JLUR - Plastic vs Steel Bumpers?

sixspeed

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Just looking for some thoughts on the base plastic bumpers versus the steel bumper upgrade on the Rubicon.

Basically, I placed an order a few weeks back and just second guessing myself (like I seemingly have with everything lol). Wondering if I want to order steel and have them dealer installed when the Jeep comes in so I can roll it into the cost of the vehicle.

First off though, on the 2021 Rubicon the steel bumper group upgrade ends up being around $1,800 when you figure in tax. That's a pretty heft amount of money for some bumpers. That's mostly why I didn't get them in my order. Just seemed like a lot of money and the plastic ones really don't look all that bad. Heck, most vehicles these days don't have bumpers at all lol.

Now about my intentions with this Rubicon. First off, this is my first Jeep. I don't know if I'll be off-roading. I hope to try it sometime but I don't know if I will or not. Also, not planning to add upgrades like a winch, lights or whatever. I'd like to maybe do 35 inch tires down the road but that probably won't be for a couple years as I plan to wear out the ones it comes with first.

So all the above considered, I thought I'd probably be fine with the standard bumper. I also had concerns that the steel bumpers might have issues with rust being in Upstate NY with salt and snow. If they're e-coated though then maybe that's not a concern. It just seems like I've had issues with steel everything on my vehicles with rust at some point.

I do like the look and heftiness of the steel bumper. But I don't know if I like it for $1,800 worth. I basically already went about 3K over my intended budget with my order by doing LED lights and adding some other things (painted fender flares, 8.4 radio, Headliner, safety group, etc). I'm sure could swing the steel bumpers if I wanted to though.

If I were planning to do heavy mods, add a winch, lights, go off-road like crazy, yeah....I'd think a steel bumper would be a must. But think it's necessary if you aren't doing those things? The only thing I might like to add would be a bull bar mostly just because I like the looks of it. It's probably not necessary though.

Try to take it easy on me for getting the Rubicon in the first place if I don't plan to off-road! I just loved the darn thing when test driving it and thought it was a cool vehicle! And maybe the wife and I will hit a trail at some point, IDK.

Just looking for some thoughts. Anybody have the plastic bumpers and okay with them? Wish you had steel of happy with what you have?
The Mopar rear steel bumper does not have the back up sensors. The plastic, at least on a Rubicon, does. I’m sure they can’t be added.





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wheels082

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You could save yourself a lot more money than the cost of bumpers by buying a Sport instead of a Rubicon. For your described usage, a Sport will go anywhere you want to go and then some.
 
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tts42572

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Yeah, I gave a lot of thought to the other trims. Was mostly between the Willy's and Rubicon for me.

When I built the Willy's with everything I wanted, I was really only about 4K-5K below where I was with the Rubicon. I did like that one a lot.

But I was lured toward the Rubicon. Just liked the look and vibe of it a bit more. Yeah, probably suckered by the sporty hood, stickers and red accents, I don't know. I think part of it too was there was a Rubicon on the lot I drove and got to see in person and loved it. It just wasn't the right color and was missing a few other things. So I gravitated toward that.

No doubt a Willys or Sport even probably would've been fine. It's probably like going into the store and buying $100 pair of sneakers when $40 sneakers would serve me just as well lol. American consumerism :)

You could save yourself a lot more money than the cost of bumpers by buying a Sport instead of a Rubicon. For your described usage, a Sport will go anywhere you want to go and then some.
 

jespey

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We’ve had seven Jeeps since 2010, with my wife’s newest being a 2020 Rubicon, our first Rubicon. It’s a mall crawler with some beach driving thrown in. We found it on a dealer lot, equipped just as she wanted for around $45k. After about a year, we added the Mopar front steel bumper mainly for the looks. $1,200 installed by the dealer.

The looks of the Rubicon, all the accents you mention, are worth the extra money to us.
 

JoeBelt

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The steel bumpers are substantial. I don’t intend to push anything...but I feel I could. They’re steel - not Fisher Price - what more can I say? Having them straight from the factory means no headache with backup sensors.
 

iznthesky

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Get the Plastic “No Additional Cost” bumper. The Jeep Steel bumpers are pretty...but they are WEAK. Any pressure on them from wheeling. Pushing, Pulling or Jacking will cause DEFLECTION to the bumper and body damage to the Jeep.
For the same cost, you can buy really good steel bumpers that will stand up to most abuse that Jeep drivers will put them through.
 

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Yeah, that darn money thing!

The only part of the plastic bumper I really don't care for is that silver part. I wish they'd have just done the whole thing the black plastic and left off that silver accent. For example, I like the Willy's bumper better than the Rubicon. Maybe the Rubicon bumper could be painted to look like the Willy's?

This thing was so tough to order. You start out with that base price and it looks great....Then start adding everything you want and before you know it you're up around 60K.
Guess my question is if you ordered the Dual Top Group or not for your Rubicon? If you did, then I would recommend going to the Steel Bumpers. When swapping tops, I stand atop the steel bumper to get me better access. The Plastic Bumper may not be able to hold my weight (190 lbs).
 

imbuere

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I ordered the plastic group and then later upgraded to barely used factory Mopar steel for $450 in the front and $100 for the rear.

even at those prices, I kinda wish I had stuck with plastic.
 

imbuere

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Guess my question is if you ordered the Dual Top Group or not for your Rubicon? If you did, then I would recommend going to the Steel Bumpers. When swapping tops, I stand atop the steel bumper to get me better access. The Plastic Bumper may not be able to hold my weight (190 lbs).
What? You can absolutely stand in the plastic... you know it has a steel reinforcement, right?
 

Ismor

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Let me offer a different way of thinking about it (and many other upgrades):

You aren't buying $1,800 worth of ice cream. You are using the money to buy an asset. True, you are probably not going to recover all this money when you sell the Jeep, but you'll probably get more than zero, right?

Which means that you aren't spending $1800 on a bumper (that would be crazy!). You'll get some of this money back in the future. Depending on how long you'll keep the vehicle, you'll probably end up spending a few hundred dollars. For example, if you sell the jeep within two years, you can expect to recoup 80%, which nets $360 for the bumpers. And that's much more reasonable.

That's my perspective.

p.s. People who didn't buy the steel bumper would tell you shouldn't, and people who bought them would say you should. I invested in steel bumpers, and I'm glad I did. But then, I didn't spend $1800 on them :)
 
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tts42572

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Did not get a dual top group. Being up around Buffalo, NY, I don't see myself switching tops since we get like 8 months of crap weather and it can snow anywhere between about October and April.

I'm not even sure how much the hard top will come off. I'm sure the freedom panels will come off often but not sure about the rest.

Guess my question is if you ordered the Dual Top Group or not for your Rubicon? If you did, then I would recommend going to the Steel Bumpers. When swapping tops, I stand atop the steel bumper to get me better access. The Plastic Bumper may not be able to hold my weight (190 lbs).
 
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tts42572

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So you just did the front? That's a good thought.

One thing I don't like about the steel group is the rear bumper. It doesn't seem much different, offers nothing functionally I need and my OCD kinda bugs me on the color of the more "black" steel rear bumper where it meets the lighter, more matte looking black plastic by the wheel wells. It sorta looks like it doesn't belong or something....IDK.

Probably a wise move to just stick with the plastic for now, then if I do want to change, just go steel on the front and save a little money. I'm sure I could get it dealer installed if I wanted for around the same price you paid and wouldn't be paying for a rear bumper I don't really care about. Or there would be many other options I could go with like the aluminum one somebody else posted.

At this point, I guess anything would be installed after the fact anyways since too late to change my order. Might as well try out the plastic first and see how it goes knowing I could always change it later.

We’ve had seven Jeeps since 2010, with my wife’s newest being a 2020 Rubicon, our first Rubicon. It’s a mall crawler with some beach driving thrown in. We found it on a dealer lot, equipped just as she wanted for around $45k. After about a year, we added the Mopar front steel bumper mainly for the looks. $1,200 installed by the dealer.

The looks of the Rubicon, all the accents you mention, are worth the extra money to us.
 

JeezAJeep

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I ordered a Willys's on Saturday...has a plastic bumper....now I find out I cannot mount any type of grill guard on it...was looking for a grill guard with 2 KC auxiliary lights...any suggestions? I may have to go with a steel after market bumper....
 

TheMAnderson

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I went plastic so I can order aftermarket steel later. I’ll off-road at some point and heard not good things about the steel rear. Plus, I want to make the Jeep as much “me” as possible.
I also ordered with plastic, knowing that I could get more value for less money going aftermarket, plus better quality & strength.

In September ordered the LOD signature front from Quadratec using the forum discount (10%) and a Smittybilt X20 10K winch from Amazon - and, all together, it's about $1100. I could get a matching LOD rear bumper for $700 or less (and I probably will sooner or later) - so for the same $1800, I'll be able to have better quality steel front and rear bumpers AND a winch.
 

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The Mopar rear steel bumper does not have the back up sensors. The plastic, at least on a Rubicon, does. I’m sure they can’t be added.
0n my 2019 JLUR it has sensors in the rear.
20201102_154922.jpg
 

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