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Installing Smittybilt Bumpers on our 1986 CJ-7

Jeep CJ-7 Build Basics: Part Three- Upgrading the bumpers at 4 Wheel Parts

When we left off in the last installment, we had just finished lifting our '86 CJ-7 out at 4 Wheel Parts in Santa Ana, CA. While we were there, we bolted up new 3-inch lifted leaf springs, MX-6 shocks, new 17-inch alloy wheels, and 33-inch tires. It was a big step in the right direction for this Jeep, which had been sitting around for several years. You may have noticed in the final shot that we also swapped out the bumpers. That's what we're going to tell you about today.

The Laredo was a high-end trim package of sorts back in the 80's, and even though the decals had long been removed and the silver had been mostly repainted, the chrome front and rear end trim remained. It was one of the first things we vowed to get rid of. When we were perusing the Pro-Comp catalog, we came across the Smittybilt SRC Classic bumpers for CJs. Built from heavy duty 3/16-inch cold rolled steel plate in a one-piece welded design to protect the frame horns and lower cross member, And the optional two-point D-Rings mounts are one of the strongest in the industry. These bumpers definitely mean business, but are also plenty subtle and will add to the updated classic look we are going for with this project.

Since we were already out at 4 Wheel Parts, we continued on from the lift right into the bumper install, and had the job completed in just about an hour. Check out the story below and check back often, because we still have a long way to go on this CJ-7!

Some may like the chrome Laredo look that jeep was into back in the day, but to us it looks like a jeep dressed up to go to an 80's party. The first step was to update that bumper blade and ditch the non-working driving lights altogether.
The buggy bumpers, or bumperettes as their more commonly known as, had to go as well.
The Smittybilt SRC Classic bumpers for CJs are built from heavy duty 3/16-inch cold rolled steel plate in a one-piece welded design to protect the frame horns and lower cross member, And the optional two-point D-Rings and mounts are some of the strongest in the industry. There's even a two-inch receiver in the rear for some light towing.
We jumped right in with the removal of the stock front bumper, buzzing out the lower bolts that secure it to the frame.
The upper bolts soon followed suit.
Soon the chrome blade was lifted off of the frame and out of the way.
The new Smittybilt bumper was set into it place and we got all the holes lined up perfectly.
Working top to bottom, we installed all the supplied hardware finger-tight first, then we locked everything down. Then we headed out back to handle the rear bumper.
Isn't it fun when the bolts you need to get to are actually accessible? We used an air rachet to buzz out the factory bolts.
Soon the buggy bumpers were gone and we had a clean slate for the new one.
We set the Smittybilt rear bumper in place to check the fitment.
This time we had to hold the bumper in place while we inserted the bumpers from behind.
Once we got all the bolts started and centered the bumper, we buzzed everything down for good.
We still have a long way to go with this Jeep CJ-7, but it will be lot nicer to look at in the meantime! This simple bumper upgrade goes a long way for making this jeep into a modern classic.
Out back, we bolted up a Smittybilt spare tire spacer to the factory carrier and attached our spare Pro Comp tire and wheel. Stay tuned, we've got a lot more to do to get our CJ on the road!

Source Box:

4 Wheel Parts
877.474.4821
www.4wp.com

Pro Comp
800.776.0767
procompusa.com