September 23, 2017
Great product - Instuctions lacking
I installed this on my 2017 Rubicon and am very pleased with it. The gear is certainly heavy duty, and I like the way it looks a lot. I had some delays and cost with installation that could have been easily avoided if the instructions were accurate, and designed for a guy like me who was doing this for the first time. It took an afternoon to install instead of a couple of hours, and the reason was purely wasted time trying to figure out what to do because the instructions could have been better. That, or if I was smarter, I suppose 2 hours would have been doable.
Overall, the installation instructions are designed without much consideration for someone who hasn't taken parts off their Jeep before. It gives no advice about what or how to remove several things that I didn't know. For example on my Rubicon, there was a recovery hook on the driver's side that needed to come off, but wasn't referenced at all in the instructions. Okay, no big deal, but it was the start of a trend. I'll explain more later. The PDF instructions on this website are old, but I didn't know that. There are instructions included in the boxes with the parts, but the images are really dark, so I figured I would go by the PDF here for ease of viewing. I went out and bought a step up drill bit to make the holes shown in step 3. These holes are not even required now, so it was a waste of money for the bit, and time and effort to drill it, and paint the hole. Step 6 is also not required; there is no floating mounting plate anymore. The instruction sheet that came from Poison Spyder is newer, but I only found that out after cross referencing the two and trying to figure out why it was talking about drilling a different 1/2 inch hole all the way through the crossbar instead of the 1 inch holes I just made.
I called Poison Spyder and confirmed the instructions sent with the product are the ones to use. Luckily the holes I drilled are not where the single 1/2 hole needs to be. I thought I was going to be out of luck with a big hole in my Jeep where I needed one half that size.
Unfortunately, the new instructions are also inncaure, at least for a 2017 JK, because it references drilling two holes the side of the frame rail that aren't required either. On my Jeep, these two holes on the sides where you install the clips were already there. Bonus - no drilling needed there. For the 1/2 inch hole, the instructions have you drill up from the bottom on the driver's side, and it says you have to drill all the way through the top, but there was already a top hole on my crossbar, so that was another difference. It saved me some drilling, but it again undercut my confidence in the guidance the company had provided.
The good thing was the hardware is very solid and fit with no problem at all once I was putting the bolts in. Once I got past being confused or misinformed about where and what to drill, it was easy to bolt the bumper on. The finish is nice, but I found a couple of dings that were in the paint right out of the box. I touched them up and don't expect any major problems, but I was hoping their armor coat would have been more durable (based on the price of this, I expected it to be really really tough).
I think the instructions should not only tell you how to stick parts on, but also what parts should come off, and how to do so. They do not. A guy at the factory or someone who does multiple installs would know everything, but as a guy doing this for the first time, I had no knowledge to go on. When I went to install the tire carrier, it was obvious the old tire carrier had to come off. Unbolting the old one was obvious, and then unscrewing the back part that covers the wiring up to the third brake light was pretty straight forward too. What do I do with the wire and connector that is sticking out of the gate? I dunno. Right now it is just hanging there. Looking at the gate vent it was pretty obvious it would be in the way and should come off, but how without breaking something? I didn't want to break something I might need later by just yanking off stuff without knowing how to do it properly. The instructions could have referenced removal and saved me some concern and a call to Extreme Terrain to make sure I was supposed to just pry it out. It has some plastic tabs that extend up and down, but just grabbing the top left corner and pulling it out and down worked for me.
Overall, it could have been smoother and faster if the instructions were more clear and more first time guy friendly. Once I was un-confused (at least as far as I can be), installation was pretty easy. Heck, I even got the bumper bolted on by myself by just setting it on a couple of buckets to balance it and then starting the bolts on the sides. The paint looks good, but it obviously isn't super tough as it came with a couple of chips, and I noticed I scraped a few spots myself. Looking back I would have opted to save $200, bought the unpainted version and had it coated with Line-X . For this, I gave it 3 stars on bang for the buck.