Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from ExtremeTerrain.com and this is my review of the Rugged Ridge RRC Rear Bumper, fitting all 1987 to 2006 Wranglers.
This bumper comes just as a plain bumper, it also comes built ready to install a tire carrier on it with the spindle and the latching mechanism, and it comes in a kit that includes the tire carrier that you see here. So regardless of what you're looking for on your Jeep, Rugged Ridge has an option for you.
In my opinion, this bumper and tire carrier setup is pretty unique. Because usually when you see a tubular bumper like this, it doesn't have a lot of functions built into it, i.e. the tire carrier. This bumper is available of course without the carrier, but it also has the option to have a tire carrier in a kit when you purchase it, or to purchase the bumper ready for a tire carrier, and purchase the carrier later, which allows you to spread out the cost a little bit. So for that reason, I do like this setup. If you like a tubular bumper but you want the function of a tire carrier, this gives you that opportunity.
Unfortunately you do pay for it. This setup is a little bit expensive in my opinion for what you get. You can get a plate steel bumper that has even more functions and is going to be a little bit stronger for not much more than you have to pay to purchase this setup.
This bumper is built from 0.12 inch wall thickness steel tube that's covered in an e-coating and then either a black textured powder coat finish or a titanium finish.
Now regardless of what setup you choose, either with the carrier, without it or with provisions for it, they're all going to have this [inaudible 00:01:35] in the center which makes a great recovery point.
If you do decide to get this with the tire carrier, the carrier that it includes is the same one that comes with the classic Rock Crawler Rear Bumper from Rugged Ridge. And in my opinion, the carrier has a couple of small drawbacks. One is that the mount on the carrier is only adjustable in and out. So depending on your back spacing and the width of your tire, you can get the tire nice and tight up against the carrier. However, if you're running a smaller spare tire, there's no up and down adjustment to move the tire down as low as possible. That's beneficial because it gives you maximum viewing out of your rear window. This keeps it up high regardless of how large or small your tire is.
Another one of the drawbacks of this setup is the latching mechanism. It has the safety pin built into it that you have to remove and then you have to pull up on the latch in order to open and close the carrier. I've seen a lot of latches that in my opinion are better designed, that make things a lot easier, don't have a two-stage locking pin mechanism built into it, and especially for the cost of this setup, I would like to see a little bit of a more refined latch.
To get this installed on a TJ, the first step is to remove your factory rear bumper. You'll do that by first removing the plastic bumper end caps, which will give you access to the two bolts on either side that hold the bumper into the side of the frame rail. From there you'll also have to remove two bolts that hold the bumper into the frame rail from the bottom, and once all six of the bolts are removed, the factory bumper will fall right off. From there you can hold up your new bumper and you'll a mark a couple of holes that you'll have to drill into the crossmember. Now, you can drill the crossmember with the fuel tank in place, but of course you have to be very careful not to drill into the fuel tank itself. However, you'll probably wanna drop the fuel tank to make accessing the bolts that hold the bumper onto the crossmember a little bit easier. And if you're gonna drop the tank anyway, you might as well do it right off the bat to give you additional clearance for drilling, to make sure you don't end up with a problem there.
Once you have the holes drilled, the bumper will bolt directly into the crossmember and into the bottom of the frame rails in the factory location, and if you've got the option with the tire carrier, you can assemble the carrier and put it onto the bumper as well. From there it's just a matter of installing your spare tire and adjusting it so the tire's nice and tight up against the carrier and you're finished.
The whole process shouldn't take you more than about three hours because you do have to drop the fuel tank, which is a little bit longer than some other installations. However you won't need any specialty tools, except for some Torx bits and a drill with some nice sharp drill bits.
Like I said, in my opinion, this bumper is a little bit pricey for what it is. I would like to see a little bit more of a refined lashing mechanism, and also a more refined spindle mechanism on a bumper that is of this price. However, like I also said before, this is a bit of a unique bumper, it is a two bumper that has the function of a tire carrier. So if you really like the tube look but you also want a tire carrier, this is one of the few options out there on the market, and maybe it makes it worth the price.
So if you really like the tubular bumper look for your Wrangler but you also need a tire carrier and a recovery point, this bumper gives you that option. Whether you just want the bumper itself, the carrier as a kit, or the bumper set up for a carrier so that you can spread out that price and purchase the tire carrier later, you have all of those options with this Rugged Ridge bumper.
And even though this is a little bit more pricey than I would like it to be for some of the features that it has, it is a little bit unique, which may make it worth the price.
So that's my review of the Rugged Ridge RRC Rear Bumper, fitting all 1987 to 2006 Wranglers, that you can find right here at ExtremeTerrain.com.