Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review of the ARB Deluxe Winch Bumper, fitting all 2007 and up JKs. Today, we're gonna talk you through the installation of this bumper, but also discuss the construction and a few of the features.
This bumper is going to be for those of you who want a full-width bumper that has a sunken winch mount built into it right out of the box and is very high-quality. With all of this quality and all of these additional features does come a higher price tag, so you are going to have to be prepared to spend a little bit more on this bumper than a lot of the other ones on the market. Something else that sets this bumper apart from a lot of the other bumpers on the market is the fact that this one is airbag compatible, and it requires you to use the factory crush cans in the installation.
As far as the construction goes, this is a very well-built full-width bumper. Everything from the bends to the welds to all the gusseting that you can see on the back side make this a very stout bumper. The whole bumper is covered in ARB's integrate textured black powder coat finish, which means this is going to stay looking good and hold up against rust and corrosion for a very long time.
As I mentioned, this bumper does have quite a few different features that I really like. One is the fact that it has a built-in winch plate right out of the box, so you're not gonna have to buy any additional hardware if you decide to run a winch on your bumper. And this ARB bumper puts the winch down a little bit lower than some of the other bumpers on the market, so it hides a lot more of the winch body, giving a much cleaner appearance, in my opinion.
This bumper will also allow you to use your factory fog lights, which is always a nice feature. You already have those fog light housings, everything is wired for it, and you have the factory switch, so integrating those into this aftermarket bumper is a win. You can also install any aftermarket fog light that is designed to mount in your factory bumper. This bumper also includes a couple of tow points, but instead of having them right on the front of the bumper, this does it on the bottom side. Just changes up the look a little bit. I don't think it makes them any more or less functional, but it does make this a bit more of a unique design.
Finally, the corners of this bumper are designed to allow you to run a 37-inch tire, and that is important if you decide to run a large tire. A lot of you might be thinking, "I have to go with a mid-width or a stubby bumper in order to squeeze a 37 under my JK without those big tires rubbing on the bumper." But the corners of this bumper are designed specifically to allow you to run a 37, assuming that you have suspension and steering components that will also be able to handle those big tires.
Now, as I mentioned before, the other thing that makes this bumper and a lot of ARB bumpers a little bit unique is the fact that they are designed to work right with your factory airbag system. In order to do that, you do have to cut up your factory front bumper, removing those factory crush cans, and reinstalling them in this bumper. However, that means that, if you do have any sort of impact with any obstacles, whether it be on-road or off-road, your airbags are going to work exactly how they should from the factory without any negative effects of having a big, heavy steel bumper bolted directly onto your frame.
As far as the installation for this bumper goes, I'm going to give this a two out of three wrenches. Now, generally, a front bumper install on your JK is going to be a very simple one. However, this does require cutting, not only of the factory bumper to remove those factory crush cans that we talked about, but this also requires trimming of the frame horns. So if you're not comfortable doing cutting, especially on the frame of your Jeep, I would recommend taking this to a shop to have it installed. However, if you are comfortable making a couple of cuts and doing a little bit of trimming, then this can certainly be done in your driveway.
The first step in this installation is, of course, removing your factory front bumper, which can be done by removing the eight nuts that hold it in place, removing the factory splash shield and the factory frame cover. After all of that is done, you'll wanna make sure that your fog light harness is snapped out of the way and the fog lights are unplugged, and then you can remove your front bumper. From there, you can remove those factory fog lights and install them in your new ARB bumper, and then you'll get to cutting. This is where you'll remove those factory crush cans from your factory front bumper and install them in your new bumper.
From there, you'll have to follow the instructions very carefully to mark where you'll need to trim those factory frame horns. After that cutting is finished and the frame is painted, you can go ahead and reinstall your new bumper on your Jeep. You're going to use all of the included hardware to get this bolted up, and from this point forward, it's pretty much like any other bumper installation. You'll go ahead and plug your fog lights in place, install your winch if you're going to be installing one, and install any other auxiliary lights that you may want to. This bumper does have a couple of holes in the top, so some additional lighting can be installed.
In order to get this install finished, you are going to need a cut-off wheel or a Sawzall, it may be both, some spray paint to finish off that newly unfinished metal after you make your cuts, and of course, some traditional hand tools. This bumper is also pretty heavy, so I would recommend having a second set of hands when moving it around, or you can use some tall jack stands or even an engine hoist. The whole installation will probably take you around two hours, maybe a little bit more, depending on how careful you are when you're making your cuts.
From a price versus quality perspective, I would say that this bumper is definitely worth the price you have to pay for it. However, that price is going to put it outside of some of your budgets. When you take a look at this bumper, there are a lot of different components, and each one of those is individually designed, bent, and welded onto this bumper. When you get a look at this from the back side, it has plenty of gussets, and all of the design that go into making this an airbag-compatible bumper mean that this does take a lot more man hours to put together, so it is certainly going to be more expensive than some of the other bumpers on the market.
You combine that with the quality of these welds, the quality of the finish, and you have a bumper that should cost more than a lot of the other ones. However, if you're not looking for something that has all of these features or looking for something quite as high-quality or that's airbag-compatible, there are a lot of other options for bumpers available, anything from Barricade to Rugged Ridge to Smittybilt to a lot of other brands that are available that are going to have winch mounts and light mounts and recovery points, but may not have the same quality of finish or the same build quality. So if you're looking for a really high-quality full-width bumper that has a ton of features built into it, I would definitely recommend taking a look at this bumper from ARB, assuming you have the budget for it.
So that's my review of the ARB Deluxe Winch Bumper, fitting all 2007 and up JKs, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.