Review & Install Video
Now, these tail light guards are going to provide more protection than your average tail light guard, in my opinion. These are going to be a two-piece guard that completely encase your factory tail light, again, being a little bit stronger. However, the argument of a tail light guard transferring an impact into the tub, causing a much more expensive repair, rather than just breaking a tail light is still in play here. So if you subscribe to that mentality, a tail light guard is not going to be for you. Today, we're going to talk through the installation of these tail light guards, which is a pretty simple one out of three-wrench install.
It is a little bit more involved than some of the other tail light guard installs, because this is a two-piece guard. But even so, you'll be able to get this done in under an hour and it's a very simple install. But we'll talk more through that in just a second. Now, because these are Rugged Ridge's new Elite Series of a tail light guard, these are going to be a very high-quality material. They're going to be a slightly different design visually than a lot of the other tail light guards out there on the market. They're also going to be a little bit more expensive. So if you're willing to pay a little bit more for this design and for some additional protection, these are going to be a good option.
So these tail light guards are going to be made of a cast aluminum material, as opposed to the mild steel of a lot of the other tail light guards out there. A lot of other tail light guards are just going to be sort of a bent piece of vertical or horizontal that will get bolted or even 3M'ed onto your tail lights, and these are going to be a lot more substantial. Again, this is going to be a two-piece design. So there's a section that goes behind that factory tail light. Then, your tail light goes in the center, and then the outer piece gets bolted on that. So you really are encasing all of that plastic in aluminum, which should in theory protect that tail light a little bit better.
Because this is a three-piece design, there's a little bit more to the install. But again, it's going to be very simple and Rugged Ridge includes everything you need. So like I said before, the install of these tail light guards is going to be a pretty simple one out of three-wrench install that you should be able to get done in less than an hour. The first step is going to be completely removing your tail lights from your Jeep. So there are a couple of screws you'll have to remove, and then unplug the wiring harness to get that tail light off of the Jeep. Finally, there's a small piece of plastic trim from the back of the tail light that you'll need to remove before you can go on with the rest of the install.
After that, you'll set the tail light on the back piece of your tail light guard. Put the front piece of the tail light guard over top of that. Go ahead and plug the tail light back into the Jeep, and put your tail light guard with the tail light inside of it back into the tub. You'll have to fit one side in first, and then the other side. Finally, you'll use the hardware that's included in the kit to get everything bolted up. Again, a little bit more involved than some of the other tail light guard installs, because these are a little bit more substantial, but still something easy that anyone can do in their driveway.
These tail light guards are going to run you right around $140, which is certainly going to be more expensive than a lot of the other ones on the market. However, a lot of the other tail light guards out there are just going to be an appearance mod. They're not going to offer any protection at all. These will offer some protection to your tail light. Now, again, whether you subscribe to the mentality that this is going to transfer damage into the tub, or whether you think that these are going to offer protection is completely up to you. But these will definitely better help protect your plastic tail light than a lot of the other guards on the market.
These are also going to be made of a higher-quality aluminum material, so you're not going to end up with any rust like you would with a mild steel tail light guard. So all of those things make them worth the additional cost in my opinion. So if you're looking for a tail light guard as a standalone piece, or as a package of light guards on your JK to set it apart from the pack, make it look a little bit different, and also to protect your tail lights when you're on the trail, I think this is going to be a very high-quality option. It's going to be a little bit more expensive than some of the others, but I do like the design and the higher-quality materials.
So that's my review of the Rugged Ridge Elite tail light guards, fitting your 2007 and up JK, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.