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  #1  
Old November 14th, 2017, 07:23
mattlago mattlago is offline
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XRC Smittybuilt rear bumper - keep looking

I dont usually push out derogatory info on the web. I usually find it to be a waste of time. This bumper however needs to be redesigned and I thought I could save others some time.

I should point out that I have been in cherokees for about 20 years and know them pretty well. I am also a competent shadetree mechanic and steel fabricator. This bumper simply isnt designed well.

1) the nut strips do not fit on my 2000 XJ and I had to order replacements from JRC. When I called XRC to see if they had a solution I was told that they had never heard this before. Due to the hump in the tunnel this is all over the net. Had they told me to sheer off the back of my existing ones prior to me ordering this would have saved me $40.
2) their instructions are simply comical. i rarely read these (cuz I am a guy) but the fitment was so bad I was double checking myself.
3) they include tons and tons of hardware but if they added bolts with 1/4 inch more length to offset a skid plate this would have saved several trips to the hardware store.
4) maybe I had a bad run on fabrication but nothing fit up right. Nothing. My forarm and 3lb hammer is the only way this thing went on. Jeep is straight and not tweaked by the way. It was a road hauler before I got it.
5) even after I got it on I still had to modify the cam for fitment. This is all over the net too. The design is a joke and I know it is going to wear so I took it and made a template to either fab a better one or know I will need a replacement. You can see this all over the net too.
6) even after all of this, whoever put mine together put a very very fat weld on this that I had to grind down and repaint just to open and close the latch.

I am sure someone will say they like theirs, and thats great. I am posting this as customer service was clueless and there are much much easier ways to build in adjustment for solutions. I really should have researched this brand before I bought. I wouldnt have bought it had I seen the cam adjusment or latch alone. At this point, its on my jeep so I just need to find a tree to back it into a few times to adjust the alignment.
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  #2  
Old November 14th, 2017, 14:35
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Sean778 Sean778 is offline
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Re: XRC Smittybuilt rear bumper - keep looking

I bought the xrc rear bumper for my '89 in 2015. My figment issues were very similar to yours.
1) I was unable to use the included nut strips, because the nuts didn't line up with the holes in the unibody. Also, the passenger side didn't fit over the hump. I luckily had aftermarket nut strips on hand from another manufacturer.
2) I found the instructions to be very basic as well, however it was a mostly straightforward task from a procedural standpoint
3) I also found the need to replace the hardware with longer pieces to compensate for my shackle relocation brackets
4) Swearing, ratchet straps, a hammer, and brute force were all key components of fitting this bumper. It seems like nobody ever installed this thing after they designed it, or else the quality control department sucks.
5) no tire carrier for me so I have no comment here
6) there were a few welds I had to reshape, as well as part of the bracket, to fit around the curved lip at the bottom of where the bumper meets the back of the jeep.

Overall the low price point was not enough to compensate for how much extra work was involved in installing this junky bumper.
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  #3  
Old November 14th, 2017, 15:44
jabinco jabinco is offline
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Re: XRC Smittybuilt rear bumper - keep looking

I must be the only one to have gotten a good one, mine went on super easy with zero problems. The only complaints I have are: the latch is cheesy, though easily remedied if I ever get around to it, and, after a few years now the powder seems to be failing and showing rust in a few spots.
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  #4  
Old November 14th, 2017, 19:09
mattlago mattlago is offline
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XRC Smittybuilt rear bumper - keep looking

Oh one mor new development. Exhaust rattles against bumper. Yaaaay


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  #5  
Old November 14th, 2017, 22:09
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clydefrog clydefrog is offline
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Re: XRC Smittybuilt rear bumper - keep looking

Didn't have a single issue with mine. I know this doesn't help, the latch is kind of crappy and you will need to adjust the cam a lot over the years as it wears. I fabbed up some additional nut strips to hold the brackets at the vertical position as well so maybe that helped with the fitment? There aren't many class three rated tire carrying bumpers out there that are 'bolt on' which is why I chose the XRC. After 6k plus miles of towing a 2,500lb trailer it has not loosened up, made noise or anything which is nice. The instructions sucked, the hardware was meh....and the cam adjuster needs a lot of grease to get it to work. All in all though I really like the bumper. It holds 5 gal of fuel, a 33" tire 2 gallons of water, a gallon of gear oil and aux air tank. The bumper also makes a great ladder to the roof if you have a rack which most other 'slimmer' bumpers suck at.

Sorry your having a bad experience, that sucks when pricey stuff requires more $$$ to get it to work right.
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  #6  
Old November 15th, 2017, 08:19
mattlago mattlago is offline
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Re: XRC Smittybuilt rear bumper - keep looking

In response to clydefrog,,,, there is no debate that the bumper checks all the boxes on what you want. I agree with that.

I am just pointing out to others, that they should know going in that you will either 1) need to buy more hardware and parts (if you are 2000 or newer or have a skid plate etc) 2) need to have the ability to fab or modify 3) have a decent understanding of mechanics and the tools that go along to install 4) not get good customer service 5) probably find a different solution for the latch down the road.

Seems like I like numbered lists a lot lately.....

If this thing was $400 or $500 I probably wouldnt have bothered complaining. But you are paying for Dewalt and getting Harbor Freight. I guess I just dont like the world of "good enuff" and should start getting used to it.

Not trying to rant,,, just putting out info in case others are looking.
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  #7  
Old November 15th, 2017, 08:30
Green XJ Jeep Green XJ Jeep is offline
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Re: XRC Smittybuilt rear bumper - keep looking

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattlago View Post
If this thing was $400 or $500 I probably wouldnt have bothered complaining. But you are paying for Dewalt and getting Harbor Freight. I guess I just dont like the world of "good enuff" and should start getting used to it.
Personally i am not a fan of them (want my spare in the same zip code) but if you shop around you can find these well under $700.
Thats how much just the tire carrier costs from JCR.
If you buy one of if not the cheapest bumper with swing out tire carrier made you are in essence buying Harbor Freight
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  #8  
Old November 15th, 2017, 09:10
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techno1154 techno1154 is offline
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Re: XRC Smittybuilt rear bumper - keep looking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green XJ Jeep View Post
Personally i am not a fan of them (want my spare in the same zip code) but if you shop around you can find these well under $700.
Thats how much just the tire carrier costs from JCR.
If you buy one of if not the cheapest bumper with swing out tire carrier made you are in essence buying Harbor Freight
Yea! Smittybilt XJ bumper complete with tire carrier is $769.XX . http://www.smittybilt.com/product/index/149.htm

JCR sells theirs in two pieces at $649.xx and $699.xx . https://www.jcroffroad.com/category/XJB.html

It does appear you bought the Harbor Freight version.
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  #9  
Old November 15th, 2017, 09:35
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clydefrog clydefrog is offline
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Re: XRC Smittybuilt rear bumper - keep looking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green XJ Jeep View Post
(want my spare in the same zip code)
I hate that about my XRC!
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  #10  
Old November 16th, 2017, 13:23
e037383 e037383 is offline
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Re: XRC Smittybuilt rear bumper - keep looking

Installed mine 3 years ago. Was not happy with install same nut strip issue, plus mine have 4 holes and had to drill out the bumper that only had 3 and it did not go with the OEM gas tank skid plate. It sticks out way too far on the back, but has held up. Too bulky for MOAB!
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  #11  
Old Yesterday, 20:38
Tobey99 Tobey99 is offline
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Re: XRC Smittybuilt rear bumper - keep looking

Quote:
Originally Posted by jabinco View Post
I must be the only one to have gotten a good one, mine went on super easy with zero problems. The only complaints I have are: the latch is cheesy, though easily remedied if I ever get around to it, and, after a few years now the powder seems to be failing and showing rust in a few spots.
This matches my experience. I bought one when they first came out. I don't remember any real issues with the instructions, but it was a while back. I had to grind a little on one of the nut strips to fit. Powder coat is fading and some light rust is showing. And I have to periodically tighten the hinge bolt on the tire carrier. It's about what I expected for the price.
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