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Jeep Wrangler Tire Carrier Test - ARB

Posted in How To: Wheels Tires on July 20, 2007
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Model number(s):
Price As Tested: $1296.99
Material (Bumper): 1/4-inch formed steel plate
Material (Carrier): 2" OD tube and 2x4 inch, 3/16-inch wall tube
Latch Type: double safety latch
Hinge Type: proprietary tapered roller bearing de
Hinge Hold Open: Yes, mechanical and hydraulic
Recovery Points: Yes
Receiver Hitch: Yes, load rated for towing
Hi Lift Mount: Yes
Frame Tie In: Yes (see durability notes)
Max Tire Rating: 35-inch
Available Optional Items: none
Finish: gloss black powder coating

Instruction Rating (1-5 high): 4.5

Installation Notes: This was by far the most complex bumper to put together, and took the longest time, even though everything went together almost the way it was supposed to. If we didn't have a 1 inch body lift on the TJs, we would have needed to move the license plate mount. The same goes for the YJ. We also had some issues getting the latch adjusted the way it was described in the directions, but eventually got it. Also, ARB's design of the frame tie-ins requires you drill four holes of approximately 1/2 inch upward (under the rear corner of the Jeep) through a 1/2 inch of metal. Not an easy task. That said, the ARB frame tie-ins are genius, they are by far the strongest ones of the group.

Tools Needed: simple hand tools, drill, center punch, clamp, and an assistant for lifting and lowering bumper

Usage Rating: 4

Usage Notes: The latch is a simple pull to release, and then there is a hydraulic cylinder (like you'd find on a Grand Cherokee lift gate) that opens the swing arm for you. If you are on a steep side hill, there is a hold open as well, which we've only needed a few times, for the most part the hydraulic cylinder will hold it open. And, we aren't the least concerned about the bumper ever leaving the frame. Between the bolts through the middle of the crossmember, the bottom of the frame, and the well-thought out tie ins, we've yanked on this thing till we thought our teeth would fall out, yet it didn't budge. However, this is the heaviest bumper of the test

Rattle Rating (1-5 [being rattle the least]): 5

Vibration Rating (1-5 [5 being vibrated none at all]): 4.5

Rattle and Vibration Notes: It doesn't rattle, it doesn't vibrate except for some bad sections of the freeway, and some sections of washboard.

Perceived Durability Rating (1-5 high): 5

Perceived Durability Notes: The hinge is in double shear, the latch has a beefy support in addition to the dual-latching safety design, the shackle mounts are welded into the bumper more than just on the face of it, and the frame tie-in design is just very well thought out. All parts are powder coated, and the hardware is stainless steel.

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