In addition to offering greater protection from trail obstacles, heavy-duty front and rear bumpers can transform any 4x4 into a well-prepared trail rig. The addition of a front winch bumper, for example, provides stable tow points for vehicle-recovery maneuvers, and the addition of a winch helps promote safer trail excursions in general. A heavy-duty rear bumper is also a great aid. Stable tow points are achieved, and many umpers include extras such as a swing-away spare-tire mount, a Hi-Lift Jack mount, and cargo baskets to stow extra gear.
Lod Genuine Off Road Equipment produces a whole line of its heavy-duty front winch bumpers for '87-'06 Jeep Wrangler YJs and TJs and '07-'08 Wrangler JKs. LoD's Xpedition Series rear bumper/tire carrier is also available for these Jeep models. The bumpers feature tapered ends, are manufactured from 3/16-inch-thick steel, and are powdercoated black. Two D-ring mounts are included at both the front and rear, and the rear also incorporates a 2-inch receiver hitch.
The Lod front heavy-duty bumper is offered in a "shorty" 44-inch width for increased side-to-side obstacle clearance, and a standard 54-inch width is also available. The rear Xpedition Series bumper/tire carrier is 58 inches wide and secures to the frame using 10 mounting points. The Xpedition Series bumper/tire carrier includes a Hi-Lift Jack mount, two jerrycan mounts, and a steel cargo basket to hold a cooler or other trail gear. Frame tie-in brackets are also available to increase strength, and an adjustable tire mount to accommodate various wheel-backspacing needs is included.
We carried out the installation of the LoD front and rear bumpers on an '05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited. The installation is easily completed in the driveway or on the garage floor using common handtools (drilling is required for mounting the rear bumper), however, you'll likely require a helping hand in lifting the bumpers into place during mounting. Once mounted to the vehicle, the bumpers provided a great look and functionality not afforded in the vehicle's stock form. We'll also be much better prepared for future trail rides, as all of the necessary safety and repair items are within an easy reach and ready to use.