So I currently own a 2010 2 Door Islander. Some people call it a girly package or a sticker package.
So what can we do to beef up the looks of the Islander?
Well she looked like this to start:
That wont do at all now will it. Looks to much like a Barbie toy right? Lets man her up a bit shall we? Give your local ARB retailer a ring...
In a week or two a giant box on a pallet will show up, these ship truck freight so be aware of that.
Operation plastic removal begins one of two ways.
Remove the plastic air dam, in doing this you will find that not only was Jeep good natured enough to continue using Torx bolts (thank god none hold the bumper on) but now they're using these little plastic spawns of Satan:
Remove these by any means necessary, you wont re use them, and they're 5 cents a piece at lowes if you go back to stock, I used a large screwdriver to pry them up slightly then a pair of side cutters (Dikes) to pull them free. The correct way to remove them is to use a phillips screwdriver to remove the center plastic screw, I got one out that way, the first one, go figure. The rest either spun or stripped, Just rip them out.
Now thats one piece of plastic, now on to some more substantial things, the bumper.
Step one is optional and only possible if you do not have to hooks, ARBs instructions arent the best. Remove these bolts (13mm i believe) 2 on each side and if you dont have hooks the plastic overlay will fall off, giving better access to step two.
Step two is to remove the metal part of the bumper, this is the hardest part of the removal process. There are 8 18mm nuts holding it on and its not the easiest to reach. Use an extension and its not to bad. They are also tight, my Jeep has 7k on it and hasnt had time to rust badly yet, your mileage may vary. Once you get the nuts off there are steel plates that slide off the studs, which are part of the tow hook assembly.
This is the a pic of the nuts to be removed, 4 per side, 2 on each side of the frame rail:
If equipped with fogs before you remove the bumper, disconnect the lights, its a squeeze clip. Also unclip the wiring harness for the lights from the bumper at this time or it wont come off.
Now just gently pull the bumper off, its not heavy so you can do this part by yourself. If you've done it correctly your Jeep will now look like this:
Next remove the plastic frame cover, this is also held on by 2 of those Satan spawn plastic clips, be careful here, if you get over ambitious with the screwdriver or side cutters you could scratch the grill or mangle the plastic cover, you dont need the cover anymore, so if you dont care about it go to town on it. I actually used the side cutters to cut the plastic rivets off because i didnt feel comfortable prying near the painted plastic grill.
this is the cover that must come off:
Okay your jeep is now Naked, its not happy about this, you may be if thats your thing, but most of us would like to upgrade, thats where the ARB comes in play.
This thing is quite heavy. It is possibly to lift it up on to the frame by yourself if your a strong enough person. So man up and lift it on to the frame rails and it will sit on the rails, be careful it will want to rock back and forth and the light tabs on the hoop could bust or scratch the grill.
Now i dont have a picture of it, but mercifully the ARB instructions are clear here, there are two sets of bolt holes on the arb bumper. So instead of 4 per side like stock, there are 8 per side. This allows upward movement of the bumper to match up with a small body lift. If your stock, use the top most of the 4 holes. body lifted vehicles would use the bottom set.
Secure the bumper with 8 supplied bolts in the holes of the bumper, sound easy right? not so much.
This is where the friend comes in handy, its very hard to lift and wiggle a 180lb bumper by yourself with one hand while trying to thread the bolts.
Have your friend lift and steady the bumper and start the 8 bolts. The bolt holes are powder coated too so they wont thread in easily by hand. start them one or two threads then give it one or two turns with a ratchet to make sure they're not cross threaded. Leave them loose until you get all 8 bolts in, some wiggling and lifting of the bumper is necessary because the holes are slotted to allow for variances in design.
Once all 8 bolts are in the battles won, tighten them up, and your jeep will look like this:
Looks a lot better right? Yep, but your not done yet.
I have a 2010, I assume there was a design change somewhere in 08-09 or in export RHD jeeps (ARB is an Australian company) The instructions call for a big bolt to go through the bumper to the frame from left to right on each side though a hole in the frame and your to put a nut on the back of it. these holes are no where close to lining up, so I skipped this step, I did not want to drill the frame.
Next up is the little things, the front plate mount if required bolts to the front of the bumper and hinges so you can access your winch that I cant afford like so:
Your final step is to install braces on the side wings, these only go on one way and are pretty straight forward. 4 bolts 4 nuts and some washers. They look like this when installed:
And thats it, now your jeep is ready for all those renegade Kangaroos you'll run into out there in the bush, also pedestrians and Deer.
Final thoughts and notes:
ARB is beefy and its a well built bumper for a very good price the fit and finish of it was good, but not great but its little issues like the mystery side bolts.
Have a friend ready to help maneuver this thing on when bolting it down, its not possible to do it yourself and you really dont want to drop this on your foot.
Extra bolt syndrome. Doesnt everyone have this problem? always having extra parts after you do a Job, aside from the bolt that had no hole, there will be extra bolts that are used to hold down the winch, and winch solenoid bracket. My biggest gripe is the washers. They give you tons of washers and never tell you when to use them. I bolted the bumper on tightened those 8 PITA bolts and then realized they probably should have had washers on them.
Not a huge deal, but it would've been nice if ARB mentioned that.
Also all bolt sizes given in the instructions are in metric weirdness. I dont mean like 10mm but 8.8x10x20mm. I cant make heads or tails of it, but im not the brightest in the box. Thankfully all the bolts are sized so its pretty obvious what goes where.
Hope this helps someone, I would recommend this bumper to anyone, it really looks good, and will look 10 times better once I get the winch and fog lights on it.
Apologies for lack of pics at the end, my hands were tied up man handling the bumper and I forgot.
Feel free to add to the FAQ if you think its worthy.
Also next weekend if it doesnt rain. I will be installing the matching ARB rear bumper. I'll do a write up for that to if you guys want and thought this was helpful.