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Hello Everyone,

I am new here and a proud owner of a 2013 Rubicon and I have tons of questions but I am going to take my time with upgrades. I am completely new to Off Roading so please forgive my ignorant questions. I spent 20 years in the Air Force and could not afford to do this then...and now I can.

So I am curious about front bumpers. I do not like the stock plastic bumper or the hunk of plastic underneath it. Is that supposed to be a plastic skid plate?

1. What is the purpose of a bull bar or stinger bar? (My guess would be mounting for lights and added protection.)

2. As I am not comfortable welding or cutting my Jeep what front bumper would you recommend for light offroading and will provide something that would help with recovery in case I do something I regret?

3. If you have installed a new front bumper (any brand) can you give me the negatives and positives of those bumpers?

I'm hoping to find something I can install myself and won't add a ton of weight to the front but I want good protection (mostly from me being stupid). Iowa also requires a license plate in the front. Extra lighting or at least let me still use the stock fog lights is a bonus. Plus I would like it to mate up with a skid plate to replace that piece of plastic junk. Not even sure what that is supposed to protect.

Anyways Thank you for your recommendations. It is appreciated.
 

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Welcome to WF!

I believe Bullbars were originally made to protect the front end from animal collisions. I got one because I like the looks and future lighting locations. I guess it could also protect the radiator if something hits me higher than the bumper itself. Stingers can possibly prevent an endo, or protect the front end during an endo.

I have an Ace Stubby bumper with bullbar. It is stout which is a positive and negative (heavy). It was also a good price for a quality product made in the USA. Some modifications to the jeep were necessary to make it fit. You can get this bumper to fit the stock fog lights, and there is enough room to mount your license plate in between. I'm waiting to mount my plate until I install my winch.

The plastic skid under the stock front bumper isn't really a skid, it is just an air dam to direct air underneath the jeep. I think most wheelers take it off (or it gets removed naturally while wheeling) even if they stick with the stock bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply Sasquatch. What weight on a front bumper would you consider heavy? I would not want to put one on that would sag down or not look right.
 

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My pleasure. I don't really have a lot of experience in comparing bumpers unfortunately. The Ace Stubby with bullbar comes in at 103 lbs and is noticeably heavier than the stock bumper, but there are certainly lots of full width bumpers that weigh more than the Ace Stubby. It definitely sagged in the front a little bit, but I'm still on the weak stock suspension coils. It doesn't look too awkward but I wouldn't want to leave it like that permanently. I'll be lifting my jeep very soon.

Here is some eye candy for you, definitely look this thread over.
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/mega-front-bumper-thread-134959.html

Edit: Just to clarify, there is a little bit of cutting required to get the Ace Stubby to fit 2012-2013 JKs.
 

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Definitely check out the thread mentioned by Sasquatch.
You'll want to decide stubby, mid or full width first. Many accept the factory fogs. Not all companies offer/match a front skid plate to their front bumper- so that alone could narrow it down quite a bit. See here: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/wh...-front-plastic-valence-panel-with-186407.html
Most weigh anywhere from 80lbs to ??. A simple spacer can often help any sag- but often its not noticeable. Most bumpers are an easy install but often require two people. Of all things NOT worth paying for install on- a bumper is probably it. Just be careful of those that might require a little "modification" if you're worried. Almost every bumper made probably has a review or thread on it here- so just use the "thread tool-search function" for info.
The lesser expensive options/examples are probably Olympic, Smitty, Rampage, ACE & Warn- if you're looking for damage control but not wanting to go crazy. Just a starting point for you...
 

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This is my first jeep ever, I knew I needed a new bumper and winch the first time I went wheeling. I didn't like the way a winch looked on a stock bumper and it was all plastic. I looked at all of them, talked to guys with them but in the end I bought what I liked. I picked the Warn elite bumper and Warn winch, I have had a Warn M8000 on my Chevy truck for years.
For me the warn bumper took me 2 1/2 hours to install alone if I had help maybe 1 1/2 hours. My bumper and winch added 155 lbs so I changed my front coil spring from a 14 to a 19 and added a teraflex leveling kit. The directions are easy to follow and with mine I really like how the factory fogs sit in the bumper. Buy the bumper you like and deal with any sag after.
 
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