Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from ExtremeTerrain.com, and this is my review of the Rugged Ridge Tubular Rear Bumper, fitting all 1987 to 2006 Wranglers. This bumper is available in the gloss black powdercoat that you see here, it's also available in a textured black powdercoat and a stainless finish, and it's also available with and without the two inch receiver. This bumper is for those of you who like the old school look that is provided by a three inch round tubular rear bumper, this also does a really nice job matching a front tubular bumper if that's the look you're going for. I recommend these if you're somebody who doesn't need or want the additional protection and features offered by a plate steel bumper, that are often also more expensive. So, if you don't need those features, and you like the look, this is a good way to save a little bit of money over those heavier duty bumpers.
This bumper is made from a three inch tubular steel material, and again you have your choice of finishes. The textured black or gloss black powdercoat is gonna do a really nice job of resisting rust and corrosion, and the polished stainless really pops on the back of the Jeep. Again, you have your option of with and without the two inch receiver that can be used as an additional recovery point, and regardless of whether you get the receiver or not, the bumper has this cutout for a larger spare tire. Oftentimes if you get up to a large 33 or 35 inch tire on your TJ, your tire will hit the bumper when you try to close the tailgate. This cutout will help to alleviate a little bit of that.
Now, this bumper does have a little bit of a bend on the end of it to sort of follow the body lines of the tub a little bit, however, it's not a true wraparound tubular bumper like some of the other manufacturers offer, so you're not going to get a lot of protection from the sides. These bumpers are designed to be completely bolt on, so the first step in the process is to remove your factory bumper. On a TJ, that's done by removing the two bolts that are holding the bumper to the frame horns, and the two bolts that are holding the bumper onto the bottom of the frame rails. Once those six bolts are removed, the bumper can come off, and you can go to installing the brackets that are included with your new bumper. Now, on a TJ you will have to drill a couple of holes in the rear crossmember, you'll bolt the bracket up to the existing holes, mark for the new holes, and then drill those. You will have to be very careful, because the fuel tank is directly behind the crossmember that you're drilling into, and of course you don't want to drill into the fuel tank.
You may also want to drop the fuel tank a few inches to make it easier to get the nut and bolt hardware into that bracket, after the holes are drilled. Once that bracket is bolted onto your crossmember, it's a simple matter of bolting your bumper onto the bracket, and you're pretty much finished from there. So the holes and the brackets are oblong, so you have a little bit of adjustment up and down, and to make sure that the bumper is nice and level. The whole installation process will probably take you around two hours because you do have to do a little bit of drilling, but it's certainly not a difficult process. You won't need any specialty tools, however, a good socket set, and a drill with a good sharp set of drill bits will definitely help the process.
These bumpers are priced pretty fairly for what they are. The build quality is there, the quality of the finish is there, and they fit pretty well. However, the stainless version is going to be more expensive, as is the case with most bumpers. These fall into the price range of a lot of comparable bumpers on the market, so again I think they're priced fairly for what you get. So if you're looking for a tubular bumper because you like the look, maybe you have a front tubular bumper already and you're looking to match that one, and you don't have the need or the want for the additional protection and features offered by a plate steel bumper, then I would recommend taking a look at this Rugged Ridge bumper. You have a couple of choices as far as finish and with or without the receiver built into it, and they're priced really fairly for what you get.
That's my review of the Rugged Ridge Tubular Rear Bumper fitting all 1987 to 2006 Wranglers, that you can find right here at ExtremeTerrain.com.