Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review and installation of the Rugged Ridge Spartacus Front Bumper, fitting all 2007 and up JKs. This bumper is available as you see it here with just the bumper. It's also available with a winch plate or an overrider hoop, and you can get all of those pieces individually if you wanna piece the bumper together slowly.
Today, we're gonna talk through the installation of this bumper, which I am going to give a two out of three wrenches. This bumper does have a few more parts and pieces than your average aftermarket front bumper, and if you decide to reuse your factory crush cans, which is an option, you will have to do some cutting. As well as if you're installing the winch mounting plate, you will have to cut off the factory vacuum pump mounting brackets. We're also going to talk through the construction and a few of the other features of this bumper.
This is for those of you who are looking for a bumper that's a little bit different. Most bumpers on the market today are cut steel pieces that are welded together, and sometimes those welds are rounded out to give the bumper a little bit more style. However, this here is a stamped steel bumper. This bumper is stamped out of a few pieces of flat steel, which gives it a much more unique look than some of the other bumpers on the market.
It also makes it lighter weight and may also affect the amount of protection that it provides a little bit. This isn't going to protect quite as well as one of those plate steel bumpers. However, the plastic insert pieces that are here, here, and if you have the winch block-off plate in the middle, do give the bumper a certainly more unique look. And this is more of a convertible bumper. You can take these corners off very easily. They're designed to come off very easily when you go wheeling. If, when you disconnect your sway bar, you need a little bit more clearance between your front tires and your bumper, you can do that, but you can also put those corners back on when you're on the street to offer a little bit more protection to the front corners of your fenders.
Now, all of that convertibility, all of the options, the fact that this is stamped steel and the fact that this is a newer-style bumper on the market all add up to a little bit of a higher price tag. So if you have the budget for it and you're looking for the options that this bumper affords, this is an awesome option. However, if you don't have the budget for this bumper or if you're not into all the plastic that's on the front of it...which I know a lot of you are swapping out your factory bumper because you don't want the plastic...then maybe this isn't the bumper for you. There are plenty of other Rugged Ridge bumpers that are all steel as well as many other brands on the website if you're interested in those instead.
Like I said before, this is a stamped steel bumper, and it's stamped out of 11-gauge steel. This is finished in a satin black powder coat finish, which is a little bit different from that textured black powder coat that you see on a lot of other aftermarket front bumpers, and I really like this finish.
Now, a few things that make this bumper unique. First off, as I alluded to before, this does have quite a bit of plastic on the front. This bumper does allow you to reuse your factory fog lights, but they get mounted in these large plastic pieces that are on either side of the main center section of the bumper. There are also additional vented plastic pieces that go on the outer corners of the bumper, and if you have the winch block-off plate, this piece in the middle here, is also a plastic piece.
For those of you who don't like all the plastic, I understand that. Maybe that's why you're trying to get an aftermarket bumper, to get away from the plastic, so maybe this bumper wouldn't be for you. But for those of you who like the style that this affords because this is a very unique style, then this is going to be a good option for you.
Aside from all the plastic pieces that are on the front bumper, this does have, as we said before, removable corners. If you're running big tires and you need additional clearance off-road when you disconnect the sway bars, you can pop these corners off. Or you can not install them, even when you're on the road and just a little bit more of mid-width bumper instead of a full-width bumper.
This bumper doesn't have any tow points or recovery points up on the front of it, which makes sense because this is a stamped steel bumper. It doesn't quite have the strength of those plate steel bumpers, but this will allow you to reuse your factory tow hooks. They'll come up right through these cutouts. On the inside here, you use those again when you're reinstalling this bumper, so you do have those hooks and you do have those recovery points.
I personally prefer a D-ring or a shackle mount. I like the D-rings because, when you attach a tow strap, a snatch strap, a winch line to it, you know that that's not going to come undone. With these hooks, especially if you're using something like a snatch strap that's designed to have some slack in it and then be pulled tight and have that elastic pull, then there's always a chance that that loop is going to pop off of a hook like this. So I always prefer a D-ring mount. It really comes down to what you like and how you're using your Jeep.
As I mentioned before, this is available in a few different configurations. You can get it with just the bumper that comes with a block-off plate. You can also purchase a winch mounting plate that is separate, and if you're installing that, you won't have this plastic center section here. Of course, you also won't have the plastic block-off plate that goes on the top of the bumper, and you'll be installing your winch plate between the frame rails and then installing the bumper over top of that. Bumper is also available with an overrider hoop, or you can purchase an overrider hoop separately that will mount right onto the top here. It is designed to bolt directly onto the bumper as well, making for a really easy installation.
Speaking of installation, I am giving this a two out of three wrenches, which is a little bit more difficult than your traditional aftermarket front bumper. That being said, if all you're doing is installing the front bumper, no winch plate, and you're not reusing the factory crush cans from the factory front bumper...which is optional. You don't have to reuse those...then this does become easier. Then there's no cutting. It's just installing brackets and installing the bumper, which is a fairly simple process. However, if you are installing the winch plate, you are going to have to cut off your factory vacuum pump mounting brackets. And if you are installing the factory crush cans, then, of course, you're going to have to cut those out of your factory bumper and reuse them on the installation, making this much more difficult.
Either way, the bumper is going to install with brackets that attach it onto the front frame rails. You are going to be reusing your factory tow hooks. One nice thing about this bumper is you'll remove your factory fog lights out of your factory bumper, put them in this new bumper, and this does come with extension wires to make your factory wiring harness reach those fog lights without the need to cut wire and make up your own harness. Everything comes right with the bumper.
So as I said before, it could be a slightly more difficult install than your traditional aftermarket front bumper, depending on which options you're going with. If you're just installing the bumper without the crush cans, you can probably get this done in about an hour, just like any other aftermarket front bumper. If you are installing a couple of the different options, crush cans, or a winch mount, you are going to have do a little bit more cutting. You're probably gonna be closer to the two-hour mark, and you are, of course, going to need some cut-off tools. If you're not doing one of those installs that requires cutting, you can get away with just traditional hand tools.
As I said before, this bumper is a little bit pricey for just a front bumper. You do get a unique style, and you get the ability to customize the bumper a little bit. This is almost like Rugged Ridge's XHD Modular line because the corners come off, you can get the overrider hoop, you can get it with or without the winch. It is more customizable. However, what that customization means is a little bit higher price tag. That along with the fact that this is a newer way of building a bumper, and it is a unique design. This is going to be more expensive than some of the others on the market. It's not the most expensive front bumper we offer. However, it is a little bit more expensive than some of the others.
So again, it really comes down to what you're looking for. If you like the adjustability of this, you like the ability to take the corners off, the overrider hoop, kind of customize it to what you want and you like the look that the stamped steel gives you, then from a build perspective, I'd say this is absolutely worth it. However, I know that this isn't going to be for all of you. Some of you aren't going to like all the plastic on this bumper and would say it's overpriced for a mostly plastic bumper.
So if you're looking for a unique front bumper that gives you some ability to customize it and you like the unique look that these plastic insert pieces give you, I would say this is a really nice option to take a look at. If you don't like the look of the plastic and you want something that's a little bit more traditional, like a regular plate steel bumper, Rugged Ridge offers those as well as a lot of other options.
So that's my review of the Rugged Ridge Spartacus Front Bumper, fitting all 2007 and up JKs, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.