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Jeep Wrangler Tire Carrier Test - Durango 4x4

Overall
Pete Trasborg
| Brand Manager, Jp
Posted July 20, 2007

Extras!

Durango 4x4:

Model number(s): DGO3001T (bumper), DGO4006 (tire carrier)
Price As Tested: $795.00
Material (Bumper): Formed 1/4-inch Plate steel
Material (Carrier): 2x2 square steel tube
Latch Type: proprietary "two finger" latch
Hinge Type: Oil impregnated bronze bushing and Torrington roller bearing
Hinge Hold Open: Yes
Recovery Points: Yes
Receiver Hitch: Yes
Hi Lift Mount: optional
Frame Tie In: Yes, see installation notes
Max Tire Rating: No size limit. Some accessories won't work with bigger than 36-inch tires though
Available Optional Items: Hi-Lift Jack holder, third brake light, Durango mountain basket, Durango single gerry can rack
Finish: textured powder coating

Instruction Rating (1-5 high): 4

Installation Notes: With all the other kits including frame tie-ins that worked behind the cross member and into the frame, it took us a while to figure out that this frame tie in went over the top of the cross member and into the frame. However, if you don't have a body lift on the Jeep, you'll have to bend the bottom lip of the body to get the bracket to go through. The instructions say you might have to loosen the body mount bolts. Just hammer it. Aside from that, the holes to the bottom of the frame lined up, as did the holes in the cross member. The latch adjustment was easy too. A drill will be needed for the frame bracket on the YJs. We consider the upper frame support a necessity, as the bumper just flexed too much for our liking without it.

Tools Needed: simple hand tools, drill, hammer, cold steel punch

Usage Rating: 5

Usage Notes: Between the easy to use latch, the Torrington rollers on the hinge, and the hold open, this thing is easy to use day to day. As noted below, the rattling got to us after a while though.

Rattle Rating (1-5 [being rattle the least]): 3

Vibration Rating (1-5 [5 being vibrated none at all]): 3

Rattle and Vibration Notes: The same latch that makes this bumper a joy to use day-in and day-out also lets it rattle quite a bit. The initial adjustment had it nice an quiet, but within a few weeks, it was rattling away. A re-adjustment of the latch shut it up for a while, but again we needed to adjust it. It seemed that each subsequent adjustment would provide a rattle-free experience for less time than the last adjustment. Somewhere around the 3000 mile mark, we just let it rattle. We found later that adjusting the tailgate bumpers per Currie's instructions made it both vibrate and rattle less but only did this right at the end.

Perceived Durability Rating (1-5 high): 3

Perceived Durability Notes: The 3 is because of the way the bumper itself flexes under load. We aren't worried about the carrier or the hinge in this case, it is how much the steel flexes. The frame tie-ins greatly alleviate that problem, and the fact that the hinge is bolted together means less chance of the hinge cracking due to the weld-heated brittleness that some carriers exhibit. Also, our issues with the latch adjustment game persisted throughout testing. If we welded the adjustment down once it was tight, after the powder coating wore off of the thing, it would probably have faired better.

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