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Old 10-27-2010, 02:55 AM   #1
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Smittybilt hate?

So why does everybody hate Smittybilt, I have the SRC Front bumper on my 04 TJ and it's great, I have the side steps and only issue is some paint chips (but umm on the trail almost once a week) and I have the headlight covers(that's the only product I've had issues with, the holes didn't line up 100%). But nonetheless I think their gear is great.
What's everyones opinion?

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Old 10-27-2010, 04:39 AM   #2
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It all boils down to "you get what you pay for." I've had some S'bilt bumpers front and rear for bout 2 yrs now and like em just fine. Since they were considerably cheaper than many others I had no problem doin some cuttin an weldin on em to make more what I wanted. As to why they get bad mouthed so much, they do come from overseas and the metal and finish are possibly inferior to many better known domestic products. I respect everyones opinion however I've experienced zero problems.

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Old 10-27-2010, 05:27 AM   #3
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Ive got there bumpers,the rear with the swing out tire carrier.Ive had them on for a year and a half.For the price,i cant complain.Some holes were off a little bit here and there,easy fix.Powder coats holding up fine,tire swing out works nice and smooth with a 35x12.5x15 hanging on it.They are made in China,like everything else it seems nowadays.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:26 AM   #4
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So why does everybody hate Smittybilt,
Its not everybody. There area couple guys that post a ton on jeep sites that have biased a lot of peoples opinions. They may not be the best quality, but cheap is good too. If you have to hit it with a rattle can to save a couple hundred, then so be it.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:33 AM   #5
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I'm not sure they have the best quality control, because holes and such seem to be off. But thats not terribly hard to fix, especially for the savings. I have their hitch and it kind of leans to one side. Annoyed me a bit at first, but it was less than half the cost of most the others so I got over it.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:34 AM   #6
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Most people have problems with the crap powder coating they use. Me personally, when I got my smittybuilt, the first thing I did was to give it a spray with a 12 bucks
can of matt clear coat which gives extra protection. 2years later - still good and no rust.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:39 AM   #7
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Just to echo what others have said.....they have decent prices but sometimes their quality has a lot to be desired. I do have some smittybuilt stuff and to be honest, depending on your environment it usually last about 2-3 years before falling apart.

Another issue is that it is made in China, thus American companies/workers are not being used.

If you have a lil extra cash and some patience, check out the American companies that manufacture jeep bumpers etc. A lot of these places are small shops, used quality Steele and make it as soon as the order comes in, so there may be a 2-4 week wait, but the quality is so worth it!
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:02 AM   #8
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Just to echo what others have said.....they have decent prices but sometimes their quality has a lot to be desired. I do have some smittybuilt stuff and to be honest, depending on your environment it usually last about 2-3 years before falling apart.

Another issue is that it is made in China, thus American companies/workers are not being used.

If you have a lil extra cash and some patience, check out the American companies that manufacture jeep bumpers etc. A lot of these places are small shops, used quality Steele and make it as soon as the order comes in, so there may be a 2-4 week wait, but the quality is so worth it!
There you have it all, well said.
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:51 AM   #9
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Don't get me started on my Smittybilt winch!
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:49 PM   #10
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If I remember correctly - years ago Smittybuilt was top quality stuff. Their rag tops and bikini tops were terrific. I had one, loved it!
They also made quality "roll bars" (show bars) and skid plates, again, top quality.

Then about 10-12 years ago old man Smitty died. The company closed up. Several parts suppliers made a mad scramble to buy the stock.

A year or so later the remains of the company got bought out - probably mainly for the good name.

The new company outsourced most everything to other countries - mostly China I think.

Quality went to hell - customer service was almost non existent - lots of complaints on the boards. I've seen some of the junk roll bars and cages made since - thin stuff with very bad welds - JUNK!

But they still sold stuff because it was, and I guess still is, CHEAP.

You get what you pay for.
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:56 PM   #11
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For looks alone, they are adequate. For durability in actual off road scenarios, not so much. They fold like an aluminum can when they hit rocks. And they are cheap, Chinese made crap. That is my opinion.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:04 PM   #12
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If I remember correctly - years ago Smittybuilt was top quality stuff. Their rag tops and bikini tops were terrific. I had one, loved it!
They also made quality "roll bars" (show bars) and skid plates, again, top quality.

Then about 10-12 years ago old man Smitty died. The company closed up. Several parts suppliers made a mad scramble to buy the stock.

A year or so later the remains of the company got bought out - probably mainly for the good name.

The new company outsourced most everything to other countries - mostly China I think.

Quality went to hell - customer service was almost non existent - lots of complaints on the boards. I've seen some of the junk roll bars and cages made since - thin stuff with very bad welds - JUNK!

But they still sold stuff because it was, and I guess still is, CHEAP.

You get what you pay for.
You are correct sir!
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:05 PM   #13
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For looks alone, they are adequate. For durability in actual off road scenarios, not so much. They fold like an aluminum can when they hit rocks. And they are cheap, Chinese made crap. That is my opinion.
Hmmmmmm....
Haven't been on the rocks but does a Nissan count?
I have the sidestep/rock rails and got hit a day after installation.....
Not a scratch and well the car was DEAD......
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:14 PM   #14
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Yeah I have the smittybilt xrc stinger smittybilt cargo net and island safari top. So far I like their products. Yeah they seem to feel cheaper(top and net) but for being cheap why not. And the bumper is really solid I've had hole problems with mine a nice snug slip on and bolted it down. I guess it's just personal opinions like you all have said
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:16 PM   #15
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Hmmmmmm....
Haven't been on the rocks but does a Nissan count?
I have the sidestep/rock rails and got hit a day after installation.....
Not a scratch and well the car was DEAD......
No. Because small cars are designed to crumple in an impact, and dissipate the energy into the unibody. Rocks are not designed like that.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:31 PM   #16
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I understand how a car absorbs impact, however they would kill an aluminum can no issue...
They are plenty adequate for off-road use like sliding over a downed tree but rocks I cant vouch for......
They will support being jacked on as well, lift a whole side of the jeep with a highlift rotate the tires and your off....

Smittybuilt products have their place in the industry but there are better choices....
I just wish the American companies would get stuff built quicker and stop insisting their labor is worth a fortune cause its not welding is welding (assuming equal quality)....
If you want to make a living doing it you need to do it better, faster, and cheaper than the competition....
Omix-ADA does just as nice of a job for half the price of USA companies....
I would use them over Smittybuilt any day....
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:42 PM   #17
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I understand how a car absorbs impact, however they would kill an aluminum can no issue...
They are plenty adequate for off-road use like sliding over a downed tree but rocks I cant vouch for......
They will support being jacked on as well, lift a whole side of the jeep with a highlift rotate the tires and your off....

Smittybuilt products have their place in the industry but there are better choices....
I just wish the American companies would get stuff built quicker and stop insisting their labor is worth a fortune cause its not welding is welding (assuming equal quality)....
If you want to make a living doing it you need to do it better, faster, and cheaper than the competition....
Omix-ADA does just as nice of a job for half the price of USA companies....
I would use them over Smittybuilt any day....
Yes they do, on Mall crawlers.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:48 PM   #18
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I understand how a car absorbs impact, however they would kill an aluminum can no issue...
They are plenty adequate for off-road use like sliding over a downed tree but rocks I cant vouch for...... They will support being jacked on as well, lift a whole side of the jeep with a highlift rotate the tires and your off....

Smittybuilt products have their place in the industry but there are better choices....
I just wish the American companies would get stuff built quicker and stop insisting their labor is worth a fortune cause its not welding is welding (assuming equal quality)....
If you want to make a living doing it you need to do it better, faster, and cheaper than the competition....
Omix-ADA does just as nice of a job for half the price of USA companies....
I would use them over Smittybuilt any day....
I can, and have. For the moderate wheeler, they are OK. Anything above that, where rock contact is often, or even occasional, SB would not be a great choice.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:07 PM   #19
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My buddy has the Smitty front and rear tube fenders and they have rusted pretty badly in 6 months, and they havent even seen snow yet
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:09 PM   #20
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I figure if Im going to spend the money Ill spend a bit more and get something I know is going to last. Sure the 400 bumper and tire carrier is a hell of a deal but I would much rather save and pay 800 for the wilderness rack by garvin because I know it could survive a direct meteor strike
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:35 PM   #21
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I just wish the American companies would get stuff built quicker and stop insisting their labor is worth a fortune cause its not welding is welding (assuming equal quality)...
We can do that if you don't mind our welders and workers having the same squalid living conditions and lifestyles their counterparts have in China.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:40 PM   #22
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I love my Jeep too much to put anything Smittybilt on her. It would be almost like giving your fiance' a cubic zirconia for a wedding ring. Sure, from a distance, it may look like it's the real deal, but up close it's still a fake. (Kinda like a mall crawler.) You'll both know it's a fake piece of crap. Why would anyone do that to their beloved Jeep?

If $$$ is an issue, then SAVE. It's not rocket science.

There are a ton of plans I have for my Jeep, but rather than cut corners to achieve my goal sooner, I'd rather save up and do it RIGHT.
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:07 PM   #23
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If $$$ is an issue, then SAVE. It's not rocket science.
got another sears preapproval in the mail yesterday and debated going to get tires on credit for about 15 minutes... It ain't rocket science, but it ain't always easy

Most of us, if we got a normal american made product (lets say a zippo lighter) and the holes didn't line up... well, we'd send it back and demand a refund or a replacement...

whereas if you buy a cheap zippo knockoff for half price and it starts falling apart in a week, you just call it chinese junk and toss it...

so for smittybuilt stuff... are knockoffs okay, or would you pony up for a real deal zippo?

If smittybuilt made stuff for DJ's I'd buy it, but for the JK... no.
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:15 PM   #24
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so for smittybuilt stuff... are knockoffs okay, or would you pony up for a real deal zippo?
For a mall cruiser I guess it doesn't matter except to the American manufacturing company and their welder who lost his welding job to Chin Ling Hao in Kowloon China. But for a guy who wheels his Jeep on terrain tough enough to break weak knockoff junk that might even leave him in a serious predicament, it matters a great deal.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:23 PM   #25
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I just wish the American companies would get stuff built quicker and stop insisting their labor is worth a fortune cause its not welding is welding (assuming equal quality)....
If you want to make a living doing it you need to do it better, faster, and cheaper than the competition....
that's like saying anyone who can hit a nail is a carpenter. Welding is a skill and some types border on art(done correctly). I just came off a 20 month forced retirement(after 14 yrs at previous place) and took a $4 cut in pay and 4 times the travel(3 hr a day-why i bought the jeed-cheaper than my 2500HD w8.1L gas saver) It's not the cost of labor, it's the cost of management-something you don't hear about much(can we say greed). For what I produce, my $35K a yr is a small percentage of the total product cost. I seriously doubt many would want to do my job for what i get paid but it beats the alternative.
off my soap box now-sorry for the rant
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:54 PM   #26
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I love my Jeep too much to put anything Smittybilt on her. It would be almost like giving your fiance' a cubic zirconia for a wedding ring. Sure, from a distance, it may look like it's the real deal, but up close it's still a fake. (Kinda like a mall crawler.) You'll both know it's a fake piece of crap. Why would anyone do that to their beloved Jeep?

If $$$ is an issue, then SAVE. It's not rocket science.

There are a ton of plans I have for my Jeep, but rather than cut corners to achieve my goal sooner, I'd rather save up and do it RIGHT.
Not to mention that... Buying Chinese items supports the Chinese commies.
Commies for all I care, can die in a raging Forrest fire.
Afteralll, I heard they make great firewood
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:31 AM   #27
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@ Jerry I guess I should rephrase my comment slightly.....

I have spoken with 3 companies and 2 individuals about semi-custom bumpers and rock rails (slight modification of their current offerings) I was supplying the Solidworks drawings....
After speaking with the companies (cottage industry, not ARB or anything) and being told that their base product would take 3-4weeks to get to me and the custom work would be 6-8 weeks I was rather annoyed.....
Then I approached 2 individuals on the forums (not here) known for their custom work...
I was presented with a similar schedule of 4-6 weeks to get here....

Now if the price was on par with the Omix-ADA stuff I would have waited, Omix's products are actually quite well made and have a good overall online review...
However they were over double the price of the rugged ridge stuff....
Now if I were getting HSLA steel sure but its just standard stock......
You should also know I worked as a fabricator for 2 years while in high school, It paid for my car and put money in the bank...
Was i great at it? IMHO, No I was good but still learning (as you know it takes a long time to perfect that art)....
I also understand that if the work cost more for the end user I would not have had that job so @ $12hr I was thrilled as could be...
In a well equipped shop from start to finish I know I could put together a pair of rock rails and a front bumper in a single 10hr day if someone handed me the drawings.....
Do I have the time or the facility to do so? Nope....

So there is my issue I can replace the shittybuilt stuff 3 times or I can have someone fabricate something for the same price....

When I find a reasonable fabricator I will have my designs crafted but until then its coming from china...
Oh and on a side note most of the steel being used on bumpers and accessories from every American company on here is being sourced from china!
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:56 AM   #28
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@ Jerry I guess I should rephrase my comment slightly.....


Oh and on a side note most of the steel being used on bumpers and accessories from every American company on here is being sourced from china!
That is a fact. I work in a large foundry/machineshop and I can tell you that most materials come from overseas.
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:06 AM   #29
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That is a fact. I work in a large foundry/machineshop and I can tell you that most materials come from overseas.
You can thank the ****** who hopped the pond and went over there. don't you love how some American businesses don't care about putting people out of work.
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:10 AM   #30
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I have several Smittybuilt items on my Rig and I have ZERO complaints.

every manufacture will have some sort of defect. weather or not they replace and fix your issue is the real customer satisfaction question here.

If they do nothing, then you have every reason to be pissed. But if they fix or replace it in a timely fashion . no real reason to be pissed

it is all about the Customers Satisfaction.

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