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Unread 05-30-2014, 10:13 AM   #1
bluejunior
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Front Bumper Suggestions

Okay so I'm looking at bumpers for my '01 XJ, currently stock up front, and I'm looking for suggestions/input

Here's what I need to shell out the cash:
Good Clearance and approach
Recovery points (d-rings or 2" receiver)
Updgraded bumper mounts (further into the unirail)

I'd also like:
Brush guard or pre-runner, but not a stinger
Place to mount a winch (mounting plate or 2" receiver)
Tabs or cutouts for additional lights, included or otherwise.

Purely on looks I'm not a huge fan of tube bumpers, but if affordable and well equipped I'll always pick function over form.


So, suggestions? reviews? good places to shop? I've been looking at AJ's offroad for rock sliders and a rear bumper (they have one of the few with a tow-worthy integrated hitch), but I'm not sure I like their fronts at the prices they have, and I think I've seen better mounting in other brands.

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Unread 05-30-2014, 10:41 AM   #2
bluejunior
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Oh and I'm in the Dallas/Fort Worth area if anyone knows a decent local shop.
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Unread 05-30-2014, 03:35 PM   #3
bluejunior
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Well if anyone else happens to come across this, my shopping/research has led me to Nate's 4x4 for both front and rear bumpers.

The Nate's non-winch front bumper looks solid, compliments the car reasonably well and is shallow. I shied away from the winch bumper because I want to keep the Jeep as short as possible. I'll use the 2" receiver hitch to mount a winch when needed, and save the space when not. It's 1/8" steel square tubing with 1/4" mounts with 12 mounting points.

I'd honestly prefer the AJ's Offroad Armor rear bumper, which is designed to compliment a cut-and fold on the rear corners, but the Nate's is half the price and should be just a strong. Both rear bumpers have tow-worthy receiver hitches and tie in to both the stock bumper mounts and the stock trailer hitch mounts.

I'm still looking, but the Nate's set is leading at the moment, if only the rear wasn't so damned ugly.
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Unread 05-31-2014, 10:02 AM   #4
Xride
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If you want to stay short and have a winch, look at the ORS bumper. It can add a winch and be 3" shorter than the stock bumper even. And it is beefy.

I had him make mine more like stock because I think it looks a little silly tucked in so far under.
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Unread 05-31-2014, 10:45 AM   #5
VegasGT
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You should look into DirtboundOffroad, I love mine. Sits tight and flows well with the body. The side wings are curved just like the header panel. Mine is their Mojave non-winch with 2" receiver and their hoop setup.

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Unread 05-31-2014, 03:45 PM   #6
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xride: Thanks I'll have a look at ORS, looks really clean.

VegasGT: Dirtbound is definitely in the running, I don't really like their hoop and I'm no welder, but I suppose I could have a different one put on.
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Unread 05-31-2014, 04:04 PM   #7
wizardPC
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I'm about to get some Smittybilt XRC bumpers because they're cheap and if I'm honest with myself they're really only going to be for looks anyway.

Front and rear with tire carrier is $1199 and 4wp is throwing in rock sliders for free. You can't even get a rear bumper with carrier for that from anywhere else. You can add a bull bar to the front for $100.
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Unread 06-01-2014, 01:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizardPC View Post
I'm about to get some Smittybilt XRC bumpers because they're cheap and if I'm honest with myself they're really only going to be for looks anyway.

Front and rear with tire carrier is $1199 and 4wp is throwing in rock sliders for free. You can't even get a rear bumper with carrier for that from anywhere else. You can add a bull bar to the front for $100.
Good to know. I do need sliders as well. The Smittybuilts are pretty to be sure, though I am actually building this for off-roading as time and cash allow. The only thing holding be back from them is that they only rate their rear bumper's receiver hitch as a class 3, and I'd like to avoid having a receiver bumper AND an underslung hitch because I actually tow 3500ish on a regular basis, and the wife and I have been looking at small campers w/trailer brakes, so i need something strong enough to pull 5k. with the trans cooler I installed and trailer brakes I'm sure the jeep could handle it.

Well, that and I haven't looked at how they mount their fronts. A good mounting setup can actually strengthen the front frame and I'd like that bonus toughness.
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Unread 06-01-2014, 03:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluejunior View Post

VegasGT: Dirtbound is definitely in the running, I don't really like their hoop and I'm no welder, but I suppose I could have a different one put on.
I was iffy on the hoop initially but Ive really grown to like it, and from a functionality standpoint its probably the best hoop setup you could run for protection of the header panel. Ive got scars on the headlight hoops that back that up.
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Unread 06-01-2014, 04:35 PM   #10
wizardPC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluejunior View Post
Good to know. I do need sliders as well. The Smittybuilts are pretty to be sure, though I am actually building this for off-roading as time and cash allow. The only thing holding be back from them is that they only rate their rear bumper's receiver hitch as a class 3, and I'd like to avoid having a receiver bumper AND an underslung hitch because I actually tow 3500ish on a regular basis, and the wife and I have been looking at small campers w/trailer brakes, so i need something strong enough to pull 5k. with the trans cooler I installed and trailer brakes I'm sure the jeep could handle it.

Well, that and I haven't looked at how they mount their fronts. A good mounting setup can actually strengthen the front frame and I'd like that bonus toughness.


Class 3 is up to 5k, so sayeth the Wikipedia
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Unread 06-02-2014, 03:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizardPC View Post
Class 3 is up to 5k, so sayeth the Wikipedia
Really? Wow that doesn't really match up with what I've read, but hey a little googling never hurts right?
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Unread 06-02-2014, 03:57 PM   #12
bluejunior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegasGT View Post
I was iffy on the hoop initially but Ive really grown to like it, and from a functionality standpoint its probably the best hoop setup you could run for protection of the header panel. Ive got scars on the headlight hoops that back that up.
I do like the headlight protection, just not a fan of the look they wound up with while doing it. I'd prefer something flatter across the top. The build quality, function, price and reviews all have me seriously considering dirtbound nonetheless, and I like the bumper (if not the hoop) better than the Nate's one.

Luckily I have a little time to think, but my bonus comes in later this month and that's DEFINITELY gonna be burning a hole in my pocket.
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Unread 06-02-2014, 04:19 PM   #13
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Do not pull 5k lbs with an xj. That is well outside its legal and safe limits. Having trailer brakes does not make it ok to overtow your vehicle.
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Unread 06-02-2014, 04:59 PM   #14
bluejunior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xride View Post
Do not pull 5k lbs with an xj. That is well outside its legal and safe limits. Having trailer brakes does not make it ok to overtow your vehicle.
Unless I'm way off, jeep rates it at 5K if you have the towing add-ons they offered from the factory (trans cooler, a better geared rear-end, heavy load springs, alt upgrade) and trailer brakes. Am I missing something? I have all that. Albeit aftermarket, but I have installed everything but the gears, which are planned before heavy towing starts, I'm thinking 31's with 4.56's to keep a favorable ratio.
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Unread 06-02-2014, 05:11 PM   #15
VegasGT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluejunior View Post
I do like the headlight protection, just not a fan of the look they wound up with while doing it. I'd prefer something flatter across the top. The build quality, function, price and reviews all have me seriously considering dirtbound nonetheless, and I like the bumper (if not the hoop) better than the Nate's one.

Luckily I have a little time to think, but my bonus comes in later this month and that's DEFINITELY gonna be burning a hole in my pocket.
I understand. I actually ran just the bumper for a few months, then added the hoop later on after a few close calls, it looked good without it too.

Heres pre-hoop days.
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