Category Archives: Bumpers

Upside down?

The tire carrier reinstall is now complete after another run to Hone Depot for missing bolts. Everything is tightened to spec and the squeak test is coming soon. A fabricator friend of mine took one look at the carrier and noticed one of the problems I was having could be attributed to the fact that one bracket had been welded upside down before it went to powder coating. What?!?

Installed Carrier

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Another Round w/ ARB

Here we have another parts delivery from ARB. Why they are sending me parts that are for a YJ/TJ is just beyond me. Parts not included, the 3 bolts the actual tire mounts to. Yay.

ARB Parts

Missing bracket #1 installed, missing grommets installed too. There’s a shiny new M8 bolt at the 4 o’clock position to replace the OEM one that couldn’t take it any more and committed bolticide. For future reference, the TeraFlex CB antenna mount doesn’t play nicely with the new bracket, but you can remedy that with a handful of washers pressed in as spacers.

ARB Parts 2

Missing bracket #2 & missing turnbuckle #2 drilled and installed.

ARB Parts 3

Soooo… this install stopped being fun 10 or so labor hours ago. Now it’s just funny! The latest casualty, my third brake light. This one was totally my fault since I left it laying on the ground when I made a parts run for new bolts. The CRUNCH echoed through the entire garage!

3rd Brake Light

ARB Tire Carrier/Bumper Update!

Just got off the phone with my parts guy. As it turns out, my ARB kit was missing more than a few parts. Not just the usual nuts/bolts that I can pick up down the street, but the kit is supposed to come with 2 turnbuckles to hold the tire in place with no squeaking, another support arm, a new updated tailgate bracket, and a few grommets. The missing parts are being mailed out today, so I’m crossing my fingers for a Monday night install. With this fix, I’m hoping my carrier will be ready to roll (& not rattle!) for an off-road trip next weekend.

Installing the ARB Rear Bumper & Tire Carrier

No Rear Bumper

Nothing says progress like washing metal shavings out of your hair!

Bumper Only

Drilling, cutting, & trimming deff required… But it’s on dammit!  Next up, the tire carrier.

Tire Carrier Parts

ARB 5750300 (tire carrier) – some assembly required.

Ready to Punch

Holes punched and filed. aka prepped for paint.

Assembled?

ARB offers minimal help and no pix here, but I believe this is what the assembled tailgate bracket is supposed to look like for the JK.

Installed

Tailgate arm & stop assembly in place. This is a handy picture to have for anyone installing in the future.

Completed Back

Done!

Completed Side

After installing my bumper and tire carrier over the weekend, I’m pretty confident that ARB doesn’t even read their own instructions before sending them out nor do they have any sort of quality control before they seal up the parts bags as evidence by missing parts on this kit and plenty of irrelevant spare pieces from other ARB kits. I’ve been turning a wrench on over a dozen of my own vehicles for the better part of 20 years and have worked with automotive products from over 40 aftermarket parts manufacturers including Rubicon Express, TeraFlex, & Olympic 4×4, to name a few and I have never seen a write up for an install quite this bad.

I’m not blasting ARB for everything they make as they do make some good products. For example, my compressor is fantastic and I think my front bumper is a great piece too. But the love doesn’t continue to my tire carrier/rear bumper. I don’t wish the headache that was this install on any of my friends. I won’t drone on about it but If you have decided to install ARB part 5650350 and/or ARB part 5750300 feel free to leave a reply on this post and I’ll be happy to help fill in any gaps to speed your install along since I’ve been through it.

Preparing to deal with ARB Parts

Ok, I feel waaaaay better not having a clue what the hell CRC Dry Glide is. After scouring the internets, I’ve found out that CRC Dry Glide is a dry film lubricating treatment that reduces friction made by an Australian company sold in Australia only. Not even readily available on the web. I’ll be using some graphite lubricant for this application as I think this is the closest thing we have that’s in the states. Graphite lube is used in air compressors, food industry, railway track joints, open gear, ball bearings, machine-shop works etc. Such materials can operate up to 350°C/662°F. (Thank you wiki!) If my tire carrier is operating at those temps, I’ve got bigger problems!

Bearing grease is fairly common and I’ve learned that GE II Clear Window and Door Caulk is a neutral cure silicone. All the other tools, I should have on hand… I hope.

Bumper Thoughts

My bumper is still sitting in the box in my garage staring at me and my tire carrier arrives today. I’m scrouing the market, but this product really was my first choice. It’s looking like I’m just gonna give it all a go tomorrow and see how it turns out. Got my Rustoleum ready to go to prevent any cancer down the road, just need to pick up some CRC Dry Glide, Neutral-Cure Silicone, & bearing grease. Does the average shade tree mechanic keep this kind of stuff on hand? I generally just use lithium grease or WD-40 for everything.

LOD?

There’s a lot to like about the LOD bumpers, especially all the mounting points for accessories & considerably less expensive, but it won’t let me retain the OEM tow package which has been a deal breaker for quite a few bumpers. While I’m sure the LOD bumpers can haul quite a load, most smaller companies don’t take the time to get their bumpers properly tow rated. Since I do plan to tow (mostly cargo, but perhaps jetskis or a small boat) with this Jeep, I want to make sure the products are designed & rated to do so.