TJ bumper options

NEIA Nomad

Member
The time has come to begin the modifications to my new Jeep. When looking at a few different options for bumpers and I was wondering a few things. First off I like the ARB bumpers but I cannot find out what it weighs, does anyone have one that can give me its weaight? How is it for approach and departure angles also? I have seen some aftermarkets that look like they hang lower than the factory bumpers. I have found a complete kit front rear and rock sliders from ARB I might get if they are not going to make it ride like the USS Iowa.

Aside from ARB what are some other good quality options for bumpers will get used more than they need to look pretty. At the moment this Jeep is still my backup for trans America if my hands don't get better so I can ride it. With that and the other things that I have planned to my friends and my brothers out in the boondocks a winch is a must and front end protection because I live in Iowa, deer need to not destroy this front end.

But if I can find this bumper... what deer😁d9e8d41bccc22895e87e682691bab9df.jpg😁
 

Fadeagray

Member
The ARB bumpers are big and heavy taking away cargo capacity. Take a look at Saavy (aluminum) and Genright (steel and aluminum) bumpers.
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
The ARB bumper is not as heavy as you might think... It's fairly light gauge steel compared to most aftermarket bumpers. I like that it protects the fenders better, and the front better in the case of an animal strike. I don't know where you are most of the time, but one of the downsides of the ARB in hot climates is that if you mount a winch and center lights, it blocks a good amount of air flow to the radiator...

For this reason, I run the stock bumper, minus the endcaps and rubber bumpers, with a simple warn winch plate over the top. This keeps my lights outboard, and while my XD9000i does block more air to the radiator than I'd like, my TJ doesn't seem to have overheating issues like the the one I drove with an ARB and lights.

Stock bumpers can be found on CL or FBMP for cheap if you bend one beyond straightening, but even if you do bend them, they straighten pretty easily. They are some sort of high test steel, so even with the thinner steel, they're pretty strong.

My personal philosophy was to try to keep my TJ as light as possible. I run a fairly light Mopar rear bumper that I like too. It's taken a bit of scraping and it still looks good and it protects the corners far better than the factory rear bumper, which bends up if you drag the tail much. I use a 2" receiver (that I made) as the rear tow point.

Unless you need a step to get in, I would recommend not going with tube-type sliders like pictured above, but rather just armor the rockers. I have Rubicon guards and they've taken a few scrapes with no damage, but for the most part they clear everything. (The scrapes came from hard core trails in Moab... Never come close to touching them on anything outside of Moab.)

The downside to keeping your Jeep light is that when unloaded, it'll ride a bit rough. Seems most shock mfg's have tuned for a ~5000lb TJ, thanks to feedback from the idiots that bolt every accessory known to man on, and then complain that the shocks are too soft when they're already over GVW empty... I have tried Skyjacker Softride Hydro's, ARB original recipe and "Sport" shocks, and I'm currently on Bilstein 5100's intended for an XJ, which is a lighter vehicle. They're all pretty stiff for a TJ that's close to stock weight. When I'm loaded for a trip, all of them seemed to ride much better... Empty, I can run most of them w/o the sway bar and not feel bad even at highway speeds. That's a good indication that they're WAY too stiff, IMO...

Good Luck in your quest! TAT would be a great adventure on a bike, but there are some nice sights for a Jeep too, you just end up covering less ground, or skipping some sections if you need to keep up with a group of bikes. :)

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1stDeuce

Explorer
This shot shows how much air flow the ARB blocks if you run lights, but I have to admit, it is a great looking bumper, and would be my second choice just behind my stock bumper setup!!

The ARB does not compromise approach enough to talk about, and since departure is only affected by your rear bumper, I'd have to say it doesn't affect that either. :)
FWIW, TJ's, particularly the short ones, have very little issue with approach/departure. My experience is that breakover is usually where things drag. Look into a high clearance center skid to greatly improve that.


ARB.jpg
 
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NEIA Nomad

Member
I have been looking at a couple of the higher clearance skid plates as that thing does hang down pretty low. I wasn't planning on tube steps like the jeep in the pic, just armor. To be perfectly honest I don't mind the stock bumper however I have also been accumulating parts to fix the front end of my Buick from a deer hit this Winter.

I live in Iowa, the colder northern part of Iowa, but when I do go visit friends down in Texas or New Mexico it would be beneficial to not overheat. I was looking at doing the hood louvers to help with that sense this little bugger will be getting around.
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
That aluminum bumper is pretty... I had a heavy steel one like that on my TJ for a while, but I didn't see the point of the stubby for my use... I like my bumper wider, so if I rub something when turning sharply, it's the bumper, not the fenders... :)

NEIA Nomad, the high clearance center skid is by far the best mod I did to my TJ. The stock center skid, particularly for 2003+, is always the hangup point... If you have a SWB TJ, you'll probably need to go to a SYE and CV driveshaft to make the center skid work, and I'd also recommend a 1" MML and a ~3/4" body lift as mods that work very well with the raised center skid...

If you have any hint of running hot, there is a HD fan clutch available through the aftermarket that comes on a bit sooner and seems to do a good job of keeping things cool. If you have overheating issues, and haven't blocked the radiator with lights and winch, that's one of the best mods you can do IMO, second only to keeping the radiator and condenser (if you have A/C) clean. (They're usually packed with accumulated mud from morons splashing through puddles like on TV...) I have not found the need for hood louvers in NW NM or SWCO, and it hits the 90's here in the summer pretty easily. Even in 104° heat in Moab I didn't see the temp above normal, but we were driving around in Canyonlands, not running trails... Then again, I also don't have A/C, and that's quite a bit of extra heat load for the cooling system if you have it and want to use it when it's hot...

Good luck!!
 

Superduty

Adventurer
Make sure you run ALL OEM MOPAR cooling parts and you will not have any cooling issues. OEM radiator, water pump, fan clutch, fan and thermostat.
 

Zeep

Adventurer
Also I am running Savvy TC & fuel tank armor. Increase's the clearance significantly!
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Best bumper is the stock one, light solid easily replaced free. I like the ARB and AEV options but really, why?
ARB does extend the width a bit which offers better protection, but otherwise...
The stock bumper plus a winch plate does it all.
 

NEIA Nomad

Member
I have a poison spider with the big singer that came with the extra parts. Been trying to sell it. I ended up getting the full width from Rock Hard 4x4. Still waiting for it to arrive from quadratech. It shows shipped but I never got tracking. So it will be a surprise
 
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ive looked off and on for a light jeep bumper that offers good protection for a deer strike. The gen right ones are about all I found that I liked anyway. I think SB might be the only other one and after that its alot of stingers and/or ebay stuff that look pretty heavy. Id love to know of other options.
 

NEIA Nomad

Member
I went with the rock hard full size because of the look that it will have with my Fender flares and it's not made in China which was a requirement. It also looks stout enough to deal with Bambi's mom.. There were a couple other ones I looked at that I liked until I saw where they were made. They also display the actual weight of the bumper on their website which the number escapes me.RH-4010-13T.jpg
 

Lee_N

Member
I have an Olympic 4x4 rear tube bumper on my YJ that is tucked up nicely. It includes a hitch that can be used with a receiver ring for recovery. Not sure if this is still readily available.

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Arb makes another front bumper that is not quite as massive,which you may like better than the deluxe one.

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Plus Quadratic has a modular version without the hoop.
 
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