ALUMINUM bumpers ONLY. Let's see them!

blink9cd

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Thanks for that. I'm in that same boat. They look good, great weight and look solid.

However considering the price point and how members here like to spend, I was certain that someone had tried one! haha
Yeah when you put it that way....a lot of money is going 'round these forums haha. Guilty also...

If you scroll a couple pages back, I posted a pretty detailed spreadsheet with every aluminum rear bumper I could find with total cost, features, weight, etc. Not in that version, but I used a weight/price multiplier to help compare the bumpers lol. You can also read my journey as I post more details in there since I was thinking out loud and bouncing ideas off people. I have an unposted but less detailed front bumper one too, and some discussion even more pages back.

Executive summary: I went with Rock Hard aluminum full width/top mount and buying from Northridge for the front. Awesome price to weight to feature rating. On the rear, I went with a lighter steel one as I didn't think there was a good enough price to weight premium on aluminum rears for me.

 

j-rob

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Yeah when you put it that way....a lot of money is going 'round these forums haha. Guilty also...

If you scroll a couple pages back, I posted a pretty detailed spreadsheet with every aluminum rear bumper I could find with total cost, features, weight, etc. Not in that version, but I used a weight/price multiplier to help compare the bumpers lol. You can also read my journey as I post more details in there since I was thinking out loud and bouncing ideas off people. I have an unposted but less detailed front bumper one too, and some discussion even more pages back.

Executive summary: I went with Rock Hard aluminum full width/top mount and buying from Northridge for the front. Awesome price to weight to feature rating. On the rear, I went with a lighter steel one as I didn't think there was a good enough price to weight premium on aluminum rears for me.
Excellent write-up, I'll have to check that post out. Did you include the trailchaser?

Also, what rear bumper did you end up with and weight? I was thinking steel for the rear if the weight is correct.

I still may purchase the Aries front, as it looks amazing. Will update!
 

blink9cd

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Excellent write-up, I'll have to check that post out. Did you include the trailchaser?

Also, what rear bumper did you end up with and weight? I was thinking steel for the rear if the weight is correct.

I still may purchase the Aries front, as it looks amazing. Will update!
I was really curious to read through my thought process again -- starting on page 11 was when I got interested in front bumpers, but I think I had done all my research in "private" and was just deciding which Rock Hard one to do at that point. Thus I could share my spreadsheet for the front, but I now see I didn't look at the Aries for the front at all, and didn't fill it in as much on the rear that I post later, where I was thinking a lot more out loud on the process.

On the rear I wrote it better back then than I could now haha. You can start at the first one and read through, or these are the 4 main highlights:

Starting thought process on rear here: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...bumpers-only-lets-see-them.68595/post-1954342

Rear Spreadsheet here (note prices might be slightly out of date, as I found later RH went up in price even more, and some others were on sale): https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...bumpers-only-lets-see-them.68595/post-1957575

Decision here on everything: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...bumpers-only-lets-see-them.68595/post-1983196

And install pic/notes on accessories: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...bumpers-only-lets-see-them.68595/post-1999638
 

Traveller128

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Got freight about lunch time today. Decided to go ahead and start working. MP Concepts bumper, Maximus-3 tow hooks, Barricade 9500 winch with synth rope.

The idea was, try to do a lighter bumper than the Venator we tried before, and a lighter winch. The MP Concepts SAYS it's 41 lbs. shipped. This is not true, the box weighed over 70 lbs. I weighed it in three pieces, the bumper, the skid will all the small parts on top of it, and the winch plate. Bumper was 33, winch plate was 23.2, skid and all the other brackets and bolts was 12.2. That's 68.4 lbs, and it will all mount on the front. The plastic bumper, with all the bolts and brackets removed is a bit over 40 lbs including the plastic skid plate, and the 4 frame tie brackets (replaced with Maximus on one side, and winch plate ties on the other). I'll weigh that when I have room to do it, I have stuff spread all over!

My bumper came with the skid and bumper painted black, not the charcoal/dark silver combo I've seen before. It looks just like the Rubicon bumper. Only shipping damage was one of the red tow hooks had paint rubbed off the tip from pushing a hole into the box. They could certainly do a better job of packing and isolating it, but at least all the pieces were bubble wrapped.

This is it coming out of the box.

001 (600x800).jpg


This is the bumper unwrapped.

002 (600x800).jpg

003 (600x800).jpg


The one scuff on the tow hook.

004 (800x600).jpg


And one of the bumper and skid plate showing the paint matches.

005 (600x800).jpg



The install instructions, are not great. In fact, they suck. But there's enough there to give you somewhat of an overview.

The winch plate mostly fits, but it took some tweaking with a grinder, and then I had to cut a couple squares out of the bottom edge on both sides to clear the Maximus brackets.

This is not a simple install, I'm going to have to notch the bumper for those brackets also (same as a Rubicon steel bumper). Will also need to make short notches on the skid.

Fit to the frame horns is difficult. The bolt pattern was just a little narrow, center to center distance was just too small. I had to take the bumper ends apart, enlarge 2 holes on each side of the inner brackets (the outer two holes) where the tow hooks go through. Two holes are larger, and allow room for the bolts to float around, the other two holes are tight, and hold the brackets rigidly. Pain in the ass, takes a bunch of time to take this thing apart and modify things.

But, it all eventually fits, it just wasn't a bolt-on. More of a project. Good news is, it looks decent, and it's lighter than the other bumper we tried.

FYI, the Venator bumper, no matter what they have listed (I think it's 70 lbs) is way heavier. Fedex shipping said 104 lbs total. It's a solid 99 out of the boxes, I weighed all the pieces of that one also. So this is 30 lbs lighter. The Apex Badland, winch only, was 59.5 lbs. With all the other parts in the box, it pushes 70 installed. The Barricade 9500 is 43.4 for the winch, and the other bits (control unit, cables, hook) get it to about 50, so that's another 20 lost. Hoping it drives better with 75 lbs more on the nose, versus the 125 with the last setup (net). I was hoping for less, but the MP bumper is NOT 41 lbs complete. It's MAYBE 41 ish with no winch plate, no winch plate brackets, and no mounting bolts for the brackets.

I'm beginning to think that companies are listing bumper weights with no winch plate or winch plate install parts, even though they include one.
 


JeepyD

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VKS aluminum frame chop shorty V3. 40lbs including winch plate (minus 10lbs of metal I removed on the frame chop, so net 30lbs).

20220701_073529.jpg
20220525_204508.jpg
 

Jdw1

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I decided to go with the Rock Hard front and rear aluminum bumpers, I’m towing my JL and not a hard core off roader so went with the full width front bumper with a lowered winch plate, I do plan on doing some off roading.
I will say that the fog lights are now a total waste in my opinion, I believe they are so deep in the bumper that the light pattern is not effective. Jmo

C75A6FFB-82D9-4DBA-8471-C4853D6623CD.jpeg


85D25708-5566-49A7-957D-758059F2E745.jpeg


44EDBE22-4F22-4030-841D-B4236BB073E9.jpeg
 

blink9cd

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Got freight about lunch time today. Decided to go ahead and start working. MP Concepts bumper, Maximus-3 tow hooks, Barricade 9500 winch with synth rope.

The idea was, try to do a lighter bumper than the Venator we tried before, and a lighter winch. The MP Concepts SAYS it's 41 lbs. shipped. This is not true, the box weighed over 70 lbs. I weighed it in three pieces, the bumper, the skid will all the small parts on top of it, and the winch plate. Bumper was 33, winch plate was 23.2, skid and all the other brackets and bolts was 12.2. That's 68.4 lbs, and it will all mount on the front. The plastic bumper, with all the bolts and brackets removed is a bit over 40 lbs including the plastic skid plate, and the 4 frame tie brackets (replaced with Maximus on one side, and winch plate ties on the other). I'll weigh that when I have room to do it, I have stuff spread all over!

My bumper came with the skid and bumper painted black, not the charcoal/dark silver combo I've seen before. It looks just like the Rubicon bumper. Only shipping damage was one of the red tow hooks had paint rubbed off the tip from pushing a hole into the box. They could certainly do a better job of packing and isolating it, but at least all the pieces were bubble wrapped.

This is it coming out of the box.

001 (600x800).jpg


This is the bumper unwrapped.

002 (600x800).jpg

003 (600x800).jpg


The one scuff on the tow hook.

004 (800x600).jpg


And one of the bumper and skid plate showing the paint matches.

005 (600x800).jpg



The install instructions, are not great. In fact, they suck. But there's enough there to give you somewhat of an overview.

The winch plate mostly fits, but it took some tweaking with a grinder, and then I had to cut a couple squares out of the bottom edge on both sides to clear the Maximus brackets.

This is not a simple install, I'm going to have to notch the bumper for those brackets also (same as a Rubicon steel bumper). Will also need to make short notches on the skid.

Fit to the frame horns is difficult. The bolt pattern was just a little narrow, center to center distance was just too small. I had to take the bumper ends apart, enlarge 2 holes on each side of the inner brackets (the outer two holes) where the tow hooks go through. Two holes are larger, and allow room for the bolts to float around, the other two holes are tight, and hold the brackets rigidly. Pain in the ass, takes a bunch of time to take this thing apart and modify things.

But, it all eventually fits, it just wasn't a bolt-on. More of a project. Good news is, it looks decent, and it's lighter than the other bumper we tried.

FYI, the Venator bumper, no matter what they have listed (I think it's 70 lbs) is way heavier. Fedex shipping said 104 lbs total. It's a solid 99 out of the boxes, I weighed all the pieces of that one also. So this is 30 lbs lighter. The Apex Badland, winch only, was 59.5 lbs. With all the other parts in the box, it pushes 70 installed. The Barricade 9500 is 43.4 for the winch, and the other bits (control unit, cables, hook) get it to about 50, so that's another 20 lost. Hoping it drives better with 75 lbs more on the nose, versus the 125 with the last setup (net). I was hoping for less, but the MP bumper is NOT 41 lbs complete. It's MAYBE 41 ish with no winch plate, no winch plate brackets, and no mounting bolts for the brackets.

I'm beginning to think that companies are listing bumper weights with no winch plate or winch plate install parts, even though they include one.
Great write-up! Missing a fully installed pic though....

Thanks for all the detail on this too. When I was researching bumpers, I thought MP Concepts was interesting as the "aluminum stock" choice, but read a lot of mixed reviews on their stuff. Great reading about what you did to get it to work, but also very happy I didn't go with it. I don't currently have the tools, space, or skillset to do what you did.

Also I completely agree on the weights. When I started my own bumper research I started to figure out the front bumper weight listing often didn't include the weight of the bull bar, winch plate, or skid plate. Or in the case of the rear, sometimes needed to include tire carriers. It's good to source all that as a complete "package" for install, just the same as should be done with price including shipping, taxes, accessories needed, etc so they can all be compared at true weight/true cost.
 

blink9cd

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I decided to go with the Rock Hard front and rear aluminum bumpers, I’m towing my JL and not a hard core off roader so went with the full width front bumper with a lowered winch plate, I do plan on doing some off roading.
I will say that the fog lights are now a total waste in my opinion, I believe they are so deep in the bumper that the light pattern is not effective. Jmo

C75A6FFB-82D9-4DBA-8471-C4853D6623CD.jpeg


85D25708-5566-49A7-957D-758059F2E745.jpeg


44EDBE22-4F22-4030-841D-B4236BB073E9.jpeg
Interesting point on the fog lights. I've had them turned on before while driving, but don't think I've actually needed them to see since switching from stock to the Rock Hard.
 


Traveller128

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Great write-up! Missing a fully installed pic though....

Thanks for all the detail on this too. When I was researching bumpers, I thought MP Concepts was interesting as the "aluminum stock" choice, but read a lot of mixed reviews on their stuff. Great reading about what you did to get it to work, but also very happy I didn't go with it. I don't currently have the tools, space, or skillset to do what you did.

Also I completely agree on the weights. When I started my own bumper research I started to figure out the front bumper weight listing often didn't include the weight of the bull bar, winch plate, or skid plate. Or in the case of the rear, sometimes needed to include tire carriers. It's good to source all that as a complete "package" for install, just the same as should be done with price including shipping, taxes, accessories needed, etc so they can all be compared at true weight/true cost.
Yeah, the weights listed on websites are a little "speculative" in my opinion.

It's a good looking piece, but I sure wouldn't say it's a simple bolt-on if you're installing anything else with it. It's a lighter version of the Rubicon bumper.

Getting ready to post some finished pics.
 

Traveller128

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Finished up the whole project today.

This took a lot longer than I thought it would. I had to cut notches in both the bumper, and the skid plate, then dress up the edges and touch them up a little. The Maximus-3 tow hooks added a bit of time to the install.

002 (600x800).jpg


I also installed a Warn solenoid in line, made a little bracket for it. It's bolted into a riv-nut that I had previously installed on the RH side (there's a hex hole for it). Used a spacer under the bracket to level with the fender. There's an extra ground lug for a large cable, and another for small ring terminals right near it (to the rear of the solenoid) and there's an extra lug on the positive terminal at the battery. I pulled the blue wire out of the accessory wire bundle (accessory 4) and wired it to the solenoid control, and ran a ground wire from the fender ground to the other side. I have it set up in the settings menu to be constant on, ignition power, doesn't recall last setting (reset with ignition off).

005 (600x800).jpg


And, a pic of the whole thing installed. Lot of glare today, hard to get a clear pic. We'd already test driven it at this point, so killed a bunch more grasshoppers with it on a short drive. We are inundated with those things this year. Will have to get another pic when we're out and about.

004 (800x600).jpg


When it was all done, I hooked a tree strap to one of our trees, drove out in our field and ran the winch cable out to where there was 10 laps on it, set the parking brake partly, and then rewound the winch under load. Should be all set to go now. Works great.

The final tally for weight, was 68.4 lbs for the whole set of parts from the box initially, minus 2.4 lbs of spare brackets and hardware that wasn't used, net bumper weight 66 lbs installed.

The winch was about 50 lbs including the control box, wiring and the solenoid (winch was 43.4, the rest was the other bits).

Maximus-3 brackets were ~10 lbs.

Total installed weight ~126 lbs.

I weighed all the removed bumper parts including the plastic bumper and metal inner, skid plate, top trim piece, bolts and fasteners, plus the 4 frame ties and bolts for those. 43.5 lbs for the whole shebang. I weighed the bumper at 38 lbs last time I did this, the rest is all the extra bits.

So, 126-43.5=82.5 lbs net gain. That's not bad for a bumper and winch, about 43-44 lbs lighter than the Venator full width and Apex Badland setup we tried before. It was 125-126 ish net. I was hoping for a 50+ lb loss, but forgot the extra 10 lbs of Maximus brackets. It's lost 1/4" in the front after driving it and letting it settle, versus the plastic bumper.

It drove fine on the test drive, better than it did with the other combo, so I think we have our final setup here. Better be, that was a whole lot more work getting it all to fit together than I originally thought. We're back to having an insurance policy for running by ourselves again.
 

blink9cd

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Last night I just put on take-off Rubicon fenders. Personally I'm much happier with how the face looks with the Rock Hard Patriot full width front -- there were many things I really like about that bumper, but I didn't love how the bumper was so angled up it was almost touching my fenders. To me it almost looked like I had that bumper/fender filler panels they put on stock Sports.

Anyway I'm happy to be back to having a fender gap, and hopefully this a good FYI for anyone with a Sport/Sahara looking at that bumper. See before (left) / after (right) from two roughly equivalent shots:

imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-rP3qZH2eA84k3vP.jpg

imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-16DwEG4bxqQHsV.jpg
 

jack bauer

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Next Venture Motorsport Feather Weight front bumper (42 lbs including winch plate).
Little bit of grinding needed on the winch plate to get it to fit.
Warn Zeon 10s fits like a glove.
IMG_8784.jpg
 
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rubiRI77

rubiRI77

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Next Venture Motorsport Feather Weight front bumper (42 lbs including winch plate).
Little bit of grinding needed on the winch plate to get it to fit.
Warn Zeon 10s fits like a glove.
IMG_8784.jpg
Very Nice!:like: This one was high on my list of possibilities. Very slick looking. The natural finish looks awesome against the granite crystal.

 

Clayton Offroad
 
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