Flat Tow winch bumper options

  1. viperbing

    viperbing New Member

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    I have gone through multiple threads here. It appears that the only two winch bumper options for the JL that approve of flat towing on the Rock Hard bumpers as well as the LOD. Are there any options? I do not want to use the under bumper brackets from Blue Ox or Roadmaster as I am looking to install a winch as well.
     
  2. Jondrew

    Jondrew Well-Known Member

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    Smittybuilt XRCs are also. BlueOx sells adapters for those too. There are probably other alternatives
     
  3. MinorInsanity

    MinorInsanity Active Member

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  4. lightsout

    lightsout Well-Known Member

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    #4 Jan 14, 2019 at 2:56 PM
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 3:09 PM
    So I recently went through the same search and after serious consideration here is what I discovered and did. You are right the Rock Hard and LOD bumpers are the only ones, meaning they are the only ones willing to take on the liability risk. Mopar says DO NOT TOW FROM a bumper reason being the frame bumper connections are not designed for towing. If you remove your bumper you will see that the bumper connects to a thin (not as heavy steel as the frame) Plate that is welded to the end of the frame, while it is designed to take impacts and protect you it is not robust enough to pull the nearly 5000lb jeep (according to Mopar). In fact there is a thread here where LOD actually acknowledge's Mopar's position.

    Below is the picture of the bumper attachment, as you can clearly see that plate is not very robust, Because Mopar warned me not to bumper tow I decided safety was the best policy so I installed the official Blue OX tow plate and as you can see is is only 5 inches below the lower bumper bolt. With that said the Rock Hard Bumper I ordered and then canceled after I talked to Mopar was actually slightly lower, so in reality I did not lose ANY clearance however gained peace of mind with safety and reliability which is paramount to me.

    c1e5b37a-8e9a-49c5-a43d-6eaf8d831711_zpsli8uo8oe.jpg

    The other issue I had with the Rock Hard is the tow connection on attached to two of the 4 bumper bolts making it an even weaker unbalanced connection (pictured below
    jkflattow-jpg.jpg

    Now LOD Welds on there connection tow connection so the tow point is NOT directly connected to the frame since the tow point is independent of the bumper-frame connection.

    dsc01825.jpg

    Kook there will be several on here that say they have been towing with bumpers for a long time with no issues, however that does not negate the fact Mopar does not recommend it with the current JL frame-bumper connection method.

    I wold have much rather used bumper connections however I was not willing to risk it towing a 5000lb $50K jeep behind a $180K RV, especially from the remote chance something did happen the liability would likely negate any insurance coverage since Mopar says NO.

    However if Mopars position changes I will be the 1st to abandon the tow plate. Additionally I went with an Aluminum bumper to keep the front end weight down even then with winch I have about a 1" drop on the front and that is after the 3.5" lift that is supposed to eliminate the front rake.

    Here is the final installation on mine as you can see I was able to re use with some cutting the stock under bumper plastic skid and have the tow connection protrude.

    tow%201_zpsma2rd4i3.jpg

    Note I will not be rock crawling as there is no good option for that, if you use a bumper connection you also stand to damage the any bumper.

    If you plan to use the Mopar Steel bumper with winch here is the best tow connection option.

    20181021_113733-jpg.jpg

    So any way you slice it, be it Bumper connection or tow plate overall the approach Clearance is about the same since the claimed towable bumpers drop so low below the frame connection.
     
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