Rock Hard Rear Bumper With Tire Carrier Review - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 01-21-2012, 09:43 AM   #1
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Rock Hard Rear Bumper With Tire Carrier Review

After much research for a rear bumper with tire carrier I chose the Rock Hard. It has all kinds of features for a relatively good price. Let's face it, bumper/tire carrier combos aren't cheap.

Here are the features I took notice of:

- Can be mounted at 2 different heights. You can use the second set of holes to mount it an inch higher to compensate for a body lift. What a great idea!
- 2 x D-Ring shackle mounts welding in front and rear of the bumper.
- A tow rated receiver!
- Tire carrier lockable in open position
- CB antenna mount
- Hi-Lift jack mount
- Optional Jerry Can mounts
- Optional 3rd Brake Light

It came packaged really well.

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Here's all the small pieces.

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I cannot believe how much goes into how it mounts to the Jeep. It attaches with 8 bolts so I had to drill 4 holes into the frame crossmember. That’s welcomed for the added support. I also used frame tie-ins, which is recommended. My tie-ins are a different manufacturer than Rock Hard. The only reason is I was undecided on the rear bumper when I purchased them. I got them off eBay.

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It also uses additional 3/16" plates to sandwich the bumper mounting surface, as you can see in the picture.

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The powder coating finish seems really good. This bumper is high quality all the way!

I was only interested in purchasing a bumper/tire carrier that wouldn't rattle. It shuts tight! The latch assembly was important. I didn't want to unscrew a bolt to open it. I wanted a high quality latch. This one has a two-stage latch, like a car door.

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To be continued in next post in a moment....

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Old 01-21-2012, 09:45 AM   #2
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The bearing shaft was not quite smooth enough for the bearings to slide on all the way. After talking with Rock Hard I got some fine emery cloth and lightly polished it and the bearings slid on perfect. You use washers as spacers to adjust the carrier up/down to compensate for the weight of your tire and other accessories. I used 3, but 2 may have been a better choice. I'm carrying a 33" tire. I will add a Jerry Can and mount later.

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I'm not crazy about the support square tubing that attaches to the tail gate. I'm going to paint it yellow in the spring so it doesn't stand out so much. But the thing to keep in mind is, it's a rigid setup. This thing doesn't rattle! You reuse one of the factory spare tire rubber pads to support the top of the carrier. You will need to trim it some. I used a table top 10" disc sander.

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There isn't much space between the receiver and frame crossmember, so not all ball mounts will fit.

The 3rd brake light is kinda cheap (and priced accordingly). It fits well and functions, but I want something with quality that matches the quality of the bumper (remember, high quality!).

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I communicated with Rock Hard via email several times before purchase and they answered quickly. They have good customer service which sometimes is the deciding factor with so much Jeep product available. However, this bumper stands on its own.

For the quality, price, features and available options, I do not believe there is much competition.

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Old 01-21-2012, 10:15 AM   #3
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awesome review, thanks man...

i'm in the market for a rear bumper with tire carrier and this might have convinced me to go with this setup...just gonna have to find the cash to afford it lol
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:17 AM   #4
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Nice write up!

Is it me, or does the spare sit higher up on those type of bumpers than it does on the stocker?
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:56 PM   #5
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Looks good! Now, whats it cost?
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:16 PM   #6
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:00 AM   #7
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Thanks for sharing the write up. I've been trying to decide on a tire carrier myself and this helps. Do you have side pictures of the finished product? I'm concerned that the Rockhard bumper hangs further off the back of the jeep than the wilderness bumpers.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s14sh3r View Post
Nice write up!

Is it me, or does the spare sit higher up on those type of bumpers than it does on the stocker?
I believe so. I imagine it's for clearing larger tires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwood621 View Post
Thanks for sharing the write up. I've been trying to decide on a tire carrier myself and this helps. Do you have side pictures of the finished product? I'm concerned that the Rockhard bumper hangs further off the back of the jeep than the wilderness bumpers.
Here you go.

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Old 06-22-2013, 10:36 AM   #9
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Is the rear tire supposed to be angled like that? Or is it adjustable?
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin_N View Post
Is the rear tire supposed to be angled like that? Or is it adjustable?
I just found out there was a post on this thread. Sorry for the delay.
I guess so, because it's not adjustable.

I would like the tire moved in closer to the body. But, it could be this way to allow for high backspacing wheels.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:53 AM   #11
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Two questions.

1- How long was the install?

2- How did you run the 3rd brake light? Through the tire carrier itself?

I'm debating something like this or the OR Fab mount to tub style. Still undecided... A big factor for me is whether or not its compatible with Swag's tailgate conversion.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BigDeaner View Post
Two questions.

1- How long was the install?

2- How did you run the 3rd brake light? Through the tire carrier itself?

I'm debating something like this or the OR Fab mount to tub style. Still undecided... A big factor for me is whether or not its compatible with Swag's tailgate conversion.
1. 3 hours. I'm slow, so maybe 2 for a normal person.
2. Yes and no. I ran the wires through the top of the tire carrier and out the back. Then ran the wires along the outside back of the tire carrier using wire loom.

Not sure about the tailgate conversion. You can see a piece of black square tubing that bolts to the tailgate horizontally in the 4th picture of post 2. It uses factory holes in the tailgate. This bar isn't absolutely needed, but spreads the force of the rubber pad so the tailgate isn't dented when you swing the tire carrier closed.

I assume something similar could be done for your tailgate.
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:36 PM   #13
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Thread necro apologies. I have one of these setups on my new-to-me rubicon. I have a ball hitch but the hitch does not go in far enough (frame gets in the way long before the linch pin can be inserted. Is there a specific hitch ball for the rock hard bumper, or does the frame need modified?
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:08 PM   #14
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Fogtripper, I had to have a bit cut off the extension I am using for my bike carrier to get the pin hole to line up. I would not consider cutting the cross member to allow the hitch to go in further.

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