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Old 01-19-2010, 01:51 AM   #1
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TJ trailer hitch

I have a 97 TJ with Smittybuilt tubular bumpers.....I want to buy and install a receiver hitch on the rear.
Question: how do I know if hitch will fit under these aftermarket bumpers short of actually trying to install it? I fear not being able to get my $ refunded if it does not fit......

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Old 01-19-2010, 08:04 AM   #2
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03 TJ install with factory bumper

I just installed one on an 03 with the factory bumper. It of course mounts directly to the frame. The actual hitch comes out right below the factory bumper. If the tubular bumper that you have is lower than the factory I would say that you would have a problem. I would contact the vendor that you bought the bumper from to see what they suggest.

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Old 01-19-2010, 09:55 AM   #3
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Ill try and snag a few pics of my old tubular bumper and class II hitch when I get home
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jp90Talon View Post
Ill try and snag a few pics of my old tubular bumper and class II hitch when I get home
hey thanks, I would appreciate that....I will look around for a stock TJ and try to take some measurements too, I can't tell if the tube bumper is lower than the stock bumper or not......
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:56 PM   #5
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All of the bolt on receiver hitches I have ever seen hang down low enough that they'd have no problem clearing any kind of rear bumper I've ever seen on a Wrangler. Unfortunately they also hang down low enough to drag in the terrain when you're offroading.

Personally, if I wanted a receiver hitch and I offroaded, I'd pay a tad more and buy a new replacement rear bumper that has an integrated receiver hitch. I have an Olympic Rock bumper on the rear of my TJ and its 2" receiver hitch is actually integrated into the bumper itself and not simply welded onto the bottom of the bumper. That pretty well eliminates the likelihood of it ever dragging on the terrain.
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:04 PM   #6
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All of the bolt on receiver hitches I have ever seen hang down low enough that they'd have no problem clearing any kind of rear bumper I've ever seen on a Wrangler. Unfortunately they also hang down low enough to drag in the terrain when you're offroading.

Personally, if I wanted a receiver hitch and I offroaded, I'd pay a tad more and buy a new replacement rear bumper that has an integrated receiver hitch. I have an Olympic Rock bumper on the rear of my TJ and its 2" receiver hitch is actually integrated into the bumper itself and not simply welded onto the bottom of the bumper. That pretty well eliminates the likelihood of it ever dragging on the terrain.
Thanks Jerry, I was hoping you would chime in!
Good points that you make, that really helps me!
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:09 PM   #7
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I don't have any pictures that show a closeup of my bumper with its integrated receiver hitch but here are two that kinda-sorta show it.

The particular bumper I have, the Olympic Rock bumper, doesn't cost much more to buy than a bolt-on receiver hitch does.
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:16 PM   #8
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looks good Jerry....I found the web site that sells your bumper, prices are not bad!
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:24 PM   #9
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My trailer hitch receiver sits just below the stock bumper. If your bumper is mounted to the same hard points as the stock bumper I would think the hitch would work but I can't be sure. By the way the fuel tank is the lowest point in the rear not my trailer hitch. I'm sure on a very step incline the hitch would drag.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:43 PM   #10
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Before


After body by boulder

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Old 01-20-2010, 12:55 AM   #11
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After body by boulder

Thanks for the photos JP....is your receiver hitch attached to your bumper or is it seperate, mounted to your frame?
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:11 AM   #12
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You can see the hitch frame just in front the bumper, look through the gap in the top tube area and you can see it just under that blue thing. It's bolted to the frame.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigskydrift View Post
I have a 97 TJ with Smittybuilt tubular bumpers.....I want to buy and install a receiver hitch on the rear.
Question: how do I know if hitch will fit under these aftermarket bumpers short of actually trying to install it? I fear not being able to get my $ refunded if it does not fit......
you in a hurry to get that hitch? ill be selling mine once i get a rear bumper and id sell it to you really cheap.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:42 AM   #14
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Jerry is correct...... it is a seperate hitch unit that bolts to the frame. The rear bumper attaches to the hitch.

And on a side note....that damage to the rear bumper was sliding down an icy ledge no more that 3-5 mph. So I kinda lost my faith in tube bumpers being durable for off roading. I have since upgraded to a solid style rear bumper and corner gaurds just to be safe. I suggest doing a search on here for " thedirtworx " bumpers. They are a a decent price and well built.

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