Review & Install Video
Hey, guys. So today, I'm here with the Westin WJ2 rear bumper and tire carrier in textured black, fitting all 2018 and newer JL Wranglers. So this is gonna be for the JL owner who's looking for a high-quality, as well as a very functional rear bumper and tire carrier combo. So this is gonna add a ton of utility to the back end of your Wrangler, perfect for those people who are out on the trail and want that extra security with some recovery points. You also have jack points if you ever need to change a tire on the trail and you have the option to keep your factory hitch if you're looking to use that as a recovery point.
This is also great because it has the ability to build off of, so this has cutouts on either side for some accessory lighting, for some rear visibility out of the back end of your wrangler, and also the option to put a recovery jack on the back of your spare tire carrier.
Now, not only is this going to give you some utility, it's also gonna provide a lot of protection with the heavy-duty build. So this is gonna give you full-length protection on the back end of your Wrangler with uncompromised departure angles. And with that protection also comes strength, so this is going to be able to hold up to a 37-inch tire without a spacer. And if you go above a 37-inch tire, which it will be able to do, you will need a spacer. But that's perfect because it takes all of that extra weight that would've been put on your tailgate and puts it on a frame mounted system. So this is going to preserve the life of your tailgate overall.
So, speaking of that tire carrier, this is also gonna be a single-action tire carrier, which I do really like. This is gonna take all the hassle and the fuss out of getting to your cargo area, making it very easy to access the inside of your cargo area.
So, instead of opening up your spare tire carrier first and then your tailgate, it makes it all one single action. So when you open up your tailgate, your carrier will follow. So with all that being said, this is gonna be roughly $1,200, and, in my personal opinion, I think that's pretty fair for what you're getting out of this package. So $1,000 is usually the average for rear-bumper and tire-carrier combos because of everything that you're getting in the kit. And this is gonna be right above that but it's gonna bring a lot more to the table than some other more cost-effective choices. So in comparison to other choices on the site, this is gonna have that single action feature, which makes it very unique, and it has the ability to build off of.
So other choices on the site that are a little bit more cost-effective just aren't gonna have all those extra bells and whistles to bring to the table like this does. So, in my personal opinion, I think that $1,200 is definitely worth it for something as high-quality and as high-functional as this.
So install is gonna be a two out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter, taking you about two hours to get the job done with some pretty basic hand tools. So speaking of the install, let's jump into that now.
The tools that I used for my install were an impact wrench, a 1/2-inch drive and 3/8-inch drive ratchet. A 34-millimeter, 21, 19, 13, and 8-millimeter deep socket, a 16-millimeter shallow socket, an 8-millimeter and 5-millimeter Allen socket, T25 Torx socket, a 19-millimeter and 17-millimeter open-ended wrench, a trim-removal tool, an air ratchet, a 5-inch extension, a T9 Torx bit, Phillips head screwdriver, and a 3-millimeter Allen key.
So our first step is gonna be to take off our spare tire. Now you do have a cap on your backup camera here so you're gonna need a T40 Torx bit, and you can go ahead and unlock it and just slide it off. Then we can take off our three lugs. We have a six line [SP] so I'm using our spline key and a 21-millimeter socket. We can go ahead and remove our spare.
So after we take our spare tire off, we can start by taking our spare tire carrier off, and we're gonna need to go inside of our tailgate and take off this internal trim. So it is actually a little lifted on this side but we just need to take this off. And then, after we take that off, we can go ahead and disconnect our wiring harness. So we can disconnect the white one, just press down on that tab and it should release. And then, the next one down. After that, we can close up our tailgate and start to take off our spare tire carrier.
So what I'm gonna do first is actually get these wires freed up. So you're gonna pull this grommet out, and we can wiggle our wires that we just get disconnected out of the back of our tailgate. And then, we can go ahead and take a 13-millimeter socket and remove all of the bolts that are holding our tire carrier onto our tailgate.
So after you take off a majority of the bolts, you just wanna make sure that you have a handle on your tire carrier because, once you take off the last two, then it's gonna come free.
So our next step is to move down to taking off our bumper, but we have to take off these trim pieces on the outside first so we can access the bolts behind them. There's gonna be 3 8-millimeter bolts holding this trim piece on. So I'm using an 8-millimeter socket as well as an air ratchet to take those off.
After those are out, we can take our trim piece off, and that'll expose the 2 16-millimeter bolts that we need to remove. So we can go ahead and take a 16-millimeter socket and remove those. So then, we can take our 16-millimeter socket and go ahead and remove these two bolts.
So what I also want to do, while we are on the driver's side, is disconnect our license plate light. So I'm just gonna pop up this gray tab here and we can squeeze that down and disconnect it.
So after we've disconnected our wiring harness, what we can do is disconnect the two bolts that are holding this secondary bracket that we've already removed the bolts out of and this primary bracket that's holding the bumper to the frame here. They are kind of behind this body mount so I'm using a 16-millimeter ratcheting wrench to get those off. However, if you can wedge a power tool in there, that would be a lot quicker.
So before we move over to the other side and repeat that process, we do have an aftermarket hitch on our Wrangler. I do want to pop that off because we need to get it off in order to install our new rear bumper, so I'm going to use an 18-millimeter socket and go ahead and take off these couple bolts that are holding the hitch on. So, after both of those are out, what we can do is just remove that hitch, and then, continue to the other side to repeat that process that we did on the driver's side.
So what we can do now is take off our rear bumper and we will have to remove a couple of brackets in order to get our new one on but we can get this out of the way for the mean time. So what we have to do now is just remove our tow hook and the extra brackets that are holding our rear bumper to the frame. For the tow hook and the front brackets what I'm gonna do is take a 21-millimeter socket and remove the bolts that are holding this on. So there should be one underneath or two underneath for your tow hook, and then, two on the side. And with the last bolt, just make sure that you're holding on to the tow hook, you don't want it to drop. So we're gonna do the same thing on the other side. There is no tow hook over here but there is still gonna be those three bolts, so we're gonna go ahead and remove those.
So after we took off the front bracket, we do need to take off the rear one as well. There are two bolts holding this into the frame so I'm gonna use a 16-millimeter socket to go ahead and remove those.
So before we go ahead and install our new rear bumper, I did wanna tell you guys a little bit more about it, especially in comparison to the factory setup. Now, we're also gonna be installing a tire carrier, but I wanted to break down the bumpers first side-by-side. So this new Westin rear bumper is going to be a big upgrade from your factory system, first being that it's gonna be a lot more durable and it's gonna look a lot more aggressive than the plastic factory rear bumper. So this is gonna be made of a 0.187-inch thick steel plating, this is gonna be very durable, be able to take a hit off road when it needs to, in comparison to the factory plastic that wouldn't be able to hold up to a rear-end hit.
Now, this is also gonna come with a number of different features integrated into the actual bumper. You're getting jack-mounting points on either side, you're getting two welded D-ring mounts just to add to more recovery to your Wrangler. If you already have a heavy-duty front bumper, this is going to integrate recovery points in the rear, if you ever get into a sticky situation. And what I do really like about this is the cutout is a lot larger than the factory rear bumper so you are able to fit a larger wheel and tire on here.
So on this bumper you're also getting a cutout on the bottom for your factory hitch, or even an aftermarket hitch if you have one mounted up. But what I also do really like is the fact that you're getting two cutout on the side for any auxiliary lighting, so you can mount up any cube lights into the bumper to help you out with any rear visibility.
So the last thing that I do really like about this rear bumper is that it comes with all the necessary pieces in order to swap over your license plate so you can stay legal on the road. So enough about these two side-by-side, let's go ahead and install our rear bumper.
So before we can mount up our rear bumper, we do have to install our spindle first, and this is going to accommodate our tire carrier. So what we're gonna do is just send that up through the back of the rear bumper, and then, we can take our longer hardware with a flat washer and a lock washer and start to thread that into the bumper. We wanna make sure that we do this on the table or before we go ahead and mount it up just because it's gonna make it a lot easier to install before we get to the D-ring.
So I'm using an 18-millimeter socket just to tighten that down. All right. So now we can mount this up to our Wrangler. So, after we have everything off, you wanna find a friend and we can go ahead and mount this up. Also, I would recommend to have your hardware staged, and then, you can thread your hardware into the factory holes on the side of the frame. So what you're gonna do is just secure one or two of the bolts, make sure it's in place, and then, you can go underneath and secure the rest of the bolts. Now, it's gonna be the bolt and flat washer and lock washer provided, and you're just gonna thread that into the frame.
So what we can do is just tighten everything down. Now we don't have two threaded holes here, we have a welded nut plate inside that does not come factory. So we were able to thread in one of the bottom bolts on the passenger's side, however, if you do not have the welded nuts, you won't be able to attach the two bottom too, or if you do, you will be able to put them right here on the bottom of the frame. So I'm gonna tighten them down with a 21-millimeter socket. I'm pulling the exhaust out of the way because it is kind of interfering with that.
So I'm gonna use a hand ratchet and my 21-millimeter socket on the side here just because I don't have a lot of room for my impact. Then we can tighten the same bolts down on the other side.
So now that our bumper is on and ready for our tire carrier, what I wanted to do was kind of stop down and tell you guys some more information about the new Westin tire carrier, especially in comparison to your factory spare tire carrier. Now, right off the bat, you can tell that this is going to be a bumper-mounted tire carrier that's gonna take a lot of weight off of the tailgate. So your factory spare tire carrier is only rated to go up to a 33-inch tire. Anything after that can cause a lot of wear and tear and excessive damage on your tailgate because of all that weight carrying it down. Now, with this, it's gonna put all of that excessive weight on a frame-mounted system but it's still going to act as a single action tire carrier. And what that means is that this plate is going to attach to your tailgate and the tire carrier is going to attach to the plate with two Heim joints. So if you want to access your cargo area, all you have to do is open your tailgate. You don't have a system where you would have to open the tire carrier first and then open your tailgate. It's all one single fluid motion, making it very easy to access your cargo area.
Now, this is going to be very durable as well. It's gonna be able to carry up to a 37-inch tire, which is much more than your factory system is able to do. And anything after a 37, all you're gonna need is a spacer, this is still going to be able to have that strength to carry a larger tire over a 37.
So what I really like about this is that it comes with everything that you need to install it. It comes with that third brake light mounting bracket, it also comes with a mounting bracket for your backup camera, and it also comes with everything to mount up your spare tire and even a hi-lift jack. So this is something that you can build off of, this is something that you can have all of your accessories on and not have to worry about. So enough about these two side by side on the table, let's break down our spare tire carrier from the factory so we can swap everything over.
So next what we have to do is take out our factory backup, camera, as well as our factory brake light. So we do have to do a little bit of disassembling on our spare tire carrier. I'm gonna use a T25 Torx bit to take all of these bolts out and completely remove everything.
So you do have to be careful because the wiring harness is still connected. So you can just wiggle that out. So now we can separate these two, put this to the side. So what we can do next is just remove the two remaining screws that are holding on our third brake light, same T25 Torx. Then we can take this off and disconnect our light, put that to the side.
So, in order to get our factory backup camera out, there are two bolts on either side of the spare tire carrier. What I'm gonna do is take that T25 Torx and remove them. And those are holding the studs in place, we're going to remove the studs and expose our backup camera. So if they don't push out by hand, as you can tell, this one's not, what you can do is take a mallet or a dead-blow, just give it a little bit of help, and that will expose the backup camera. And then, we have a couple of screws that we have to take out, they are gonna be T9 Torx. So I'm gonna take the T9 Torx bit and take out the three screws that are holding your backup camera. After that, we can pull out our backup camera and we can disconnect it from the wire. So we will be able to pull this out and disconnect it, but I do want to disconnect this little clip here, this is just holding the wire in place. I just grab the trim removal tool and we can just pry that out. All right. Then we can give it a little slack and fully disconnect our camera. So all you have to do is just press down on that tab and disconnect it, then we can take the wiring, as well as the backup camera and our third brake light over to our new assembly.
So what we're gonna do is swap over our camera into our new Westin bracket. Now, you are gonna be provided with three screws and we are just going to take a Philips-head screw driver and screw them into place. Now, there's nothing on the back of this but these are a little bit larger than the holes here so it will grab onto the metal, onto your backup camera. So once those are tightened into place, what we can do is set it into place in our mount here.
All right. So once it's sitting in the mount, what we can do is take our button-head bolts with the flat washer and screw those into place on the side. I'm using a standard Allen key. I'm gonna snug it up and not tighten it down, we still have to get the other three bolts in. Do the same thing on the other side. All right. So once that's mounted up, we can put this aside. And so, what you can do now is install our third brake light, you wanna make sure that the pins are set into place, and then, we can take our factory screws and attach the third brake light. What we can do is tighten those up with our T25 Torx.
So what we're gonna do next is take out these two vents so we can install our plate. I'm just gonna use a trim tool and pry on the top part, and it will pop them out of place. You can put these aside and grab our plate. Now, you wanna make sure that the two attachments for the Heim joints are gonna be on the left side, so we can grab one of our bolts and start to thread that into place. Now, Westin is gonna provide you with button-head bolts. Then you can kind of let the plate hang and get in the other bolts.
Now I am gonna tighten these down with a 5-millimeter Allen socket but I would recommend to kind of support this and center it into the tailgate. All right. And then, we can install our tire carrier.
So what you're gonna have to do next is install the races and the roller bearings into the tire carrier. Now, you are gonna get two bearings, two races, you're also gonna get two different-sized washers and a seal. Now you're going to install the race and you have to set it in place. And what I did was set it in place with a large socket. I set the top one in with a 32-millimeter socket and the bottom one in with a 38-millimeter socket. Then what I did was installed the bearing onto the bottom, the tapered part was facing the top of the tire carrier, and then, I put on the larger washer and the seal on the bottom to make sure that all of that great stays in place. So I have the top roller bearing, this is the smaller one. You wanna make sure that you pack it very well with grease. This is going to ensure a very long lifespan out of your tire carrier and make it move seamlessly. And then, you are going to need the smaller washer for the top, and then, we will place those down in place. And after those are set, what we can do is place our tire carrier onto the spindle that's installed on our rear bumper.
So what we can do now is install our tire carrier onto our rear bumper by sliding the tire carrier onto the spindle, after the bearings and the races are installed. So what we can do next is install our castle nut, start to thread that on. I'm just going to snug it up, I'm using a 34-millimeter socket. You can use axle sockets. So you wanna make sure that it's tight enough, that this has a little bit of tension and is not spinning too freely.
All right. So once it is a little tense, what we can do is put our cotter pin in down into place, and then we can attach our set screw on top. And you are provided with an Allen key for this set screw. And after that is tightened down, what we can do is pop on the cap. So what we can do next is tap this into place using a dead blow. So once that's sitting flat in the tire carrier, what we can do is start mounting up our mounts.
So what we're gonna do next is install our bracket for our rubber bumper, so this is just gonna make sure that there's no metal-to-metal contact on the tailgate and the tire carrier. So you are gonna have your flange bolt and a flange nut. We can go ahead and install that in the inside of our tire carrier. And this will be adjustable in and out so you can make sure that you're not making any contact. And if you do, it's just gonna be with the rubber bump stops and not your spare tire carrier. All right. After those are on, we can tighten them down with a 15-millimeter wrench and socket.
All right. So after those are tightened down, we can grab our rubber bump stops, and a 5-millimeter Allen socket, and a 10-millimeter wrench. So what we can do now is grab our provided hardware for our bump stops. We can thread that through and attach our nylon locknut on the other side. We're gonna have two bump stops. So once those are both threaded on, you can grab a 5-millimeter Allen key, or Allen socket, and a 10-millimeter wrench and we can tighten those down. All right. Now we can install our backup camera and their brake light wiring harness and our mounts for our tire.
So what we can do now is put in our backup camera wiring harness and our third brake wiring harness. So I'm gonna feed it in between where the two Heim joints are gonna sit and it's gonna come out in one of these two holes, which is gonna be dead center of where we're gonna put our mount so we can feed it through and into our backup camera. So I am just going to feed this up in. There's also an access hole on the back here so you should be able to wiggle this through. So, once you have that through, what we can do is just kind of let it hang there for the time being, grab our mount, pull that through so that's gonna line up in the middle there and the wiring harness is not gonna be pinched. Then we can grab our third brake light and a bolt. I'm gonna put that through, our third brake light's gonna go in the back there. And then, we can secure that down.
So after one bolt is on, what we're gonna do is grab our second bolt. We can secure it down on our second point. Then we can go ahead and tighten that up, making sure that our wiring harness is not in the way, with a 19-millimeter wrench and 19-millimeter socket.
So, after that's on, what we can do next is secure down our actual tire carrier mount. So this is going to hold our tire carrier mount and that's gonna slide inside there. So we're gonna pull our wiring harness through, push that into place, make sure this is up and out of the way because we have to put bolts through the side. Grab our longer bolts. You're gonna have two flat washers and a lock washer. And this is gonna be able to adjust in and out so you will have to measure the back spacing on your wheel and the width of your wheel. So after those are on, we can go ahead and tighten those down with the same 19-millimeter socket and wrench.
So then, we have two small bolts up at the top, we're gonna thread in, and they're gonna act as set screws, to make sure that the mount stays in place. You can go ahead and tighten those down with a 19-millimeter socket as well.
So next, we can slide on our mount for our camera. There is gonna be an access hole down at the bottom where you're able to plug it in. All right. So, once that is plugged in, what we can do is plug in our third brake light, and then, we can get our Heim joints on our tailgate. So once that's clipped into place, what we can do is mount up our Heim joints.
All right. So now we can grab our Heim joints. What I'm gonna do is attach them to our tire carrier first. So we're gonna take our button-head large bolts, send them up through. And what we can do here is tighten these down. I'm gonna use an 8-millimeter Allen key and a 19-millimeter wrench. After those are on, we can attach it to our tailgate.
So what we have to do is make sure that these Heim joints are long enough to mount up to our tailgate plate here. So, if they are not like ours, what we can do is twist this out and make them the right length. So one of these Heim joints is a reverse thread. And then, once they're lined up, making sure that we have the tailgate how we want it. Then we can grab our bolts, same bolts that we had, spare tire carrier side, and we can send those on through. We can tighten those down with the same 8-millimeter Allen key, or Allen socket, and 19-millimeter wrench.
So after we have this set at a good space between the tailgate and you have it where you want it, what we can do is tighten down these jam nuts with a 17-millimeter wrench. So while we're here, what we can do is make sure that this wiring harness goes back into our tailgate so we can plug in our third brake light wiring harness and our backup wiring harness. And this should be just the right length to fit that grommet back into your tailgate.
So last but not least, we have to go inside of our tailgate, plug our connectors back in, and pop our trim piece back on. So these should be right where we left them. Plug them back into place, grab our trim piece, and we can just pop that back in. All right.
So our last thing we have to do before mounting up our spare tire is just to mount up our license plate bracket. As you can tell, there's two square holes here, we do have bolts for that. So we are going to send them on down through. And that's gonna hold them in place so we don't have to make sure that we're holding a bolt head while we tighten these down. And you're gonna have a flange nut for the other side. And you will be able to adjust this back and forth. So what we can do is just tighten those up with the 13-millimeter socket. I'm also using an extension just to make sure our bumper clears. Now we can mount up our spare tire.
So that's gonna wrap it up for my review and install. Make sure you like and subscribe. And for more videos and products like this, always keep it right here at extremeterrain.com.