Tackling a bumper swap, winch install, and metal skid plate install

KSwilly

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Hi All,

I'm tackling my first major mod to my 2020 Willys, and I keep getting hit with the "one more part" phenomenon.

My goal is to remove the plastic OEM bumper and plastic "splash guard" and replace them with an OEM Rubicon Steel bumper, add a Smittybuilt Winch, and install the OEM front steel skid plate, hopefully all in one go.

Go easy on me - this is the first real modding I've done in 20 years, and my goal is more about self-recovery than anything else. Still boggles the brain that the factory bumper can't handle a winch, but that's okay.

So far, here's what I've assembled:

Steel Bumper (OEM) 82215121AD
Skid Plate, Steel OEM 68293984AB
OEM Winch Plate 82215182AC
Nut/rivets OEM for the Winch Plate Brackets 6511076AA (Several vids show that the nuts are missing on Sports and need installation.)
Winch Adapter Mounting Plate OEM 82215528AB
2018-2020 Jeep Wrangler JL,Gladiator STEEL Bumper Skid Plate Mounting BOLTS, OEM (Yes, the skid plate doesn't come with the bolts to attach it!)
Smittybuilt XRC winch



My concern at this point is that I'm unclear if there are additional brackets or spacers that don't come with the winch plate or the winch that I'm going to need. Haven't had the greatest luck in sourcing parts locally - all the dealerships are still running minimum staffing, and it's particularly bad in the parts departments. So I keep ordering online. Hoping that all the bits are here for a next-weekend install. I just don't want to get the old bumper off, and suddenly see that I'm missing a critical bracket or nut/rivet. Looking for someone who may have gone this route and can see what the heck I could be missing beforehand.





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KSwilly

KSwilly

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KSwilly

KSwilly

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Finally completed this Saturday. Several challenges doing this to a Willys:

Skid plate installation DOES require two brackets, I was able to source a complete kit on eBay under the heading “BRACKET / BOLT KIT For 18-20 WRANGLER JL LOWER SKID PLATE OEM STEEL FRONT BUMPER”. If you just order the brackets, you’ll be missing the bolts, and most importantly, the thread inserts for the inner holes on the frame rails. Even if you don’t plan on installing the factory skid plate, this is important! You can’t attach the winch plate without these thread inserts.

The OEM winch plate should be bolted on as in the instructions, but keep the bolts loose if you can until the end. Getting the right fit in the bumper required a lot of moving and sliding around.

Similarly, there are two brackets that attach to the front of the winch plate, and mount via the bumper thread studs. The instructions say toattach these after the bumper is on. This is next to impossible. Loosely attach them to the winch plate, then once the bumper is mounted, go ahead and tighten up those bolts.

Getting the steel bumper mounted on the Willys will almost certainly require a little bit of drilling out the holes on the front of the frame rail. The bolts on the bumper are not 100% identical to the plastic bumper, and the way the frame rail is welded may partially occlude the holes. Best to have a step bit and a drill ready.

you will probably need longer bolts for your fairlead.
All in all, a fun project.
 

XYJGuy

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Thanks KSWilly. Is there any chance you can pull it out and get a profile picture of it with the bumper and winch installed? I am trying to decide between a Willys and a Rubicon. I am favoring the Willys, and I do not plan on lifting it, but I like the idea of the steel bumper and winch. I am curious to see if the added weight increased the rake on your jeep since it is not running the rubicon springs. Thanks.
 
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KSwilly

KSwilly

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Thanks KSWilly. Is there any chance you can pull it out and get a profile picture of it with the bumper and winch installed? I am trying to decide between a Willys and a Rubicon. I am favoring the Willys, and I do not plan on lifting it, but I like the idea of the steel bumper and winch. I am curious to see if the added weight increased the rake on your jeep since it is not running the rubicon springs. Thanks.
These are what I have tonight. I’ll try and get a more side profile tomorrow.
5E1F3CD8-6E01-4CDB-9354-2B820123681F.jpeg
 
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KSwilly

KSwilly

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XYJGuy

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Thanks KSwillys! Looks great and I do not really see an increase. This is great to know. I appreciate it!!
 

shekmark

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These are what I have tonight. I’ll try and get a more side profile tomorrow.
5E1F3CD8-6E01-4CDB-9354-2B820123681F.jpeg
Looks great. My Rubicon came with plastic bumpers and I found a used steel Rubi bumper. I used a Rusty's winch plate ( no winch yet)and went through similar steps as you. I had to install flag bolts to secure those extra brackets. All in all it went very well. I movede my fog lites over too and I think I had special brackets for that as well. It was a year ago so I don't remember all of it.
 

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