So for the past few weeks I've been debating, do my lift first, then tires, then armor? Or... Do I armor it first, then lift, then see how I need to accommodate (if at all) to properly fit my 35s without worrying about rubbing..... Ultimately, I decided to go with the latter.
Without any further or due, today I got off work and bought this...
Savvy rear bumper, courtesy of Jerry Bransford, Smittybilt Stinger Bumper, and on the way from Dallas, Smittybilt full length Rock Sliders w/tube step.
Also picked up 2 sets of grab handles as the one on my drivers side just looks lonely, a 4WD Coffee Mug for those drowsy days at work, and 2 sets of shackles. One black for the front stinger, and one polished for the Savvy rear.
I was initially a bit skeptical of the Smitty Stinger, build quality and welds didn't really look too hot from various other thread I had seen, but then I saw it in person. It seems as though the newer versions of this bumper have
A. a new bed-lining on it that doesn't chip away with ease (tested it out by smacking it with one of the d rings on a corner edge about 12 times, to no avail)
B. The welds around the stinger (the curve in the tube as well as at the base) seem to be of a much higher quality than the older ones.
C. When inspecting behind the scenes, it also appears as though they made it a point to thicken up the welds underneath as well as run longer beads.
D. Another thing I found odd was on the older version, I noticed the base of the tube that makes the stinger, on the underside (or inside?) of the bumper weren't capped, so you basically had access to the inside of the tube. Now though, they've gone ahead and capped the ends of the tube with a steel cap. Has a small hole in it with a rubber grommet to keep it sealed shut.
Overall, it seems like they've made it a point to increase the quality of the bumper, and yet it still doesn't cost any extra. With that said, my only other concern is how the bottom bolt holes line up on the Jeep, but I'll have to wait and see for that one.
Should have the Jeep back sometime early to mid-September, so soon they'll go on. In the mean time, Still waiting on the sliders to arrive as they didn't have them in stock at my local store, interested to see the quality of those.
Will order the tube fenders in a week or two once I get the sliders in and see how I like the build quality. If I'm confident that the Smitty tubes are the way to go after that, then it's likely I'll pick those up and save the extra 450 difference I'd spend on getting Metalcloaks and the matching flare, for my lift/tires/regear.
And some pictures of the build quality of this newly revised Smitty Stinger Bumper.....
Welds connecting the tubes to the base are solid and run full circle
On the previous versions, the welds were spaced here, but now they've gone ahead and run a bead along the full length of these reinforcing plates.
Here's the Cap on the underside.
And lastly a shot of the whole deal from the backside (yea, yea, I know.... That's what she said.)
Can't wait for the sliders and fenders to get in.... then I get to wait until September to get the Jeep back!