post #1 of Old 05-06-2014, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
wakeup2river
Registered User
2012 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: The River
Posts: 16
The good, bad and ugly.

Over all its a nice bumper, nicely made and a nice finish. I was looking for a front hitch and this is the only product I could find with a 2" receiver integrated into the bumper. Great price and friendly folks, sloppy execution.

I called Quadratec first and they said it was back ordered for weeks. So I called Olympic direct on Monday, told it was in stock, and I could have it in 3 days since I live close. Friday came and went and no bumper and no charge on my CC. The next Monday I called and was told it was still at the powder coaters. So it appears I was BS'd about it being in stock. Another 8 days pass and I get the bumper, not well packed but intact. (promised in stock and delivery in 3 days, it was not in stock and it arrived in 15 days)

I decided to follow the install instructions seeing you never know what there is to learn. Right off, the instructions made no sense in regards to mounting the fog light hardware. I called Olympic and got the same very friendly and knowledgeable girl I spoke to in the past. She said, oh that's the old way we used to make the bumper, that part of the instructions no longer pertains to the way yours was made. - nice What's it take to update a 1 page install sheet? Instead, lets just ship it wrong and frustrate the customer until they call then we'll fill them in.

So I attempt to install the fog light hardware and notice I have 24 nuts ( 2 types) and 7 washers to use for 8 threaded studs - huh? The directions leave you to your imagination at this point. In addition, Olympic powder coated over the threaded studs vs simply masking them off. Let me tell you that wrinkle black powder coat paint might as well be some sort of tar-epoxy as its not coming off with just a wire brush and the nuts aren't going on until the paint is out of the threaded studs. See Picture

Back on the phone with Olympic. They weren't sure why I got all the nuts and were sort of sketchy about which ones went on first etc. When I spoke about not masking off the threaded studs they said, yeah the masking tape falls off a lot. She said the only way the paint is coming out of the threads is with stripper. GREAT! 20 mile round trip into town to Home Depot for a bottle of $10 stripper, mask off the bumper and wait 30 minutes for it to lift the paint off ( it took 2 applications actually) I guess its easier for Olympic to have the customer do this then make sure the masking tape stays on in the paint booth.


Now that I removed the paint I can mount the lights. Its actually night #2 of the install. The flaw here is that the fog lights are suspended on 4 studs with a small nut on each stud to act as a resting seat midway on the stud vs having the entire fog light lay flush against the bumper surface as it does stock. The light is on stilts essentially, seated on small nuts. After you run the fog light down the 4 mounting studs and the light seats on the 4 little nuts, you put on 4 really small lock washers then 4 nylon lock nuts on top off the fog light to pinch it down on the stud. The first nut I tightened very carefully, but it still cracked the fog light's mounting hole, the 2nd nut did the same. I figured I had tighten the nylon nut too much, but it turns out the mini lock washer Olympic supplies you with is almost the same size as the hole in the fog light and it embeds itself nicely into the fog light mounting hole perfectly. So, when you tighten the nylon nut at all, even slightly, it forces the washer into the fog light hole, expands the hole and cracks the light mounting surface! See picture, click on it to enlarge.


So as a work around I dug out the 2 lock washers embedded in the fog light mounting holes and threw them away and just used the nylon lock nuts by themselves with lock tight. There is no way the fog lights will stay on the studs and/or hold up. They are not designed to be mounted this way. I suggest making a spacer ring so they can seat flush vs being suspended on studs. OR HEY better yet maybe Olympic might want to do that. The fun part is when the fog lights fall out or break off the studs you will need to remove the bumper to get to them.

AHHHH the final part. Simply install the bumper on the jeep using the 8 carriage bolts and this done - NOPE. The bumper has square holes for the carriage bolts - good, the bumper is 3/16 thick - good. The shoulders on the grade 8 carriage bolts supplied by Olympic are 4-5/16 deep - BAD. The carriage bolts shoulders are too long and bottom out on the round frame holes on the bumper keeping the carriage bolts from seating. Remember this is a bumper that will be used as a tow hitch and carriage bolts get their strength from being seated not 1/16-1/8" from seating flush. See picture


I called Olympic and they said to just line it up better and really tighten it up and they will seat. WHAT? You can line up the bumper all day, but the grade 8 carriage bolt's shoulder is longer than the hole is deep - it aint happening and I'm using air tools to boot. Would it take a lot to supply the right hardware or think this stuff through? Of course "I was the first person that had ever experienced this problem".

Olympics Solution: They will send me 1/2" spacers to put between the bumper and frame or I can drill out my frame holes. Neither were options for me since I may put the stock bumper back on one day and didn't want to enlarge the stock frame holes. The spacer fix on the other hand would make the bumper hang 1/2" away from the frame. - Awesome During the call I heard a voice from in the back say, " just have him grind down each of the 4 corners of the 8 carriage bolts by 1/16-1/8". That's was actually what I was thinking of doing anyway. At his point its easier for me to just suck it up and fix the bolts vs returning the bumper, but on principal I should have returned the bumper. But then again they are the only ones making a front hitch bumper.

The next day I drove back into town to home depot to get a metal grinding wheel for my Dremmel (yep, another 20 miles and $10, but the tool is kind of cool). So I spend the next half hour grinding Olympics hardware to fit their bumper. Of course now the bolts need to be repainted black after grinding. See picture

Next I mounted the bumper and it went on like a charm with all the bolts mounting flush as they should. See Picture


YOU know, if my buddy and I made the bumper and ran into this stuff we would just figure something out and be done. But to pay for a finished product that is advertised to bolt right on in an hour and have to contend with this sloppy execution of a product isn't right. The bumper looks nice and is doing its job as of today. I will say the girl at Olympic was so nice that if it weren't for her I would not have put up with all the BS and would have just shipped the thing back. That being said I'm not sure Id ever buy from them again simply based on the sloppy way they deliver a product.

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Last edited by wakeup2river; 05-07-2014 at 11:17 AM.
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post #2 of Old 04-20-2015, 12:15 AM
mrgross1982
Registered User
2001 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Cameron Park
Posts: 11
nothing great, but nothing bad either.. It was easy to install
mrgross1982 is offline  
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