Are you thinking about upgrading the bumper(s) on your Jeep Wrangler? Before you go spend your hard earned cash, check out our bumper reviews, complete with a step-by-step installation guide for an LOD rear bumper.By Brett Foote – November 17, 2015
Contributors: SoCalChuckster

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

Bumpers are your first line of defense when you run into something (or something decides to run into you), but they also can serve many other purposes. For Jeep owners, they are often home to a number of accessories such as lights, winches, tow hooks, and lots of other goodies. Bumpers can also vastly upgrade or change the looks and utility of your ride, giving it a nice custom touch to set it apart from the many others out on the road. But with so many choices available at every price point, where do you start? Keep reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about bumper upgrades for the Jeep Wrangler JK.

Table of Contents

How to Install an LOD Rear Bumper

Materials Needed

  • Ratchet and assorted socket sizes
  • Wire cutters
  • Drill
  • 1/2″ drill bit

Step 1 – Remove the stock rear bumper

First, remove the spare tire and the stock spare tire carrier by removing the eight bolts holding it in place. Use a wire cutters to cut the wire for the third brake light, making sure to leave enough slack so that you can reuse it if needed. There are four metal brackets holding the bumper onto the rear cross member, with two on the rear by the exhaust and two on the sides. Remove the bolts from the brackets and pull the stock bumper off.

Figure 1. Remove the spare tire and spare tire carrier, then the rear bumper.

(Related Article: How to Install Olympic Smuggler Rear Bumper – JK-Forum.com)

Step 2 – Install LOD rear bumper

The LOD rear bumper is very heavy, so it helps to have a friend if possible to lift it into place. Line the bumper up so that the mounting plates match up to the outside of the frame rails. The two holes facing the front of the vehicle line up with the two threaded holes in the frame. Install the short bolts and washers in these holes, which will hold the bumper in place. The rear two holes must be market and drilled with a 1/2″ drill bit. Once the holes are drilled, install the bolts, washers, and nuts. Next, mark and drill the hole on the driver’s side of the cross member. Install bolts, washers, and nuts in this hole and the corresponding hole on the passenger’s side.

Figure 2. Install the front two bolts, then mark and drill the rear two.

Figure 3. Drill and install the crossmember bolts.

Step 3 – Install the tire carrier

Slide the tire carrier rack onto the bumper. Bolt the metal brace behind the tire carrier pin and secure the three bolts from the bracket to the top of the bumper, plus the one bolt that goes through the top of the bracket into the threaded hole in the tire carrier pin. Install the latch by running the four provided bolts into the threaded holes in the tire carrier.

Figure 4. Install the tire carrier rack.

Figure 5. Install the metal brace.

  • Figure 6. Install the latch.

Screw the adjustable rubber mount onto the rear of the tire carrier, then bolt on the spare tire carrier mount. It may be necessary to loosen all of the bolts slightly and realign everything to prevent binding, rubbing or contact. This is easily doable once it’s fully assembled.

Figure 7. Install the adjustable rubber mount.

Figure 8. Install the spare tire carrier mount.

Bumper Reviews

The popularity of the Jeep Wrangler as an all purpose, on and off-road vehicle has led to an aftermarket full of parts. Replacement bumpers are popular upgrades because they can vastly improve the utility and appearance of your Jeep. Of the many bumpers available, some of the most popular brands are LOD, AEV, and Poison Spyder Customs.

LODAEVPoison Spyder Customs
Price$600-$1,100$1,300$600-$1,100
SizeShort, mid, or full widthFull widthShort or mid width
PerformanceExcellentExcellentExcellent
LifespanExcellentExcellentExcellent
Warranty1 year limited1 year limited1 year limited

Best Quality: Poison Spyder Customs

Best Value: LOD

LOD

Price – $600-$1,100

Size – Short, mid, or full length

Performance – Excellent

Lifespan – Excellent

Warranty – 1 year limited

Representing both an excellent value and a reputation for quality, LOD bumpers are favorites among Jeep owners. Many of their front bumper options allow you to keep stock fog lights, which is a huge plus. All of their bumpers have built-in winch plates, which allow the winch to sit between the frame rails as well. Installation is a breeze (as seen above), basically consisting of a bolt-on job with the exception of three holes that must be drilled. Recommended if you want a solid, quality front or rear bumper that is easy to install and a great value.

AEV

Price – $1,300

Size – Full width

Performance – Excellent

Lifespan – Excellent

Warranty – 1 year limited

AEV bumpers are well known in the Jeep community for their great quality and great looks. Their bumpers have a reputation for being rock solid and indestructible, but are also very pricey. Fit and finish are excellent, however, so if you don’t mind paying big bucks for a top of the line bumper, this one could be for you. Recommended if you don’t mind spending big bucks for great looks and great quality.

Poison Spyder Customs

Price – $600-$1,100

Size – Short or mid length

Performance – Excellent

Lifespan – Excellent

Warranty – 1 year limited

Poison Spyder Customs bumpers look great and are quality parts. They also have a number of bumper choices for every budget, so if you want to go mild or wild, they’ve got you covered. The fit and finish of PSC bumpers are top notch, and you’d be hard pressed to find many complaints from anyone who owns them. PSC offers a number of options, from bolt-on bumpers to those that have to be custom fitted, so you’ll be sure to find the right part for your application. Recommended for those who want a bumper that has great fit and finish for a good price, or for those looking for a customizable option.

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