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Discussion Starter #1
What an experience with the SmittyBilt M.O.D. bumper. I really like this bumper. It mounts the winch low, extensions can be changed from stubs to full length, it has a rugged front guard to protect linkage components, and looks good too! And then reality takes over.

I worked 6 hours trying to get this rugged, great looking bumper on my Wrangler. Six hours! :redface: Guess what? It still isn't on :(

I got the main section (the bumper per se) mounted - finally. The bumper studs did not line up well with the frame holes so those holes had to be enlarged, and they were already pretty large! I had to lift the bumper into position 3 times before I finally got it to line up.

So I get the bumper all snugged up and see that the lower lip of the bumper is about 3/4" below the cross member it's supposed bolt to. :confused: Well, I think, I'll have to make some spacers, maybe that won't be too bad. On I go to the bumper extensions.

Guess what? They won't fit the frame holes, and as I was to find out, one side wouldn't even fit the bumper :eek: . So I finally get the left side fitted but can't get the gap between the bumper and extension to close. Finally, and I don't remember how, I got it to an acceptable point.

Then I tried to put the 1/4" flat steel plate on and it won't go on. It turns out the plate has to be bent (by tightening the mounting screws) in order to close the gap on that piece. That can only mean one thing - the bumper and extension simply don't align correctly :( . Well, let's try the other side and see how it does.

The right side extension is even worse. When I put the top bolt in there's a 1/2" gap between the extension and the bumper? :confused: I cannot adjust it out. It appears that the mounting bracket on the extension is either mounted wrong or the holes are wrong. I tried every way I could think of and nothing resolved the problem.

So here I am with a bumper and one extension mounted, and the mounted extension isn't right so it needs to come off.

I had to drive my wife's car today :(

Could it be that SmittyBilt hasn't got this thing zeroed in yet? I'm going to be an optimist and believe that SmittyBilt will somehow make this right, otherwise we may want to substitute an 'h' in place of the 'm' in SmittyBilt.

Oh, did I mention this little detail - I can't mount my Zeon winch on this bumper. I might can by relocating the vacuum pump, but not sure if that will make it work.

And, oh, the instructions are horrible. E.g. there are these two small plates; I know where they go, but they aren't mentioned in the instructions. The instructions say to mount with included hardware. I mean if you didn't know....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry, honestly I see this a lot with their products.
Can you post pics to better describe your issues ?
Thanks.

Funny, I thought I was getting a mainstream, quality bumper.

I'll post some pics. I want to take the bumper off to better show the interface problems with the extensions and bumper. I have to give a final exam tonight, so unfortunately, it will be likely be Tuesday before I can make the pics.

I'm not sure what SmittyBilt can/will do - I may have a $600 chunk of steel. :( The insult to injury is, I still have to buy a bumper. If I do, you can be sure I'll run my next selection through the forum to see what you guys think.
 

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Can you return it and get them to send you a new one that hopefully has the holes in the proper places ?

I have heard lots of problems with Smittybilt as well but I decided to go with their XRC bumper package, tire carrier and side steps, everything went together nice and easy and the holes lined up great on the bumpers and carrier.

However the side steps didn't fit very well and I ended up taking them off and selling them.

Maybe I just got lucky with the bumpers.

I had to move the vac' pump (undid one bolt and rotated it towards the grill then bolted it to a small bracket I made) to get my Zeon to fit properly as well, and it was still tight, I also had to cut a 3/4 notch out of the frame mount to get it in.

Passenger side



Drivers side



Vac' pump

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can you return it and get them to send you a new one that hopefully has the holes in the proper places ?
Hey thanks a bunch for the info!

Quadratec has already said I can return it. They also said they have very few problems with this bumper, so it may just be the one I got, or maybe simply replacing the end caps will work.

I really like the bumper, but there are two problems that will likely be the determining factors as to whether I keep it or not. One problem is the low mount, which is one thing that attracted me to this bumper, is not compatible with the Zeon. The higher mounts seem to be compatible with the Zeon winches.

The second thing is the bottom of the bumper that is supposed to connect to the metal guard (?) under the Jeep, is off by about 3/4". At this point, it just looks like it's too much off to do fixes on.

I'm now looking at a Rugged Ridge bumper that's similar.
 

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I have helped on a few of these. Shimming things with either a plate or washer, and judicious use of a grinder makes the fitment go a little cleaner.

Bob K.
 

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I have also heard of fitment issues with these. Washers and grinders do seem to be the only fix. I am installing a LOD mid-width today...fingers crossed. I have confidence the rear AEV will be perfect.

Given how many bumpers Smittybilt builds in their Chinese factory, I am surprised the fit issues continue. I bet they sell more bumpers than the next five combined.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have helped on a few of these. Shimming things with either a plate or washer...
Yeah, I could shim/space the bumper guard to the cross member, but I'm not sure how much modifying/rebuilding I want to do to make it work.

I must have some kind of phobia about losing ground clearance because knowing it will cost me 3/4" in ground clearance really bugs me.

...judicious use of a grinder makes the fitment go a little cleaner.
Ummmmm, you used the 'g' word - I don't care if it is preceded with judicious! :D

Actually, I'm not sure grinding and shimming will resolve the problem(s). One problem is the end cap and bumper don't line up 'flat' with each other, hence the flat connecting plate (that triangular looking piece) has to bow or bend to fit flush.

I'm gonna make some pics, but because of my final week schedule, it may be Wednesday afternoon before I can make them.

One thing I'm gonna do is take the bumper off and install the end caps and see what that looks like. That should tell me if it's more misalignment of holes or if parts are not quite fabbed right.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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Tangle, if you go the return and pick a new bumper route.....I'd recommend the Warn Elite. I just got through replacing my stock bumpers with the Elite front and rear, and they fit very well. Pretty sure the Zeon fits but you will have to relocate the vac pump, but the kit is included with the front bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Tangle, if you go the return and pick a new bumper route.....I'd recommend the Warn Elite. I just got through replacing my stock bumpers with the Elite front and rear, and they fit very well. Pretty sure the Zeon fits but you will have to relocate the vac pump, but the kit is included with the front bumper.
Thanks Brando, that is one I'm considering, and no doubt it would fit correctly. It's a low mount; designed for the Zeon, and the price is reasonable too.

The only potential problem I see with it is where the fog lights mount. Looks like they would get a lot of stuff slammed at them from the spinning wheel, like mud, water, etc. Has that been a problem?
 

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The fogs are kinda in the line of fire from tire splash, but hopefully this isn't an issue. I live on an under-maintained mtn gravel road and they've been fine for a couple weeks now since the install. You bring up a good point though.

image-506991475.jpg



image-3684720630.jpg
 

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always do a google search of any product before buying. I would never buy shittybilt due to all the fitment issues on about everything they have. Back in the 70's they were highly regarded but that was a long time ago. Warn is nice but one of the heavier ones out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
always do a google search of any product before buying. I would never buy shittybilt due to all the fitment issues on about everything they have. Back in the 70's they were highly regarded but that was a long time ago. Warn is nice but one of the heavier ones out there.
I know, but Quadratec sells all kinds of bumpers and they said they see, very few problems with the SmittyBilt.

What about Rugged Ridge Modular Bumpers? Good fitment??? Weight???
 

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I know, but Quadratec sells all kinds of bumpers and they said they see, very few problems with the SmittyBilt.

What about Rugged Ridge Modular Bumpers? Good fitment??? Weight???
QT probably has a higher profit margin on certain products.

keep your stock bumper and winch plate. this is from today and oatmeal thick wet snow and winch plate never faultered tho the winch was working pretty hard and I thought might stall out but it kept on working away.




also decided to answer your what angle can it pull at lol pretty much 90* without issue
 
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