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Old 03-07-2014, 11:28 PM   #1
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Tow bar install on a stock bumper

O I bought a tow bar from harbor frieght, got it for $50, gotta love sales and coupons! Anyways, the instructions say it can be direct mounted to some vehicles. And the picture even shows it directed mounted on a YJ stock front bumper. Is the stock bumper on my TJ strong enough? I was going to take of the rubber bumpers hanging on the front and put it there but right behind those is a round cross member and I don't think it would fit. Is just to the outside of them still going to work?

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Old 03-07-2014, 11:32 PM   #2
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No. It needs to be tied into the frame some how. The stock bumper is way to thin to tow the jeep. Rubber bumpers that push thin steel into the frame are one thing pulling thin steel away from the frame is another.

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Old 03-07-2014, 11:36 PM   #3
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So do you think if I pulled the rubber "things" off and bolted it to the bumper on right there it would be ok?
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:40 PM   #4
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Big no. Same issue.

It's just to thin. I use a smittybilt SRC. And a tow bar made to hook to its d ring mounts. Lots of ways to do it. Factory bumper is not made for it.
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:01 AM   #5
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The factory bumper on a TJ is 16 gauge sheet metal formed into a u shape. It is too weak to be used alone for towing.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:11 AM   #6
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You will need something like this that bolts into the frame.

Currie Enterprises Tow Bar Mounting Kit | Jeep Parts and Accessories | Quadratec
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:33 AM   #7
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I have a old school uh auk towbar that is made for metal bumper cars and trucks. It has rubber pads that rest on the bumper you then hook the chains to the frame crank them down tight the it has never damaged the bumper and thats from about 5000 miles of towing the main thing is don't get far away from the frame mounts and use good washers
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:18 PM   #8
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The PO of mine mounted the tow points on the stock bumper just to the outside of where the bumper connects to the frame. He towed it all around the country behind his RV. Not saying it was correct to do so, but he had no issues.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:26 AM   #9
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I have a tow bar connected to my stock bumper where the rubber bumpers were and it does just fine. I did get some aluminum plates to go behind the bumper to distribute the weight over a 6" section on both sides though. I wouldn't just drill holes and mount without a plate, that's too much pressure on too small of a section of thin metal.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:16 PM   #10
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Just finished the install. It's seems this is where everyone puts them, the bumper right there is strong enough, especially with the included backing plates. I'm going to pull it around town a bit this week to test it before I take it up to our cabin. Thanks for all the input everyone
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:31 PM   #11
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A friends dad put one on his stock TJ bumper and tows it from Cincy to Louisville regularly (2-3 times a month) to use around his property. It's a uhaul one and its pulled at 70mph up and down all kinds of hills and through maybe 25 miles of back roads that are fairly windy. His jeep is still in one piece. I've never looked that closely at how it's mounted but its wider then the frame I know that and the mount are near where the euro plastic bumper things are.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:46 PM   #12
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When I took the rubber pads off I mounted the brackets right there. It's right in line with the frame. It has two bolts for the 7000 lb rated tow hooks above the bracket and one torx #50 bolt under it. They may not be attached to the bracket itself, but there is so much extra metal right at those locations and in the same stress points that it should be good.
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:30 PM   #13
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Towed the Jeep today with the tow bar and everything went perfect. Put about 150 miles on it (not recorded of course) in the mountains no less!

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