Oh ARB, our relationship really is a complicated affair, isn’t it? I really, really want to love your products but you make it difficult when 100% of them don’t actually bloody fit like you claim they should!
My front bumper was a full 12+ hour headache simply b/c someone decided to come to work drunk on bolt threading day. This was solved with the help of some WD-40 and a nice heavy mallet, but not after I test fit it in place a few times too many. Based on previous experiences, I really don’t know why I would think my rear bumper install would go any smoother. I got started last night by removing the stock rear bumper (8 bolts & 2 brackets) which was pretty straight forward. Next, opening up the bag of parts, you’ll easily see that ARB loves to send you extra parts and sh!t you don’t need. Take a look at it all spread out. Thanks for the mud flap bracket guys. That’s gonna be super useful!
Prepping the ARB bumper for install was… well, what I should expect by now. The cover plate (sits under the spare) almost fits nicely, but the screw holes don’t really line up. Out comes the mallet again to encourage a better fit. Now comes the easy part, install the brackets into both sides of your frame, make sure they line up with the holes, and attach the bumper. The bracket lines up fairly well on the driver’s side, but there are no holes on the passenger side. Just rock solid double welded frame. WTF ARB? As if that’s not enough fun, when test fitting the bumper (that I was repeatedly assured would fit around my OEM trailer hitch), I noticed that I’m short around an inch or so of clearance around the OEM hitch. It’s not that I don’t understand how to make these things work, it’s that I spend a lot of time searching for products that look great, work well, and go on easily without any cutting/drilling/grinding.
With the matching tire carrier already on the way, I’m really at a loss for what I should do. Do I stick with the ARB product and make it work? I can’t imagine the tire carrier is going to be any easier than anything else that I’ve gotten for the JK from this company. Nor can I guess ahead of time what part of the install is going to be a complete cluster. Or should cut my losses and shop around for a different bumper/tire carrier set up? I like the look, and I want it to work but ARB… your fitment and instructions are the absolute worst. In the meantime, I guess I’m rolling west coast style with no bumper at all.