Soon to have the front bumper off of my '97. Looking to add tow hooks. Quadratec sells them made by Rugged Ridge. From the pictures, this set does not have as much reinforcement as the OEM unless there are two more brackets not shown in the picture. Should I go OEM if that is the case? Do not want to trim the plastic bumper either. TIA!http://www.quadratec.com/products/12007_800_07.htm
I questioned that statement about the thickness too. Back to the original query, are the hooks & hardware in the link not as good as OEM? The following picture shows a set with all of the brackets which I understand is the OEM set. Further comments are appreciated!
OEM copies all leave out the important reinforcement brackets. The OEM brackets are adequate for light to moderate recovery, heavy or severely off axis recoveries can bend them. Without the reinforcement brackets, you had better stick to light recoveries. Iron Rock Off Road makes a great heavy duty front tow hook mount.
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idk how many aftermarket bumpers this would work with, but I love having this towbar on the front. It acts as a bump before anything hits my bumper. And worst case scenario, I can put the tongue on it to pull it...and its gonna serve as my hitch mount.
When I do my front and rear I am going to put a big d ring in the middle front and rear for tow and anchor points. Maybe some shackle mounts. Shackles are good because you can take off and use for the rigging. I am almost convinced factory tow hooks are garbage for any other reason other then pulling on to a tow truck. But that's just my opinion. Last weekend a group of us towed a guy all the way up miller jeep trail, and it wasn't easy. I'm glad guys with us had alot of equipment and everyone but me had a winch. At one point we had to hook up two winches just to get him over a really bad section. But a rubi was able to tow him most of the way.
Even if you want to keep the stock bumper you'd be better off buying some AJ's Offroad bumper plates and having someone weld angle iron to them and drill a couple holes in them for the hooks. Stock bumper would still bolt right up to them if you drill the 3 holes the front bumper requires on the front flat part.
edit: Been a couple years since I bought these and they've gone up in price about 50%. Regardless, if you can find something similar go for those. It's a beefier option and will give you something stout to start a recovery bumper off of if you ever learn to weld.
If I intended to do off-road adventures, I certainly would go for the front receiver set-up but that is not what my plan is for now. Thank you @Motorcharge for the link. These plates may be the answer to a problem. My XJ was purchased from the original owner who had towed the vehicle behind a motor home for a couple of years. The shop in Seattle which attached the tow bar hardware did a great job on the passenger side. Evidently that person went to lunch or something & someone else did the driver side which was a hack job. The result is a tear in the sheet metal which will have to be repaired & the plates may be the way to reinforce that area. Very glad I decided to pull the tow plates!
So the last question is what year should be the donor vehicle? Seems like I read some where, likely here, that the '97-'01 mounting brackets are different than the earlier years. Can anyone confirm that there is a difference and or experiences in installing the early hardware on the later series?