilla lugs and Banks SS Monster exhaust I got, they are rusting bad after one winter and look horrible! The Tough Stuff protectors I got peeled off after only less than 1.5 yrs. Hard to find good stuff now
Thank NAFTA and out sourcing for that! lol

I think replacing the hardware would be good, as this time around the actual components seem to be holding up (compared to the rusted off pivot base two years ago, which was caused by who knows what from the previous owner). The hardware is definitely suspect. I'll get some good Grade 8 bolts from Ace Hardware and throw them on there once I finally get the current issue fixed.

SB did get back to the e-mail inquiry I sent, but it wasn't much help so far. Just told me to call their tech support people during business hours. Didn't have time to do that today, but maybe tomorrow.
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:08 AM   #27
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Get the new one, take it off when you get home, sell it here, and you could buy a real quality carrier then if you wanted too.
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Old 05-13-2015, 05:46 PM   #28
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Get the new one, take it off when you get home, sell it here, and you could buy a real quality carrier then if you wanted too.
LOL not a bad idea! Which one do you recommend?

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