Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com and this is my review of the Smittybilt XRC Gen2 Front Bumper, fitting all 2007 to 2016 JKs. A lot of picking a front bumper for your JK is about the function and the style that it adds to your vehicle. This bumper is packed full of different functions and features that are really nice additions over the factory, and a lot of you guys are gonna think that this is a cool look. This is definitely much more of a chunky bumper. It bolts to the bottom of the crash bar, as well as to the front of the frame horns.
It gives you that sunken winch mount, so it definitely looks a little bit different than the first generation XCR bumper and really a little bit different than a lot of other bumpers on the market. Now, this is a lot of metal. It is a lot of steel and it is going to be a little bit more expensive than some of the other bumpers on the market. But if you like the look, you like the function, and you have the budget for it, this is just one more option in a long line of bumpers available for your JK.
So as I mentioned, this bumper is full of different features, but first the construction. It's really solidly built. This thing's made of three-sixteenths-inch steel that's covered in a textured black powder coat finish. As you can see, it's almost a stubby bumper. It does stick out a little bit past the frame rail, so it's a stubby mid-bumper or a short mid-bumper. It does have this bumper hoop up top, and as far as features it's chock full of them.
First off, right here it has spots for your factory fog lights, which is something I personally really like. The Jeep's already wired for them, you already have them installed in your factory bumper, why not have a spot to put them on your aftermarket bumper? And Smittybilt gives you that. They'll bolt right in, plug right in, and you'll be good to go. So if you don't want to add any additional lighting, you don't have to spend the money on it. However, if you do want to add some additional lighting, you have a lot of different options for that as well.
Right up here on the hoop, you have L-shaped brackets instead of your normal tabs that just have two holes in them. And these L-shaped brackets actually have three different holes for light mounts, and they're all oblong holes, so you can fit a lot of different styles and sizes of light. If you want to put a light bar, if you want to put traditional light pods, you have a lot of different options up there. You can put a few different types of lighting right on the front of the bumper. Of course, here you have a 12,000-pound capable winch plate that's built right into the bumper. That's a really nice feature because you don't have to buy any additional hardware when you go to install the winch on the Jeep. Just bolt it onto the bumper, wire it up, and you're good to go.
As I said, this is a bit of a chunkier front bumper, and part of that comes from how low it goes on the Jeep. It actually goes all the way down to the crash bar and then up to the frame horn. So this is really sort of a bumper with a built-in front skid plate if you want to look at it that way. So there is a lot of mass here. The bumper also has D-ring mounts that are, of course, solidly welded through and bolted right onto the frame rails, giving you plenty of strength for recovery points.
Now, something that is a little bit different about this bumper is that it has plastic right on the front of it. Now, they're not big gaping openings on the back that the plastic is covering up. The plastic is really there as an additional layer of protection. In my opinion, more of a styling thing than anything else. They are a ultra high, molecular weight polyethylene, which essentially just means they're gonna be strong. They're gonna hold up if you do bounce them off of some rocks. They shouldn't crack right away, break, fade in UV light. Of course, you will be able to scratch them because they are plastic, but they are a styling feature that some of you guys are gonna like, some of you guys aren't gonna like. In my opinion, I'm not crazy about them, but as a package, this bumper does look pretty good, in my opinion.
Now, this bumper is going to install a little bit differently from some of the other aftermarket bumpers that you see on the market, but similarly to a lot of other Smittybilt bumpers. Smittybilt does like you to drill out some of the holes in the frame horns and also drill a couple of extra holes in the bottom of the crash bar to allow you to mount their bumpers. And that is something you're going to have to do with this bumper.
So the first step is going to be opening up two of the holes in the frame horn to half an inch or five-eighths if you want to give yourself a little bit of additional wiggle room. Once you have the bumper put on to the frame horns in the traditional way using the studs that are welded on to the bumper and also the nut and bolt hardware that's included in the packaging, you can then use the guide holes that are in the bottom section of the bumper to mark and drill out the bottom of the crash bar, then bolting the bumper onto the crash bar as well.
Now, of course, before you do any of that, you'll have to remove your factory bumper by removing the eight nuts that are holding it in place, and then you will want to remove your factory fog lights from your front bumper. Put them into your new bumper. And if you're installing a winch, I would recommend putting the winch onto this winch plate before putting the bumper onto the Jeep. Now, this is already a really heavy bumper, and by the time you bolt a winch onto it, it gets even heavier. But it definitely makes it easier to get to the winch mounting bolts when the bumper's on the ground versus when it's already installed on the Jeep.
The whole installation for this bumper will probably take you about two hours because, as I said, you do have to drill a couple of holes, but you won't need any really specialty tools, just a drill with a good set of drill bits, and your regular socket set. This bumper is priced a little higher than some of the other front bumpers on the market that have similar features and similar styling, but this bumper really does take it to another level. I keep saying chunky. It is a chunky bumper. It covers everything from the crash bar all the way up to the top of the frame horns. It is a stubby bumper, but you have a lot going on here.
And all of those are reasons that this bumper is a little bit more pricey than some of the other ones on the market. There's just more mass here, there's more design, you do have the plastic pieces, so there's more hardware holding everything together, so it is a little bit more expensive. If you like the style and you like the features, I think it's worth the additional cost. The thing is definitely well-built. However, if you're on a bit more of a budget, you can get some bumpers that have a similar look and similar features for a little bit less.
So if you're in the market for a new front bumper on your JK, either because you want some additional features, some additional styling, or some additional protection, this bumper is going to offer all three. And if you like the style of this bumper, because it is something different than the other bumpers on the market with the plastic pieces on it and the way that it wraps down below the crash bar, then this might be a really nice option for you. So that's my review of the Smittybilt XRC Gen2 Front Bumper, fitting all 2007 to 2016 JKs, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.