Late last fall while walking the endless isles of the SEMA auto show, I couldn’t help but marvel at the number of bumpers available for the Jeep JK. Even more remarkable was the lack of diversity within those offerings with each iteration only a mild variation on the next. In the back of my mind, as I walked past a seemingly endless inventory of JK bumpers, was an image of something entirely different, the Pronghorn MFES.
I was first made aware of the Pronghorn Modular Front-End System at last year’s Overland Expo, and have followed the trajectory of the upstart company in the many months since. They continue to innovate and recently announced more products on the near horizon. While it would be appropriate to call their flagship product a bumper, it is far more than that.
A fully modular system designed to fit 2007 and newer Jeep Wranglers, the MFES-JK can be assembled in 18 unique configurations and fitted with a handful of useful accessories. It is comprehensive in its ability to deliver on the user’s individual and varying needs. Constructed primarily of high-strength 6061-T6 aluminum components and available in either stubby and full-width options, the MFES can be purchased as a basic set-up and added to as required.
No front-end system is complete without the necessary recovery points and Pronghorn offers an assortment of accessories, each featuring unique designs unlike anything else currently on the market. The Gear Mount and Top Mount winch cases speak to Pronghorn’s forward thinking as do the Rotator and Hi-Lift Shackle.
One of the most critical attributes of the system is its low weight. At nearly half the weight of a comparable steel bumper, the reduced heft bolsters fuel efficiency, adds to vehicle performance, and considerably offsets the Wrangler’s abysmally low GVWR number. It also helps centralize the mass of the truck by not having so much weight forward of the front wheels. The MFES-JK C1, shown above, weights in at just 49 pounds.
Another less obvious advantage of the modular system is its nominal shipping cost. Whereas some bumpers can demand egregious sums of money to ship by truck, a complete MFES can typically be delivered for less than $100 by way of standard UPS Ground service. It can also be installed with relative ease and no modifications to the vehicle. It’s a smart and multi-layered example of what forward thinking can achieve. With the popularity of the Jeep JK showing no signs of slowing, Pronghorn’s Mondular Front-End System is sure to be a popular option for the overlander.
The GearMount Winch Case is another innovative system allowing the user to employ a winch as needed. The angle of the winch is adjustable with the system, including a transport setting that moves it out of the way. The system will be compatable with their rear-end system that will launch later this summer, allowing you to place the winch where it is needed.
The tapered wings of the MFES maintain the approach angles of the JK and are interchangable with stubby components if more tire clearance is needed. (MFES-JK C2 shown)
Users can select from a variety of upper sections for the level of protection they feel best serves their unique needs. (MFES-JK C7 shown)
Tow hooks and other key recovery points are fabricated from 6061-T6 aluminum and brightly colored for easy location in all conditions. There are also plenty of pre-drilled options for mounting lighting.
The Hi-Lift Shackle is more proof of Pronghorn’s out-of-the-box design acumen. Constructed from 7075-T6 aluminum, the shackle properly aligns the Hi-Lift’s load, making jacking safer.
Side loading a recovery point reduces strength by as much as 50%. The Rotator Shackle Mount provides optimal strength and security by rotating to ensure ideal alignment with the recovery strap, providing a straight pull at any angle.
The quality of materials and detail in manufacturing precision is second to none.
A front skid plate provides additional protection for more delicate components.
Small touches like optional traction cleats and upper splash guards show Pronghorn’s dedication to detail.
Made in U.S.A.