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Old 09-10-2013, 08:02 PM   #1
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Bumper advice

Hey all,

Get ready for a newbie post.

I've had my 2003 Rubicon for a few years now, and now finally have some extra cash to do some more modifications. So far all I've done is give it a little lift (And I mean little - 1.5'' teraflex lift) and some slightly bigger tires (265/75/16's) My next move is new bumpers. I want something thats good quality, not ridiculously expensive, and has a hitch receiver in back. Sorry if you've heard these questions a million times, but I figured this was the quickest way to get some good info and informed answered. So here are my questions:

- What are the best brands? Quality-wise? Or best bang for your buck?
- What should I be looking for as far as key words. Like I've noticed - smittybuilt will have two different bumpers that look almost identical to my eyes, but one costs several hundred dollars more because it has XRC next to it. What does that mean?
- Is there really an advantage to a tire carrier?
- I'm considering a winch, but I've heard that a big disadvantage is the extra weight. Is it worth it?
- What are your favorite online stores to buy parts? Right now I've mainly just been using Quadratec
- Any other advice for a beginner? Thanks!


Danielle

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Old 09-10-2013, 08:15 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum! I still have a factory rear bumper but I've seen the smittybilt classic rock crawler bumper is priced alright and it receiver can tow 9,000 pounds. They offer it with or without a tire swing, from what I've read the swing is if your goin for tires bigger that a 33 which would be to heavy for the factory carrier. I really like quadratrec and 4wheel parts but I'm sure there's alot of places you can find them. And I saw the classic at my local 4x4 store for like 150$ so that to is a great deal, but there is soooo many options for wranglers it's crazy lol! And I put a 8,000 pound winch on mine and it did drop the front 1/2 an inch but I upgraded the springs in the front to fix that. I would think having a winch on the front for when you get stuck would be great, I'm always trail riding alone so I got one lol

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Old 09-10-2013, 08:21 PM   #3
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Check out thedirtworx. He's an eBay vendor and makes great stuff for a great price. It comes bare metal so you've got to paint it but nothing a little rattle can primer and paint can't handle. I've got a tire carrier from him and it's very stout. Smitty hasn't had the best reputation lately for their products, so I've shied away from them.

If you are going to be doing trails that might require frequent recoveries or if you're going by yourself (which is never a good idea, that's your beginner advice ), a winch is a good investment. But if you go with a buddy and you're just on easy trails, a recovery strap and some tow hooks or D-rings will probably be good enough.

You don't need a tire carrier until you get up to a 33" tire or larger. So don't worry about that now.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice! And while I am a beginner to the forum and modifications, I've done my fair share of offroading. Enough to know first hand that it isn't a good idea to go alone. But that doesn't stop me from doing it. Hence why I'd like a winch.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:44 AM   #5
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Here is another vote for Dirtworx, great bumper, tire swing, gas can mounts, jack mount, 2 d-ring mounts, and a hitch! And made in the USA!
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:51 AM   #6
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I have smittybuilt bumpers. The rear has the receiver hitch. Both have the textured black finish. Both look very good quality to me. I choose not to install the winch due to the weight.

The front bumper cost me around $400. It bolted right on, maybe 20 minutes to remove the old one and bolt on the new one.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:54 AM   #7
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Here is the front one. I think I got it from one of the big online jeep suppliers no shipping charge, for just under $400.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:16 AM   #8
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I'm looking at this one, but without the winch.
Smittybilt Part 76740D - SRC Classic Rock Crawler Front Bumper with D-rings
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:44 PM   #9
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I love my smitty built src bumper don't see how u can really mess up steel.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:51 PM   #10
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I recently put this on my Jeep and I like it. It mounts to the frame and is built well.


Olympic 4x4 Products 57" Rock Rear Bumper with Hitch for Jeep Wrangler TJ 1997-2006 in Textured Black Powder Coat

$269.99
Unique gull wing Rock Bumper design increases tire clearance. Engineered for serious off road adventures, built to take a beating and protect your Jeep’s body and frame. Made in U.S.A.


Part # 553-124
Weight 40.00 lbs
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:12 PM   #11
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Surprised no one mentioned aluminum. OP have you looked in to that at all? Do you want full width or small rock crawler. Do you want extra lights? What's price range too.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:24 PM   #12
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For bumpers I will always run steel purely due to its strength. My jeep was rear ended and my front poison spyder stinger didn't bend or anything. Aluminum would've not had the same strength.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:17 PM   #13
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For bumpers I will always run steel purely due to its strength. My jeep was rear ended and my front poison spyder stinger didn't bend or anything. Aluminum would've not had the same strength.
Really? So you're saying 6061 T6 aluminum, the stuff they make airplanes with, isn't strong? Don't think so.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:50 PM   #14
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Surprised no one mentioned aluminum. OP have you looked in to that at all? Do you want full width or small rock crawler. Do you want extra lights? What's price range too.
Thanks again everyone for all the input.

RnEmOvr: I'm not sure about full width or rock crawler - what are the advantages/disadvantages? I'm leaning towards rock crawler. I don't particularly want any extra lights, no. Price range - between 200-300 each preferably.

Someone today suggested I look into Warn bumpers. Anyone have experience with those?
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:56 PM   #15
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I also have a Dirtworx rear bumper with tire carrier.Looks & works great.No prob with install.I talked to the owner & he also cut 2 holes in it for flush mount lights.Get Smittybuilt to do that for ya.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:06 PM   #16
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Really? So you're saying 6061 T6 aluminum, the stuff they make airplanes with, isn't strong? Don't think so.
Not saying its not strong, I'm saying I'd take steel over it any day of the week.
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:09 AM   #17
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Thanks again everyone for all the input.

RnEmOvr: I'm not sure about full width or rock crawler - what are the advantages/disadvantages? I'm leaning towards rock crawler. I don't particularly want any extra lights, no. Price range - between 200-300 each preferably.

Someone today suggested I look into Warn bumpers. Anyone have experience with those?
Biggest thing on full width vs crawler is looks and approach angle.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:49 AM   #18
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The warn stubby is a great bumper. I personally run a poison spyder stinger which is also a stubby.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:03 PM   #19
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Really? So you're saying 6061 T6 aluminum, the stuff they make airplanes with, isn't strong? Don't think so.
The problem with aluminum is u can't bend it back steel is much easier to repair
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #20
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The problem with aluminum is u can't bend it back steel is much easier to repair
True, that's why I run steelies.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:40 PM   #21
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Really? So you're saying 6061 T6 aluminum, the stuff they make airplanes with, isn't strong? Don't think so.
Airplanes that get rear ended usually dont last long
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:13 PM   #22
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Here is the front one. I think I got it from one of the big online jeep suppliers no shipping charge, for just under $400.
I could see your fairlead red with a tongue hanging out......
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:39 PM   #23
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One company to look into, a company considered to be one of the best period is Metal Cloak. They specialize in bumpers and fenders and use a really nice MODULAR system. You start off with a base plate, and add your own style of endcaps, stingers,guards, accessories as suits your needs. They also make one of the best built rear swing out tire carriers as well. www.metalcloak.com


But personally I am not a fan of swing out tire carriers. They are heavy, cumbersome to deal with(having to swing out 2 gates to get to the rear cargo area gets annoying over time to me)and the really good ones ARE expensive.

Might I suggest a nice solution? The EXOGATE. It basically takes your stock rear swing out tailgate and reinforces/braces it. Its much lighter and ALOT less expensive than a swingout. And best of all it keeps the factory look/functionality intact, and it can support 35-37" tires with ease. TJ/LJ Exogate™ Tailgate Kit

Love mine.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:28 PM   #24
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Anyone have anything bad to say about the dirt worx bumpers? I'm looking for bumpers as well and they look to be pretty good quality for the $$
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:44 AM   #25
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I was also about to suggest looking at MC for front bumpers. Lots of choices there.

And Robert, thedirtworx, is a great guy. He custom makes every bumper in his garage in Corona, Calif. Incredible quality and communication. I highly recommend him if you looking for something that's a little custom.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:52 AM   #26
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Anyone have anything bad to say about the dirt worx bumpers? I'm looking for bumpers as well and they look to be pretty good quality for the $$
Other than they are to me, kind of ugly/rudimentary looking, not a very polished product. But they are cheap. Im sure they are durable, and will get the job done well if function is the primary concern.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:33 AM   #27
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Other than they are to me, kind of ugly/rudimentary looking, not a very polished product. But they are cheap. Im sure they are durable, and will get the job done well if function is the primary concern.
I'll admit this is true. His tire carrier looks good, it is basic, not flashy. But the design is functional. It does not stick out far, has welded through Clevis mounts and hitch, the swing out is solid, and the spindle is very easy to grease and swings effortlessly.
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:36 PM   #28
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I'll admit this is true. His tire carrier looks good, it is basic, not flashy. But the design is functional. It does not stick out far, has welded through Clevis mounts and hitch, the swing out is solid, and the spindle is very easy to grease and swings effortlessly.
What's the price tag on it?
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:29 PM   #29
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Following.
Stock bumpers just don't cut it.
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:31 PM   #30
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What's the price tag on it?
My tire carrier? Shipped to my front door it was about $400. I've got a write up on it with lots of pictures if you're interested.

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