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FedEx dropped off all 240 pounds (or thereabouts) of steel just before lunch. The guy was nice enough to drive up to my shop and back in so we could unload the steel. What I received met my high expectations of quality based on the rave reviews Eddie has received over at Jeepforum. He completed the bumpers as predicted a month earlier (he's a month behind with orders) and promptly shipped them out. So far, so good.

[attachment=0:pvueyszq]AsDelivered.jpg[/attachment:pvueyszq]

I wanted a stinger and grill guard, but Eddie would not weld up the grill guard to the bumper due to shipping issues and fitment issues - he said the legs needs to be cut to length and fitted to be whatever distance I wanted from the grill. He did agree to bend and ship the grill guard and I could fit it and weld it in (along with the stinger to grill guard supports.)

Not wanting to waste any time with the project, I removed the factory front bumper and did a trial fit of the new bumper, hydraulic winch, and grill guard. I cut the legs of the grill guard to length and did a little grinding to tilt it back towards the grill. It looks darn good (a little more tweaking is needed), but having unrestricted access to the sway bar bolts and the top mounting bolts looks like it's going to be a little tricky. I might need to slice off part of the rear leg and weld on a patch plate to clear the sway bar mounting bolt. The legs could have used another couple of degrees of angle in and there would be no clearance issues. Oh well...

More later.
 

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John,

cut 2 pcs of small plate and weld the grill guard to the plate and bolt it to the location you show in pics.
that is how I did mine yrs ago.. it fit perfectly with the sway bar bolts.
you will need longer bolts ...grade # 8
:D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mac - that's an ingenious idea and that would work really well if the grill guard was stand-alone, I wanted to weld support tubes from the stinger to the grill guard. If I can't position the grill guard to clear the bolts, I'll need to use your trick. Thanks amigo!
 

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You will find the corner protection on the rear bumper is useless. The bumper is 58" wide while the jeep is 60" wide. so your corners stick out wider than the bumper. This is what happens when you sell a CJ bumper as a TJ bumper. I am very disappointed with mine and have corner damage to prove it is a crappy design. Big Daddys offroad has real corner protection. Weld some extra steel on the side of the corners protection if you want a bumper that does what it is supposed to do. It is a very well made bumper though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Elwarpo said:
The bumper is 58" wide while the jeep is 60" wide. so your corners stick out wider than the bumper.
Yup - right you are! If I would have known this earlier, I could have asked him to add some width. I'm surprised Eddie is not making them a little wider since he has been tweaking the design for over four years. I can easily weld on some square tube (Santa brought me an early Christmas present last week - a Hobart IronMan 230 - 250 amp MIG welder :cheesy: )

Edit: Just looked at Big Daddy's bumpers - he wants $950 just for the rear bumper/tire carrier. I've got about $1,000 invested in my entire package from Eddie (including Jerry can holder and antenna mount.) I'll gladly weld on $30 bucks of steel to mitigate the design issue.
 

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I run the Big daddys on my TJ and quality wise it is as good as the groundpounder. Big daddys comes coated and the design is much better as it protects the corners, and includes the post for added protection. My TJ has been offroaded for the last 5 years and the big daddys bumper did its job. I just feel I was ripped off with a bumper that was not designed properly. The body damage from a moderate trail will cost me more to fix than the difference in price for the 2 bumpers. Having to weld on extra protection on a bumper I just bought does not make sense. I am just giving my feedback to weld it on before painting the bumper. You will need at least 2" on each side to have minimal protection. The LJ Big Daddys offroad rear bumper/carrier is not $1000, it is 720 shipped. About the same price as the groundpounder once you weld on steel and paint it.

Big Daddys, notice how it protects the corner and after 5 years the paint is still like new. i




Groundpounder


Body damage, notice how the bumper is not scratched. This is because it never touched the tree.


Anyone want to buy my groundpounder LJ rear bumper?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Elwarpo said:
... just giving my feedback to weld it on before painting the bumper. You will need at least 2" on each side to have minimal protection.
Thanks for a great tip!

The LJ Big Daddys offroad rear bumper/carrier is not $1000, it is 720 shipped. About the same price as the groundpounder once you weld on steel and paint it.
Here's the link to Big Daddy's LJ rear bumper/tire carrier - their price is $949.00. Maybe you found a better deal somewhere?

Big Daddys, notice how it protects the corner and after 5 years the paint is still like new
It's doing a fine job for you!

Anyone want to buy my groundpounder LJ rear bumper?
I sure would have a month ago
 

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I am not complaining about the build quality of the bumper, as it very is well made. I bought a bumper because I can not weld. So widening the bumper means $150 return shipping to groundpounder, or paying a local shop the same amount to cut and weld on extra steel. I did not know it would not fit and I had it painted. Welding now means stripping the paint off and paying to have it repainted again. I specifically asked Eddie if it protects the corners because of the large rear overhang. He said it did so I sent it off to the painter when I got it (it is too big to fit into the paint booth at work). Painting it twice and paying for extra welded on steel would have almost have doubled the price of the bumper (100 each time to paint and 150 for the fab work = 350). I feel I received a product that did not do what it was advertised to do. I am not trying to start a flame war, I am just a unhappy customer and want to make sure others do not make the same mistake. I am not pimping Big Daddys Offroad, I just wanted to show how the groundpounder should have been made.

Here is a link for 720 shipped BDO Bumper

I wanted a different bumper for the LJ, because i wanted a different build. I considered BDO, Groundpounder... Hanson was not a preferred vendor at the time and I did not know them. I had quite a few conversations with Eddie (phone and e-mail) before ordering it. I even had him modify the corner protection to be longer. Never did he mention the width, and there is no web site to get the specs. I am not saying Eddie did anything wrong, and he did say he would widen it if I shopped it back (paying shipping both ways), but I still feel I got something that did not work. I hope this post lets him know there is a flaw in his bumper and he corrects it. Except for the width it is an excellent bumper and is probably overbuilt for anything a jeep will encounter.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Making a little progress. I now have the grill hoop tacked to the winch plate and the sway bar bolts previously mentioned that might be an issue for clearance, are going to be okay. There isn't a quite enough room for a good socket fit on the bolt, so I'm going to replace the hex head bolt for a allen head or torx bolt.

The major challenge now for me is notching the support tubing that connects the stinger to the grill guard - I've never notched tubing before so this is new territory. It will be an odd angle, so a bit trickier than clamping the tube in the drill press and having at it with a hole saw. I found several template programs on the Internet - you plug in the pipe size and the angle and it prints out a paper cutting template, so I'll go that route.

I made a couple of practice welds on the tubing cutoffs from the grill guard to 1/4" plate scrap I had, and I don't think I'll have any problems. I've burned about five pounds of wire practicing with my new welder and I'm a heck of a lot better that I was. I'll have some extra tube to practice tube to tube welds before I try it for keeps on my bumper.

Hoping to get the bumpers painted and installed by the end of the week.
 

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Elwarpo said:
........Anyone want to buy my groundpounder LJ rear bumper?
There's no difference between an LJ and a TJ, I assume. I'm always interested in a good deal interest in a good deal and can even make it as far north as just east of Ann Arbor if, the price is right.

I am just not overly concerned with corner protection. I'll even offer up my Durango4X4 rear bumper that they want $450 for the tire carrier before shipping for, as part of the trade or just sell it locally.

 

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The LJ has longer corner extensions. you would have to cut them down or they would contact the tire. pretty much cut 2 extensions and weld the cap back on. PM inbound on price.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One brace is finished, working on #2

I've been dreading notching the tubing, but thanks to the coping program, life was made considerably simpler. I got the angles correct to within 5* or so, but that wasn't quite good enough and I had to steepen one of the notches a bit. The other brace is of course not the same angle and I had to go through the same measuring rigmarole as with the first one. The grill hoop is not perfectly symmetrical so that sort of screws up trying to duplicate the first brace. I'll get the second brace fitted after lunch and then remove the bumper and weld 'er up.
[attachment=0:wjgmml1q]RightBraceFinished.jpg[/attachment:wjgmml1q]
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Okay! Grill guard is welded to the winch plate, I do not like welding tube :( - you have to keep the gun oriented for the joint while moving the gun in a circle. The second support strut/brace from the stinger to the grill guard did not go as well as the first one, I wound up redoing both ends a couple of times and I don't have as great a fit as the first one, it's not bad, but the little gap on one side of the inboard end will take a little welding finessing. It's really easy to blow through a tube end since it heats up so much faster if it's hanging in the breeze.

The support braces are tacked in place and I'll get them welded up tomorrow morning. I'm hoping to trial fit the rear bumper tomorrow afternoon, then sit in the deer blind later in the day :) .

[attachment=0:1h346hdm]LastWeldsToDo.jpg[/attachment:1h346hdm]
 

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Discussion Starter #17
More progress...

Welding the braces/struts on the front bumper wasn't as bad as I thought it would be - it was far worse :roll: I was having my usual problem of not being able to see the joint very well enough of the time while running the bead. Following the joint around was a real headache. I positioned the bumper so I could weld mostly flat (highly desirable) at least. I did manage to get a nice bead on about 90 degrees of one tube end, naturally my best bead will be out of sight. With the help of my angle grinder (abrasive disc and flap disc), I prettied up the welds - with paint it will look okay. I got good penetration and have a wide enough bead after grinding for the tube to be quite secure, so I'm not worried about weld integrity.

The front bumper welds look a little worse in this picture than they are in person.
[attachment=1:12c1wa24]Yuk.jpg[/attachment:12c1wa24]

Here is the trial fit of the rear bumper. Looks good - now I need to read Eddie's instructions since it looks like I might need to make a couple of holes. I'll get that sorted out tomorrow and try to get some POR-15 sprayed on the bumpers. Also got the Roadmaster tow brackets installed - that was a whole bunch easier than installing them on the Liberty.

[attachment=0:12c1wa24]RearTrialFit.jpg[/attachment:12c1wa24]
 

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Hey John. Didn't you start out a couple months ago saying "bought a jeep and want to make a few mods, need ideas" and something to the effect of "but not so many as to get the wife worked up?"

It's been fun to see your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey - thanks! I'm not sure I was the one that asked about a few ideas and had a recalcitrant wife, but that was certainly going through my mind! We (me I guess) had around $4k budgeted for the Rubi upgrades, so we're doing okay in the wife department. I'm really fortunate that dear wife love to wheel and understands we need to trick up the ride.

BTW - we're signed up to do the Palo Duro Jamboree - that's your neighborhood!
 

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Yes it is. I just ran the Palo Duro Challenge for the first time. The ranch is owned by some friends and they only open it up twice a year, once for the Jamboree and once for the Challenge. If interested, PM me your email address and I'll forward some pics. The Canyon is absolutely gorgeous, year round!

btw, your profile doesn't have your location listed. Where are you at?
 
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