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Rear bumper opinions/options:


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I finally got the hitch I pulled off a longbed MJ in Feb of 2010 installed.....aaaannnnddd that sucker sticks down way too low. I don't want to use it.

 

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Yup, too low. Been saving that draw tight class 3 hitch for years but haven't put it on. Time to move on.

 

So thinking about my options we are lucky these days that there are some things available for us. This was a good thread talking about it as well:

 

 

Built in Hitch for towing  -  I plan to tow up to 5k lbs.(not sure any aftermarket bumpers will have a rating, but good for towing is a consideration,  ease of access to pin, etc)

Flat face for LEDs - I would like to recess some LED floods into the bumper, so a flat face that allows that is required.

Larger top step - The wildernest topper is pretty heavy, and its helpful for opening it to have a bumper to step on, though I suppose the tailgate could work too.

 

 

That said it seems like there are several things that could work out for me very well, for those of you that have these bumpers I wanted to know your opinion of them given my criteria above.

 

Hanson:

1L7A3777-35.jpg

 

JCR DIY (lip looks smaller than hanson:

diy-mj-r-3.jpg

 

Nates(lip looks pretty small for standing but hitch/chain hookup looks better):

DSCF3587.JPG

 

License plate mounting is all about the same between the options - $#!&ty.

 

Based on my useage criteria, what do you'll think is the best option for me or what do you think I will like or not like about various options?

 

 

Another to throw into the mix, but I am a little unclear of the cost with the trailer hitch:

 


https://www.dirtboundoffroad.com/manta-ray-rear-mj-bumper.html

mj6.jpg

I missed that because I didn't see the hitch option earlier. I still don't see how much it costs with the hitch and the hitch does stick down a bit lower, but it seems like a decent option w/ hitch.

I bet by the time I add the hitch from them I am looking at similar cost as the Hanson. I guess I need to call em to find out about the hitch cost.

 

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7 minutes ago, HOrnbrod said:

The Draw-Tite hitch is just right for the stock step bumper.  :thumbsup:

c91904f9d7e8cbf00b6994ebd06ab3e4.jpg

 

I know.....but I don't have a stock bumper and finding one is.......difficult. Even then, after looking at the clearance I don't think the stock setup will work for me with the offroading I do.

 

 

 

 

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I bought a Nates and had it powder coated.  This last fall I towed a popup camper (1400 lbs or so) and the bed loaded with camping gear and water on a 2500 mile trip to the W. coast and back.  When I talked to Nate? about the bumper and towing capacity he said he had towed several thousand lbs with his.  I don't remember the exact amount he quoted.  The only problem I noted was the bumper tilted down (lowering the ball).  It's still tilted down as you can see in the photo.   I ended up buying a higher hitch on the way.  I'm hoping I can prevent that in the future by using larger diameter bolts where the bumper attaches to the brackets.  I wired in a led self lighting license plate bracket.  The trailer light connector is mounted below and may be prohibitive for offroading but is plenty high for my purposes.  I looked at mounting the connector on the body sheet metal behind the bumper but was concerned about it being too far for the trailer light plug to reach.  Hope that helps with your decision.

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It's the play between the hole size and the bolt size as it attaches to the brackets that attach it to the frame that allows it to rotate a bit.  It's not going anywhere.  It's certainly stronger than the stock bumper for towing.  IMHO  I also showed it so the OP has the info to make a decision as to the possible detractors of this particular bumper based on my experience with it.  Like I said, larger diameter bolts might take up the slack otherwise I may have to ream the holes for bolts with closer tolerances.  Admittedly, not something I should have to do.  It's my only complaint with the construction of the bumper.  Otherwise it is quite soundly constructed.

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1 hour ago, rokinn said:

It's the play between the hole size and the bolt size as it attaches to the brackets that attach it to the frame that allows it to rotate a bit.  It's not going anywhere.  It's certainly stronger than the stock bumper for towing.  IMHO  I also showed it so the OP has the info to make a decision as to the possible detractors of this particular bumper based on my experience with it.  Like I said, larger diameter bolts might take up the slack otherwise I may have to ream the holes for bolts with closer tolerances.  Admittedly, not something I should have to do.  It's my only complaint with the construction of the bumper.  Otherwise it is quite soundly constructed.

 

I appreciate you taking the time to post up.

 

I think I have eliminated the Nates bumper at this point, I don't care for the aesthetics and the lower price point isn't enough to entice me.

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6 hours ago, rokinn said:

I bought a Nates and had it powder coated.  This last fall I towed a popup camper (1400 lbs or so) and the bed loaded with camping gear and water on a 2500 mile trip to the W. coast and back.  When I talked to Nate? about the bumper and towing capacity he said he had towed several thousand lbs with his.  I don't remember the exact amount he quoted.  The only problem I noted was the bumper tilted down (lowering the ball).  It's still tilted down as you can see in the photo.   I ended up buying a higher hitch on the way.  I'm hoping I can prevent that in the future by using larger diameter bolts where the bumper attaches to the brackets.  I wired in a led self lighting license plate bracket.  The trailer light connector is mounted below and may be prohibitive for offroading but is plenty high for my purposes.  I looked at mounting the connector on the body sheet metal behind the bumper but was concerned about it being too far for the trailer light plug to reach.  Hope that helps with your decision.

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I have the same one infact it was one of his first( $135.00 shipped) been a lot years no problems ever except the reciver fit a little loose so I welded it up and ground it to fit tighter. Mine did do just like yours due to the way it bolts to the included brackets so I had it welded to the brackets no more movement. I left the bolts in it along with welding it.

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10 minutes ago, HOrnbrod said:

Agree, it looks real good. Would be better though w/o those cheesy backup lights, or whatever they are.

mj6.jpg

As someone who isn't really a fan of the look most of these aftermarket bumpers have, this is probably what I would go with. The lights look tacked on though, they need to go. The site says you can add an optional hitch. For a large fee, I'm sure. At that price I would expect a hitch integrated into the bumper.

 

With that being said, I'm as far from their target market as you can possibly get :D If only someone made faithful replicas of the original bumpers.

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I did some maths. Based on my best estimation this is where the receiver will sit on the Manta Ray with the hitch option, still lower than I would like:

IMG_1426_compare.jpg

Compared to draw tight:
IMG_1426.JPG

A license plate is 6" tall and with a little gap between bumper and plat that puts the top of the receiver at about 6.5-7" below the tailgate lip.
mj6-1.jpg

So, clearance would be better, but I would still have that one point sticking out down low on the Manta ray.

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A hitch is available for the dirtbound offroad, though it sticks down.

 

I tried to reach out to dirtbound today and got the Voicemail of the sales team, instead sent an email inquiry about the pricing for the hitch.

 

At this point its coming down the the JCR and Hanson I think, though I would still like to figure out the final price of the dirtbound.

 

I do like the way the JCR wraps around the side, I like the protection that offers when backing up/turning around on the narrow trails in CO, it gives me a chance to put a corner of the jeep into a mountainside without bashing it up.:

 

DIY-MJ-R_WJ_WB_7.JPG

 

And I like that the Hanson has a larger top step for dealing with opening the Wildernest - though I could just put down the tailgate and step on that.

Combined with some grip tape could make it pretty safe for standing on the bumper edge:

 

1L7A3633-11.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Well, the picture of the grey truck showing the first Nate's WOW what a truck! ( LOL  it's mine ).

 

I've towed an 18ft trailer around Atlanta loaded with almost every part of an 81' CJ5 (with the rest in the bed of the truck).

It did OK but with two issues, one due to design, the other due to my truck.  

First,  every 2" receiver mount was a bit loose as previously mentioned. 

Second, my truck is lifted about 3.5" and finding a drop that worked was a PITA. 

Luckily I don't tow stuff much.  

 

Just my 2 cents.

Have spent money with DB ( full body armor with integrated flares ).

But have now been waiting since October for an ordered product. 

 

Good Luck.  

 

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Just an idea, if you're not planning on using the hitch as a recovery point, you might be able to get a solid bumper then bolt something like this to it:

31JXImBVa-L._SL500_AC_SS350_.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/Hitch-Receiver-Bumper-Mounted-Cargo/dp/B005HJTQO0

Unbolt when you don't need a hitch. Bit more of a pain to hook up a trailer I know but it would be out of the way for off-roading. 

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I just glanced thru the comments...But I build a bumper similar to nates but much better! Mine doesn't attach with just 4 bolts to a dinky welded on plate. It uses plates welded on and it bolts to the same bolts the hitch uses. Shelbyluvv and a few others have them on their trucks. Look in the vendor section. Can customize too somewhat.

But I personally like the dirtbound bumper look, just would want the reciever behind the license plate.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, krustyballer16 said:

.But I build a bumper similar to nates but much better! Mine doesn't attach with just 4 bolts to a dinky welded on plate. It uses plates welded on and it bolts to the same bolts the hitch uses.

 

I almost bought the Nate's bumper till I ran into this guy.  Thanks, krustyballer16.  I'm very happy with this better built rear bumper.  Also, I totally dig the hitch-mounted license plate mount that you built in addition for me.  

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On ‎2018‎-‎01‎-‎29 at 10:05 PM, HOrnbrod said:

The Draw-Tite hitch is just right for the stock step bumper.  :thumbsup:

c91904f9d7e8cbf00b6994ebd06ab3e4.jpg

Does the Draw-Tite hitch tie into the frame as well as bolt to the bumper?   Mine is like the one gogmoro posted below and is listed as a Class III.   It bolts to my "similar to stock" bumper but does not connect to the frame.   I've towed my utility and off road trailers with no problem.   I would not use it as a recovery point though ... not that I would need it anyway based on how I use my MJ.   

18-01-31 1.JPG

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The "factory" frame design is the Draw-Tite one in the OP. It bolts to the frame where the bumper does, and was rated for 5000 lbs, if the truck was equipped right at least. I believe there are provisions to bolt it to the bumper as well but I never bothered. Krustyballer makes a great reproduction of it, I've had 4500 lbs behind mine on the highway with no worries about the hitch... The original standard duty suspension and d35 maybe a bit more concern, haha.

The Fey/Westin bumper I think is rated at 3500lbs. The bolt-on receiver tube might add a little more rigidity than just a ball on the step, but I don't know that it would be super wise to exceed that. Having the ball sticking out past the edge would increase the torque on it from tongue weight, definitely.

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Nice ... that sounds right.   As mentioned mine works fine for the trailers I have but I thought of fabricating some frame tie ins to beef it up.   I think it looks good on the "stockish" rear bumper I have.   I also have a pair of JCR bumpers off my old XJ and thought I might modify the rear one to fit my MJ (front will be easy).   Obviously there would be some fabricating involved but it looks fairly straight forward. 

 

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6 hours ago, gogmorgo said:

The "factory" frame design is the Draw-Tite one in the OP. It bolts to the frame where the bumper does, and was rated for 5000 lbs, if the truck was equipped right at least. I believe there are provisions to bolt it to the bumper as well but I never bothered. Krustyballer makes a great reproduction of it, I've had 4500 lbs behind mine on the highway with no worries about the hitch... The original standard duty suspension and d35 maybe a bit more concern, haha.

The Fey/Westin bumper I think is rated at 3500lbs. The bolt-on receiver tube might add a little more rigidity than just a ball on the step, but I don't know that it would be super wise to exceed that. Having the ball sticking out past the edge would increase the torque on it from tongue weight, definitely.

 

 

FYI, at some point Krustyballer changed the design of his hitch.  The plate on top of the receiver has been narrowed so it no longer bridges the holes in the OEM bumper so you can't bolt them together as Draw-tite intended.  This makes it difficult to compare the capacity of a KB hitch to the Draw-tite design.  Based on the pics in his vendor thread, his early designs seem to be near exact reproductions of the Draw-tite hitch.  The one I got a few weeks ago was not.  

 

It's quite strange really...  of all the places to shave pennies, you'd think deleting tie-in points for 1/2" diameter fasteners would be waaaay down near the bottom of the list.  Go figure.  Otherwise, the build quality was excellent.

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FYI, at some point Krustyballer changed the design of his hitch.  The plate on top of the receiver has been narrowed so it no longer bridges the holes in the OEM bumper so you can't bolt them together as Draw-tite intended.  This makes it difficult to compare the capacity of a KB hitch to the Draw-tite design.  Based on the pics in his vendor thread, his early designs seem to be near exact reproductions of the Draw-tite hitch.  The one I got a few weeks ago was not.  
 
It's quite strange really...  of all the places to shave pennies, you'd think deleting tie-in points for 1/2" diameter fasteners would be waaaay down near the bottom of the list.  Go figure.  Otherwise, the build quality was excellent.
I didn't do it to shave pennies, just for the look. Only a handful of people have the factory bumper and bolt them to the hitch. I would have gladly made it able to bolt to the bumper had I known you needed it.

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