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Jeep JK Body Armor and Bumper Buyer's Guide

Posted in Product Reviews on September 1, 2008
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One of the challenges we all face while off-roading is to see whether or not we can avoid destroying our rigs by chance encounters with rocks, boulders, and other trail hazards. This month, we have assembled this bumper and body-armor guide to assist you in increasing your chances of protecting your rig for just a bit longer. As you will see, the majority of this gear has been manufactured to take a beating and still perform flawlessly.

Rugged Ridge JK Front Bumper
The Rugged Ridge HD front-bumper system for the Jeep JK is like owning 44 bumpers in one. With over 44 configurations for the bumper, versatility is one word that comes up. Built from solid steel and powdercoated for durability, the bumper is also able to accommodate many of today's more popular winches.

Best of all, the factory foglights are able to be retained and are protected from rocks by the built-in lightguards. Installation is bolt-on.
For more information, contact: Rugged Ridge Off Road Accessories, (770) 614-6101,

Warn Industries JK Tube-Style Rear Bumper
Warn's newest entry to its high-quality line of rear bumpers has been built from thick-walled steel tubing to add not only style, but protection to your '07-'08 Jeep Wrangler JK. Covered in a wrinkle-finish powdercoat, the bumper is a snap to install, given that it utilizes the factory mounting locations. All of the necessary hardware is included. For increased protection, the ends of the bumper have been bent to wrap around the corner of the truck.

For more information, contact: Warn Ind., (800) 910-1122,

ARB Deluxe JK Front Bull Bar Bumper
ARB's deluxe front Bull Bar bumper for the Jeep JK offers substantially more front-end protection than the factory front bumper. Constructed of solid steel plate, each ARB bumper features a five-fold upswept and tapered wing design, which provides enormous strength to each corner of the bumper while maintaining the optimum approach angle. ARB deluxe bars are available in black powdercoat with the option to color-match vehicle paint.

In addition to extreme durability, each unit also features built-in jacking points, tabbed antenna mounts, integrated foglights and indicator lights, and the option of mounting a winch.

For more information, contact: ARB 4x4 Accessories, (866) 293-9078,

Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
Poison Spyder's Rocker Knockers with sliders have been fabricated using years of experience and knowledge. Constructed from a combination of 0.134- and 0.120-wall DOM tubing and supported with 3/16-inch steel laser-cut plate, rocks don't stand a chance.

Each set of Rocker Knockers contains a unique bolt-on slider plate that features oval cutouts for traction and drainage. The Rocker Knockers are available in either raw metal or black powdercoat. To complete the look, optional body-armor plates are available. Installation is bolt-on, and the Rocker Knockers are available for both two- and four-door Wrangler models.

For more information, contact: Poison Spyder Customs, (303) 777-4820,

American Expedition Vehicles JK Front Bumper
AEV's front bumper for the Jeep JK has been constructed of heavy-gauge steel that has been stamped to create its unique design. The only stamped front bumper on the market, this bumper retains the factory airbag crush cans and factory foglamps. Additional provisions for off-road lights can be found via the heavy-duty light tabs in front of the optional winch-mounting area.

Continuing with the custom appearance, a perforated stainless steel mesh insert allows winch users the opportunity to view the cable while spooling in. The bumper is a bolt-on installation and requires no additional cutting of the factory framerails.
For more information, contact: American Expedition Vehicles, (406) 251-2100,

Smittybilt XRC Front Bumpers
Smittybilt's newest line of front bumpers, the XRC, has been fabricated to provide the maximum amount of clearance for rockcrawling. Each bumper is constructed of 3/16-inch cold-rolled steel bars welded to exact specifications and joined with plate steel.

A two-stage powdercoat is applied to add further strength and durability to the unit. The front stinger is fabricated from 1-3/4-inch steel tubing and has provisions for two 9-inch off-road lights. An optional winch-mounting plate is available and capable of supporting a 10,000-pound winch with either a roller or hawse fairlead.
For more information, contact: Smittybilt, (888) 717-5797,

American Expedition Vehicles JK Corner Guards
Anyone who has ever been on a rough and rocky trail and has crunched their rear corner coming off a rock will appreciate these indestructible corner guards by AEV. Each pair of rear guards is fabricated from 1/8-inch-thick stamped steel and has been custom-cut to allow easy access to the taillights and fuel filler. Each corner-guard kit includes all of the necessary mounting hardware. Each corner guard is finished with AEV's multistage coating, which is comprised of a zinc coating, an e-coating, and is then finished with a durable textured black powdercoat. For more information, contact: American Expedition Vehicles, (406) 251-2100,

Rock Hard 4x4 Parts Rear Bumper
One look at the rear bumper from Rock Hard 4x4 Parts and you know it means business. Fabricated for all JK Wranglers, the rear bumper/tire carrier is the only rear JK bumper on the market that is constructed from 1/4-inch-thick plate steel and features an integrated Class 2 receiver hitch, CB antenna mounts, and a horizontal Hi-Lift jack mount. Two 5/8x2-1/2-inch CNC'd D-ring shackle mounts with tabs are also installed on the rear bumper.

Designed with tapered ends for increased departure angles, the look is clean and functional. The rear tire carrier will accommodate a tire up to 38 inches and can accommodate fuel-can mounts and a trail rack (shown installed). An optional muffler shield bolts to the rear bumper for ultimate coverage in the rear. For more information, contact: Rock Hard 4x4 Parts, (308) 750-0322,

Poison Spyder JK Rock Brawler Front Bumper
Poison Spyder's Rock Brawler front bumper designed for the JK Wrangler not only looks imposing but is also highly functional on the trail. From the handcrafted 0.134-wall DOM hoop and 3/16-inch laser-cut plate to the fact that it will accept a 15,000-pound winch says a lot about the unit. A sway-bar disconnect skidplate is standard with the bumper as is the durable black powdercoated finish. Best of all, the bumper will accept the Warn PowerPlant winch.

For more information, contact: Poison Spyder Customs, (303) 777-4820,

ARB JK Rear Bumper
ARB's rear bumper for the Jeep JK is built from solid-steel stock and has been engineered to resist the abuse encountered when traversing rocks and boulders. The bumper has been designed to integrate with the OE towing package and contains two recovery points. The bumper will allow for fitment of 35-inch tires with no modifications required. Hi-Lift jack-lifting points have been integrated into the unit as well and are hidden until needed with rubber blanking plugs. The bumper is powdercoated black in its stock configuration. Custom color matching is also available. For more information, contact: ARB 4x4 Accessories, (866) 293-9078,

M.O.R.E. JK Front Bull Bar Bumper
M.O.R.E.'s newest JK front bumper is rock-proof. Manufactured from 7-gauge solid steel plate and formed utilizing a CNC brake, there's no question as to the quality and durability of the unit. A light hoop has been welded in place for additional front-end support as well as to be used as a platform for additional off-road lights. The OE foglights are able to fit securely inside the bumper for a factory appearance. Shackle-mounting tabs have also been incorporated into the design, and a winch-mounting kit is available for the bumper. For more information, contact: Mountain Off Road Enterprises, (970) 625-0500,

RealWheels Stainless Steel Taillight Armor
Jeep JK taillights are pathetically vulnerable. Typically the first casualty when off-roading, these stainless steel units have been built to integrate seamlessly with the design of the taillight while adding another layer of protection. Available in either a powdercoated finish or stainless steel, these are sure to pay for themselves the first trip out. For more information, contact: RealWheels Corp., (800) 982-1180,

Bestop HighRock 4x4 JK Slider Step
Bestop's HighRock 4x4 Jeep JK Slider Step has been designed to allow ease of access while on the street and the ultimate protection from rock rubbing while off-roading. In addition to the solid steel construction of the steps, installation is a bolt-on procedure. Each set of rails is powdercoated in a satin-black finish. For more information, contact: Bestop Inc., (800) 845-3567,

KC HiLites JK Wrangler Winch Mount Front Bumper
A relative newcomer to the bumper world, KC HiLiTES' JK front bumper contains the same high-grade craftsmanship that its light systems contain. The no-cut, no-drill design makes installing the heavy-duty 3/16-inch steel plate bumper a cinch. One of the outstanding features of the bumper is its direct winch-mount system, which eliminates the need for an additional support or bracket to be installed when using a winch.

A removable two-tab lightbar is included, so that a set of KC HiLiTES can be installed. The finish of the bumper is black powdercoat. For more information, contact: KC HiLites, (928) 635-2607,

Expedition One JK Trail Series Front Bumper
The Expedition One Trail Series front bumper for the JK features high-line wings to maintain front-end protection while providing maximum ground clearance. A full-width bumper, the construction is of 3/16-inch steel plate, which has been formed as an inner and outer structure for optimum rigidity. Standard features include integrated winch mount, 1-inch-thick recovery shackle mounts, stock foglight mounts, and integrated Hi-Lift jack access points.

The standard Trail Series bumper includes a center hoop and is textured with a blackpowdercoat finish.
For more information, contact: Expedition One Off-Road Equipment, (801) 726-4338,

RealWheels Stainless Classic Grille Guard
If you wish to keep your factory front bumper on your JK but want that added little bit of something, then look no further than RealWheels' Classic grille guard. Constructed of heavy-duty 304 stainless steel, installation is easy, secure, and over in minutes with no drilling required. Accessory light-mounting locations are provided for a true race-inspired look and feel. The guard is also available in a black powdercoated finish. For more information, contact: RealWheels, (800) 982-1180,

ShrockWorks JK Mid-Width Front Bumper
ShrockWorks JK mid-width front bumper allows the factory foglights to be retained while being a bit wider than a standard stubby front end yet smaller in width than a full bumper. Utilizing the mid-width still allows for increased approach angles, similar to those of a stubby. The mid-width unit is constructed of high-strength 3/16-inch steel plate that has been laser-cut to exact tolerances for the CNC forming and welded finish.

Provisions for shackles are in place via 1-inch-thick tabs that are attached to the bumper with equally strong and massive reinforcing plates. Provisions for a winch are standard and will accommodate up to a 9,500-pound winch. For added safety, light tabs are welded onto the top of the bumper for an added pair of lights.
For more information, contact: ShrockWorks, (281) 440-0063,

Off Road Evolution Steel-Plate Fenders
Known for making some of the most trail-ready Jeeps in existence, Off Road Evolution's front and rear steel-plate fenders provide increased wheel clearance and help to protect the body. The fenders are constructed of 3/16-inch laser-cut steel plate and 1-3/4-inch, 0.20-wall tube. Easily installed with simple handtools, the fender kits are available powdercoated black or unpainted for color matching.

For more information, contact: Off Road Evolution,(714) 293-9078,

ShrockWorks Rock Sliders
In addition to its bulletproof bumpers, ShrockWorks also manufacturers top-quality rock sliders from solid 2-inch steel tubing that has a wall thickness of 3/16-inch for ultimate durability. Also, 1-3/4-inch DOM tubing is utilized in conjunction with the square tubing to provide the much needed protection to the Jeep body and framerails. For more information, contact: ShrockWorks, (281) 440-0063,

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