Rear Rock Bumper and Tire Carrier Install
another weekend install. This time I
installed my Jeeperman rear
Rock Bumper that I purchased from Raingler.
I had heard lots of good
things about the Jeeperman
products. I purchased mine powdercoated black which is well worth the
$50 extra. That is less expensive than I could get it done locally. I
also got the frame tie in brackets, again a very inexpensive add-on and
very well worth the reason for having them. They include a hi-lift jack
mount and a place to mount a CB antenna.
would like to say that the model I got was what was available in 12/03.
Eddie from Jeeperman announced on 02/03/04 that they were in the
process of making their already great products even better. Check this
more info. They are basically making the
carrier more rugged, streamlining the look of it and making the hinge
assembly more user/installer friendly.
the first thing that you will notice upon opening the heavy duty
double walled shipping cartons that hold the bumper and carrier is the
heavily bubble wrapped goodies inside. The folks at Jeeperman take a
of steps to ensure that you, the new owner, can put the first scratches
in their products. You will find your bumper in one carton and the
carrier in another with its hardware box and the frame tie-in kit in
Looking into the hardware packages reveals lots of nuts, bolts, washers
and the lock assembly. One thing that is missing from all this is
instructions. When I installed the Jeeperman
Front Single Hoop Bumper, it wasn't too
tough to just remove 6 bolts and swap the old bumper with the new one.
But the rear bumper has a lot more details to address, especially
when it comes to the carrier. Jeeperman does offer down-loadable
instructions from their website but my printer picked this weekend to
crap out on me, so printed instructions in the box would have been
this point, don't even attempt to start this install without a really
good assortment of handtools. Sockets, wrenches, torx
screwdrivers, breaker bar and either a 14" adjustable wrench or a
non-marring pipe wrench. Air tools could be handy for some things. but
you're going to be working in some very tight spots when installing the
bumper bolts. A drill will be needed also.
Once all those parts
removed, you're going to need to drill 4 additional holes (1/2") in the
rear crossmember. There is a lot of adjustability built into the
Jeeperman bumper for side-to-side alignment. They also thought ahead
and made the mounting bracket so that it can go into a stock position
or lift to the next set of holes to match a 1" body lift. I measured 8"
toward the center from the stock holes and scribed a mark. I then
measured down from the top of the crossmember to the center of the bolt
holes and scribed them where I had already made the 8" mark. These are
where the new holes will be drilled. I used a center punch and
pre-drilled with a 9/64" bit before jumping up to the 1/2". After
drilling both sides, I used a couple of the supplied Grade 8 bolts to
jig the bumper into place. I lifted one side up and loosely nut/bolted
it into place.
I then lifted the
into place and loosely bolted it. With it in the position to match my
1" body lift, I then started to work on the Frame Tie-in kit. You will
want to have the frame kit and bumper both in position with all bolts
loose before tightening anything. I really like the idea of the frame
tie-in. It was a really inexpensive way to add a lot of extra strength
so that should you be recovering or being recovered via the rear bumper
you don't want this thing tearing out of the crossmember.
TJ, only the upper rear and
lower hole were in the frame. The bracket has 3 slots to mount to the
frame. The bottom bolt was easy to get in though the hole in the bottom
of the frame. That top hole toward the front had to be drilled in my
frame. Without pencil thin 6" long fingers, I have no idea how anyone
can get that bolt into place, so I didn't. It just got the 2 that are
in this pic plus the bumper bolts.
Once the frame kit
place, I went back to installing the rest of the bumper bolts. The
factory drilled holes are easy to get bolts back into. The newly
drilled holes are a real chore to get at. But don't let the difficulty
of getting them in make you disregard them. They are needed for
strength. That bumper and carrier weighs close to 80 pounds heavier
than the stock equipment and its all hanging off that 1/8" thick
crossmember. Then add the weight of a hi-lift jack and now you're
closer to 110 pounds hanging back there. Lots of patience is needed to
install these, but it pays off in the long run.
I then started to
line up the
bumper to the body. I found that all I had to do was match the receiver
hole up with the center rib in the stock fuel tank skid. Standing back
to take a look and it was perfect. The older model skids were smooth so
you would have to line it up with the body before tightening the bolts.
When I got everything lined up, I then started tightening up the bolts
- snugging and then tightening all the bolts in the bumper and frame
bumper is done, so now on to the carrier.
you will want to do
is install the striker pin.
Code3TJ warned me to install
before mounting the bumper, but I forgot and did it at this point. The
pin is screwed into a nut on-a plate arrangement. Should you drop this
into the bumper while installing it could mean taking the bumper back
off and shaking the part out. I didn't have that problem, but did run
into a little snag with the nut on-a plate thing.
The nut on a plate is
idea and it's powdercoated to keep it from rusting. The powdercoat is a
nice touch, but it also coated the threads. Experience has shown me
what happens to steel nuts when you weld them. It distorts the threads.
Combine that with powdercoated threads and guess what, the pin doesn't
screw in. A 3/8-16 tap cleaned things up and I used Red Locktite and
screwed them together.
This is where the
Jeeperman online instructions come in handy. They are a bit vague about
how the latch handle attaches but a look at their website pics will
clear it up. The 3 bolts weren't too hard to get in. Using a piece of
tape to hold the nuts into a box wrench works great to get the bolt
started, especially the one farthest from the end. Once the latch is on
and tight set the carrier aside. You will need to remove the passenger
rear brake light and let it hang off to the side. Again using the
online instructions, first install a shim and spacer. Lightly grease
the carrier hinge pin and slide on the carrier. Install the other 2
shims and flat washer. Then the large lock nut.
Tighten down the
large nut. I
used a non-marring pipe wrench and tightened it down. This may need to
be re-done to correct the weight of the spare or anything bolted to the
carrier, like a hi-lift jack. The instructions tell you to start with
one shim under the carrier, but I have found that I will need to try 2
This is one of
the main areas that Jeeperman has recently improved upon. See their
website for more details.
At this point,
install the carrier hinge lock. The nuts that hold the
lock pin are either brass or bronze. Either way they are very soft and
easily damaged. Threading them in was tedious. Its a tight spot and
they wanted to cross thread in. Once that is in, finish up by
installing that grease zerk, and bumpers. Pump some grease into the
hinge also. Double check everything and its done.
I'm very happy with
of Jeeperman products. They're simple by design, rugged and cleanly
built. Now I'm starting to really feel the added weight of their
products on my currently stock suspended Jeep. That will change soon
enough...lol My tailgate will now last a whole lot longer. The weight
of the Moab and Goodyear MT/R was bending it.
You can use these
instructions however you choose, but I am not liable for anything you
do. Please feel free to link to them from other sites, but you must get
my permission first before copying them off of this site to elsewhere.