Part 3: Bumpers, Winch, And Lights
One of the most functional modifications you can do to any 4x4 is the addition of heavy-duty bumpers, a winch, and auxiliary lighting. We wanted a set of bumpers that would handle the rigors of off-pavement use, as well as a bumper-mounted spare-tire carrier that would relieve the tailgate hinges from the weight and stress of a spare tire. We spoke with the folks at Mopar, Jeep's accessory division, about some of their products we saw at last year's SEMA show. The clean design and integrated look of Jeep's Mopar bumpers got our attention. The fact that they were durability tested to the same standard as the Jeep itself, let us know we wouldn't have some rusted-through hulks hanging off our Jeep in a few years. Also, Mopar's bumpers were developed to work properly with the airbag sensors in the case of an accident and the fact that they were designed to work with Warn's line of recovery winches was an added bonus, considering we had our eye on the 9,500-pound-rated 9.5ti Thermometric bad boy. Mopar offered up its bumpers and told us that the company also had auxiliary lighting available for the JK that would work with the original wiring harness. Lastly, the Mopar products can be financed with the vehicle purchase, and if added after the new vehicle purchase, you get the balance of the new vehicle warranty or 12 months, whichever is greater ... a win-win for all.
For the installation, we scheduled an appointment with the professionals at Huntington Beach Chrysler Jeep in Huntington Beach, California, where their service department installs accessories on a regular basis for vehicles on the showroom floor. They were happy to assist us with the install, and got our bumpers and accessories on the Jeep in time for Moab's annual Easter Jeep Safari.