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Seattle 2023 Earl JLUR XR Build

Eddiechi

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Worked on getting my Rugged Ridge Venator installed today. Hit a snag with the fitment of the bottom center piece (the gray piece). The 4 bolt holes were not quite wide enough. I had to widen the holes a bit. I used a file (old school and slow, but accurate). I had already hit an issue where there were a number of places (more than 6) where the powder coating had been chipped during the shipping process. Heavy metal is hard to ship and the packing will compress but Rugged Ridge should really have done a better job. I'm not really worried about the look (it's a bumper) but I am worried about exposed steel rusting. I got some flat black rustoleum and roughed up the surface with 150 grit sandpaper before painting. Seems ok now it's painted, so I did the install.

Besides the fitment of the bottom center piece, the bumper is not designed for LED fog lights so I still need to build a little aluminum bracket. And to top it all off, the damn winch I bought was a cable winch and not a synthetic rope winch. I thought i had bought synthetic rope. Duh. So no winch yet. Still, at least I have a bumper and feel like I can drive it around again.

Now I gotta figure out what to do with the plastic bumper. It's really dirty from the off-road trip 2 weeks ago so I'll clean it all up and put it back together and try Facebook Marketplace.

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That sure looks great! I have been going back and forth all day on ordering the Rival bumper or the MC Concepts bumper and now I see this beauty.


I see amazon has it with $100 discount but I couldn't find anywhere with the total weight of this bumper - would you have a rough guess of what that box weighed when they delivered it to you? lol.

Don't know how long this amazon discount will last so might have to pull the trigger tonight and then decide what to do about factory fog lights and looking at the 12k superwinch that I saw was down to 729.00 . Thx for posting these pics!
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MeatRack

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Hi Ed!
The I measured the total weight at 91lbs for all the parts (no packaging included). I have the breakdown of each component that I posted somewhere but I can't find it at the moment.

I love the look of the bumper. I picked up a Apex Badlands 12k winch at harbor freight for a great price but it is a tight fit. I've had to do some grinding. I'll post pics later after I'm all done with the install.
 

Eddiechi

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Great can't wait to see some more pics and maybe some closeups of the grinding involved. lol. Also curious to see how much front end sag you might endure on that Earl JL with bumper and winch complete. --EDIT - nevermind, you have the XR so should not be an issue there -----

I might have to check on the dimensions of the 12k superwinch vs the Badlands, already cancelled an order I placed for 10k Warn today when I saw the price on the Superwinch. I see the Badlands is about $630 at my HF this week.
 

JJ_WA

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I was able to purchase some LOD Armor Lite Steps/Sliders from a forum member last week (thanks @RubiCoug). I couldn't install them over the weekend with family stuff going on but I did to a Sunday night passenger and Monday night driver install. Took 2 hours for the passenger side as it was learn by doing. It was very easy but I was slow. Tonight (Monday) I was able to get the driver side on in less than an hour so I had time to futz with my Rokblokz mud flaps. i got the fronts on. Again, a learning curve on one side and super fast on the other. I tried installing the rears too but there was an issue with a piece of plastic not wanting to fit. I need to go back and rewatch the video. I'm wondering if the plastic was updated a little bit for 2023. Probably not, probably just me. Anyway, here are some install pics.

EDIT: Went and looked at the online install guide and it said you can leave the small, lower plastic wheel well liner off or you can notch it. I missed that part in the install video. Maybe I'm not quite as big an idiot as I first thought. I'll reinstall the rear mud flaps tomorrow. It will take 10 min. I'll notch the plastic inserts later.

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Great score on the LOD steps. I am keeping my eye out for a set when my XR gets built.
 
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Great can't wait to see some more pics and maybe some closeups of the grinding involved. lol. Also curious to see how much front end sag you might endure on that Earl JL with bumper and winch complete. --EDIT - nevermind, you have the XR so should not be an issue there -----
I have measurements of the sag of just the venator and when I'm done, the venator and winch.

Here is pic showing the notch. That allows the front edges to line up. I'm still painting the parts I had to grind (the top plate and the fog light brackets), so I don't have it completely assembled yet. That is tomorrow's job.

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Eddiechi

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I have measurements of the sag of just the venator and when I'm done, the venator and winch.

Here is pic showing the notch. That allows the front edges to line up. I'm still painting the parts I had to grind (the top plate and the fog light brackets), so I don't have it completely assembled yet. That is tomorrow's job.

Jeep Wrangler JL Seattle 2023 Earl JLUR XR Build processed-18c66cd2-efbd-47f6-940b-49385769b2bc_L8XSPkUw

ohhh I see... looks great. Ty.

I like the color contrast on the bumper with the black grill and the lower section around the fairlead almost matches the Earl
 

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I have measurements of the sag of just the venator and when I'm done, the venator and winch.

Here is pic showing the notch. That allows the front edges to line up. I'm still painting the parts I had to grind (the top plate and the fog light brackets), so I don't have it completely assembled yet. That is tomorrow's job.

Jeep Wrangler JL Seattle 2023 Earl JLUR XR Build processed-18c66cd2-efbd-47f6-940b-49385769b2bc_L8XSPkUw
Nice job on the trim job. Tight fit. I hope you painted the exposed edges from trimming. :)
 

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Nice job on the trim job. Tight fit. I hope you painted the exposed edges from trimming. :)
Thank you! Yes, I've been painting this afternoon and evening so it can dry overnight. I'll install tomorrow.

I'll think about the stubby. I noticed 3 of the 5 jeeps at lunch yesterday had stubbies. I am a bit of a radio-head so whatever I get will have to work well or I'll just put up with the ugly, whippy thing.
 

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Thank you! Yes, I've been painting this afternoon and evening so it can dry overnight. I'll install tomorrow.

I'll think about the stubby. I noticed 3 of the 5 jeeps at lunch yesterday had stubbies. I am a bit of a radio-head so whatever I get will have to work well or I'll just put up with the ugly, whippy thing.
You will lose some AM radio reception reach. Around town not noticeable but if you are heading out of town on the freeway you will lose it a little earlier. Depends on your listening habits. I re upped for SiriusXM because we live in the boonies anyways and I enjoy listening to different genres on demand commercial free when I want, or am not close to the ‘city’.
 

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I have measurements of the sag of just the venator and when I'm done, the venator and winch.

Here is pic showing the notch. That allows the front edges to line up. I'm still painting the parts I had to grind (the top plate and the fog light brackets), so I don't have it completely assembled yet. That is tomorrow's job.
Great job on notching the top clamshell. You’d never know it wasn’t like that from the manufacturer. I have the same winch/bumper combo and have just accepted the gap on mine… perhaps I should try grinding on mine a bit.
 
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MeatRack

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Great job on notching the top clamshell. You’d never know it wasn’t like that from the manufacturer. I have the same winch/bumper combo and have just accepted the gap on mine… perhaps I should try grinding on mine a bit.
Thank you! I think the bumper looks great with a gap too. It might make it hard to use the plastic fog light inserts but I didn't use those anyway since I could not modify the fog light brackets enough to have them fit right. The fogs need to come inboard another 5mm but I just didn't want to grind the bracket any more and re-drill the holes. I did grind it enough that I could mount the LED fogs with the existing holes, it just wasn't inboard enough. It's just really hard to make this bumper look perfect. I ended up with a slightly larger vertical gap on the right than on the left. With that many parts and imperfect manufacturing (and imperfect installers like me), it's hard to get to everything just right. After grinding the center part, the end pieces flex a bit more than I would like. By grinding out that spot, I made it the center piece less strong and it more easily allows flex on the end pieces. It may have flexed anyway, I don't know.

I will write up more info and include some pictures soon. I may even include a short video of the flex I'm talking about. You might prefer to live with the gap.

Cheers!
Jeff



Here's a final
 

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That bumper looks great. The first picture makes it look like you painted the skid plate EARL color. That'd be sick... Paint it EARL and go get it covered in PPF:rock:

What was the suspension impact of the weight of the bumper/winch combo ?
 
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MeatRack

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That bumper looks great. The picture makes it look like you painted the skid plate EARL color. That'd be sick... Paint it EARL and go get it covered in PPF:rock:

What was the suspension impact of the weight of the bumper/winch combo ?
I didn't (EDIT: paint the skid) but I agree it looks good. The drop from no bumper and winch to a 91lb bumper and 55lb winch was about 1/2 inch on the front.
 
 



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