Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan with ExtremeTerrain.com, and this is my review of the Rugged Ridge XHD Front Bumper Kit with Striker Bar and Stubby Bumper Ends, fitting all 2007 to 2016 JKs. This kit, of course, includes the parts you see here, but there are also other kits that include the XHD base and other bars and other ends. This bumper is for those of you who can't find a bumper off the shelf that fits all of your needs or the look that you're after and want something that's modular. A bumper like this is completely customizable, and it can grow with you as your build grows. So you don't have to completely scrap your bumper and change it out for another one, you can just change the ends or the bar as your build changes. A bumper like this can end up being a little bit expensive, by the time you purchase the base and all the add-ons, but you're paying for the customization.
Like I said before, this kit consists of three major parts. One is the XHD center section, then you have your stubby bumper ends, and the double X striker bar. Now, this XHD center section is sold as a bumper from Rugged Ridge and is perfectly fine to run all on its own. It utilizes the factory fog lights, it has a built-in winch mount, and it's a perfectly fine bumper if not just a little bit plain. But when you get it in the kit, it includes the stubby bumper ends, which give the bumper a little bit more of a finished look, and the double X striker, which gives some additional front-end protection and also adds some recovery points. Without the double edge striker, you can get some other d-ring mounts that will work with this bumper center section. But this striker has them built right into them, and it also has a spot to hook your winch cable hook on to when the winch is not in use.
The whole setup doesn't have any additional auxiliary light mounts, which is a little bit of a drawback in my opinion, but I just like a lot of lights. There aren't any tabs on the bumper or on the striker. You can use the factory fog lights, but I'd like to see some additional light mounts, personally. Another thing, if I'm being a little bit nit picky about this bumper that I don't like, is the fact that it has the Rugged Ridge logo etched into it. Now, it is pretty small and difficult to see from a little bit of a distance, but I don't like my Jeep to be a billboard for any brand, and I'd rather that not be there. But overall, this is a really well-built kit, and I don't have a lot of negative to say about it.
This bumper does come in three different boxes, so you do have a little bit of assembly to do before you can actually get it bolted onto the Jeep. The center section actually comes with block-off plates on the side in case you're not running any other sort of bumper end, but this kit includes the stubby ends, so the first thing to do is remove the end caps and install your stubby bumper ends. From there, you can also install the striker kit. That'll bolt onto the top of the bumper using these four and the four bolts on the other side that thread directly into the bumper, but not the eight bolts that go in from the front of the bumper. Those are the same bolts that attach the bumper into the frame rails and provide all the strength for winching and recovery, so you'll attach those later.
If you're going to be running a winch on this bumper, I would also recommend installing that onto the bumper before you put the bumper package onto the Jeep. Sometimes it can be a little bit difficult to get to the bolts for the winch, so doing it ahead of time definitely makes things easier. Unfortunately, once you put everything together, especially with a winch on here, this setup is gonna be really heavy. So you're going to want to have a friend around to help you install the bumper, or if you have an engine hoist, you can use that as a helping hand.
The whole process shouldn't take you more than an hour, and it is pretty straightforward once you get this whole thing assembled. You'll have to remove the eight bolts that hold your factory bumper in place and then just bolt up this new assembly. You won't need any specialty tools to get the job done, just some traditional hand tools. However, if you have some air tools, they'll definitely speed things up.
Like I said in the beginning, this setup is gonna be a little bit more expensive than some of the off-the-shelf bumpers that you can purchase, but I do think you get a lot for what you pay. The bumper is really well-built, and it does have a lot of features, even though it doesn't have those additional light mounts that I'd like to see, and you're really paying for the ability to customize when you pick a package like this. The whole point of a modular bumper is that you can change it now to customize it exactly how you need it for your build, and as your build changes down the line, you can take parts out and swap them out to build something that works exactly how you need it to.
So if you're looking for a really well-built, heavy-duty, modular front bumper that you can customize both now and as your build changes, I would definitely recommend taking a look at the Rugged Ridge Bumper. So that's my review of the Rugged Ridge XHD Front Bumper Kit with Stubby Bumper Ends and Striker, fitting all 2007 to 2016 JKs, that you can find right here at ExtremeTerrain.com.