JLUR - Plastic vs Steel Bumpers?

JL Fan

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I have a Sport...with stock bumpers front and rear. I didn’t think I wanted steel when I bought it. But they grew on me. I was thinking about Mopar steel front and rear. But sounds like this group doesn’t like the rear. Any recommendations for aftermkt steel? Any drawbacks to simple steel tube bumpers. I like to keep it simple.





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KenPewPew

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I'd say hold onto your money and run with the plastic bumpers until you get a better bead on how you plan on using the Jeep. The steel and plastic variants have a near identical profile and size. If down the line you want to mount a winch and/or other bumper accessories, you could score a great deal on a used one from the forum marketplace. As for the Mopar rear steel bumper, its not worth the money because it doesn't really provide the strength you'd expect from steel.

I ordered my Rubi with the steel bumpers, mainly because I like the front. But I knew I'd eventually be replacing the rear with something that would better protect the corners of the body. I actually just placed an order for a new one today.
Yeah @Headbarcode - this guy is pretty modest when it comes to upgrading his Sting Ray Jeep - he bought everything in the market, used 20% of it (he had to cosset and coddle up to his wife when she found out that he has been buying - *insert any Jeep things in here*) and the rest he placed it as a trophy in Tony Stark size garage. If you stick long enough you might even get awesome freebie from him!

I am hoping that he will give me a winch for my stock steel front Rubicon bumper!!! Coz he is the best (no - he is really)
 

Foggy47

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I bought a new Rubi JLU and let it come with the stock plastic bumpers. Immediately replaced them with the Rock Hard 4x4 Patriot model bumpers - front and rear.....and got a swinging tire mount to boot. I retained the back-up sensors/cross traffic allerts. These do so much more than protect my vehicle as 1/4" thick steel powder coated bumpers.......they provide a low winch mount, Provide 4 D-Ring mounts, Provide a bull bar, provide protection for my sway bar disconnect, provide the means to lift my rig with a Handi-man jack, Provide aux light mounts, provide an antenna mount for CB, Provide a better departure angle for the rear bumper AND a better trailer hitch location. They provide the means to have my BU camera mount, and provide a place to mount my license plate. Provide the means for my Jeep to become a TOAD. Maybe more features.

OH....and did I mention they are 1/4" thick steel that will protect my vehicle from damage in many cases. BULLET proof design.....and they fit tires to 37" - maybe more.

I sold my OE plastic bumpers for a few bucks.....and I am now at about the same price as I might have paid for the OEM steel bumpers.......but WAAAY better equipped for my needs. I'd do it all again. :D
 
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tts42572

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I think tough part for me is I like both looks lol. I slightly prefer the steel looks but I honestly don't care about any upgrades that would require the steel. Probably 99% of my driving will be daily driving. Valid point about weight and gas mileage for somebody like me that is just a DD.

If I were planning to be off roading a lot, I can see 100% why steel would be needed. And if I wanted to add lights, winch, bar, etc.

I'm just a rookie here lol. My best play is probably certainly to stick with plastic as ordered and just see how it goes for awhile being i have no real need for the steel right away.

I'm probably just over analyzing this as I wait for my order. I mean, I was perfectly fine with the plastic bumpers when looking at them on the lot. The order process is just leaving me too much time to think about it.

Need to stop thinking!


I think the advice to get what makes you happy is best. I ordered my Rubi with plastic bumpers because I want to keep it light. My armored up LJ got terrible mileage on the trails, and realistically, the steel bumpers added weight I could have lived without.

In terms of performance, I was rear ended once so far. The plastic bumper had a tiny dent (almost invisible) but the Taurus that hit me lost its hood and a fender.:)

I’ve come off ledges onto the rear bumper a couple times. Once the end popped loose near the rear fender, but it was easy to click back into the plastic snaps that hold it.

Depending on your goals or aesthetic sense, either plastic or steel should be fine.
 

guarnibl

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They’re unnecessary IMO but I like the look. The rear steel will flex into the body though so for that reason I will likely order plastic next time but ONLY if the AEV bumpers are available or if I can find a take off front steel. I really do not like the JK style look of the JL aftermarket bumpers.
 

Zotch

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Anybody have any experience with Rusty's stuff? I like this cause it keeps the stock like plate location.

Rusty.JPG
 
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tts42572

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Yeah, I do think the black is a little nicer...but not sure if it's $1,200 to $2,000 or so dollars nicer depending on if I did just the front or front and back.

I actually don't mind either look for different reasons.

And I worry about constant exposure of that steel bumper to winter and road salts. I have a buddy that has a black power coated bumper on a vehicle of his that has only been through 2 winters and it looks like crap. He also has a few marks/chips in it where stones or whatever clearly hit it. Now his vehicle isn't a Jeep so maybe not a concern here. But I've had some black powder coated stuff and never seemed to have much luck with it. And I know myself....I'm a plug and play person. I'm not going to mess around coating, painting chips or whatever else.

I don't know. Black is nice, plastic seems decent enough. I'm also trying to keep in mind I'm not adding anything else....No winch, no lights. The only thing I could possibly add would be a bull bar down the line but have no idea if I would.

I've kind of decided if I do anything, it would only be the front I'd do. I don't care about the rear bumper as it looks about the same for me. I'm fine just leaving the plastic one back there.

I did call my dealer and they told me I could add the steel front bumper for $1,100 installed if I wanted to when it came in.

Was at my dealer today. Pic of two JT Rubicons, one with plastic and one with steel. I think the steel looks so much better.
D7205909-2D70-4D8D-AB43-4EFB068A36BB.jpeg
 

Kyanche

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One promising bit of news about the plastic bumper is I don't think the JL bumpers fade like the JK ones did. I initially had my heart set on steel bumpers, but set a hard limit on how much I wanted to spend on my Jeep, and there were other things I wanted more than the bumpers. After a little while, I decided I preferred the look of the plastic ones.

There is surprisingly little aesthetic difference though.
 
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tts42572

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Really good point. I mean, overall not a huge aesthetic difference. I mean, yeah, slightly but basically the same profile.

For the plastic, I'm planning to just use 303 monthly to try and keep them looking okay.

Funny you mention the budget. I placed my first order in early September for a JLUR. I went into the dealership to test drive one that was a 2020 and was 48K. I liked it but didn't want the color and it was all they had. So placed an order that day off a whim and tried to keep it under 50K.

I then came home and kept pondering things for a couple weeks before calling my dealer and asking if I could do a new order. I stretched my budget by adding the 8.4 radio/alpine, painted fender flares, headliner and LED group which added like $4K to my cost. I debated the bumper then but really didn't want to add another $1,800 as I was already stretching things.

Now here I am debating the bumper. I'm NOT doing a new order lol. But I kind of think all this sitting around waiting for an order just has me over-analyzing everything because I'm just passing time lol.

I've come to the decision that if I do anything, it would only be the front which I could do for $1,100.

But I really don't think it's necessary for me especially considering I'm not looking to use any of the functionality a steel bumper brings (winch, bull bar, lights, etc). And not planning to off road. It's a pure aesthetic only decision.

Right now leaning toward just getting the plastic and living with it for a few months. I can always go back to the dealer to have the steel installed later if I want.

I probably should be worrying more about just getting the car signed, sealed and delivered first lol.


One promising bit of news about the plastic bumper is I don't think the JL bumpers fade like the JK ones did. I initially had my heart set on steel bumpers, but set a hard limit on how much I wanted to spend on my Jeep, and there were other things I wanted more than the bumpers. After a little while, I decided I preferred the look of the plastic ones.

There is surprisingly little aesthetic difference though.
 

Kyanche

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To further reinforce my thoughts on that - I've had my jeep 13 months now and I haven't once thought about buying the steel bumpers for it. I'm pretty happy with it as it is. Besides, I spent the money on some fancy power side steps to make it easier for my mom and friends to get in. :D
 

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I knew I wanted to save weight with aluminum so plastic it was for my order
 

TheLodgeOne

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I think like other people here said, I don't think it's worth it for what you get, with still needing to get a bull bar and winch plate. For that much money you may even be able to find some decent aluminum bumpers. I just ordered a 21 JLUR and passed on the steel bumper option and am just going to get the same steel bumper I had for my 20 JLR, that's $414.

https://www.extremeterrain.com/redrock-4x4-crawler-stubby-front-bumper-w-winch-mount-2018-jl.html

Unless I find a better aluminum option with a lowered winch mounting position and ability to integrate stock fogs.
 

Kyanche

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I do think if you're going to put a winch or something, the steel one is a nice choice. Since they are sold as an option on the vehicle, I think it's probably actually been tested in simulations and maybe even real crash tests, with engineers involved. I have a real hard time believing the same was done with a $400 bumper.

OTOH, I'm not sure how a steel or aluminum bumper could fail worse than the plastic one. It's.. not really impressive by any means, lol.
 

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