2001 Jeep Wrangler Project TJ Reboot V2.0: Bumpers & SlidersPosted in How To: Body Chassis on October 28, 2016
We could have spent days, maybe even weeks, looking for just the right bumpers and rock sliders for the next step in updating the ’01 Jeep TJ that once upon a time was a Jp project vehicle. The old gal had been kicked aside by the incoming JK project a decade ago and was languishing in our company warehouse when we stumbled across it a few months ago. We saw this diamond in the rough and knew right then and there it not only deserved to have new life breathed into it but that a TJ reboot such as this was perfectly timed.
Fate held a surprise for us. As it turned out, Mel Wade, owner of EVO Manufacturing, was looking for a Jeep TJ upon which to prototype a new line of parts. Trail-proven parts and accessories are already produced by EVO for the JK, but now that the venerable TJ is experiencing a resurgence of popularity among Jeep peeps looking for something reasonably affordable, it only made sense that EVO would come through for those TJ fans with parts and accessories built with the same high standards as its JK products.
Styles and manufacturing methods have changed in 10 years, so gone were the tube bumpers and sliders. Using our Project TJ Reboot as a drawing board, EVO engineered front and rear bumpers and rock sliders for the TJ. Enter the all-new welded angular steel plate bumpers and rock sliders from EVO to fit the Wrangler that led the way for the Jeep JK. As you can see from the before and after photos, it has radically altered the personality of Project TJ Reboot. Check out the manufacturing and construction details, as well as the easy installation of the new EVO Jeep TJ Wrangler bumpers and sliders in the photos below.
1. From the before (top) and after (bottom) photos you can plainly see the transformative effect the new EVO front bumper had on Project TJ Reboot. Gone is the decades-old tube bumper look, and in its place is a sleek and more functional all-welded steel plate winch bumper with a stubby style that we like.
2. The before (top) and after (bottom) photos of the ’01 Jeep TJ Wrangler’s tail end shows the fast-forward update in style and construction that the new EVO rear bumper brought to Project TJ Reboot.
3. The all-new EVO TJ front winch bumper is made from 3/16-inch steel that is laser cut, CNC press-brake formed, and then welded. At 30 pounds and measuring 33 7/8 by 4 1/2 by 10 inches, the EVO TJ front bumper is sleek, and its low profile offers maximum clearance. It features D-ring shackle mounts, simple bolt-on installation, and fits with most aftermarket sway bars.
4. Also made from 3/16-inch steel, the EVO winch plate provides a secure anchor for the fairlead. The example shown was a prototype, but production units will also have welded-in gussets at the corners.
5. The all-new EVO rear bumper weighed just 39 pounds and also featured D-ring shackle mounts, laser-cut and CNC press brake formed 3/16-inch steel construction, and a simple bolt-on design. The EVO bumper mounting brackets (passenger side bracket pictured) directly mated up to the factory bumper mounting locations (using kit-supplied hardware) on the TJ’s rear crossmember.
6. We remounted the winch prior to attaching the EVO TJ front bumper to the Jeep. The original winch mounting hardware was reused, and you can see how the bolts passed through prepunched holes in the EVO winch plate from inside the EVO TJ front bumper and then into the winch.
7. The factory bumper mounting hardware was used top (top driver side pictured) and bottom to fasten the all-new EVO TJ front winch bumper to the frame horns on the nose of our Project TJ Reboot.
8. Having a buddy help slide the C-channel shaped EVO TJ rear bumper over the Jeep’s rear helps, even though it weighs less than 40 pounds. The mounting brackets are inset, allowing a flange at the top and bottom of the EVO rear bumper to temporarily hold it in place during installation.
9. EVO-kit supplied hardware (four 7/16x1 1/2-inch bolts and four 7/16-inch flat washers) was used to attach the EVO TJ rear bumper to the factory rear bumper mounting locations on the rear crossmember. The bolts pass through holes in the crossmember and are secured by welded nutserts on the inside of the EVO TJ bumper mounting brackets.
10. The new EVO TJ rock sliders feature slots in the lower flange allowing them to be secured between the body pan and the body mount bushings underneath the rocker panels. No drilling is required under the body.
11. We loosened the appropriate body mount hardware and left it loose until final fitment. Using a jack and a block of wood to firmly position the new EVO sliders underneath and against the sides of the body, the EVO slider’s flange slots were bottomed out against the body mount bolts. We then marked and drilled 3/8-inch holes using the prepunched holes in the EVO sliders as a drill guide.
12. The EVO kit-supplied 5/16-inch button head cap bolts, flat washers, and lock nuts were used in the 3/8-inch holes we drilled to secure the new EVO TJ sliders to the sides of Project TJ Reboot.
13. Project TJ Reboot already had a body lift kit on it, so the lower flange of the new sliders went between the body pan and the top of the body lift pucks. With the lower flange slots completely pushed against the body lift bolts the bolts were fully tightened.
14. The all-new EVO TJ rock sliders are just as Herculean as the new TJ bumpers. Built from laser cut, CNC brake press formed, and welded 3/16-inch steel, they feature an angled face for easy sliding and clearance, and a flat top for secure footing. They weigh a mere 33 pounds, measure 52 1/2 by 6 3/8 by 9 inches, and are designed to work with body lifts.