Bumper Decisions


New2TJ

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So I’m trying to figure out this whole bumper thing. I want to make sure I get the right ones. I plan on wheeling a little, enough to get a winch so the mount is important and I’ve heard a couple things about the rear bumpers with the swing out tire mount having problems supporting the weight of bigger tires but I’m running 31x10.5s so I don’t see that being a big problem with a well made bumper. All in all, I’m looking for recommendations and the do’s and don’ts. Thanks for the help!
 

Irun

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Four things immediately come to mind:

1. Stay away from rear bumpers with a two stage swing tire carrier, i.e. open tire carrier latch, then open tailgate
2. Figure out how much coverage you want on either bumper
3. If you need a rear receiver hitch, get one built into the bumper and
4. Be weight conscious of both bumpers
 
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New2TJ

New2TJ

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That’s the stuff I need to know. So the tire carrier bumper is out. Since I’m not doing huge tires, does the stock tire mount hold up to a lot of bouncing?
 

Irun

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That’s the stuff I need to know. So the tire carrier bumper is out. Since I’m not doing huge tires, does the stock tire mount hold up to a lot of bouncing?
Yes. You'll be fine with your 31" tires. Many people run 33" tires on the stock carrier.
 

Steel City 06

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You can reinforce the tailgate if you’re concerned. I believe MorRyde and Exogate both make reinforcement kits that will beef up the hinges and the structure.

I run a swing out tire carrier, but I have a 35x12.5 spare and also frequently use the cargo and can racks as well as the hitch receiver.
 

Viking Jeeper

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I have no problem with my bumper mounted swing out tire carrier. The only issue is you have to swing out the tire carrier then open the tailgate. Its not that big of deal. Most of the time my Jeep has no windows so I dont need to open the tailgate very often. I dont have any worry over how much weight is on the carrier because the weight is on the bumper/frame rather than the tailgate/tub. Yes I could get a tailgate reinforcement but this is the way I chose to go.
 

SvtLdr

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I have the Bestop High Rock tire carrier (which appears to no longer be available). It's mounted to the tub and works in conjunction with the tailgate so there's no separate latch mechanism to operate. I really like it and would recommend going with something similar as opposed to a separate swing-out style. I also have a real simple bumper made by Smittybilt. Years ago I was using the hitch receiver frequently. If I were to update my rear bumper I'd go with one of the high-clearance skins that just covers the rear crossmember from Genright. They also have a version with a hitch receiver if needed.

Rusty's makes one for the budget-minded Jeeper also.
 
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New2TJ

New2TJ

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I have the Bestop High Rock tire carrier (which appears to no longer be available). It's mounted to the tub and works in conjunction with the tailgate so there's no separate latch mechanism to operate. I really like it and would recommend going with something similar as opposed to a separate swing-out style. I also have a real simple bumper made by Smittybilt. Years ago I was using the hitch receiver frequently. If I were to update my rear bumper I'd go with one of the high-clearance skins that just covers the rear crossmember from Genright. They also have a version with a hitch receiver if needed.

Rusty's makes one for the budget-minded Jeeper also.
That bestop one sounds pretty similar to the one I looked at. It just bulks up the hinges to help with the weight.
 

Chris

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Don't do a swing away tire carrier. I would also highly suggest aluminum bumpers (i.e. Savvy, UCF, etc.), as they keep weight down significantly, which actually helps way more than you might think.
 
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SvtLdr

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No. The High Rock carrier has brackets that bolt to the tub in 2 places. It essentially transfers all the loading into the body of the Jeep and leaves the tailgate with zero load.
 

pagrey

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Keep your eye out for used stuff, especially winch plates. There is/was a nice raised Warn plate near me that was on FB marketplace so long if finally read "come pick it up, need it gone." If you tow I think you need a steel rear bumper/receiver. With a winch plate you can run stock bumpers. Add a rear hook for recovery and you're all set. Just another option to consider.
 

Irun

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Don't do a swing away tire carrier. I would also highly suggest aluminum bumpers (i.e. Savvy, UCF, etc.), as they keep weight down significantly, which actually helps way more than you might think.
Not all swing out carriers are evil. I've been running with a UCF version that I've been very happy with. However, it's one of few that attaches to the tailgate, as well as being the only one, I'm aware of, that has a steel core and aluminum cover. This helps keep the weight down. The only issue I've had is having to tighten the nut a couple times that puts pre-load on the swing out bearings.

That said, I wouldn't necessarily advocate for it now. When I bought mine, years ago, it was a little over $900 on sale. It's now $1250. At that price I'd buy a Savvy bumper and MORryde.

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MountaineerTom

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I don't see the big deal about swing out tire carriers. I have one and I've never said, man I wish I had those 3 extra seconds back that it took me to open it. LOL

No rattles, mount a trail rack to it sometimes when needed. Mine has a zerk fitting to easily grease it.

Weight, now that's a different story, the whole assembly is heavy. Aluminum would be nice.
 
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Chris

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Not all swing out carriers are evil. I've been running with a UCF version that I've been very happy with. However, it's one of few that attaches to the tailgate, as well as being the only one, I'm aware of, that has a steel core and aluminum cover. This helps keep the weight down. The only issue I've had is having to tighten the nut a couple times that puts pre-load on the swing out bearings.

That said, I wouldn't necessarily advocate for it now. When I bought mine, years ago, it was a little over $900 on sale. It's now $1250. At that price I'd buy a Savvy bumper and MORryde.

View attachment 190459

View attachment 190460
The way that attaches to the tailgate is very similar to the way the AEV tire carrier mounts on the JK. I had one on my JK and it was the only bumper mounted carrier I’ve ever liked, and I liked it quite a bit actually.

I didn’t know something similar existed for the TJ. My experience with traditional bumper mounted tire carriers for the TJ is that they are terrible. This looks to be the exception.
 
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kmq102

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I'll share my recent research on the same topic and the direction I went. This is by no means the way you need to go. I wanted something that was functional, reliable, and lightweight. For the rear I needed the ability to attach a cargo carrier. My build will take me to 33" tires so I contemplated a swing out carrier. My final pick was the UCF Aluminum/Steel bumper with D rings and a receiver. I would have gone with Savvy but they don't offer the recovery points and hitch. I had already installed a MORryde heavy duty reinforcement for the tire so I opted against the carrier. It was nice that it was a single touch to open. My main motivation was the amazing deal I found on the MORryde. For the front I wanted a mid width bumper that I could put a winch on in the future and I wanted to winch guard. I have zero interest in stinger type bumpers. IMHO they are in the same category as the angry bird grills. I ordered the Savvy bumper with all of the options. Initially I was going to send these out along with the UA Skids and rock rails for powder coating. After reading plenty of posts and getting a ball park price I am painting them myself. Will save enough $$$ to pay for a gas tank skid and new lights.
 
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Irun

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I'll share my recent research on the same topic and the direction I went. This is by no means the way you need to go. I wanted something that was functional, reliable, and lightweight. For the rear I needed the ability to attach a cargo carrier. My build will take me to 33" tires so I contemplated a swing out carrier. My final pick was the UCF Aluminum/Steel bumper with D rings and a receiver. I would have gone with Savvy but they don't offer the recovery points and hitch. I had already installed a MORryde heavy duty reinforcement for the tire so I opted against the carrier. It was nice that it was a single touch to open. My main motivation was the amazing deal I found on the MORryde. For the front I wanted a mid width bumper that I could put a winch on in the future and I wanted to winch guard. I have zero interest in stinger type bumpers. IMHO they are in the same category as the angry bird grills. I ordered the Savvy bumper with all of the options. Initially I was going to send these out along with the UA Skids and rock rails for powder coating. After reading plenty of posts and getting a ball park price I am painting them myself. Will save enough $$$ to pay for a gas tank skid and new lights.
When I was weighing all the options, I was in a similar situation. I needed solid rear recovery points, along with a 2" receiver, so I could tow a small trailer. Also, I had a Nate's swing out tire carrier/bumper that I hated, because I had to open the tire carrier first, then open the tailgate. One was always colliding with the other, or worse, me. I don't miss that at all!
 
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taylormade73

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I went with Motobilt front and rear for 3 reasons:
1. Quality steel fabbed in the US with top notch weld work.
2. Love the style amd clearance.
3. Most importantly, at an Expo I was attending they gave me 20% off and free shipping. Sold.
If I had to do over again, I would still buy the Motobilt rear bumper, but would get the Savvy front.
 

MountaineerTom

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One was always colliding with the other, or worse, me. I don't miss that at all!
I can see that being a problem and having one that attaches to the tailgate fixing that issue.

Mine has a spring loaded pin on the pivoting end that locks down into a hole when opened all the way. It just so happened that one of the holes for the factory tire carrier on the tailgate lined up with some of the swing out when opened. I poked a hole in a small chair leg rubber tip and installed it in that hole, so now that chair leg tip rests agains the swing out when opened all the way.
 
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pagrey

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I don't see the big deal about swing out tire carriers. I have one and I've never said, man I wish I had those 3 extra seconds back that it took me to open it. LOL
I'm in the same boat, run one without issue. I think if you can find them used after somebody changes bumpers they can be a good option.

The weight issue is a bit overblown. If you end up getting heavy steel bumpers like a set from Dirtworx you'll be in good company, plenty of us happily run steel bumpers.
 
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