Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review of the Smittybilt 3-Inch Double Tube Rear Bumper, fitting all 1987 to 2006 Wranglers. This is available in the textured black powder coat finish that you see here. It's also available in a gloss black and a titanium color, and finally, you get to choose between with or without a 2-inch receiver. This bumper is for those of you who like that old-school tube bumper look. Whether you're looking to match a front tubular bumper or just looking to swap out the rear bumper with a tubular one, this is a nice option.
Now, these tubular bumpers are going to be significantly less expensive than a plate steel bumper that offers a lot more protection and a lot more features, but that's something you would expect. One feature that is available on this bumper that isn't available on a lot of other bumpers, whether they're a plate steel or a tube bumper, is that this is available with a tow-rated 2-inch receiver. A lot of the other 2-inch receivers on the market are not tow-rated. The one that you can get on this bumper is, so if moving around a light trailer is important to you, this is a nice option.
This bumper is made of 3-inch tubular steel, and it has a zinc coating underneath your choice of either the textured black powder coat finish, a gloss powder coat finish, or a titanium color, which is a little bit more of a gray color. Whether you choose to get this bumper as you see it here or with the optional tow-rated 2-inch receiver, either option will have a built-in cutout for your spare tire. A lot of you guys know that once you get into a large 33-inch spare tire, you start having clearance issues with the factory rear bumper, and you may not be able to close your tailgate. This cutout will help with that issue.
Now, this bumper does have a little bit of a bend on either end, and that follows the style lines of the tub of your Wrangler a little bit. However, it's not a full wrap-around tube bumper, like is available from some of the other companies on the market. Those wrap-around bumpers will provide some additional protections for the tub from the side, where this is really just protection from the rear.
This bumper does require a little bit of drilling if you're installing it on a TJ. If you're installing it on a YJ, it'll bolt right up. Either way, the first step in getting this bumper installed is to remove the factory rear bumper, and if you have a TJ, you'll do that by removing the four nuts that are holding the bumper onto the rear crossmember and the two bolts that are holding it onto the bottom of the frame rails.
Once that bumper is removed, you can install the brackets that are included with this bumper on the rear crossmember, and again, if you have a TJ, mark the four holes that you'll need to drill. Now, when drilling these holes, you wanna be very, very careful. The fuel tank is directly behind the crossmember, and, of course, you don't wanna drill into that. In fact, to get the nut and bolt hardware on those brackets, it might help to drop the fuel tank a few inches. And if you're going to do it for the nut and bolt hardware, you might as well do it before you drill just to eliminate any chance of drilling into the tank.
Once you have those holes drilled, you can bolt the brackets onto the rear crossmember, and then it's just a matter of bolting your new bumper onto the brackets. Some of the holes for the brackets are oblong, which give you some up-down and side-to-side adjustment, so you can make sure that your bumper is on the Jeep nice and square and level. The whole installation process will probably take you about two hours, and you won't need any specialty tools. However, a Torx set, some sockets, and a drill with good, sharp drill bits will definitely speed the process along.
There are quite a few tube bumpers on the market that are very, very similar to this one. There are other companies that make a similar bumper. This one is well-built, the finish looks nice, the brackets all seem to fit well, and this is really reasonably priced. I can't imagine a reason that you would spend more for a tubular bumper like this. If you were purchasing a heavy-duty bumper that offered a lot more protection and a lot more features, of course, the price is going to be higher. But for something like this that is more a styling modification than anything else, I think this is really fairly priced.
So if you like the tubular bumper look and you want a bumper that's inexpensive because you don't have the need or the want for a heavy-duty bumper with more features, I would definitely recommend taking a look at this Smittybilt tubular bumper. So that's my review of the Smittybilt 3-Inch Double Tube Rear Bumper, fitting all 1987 to 2006 Wranglers, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.