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Jeeperman Rear Rock Bumper and Tire Carrier Install

Author: WhatWasIThinkin

Hi all, 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.

On to the install....

I 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 link for more info. They are basically making the carrier more rugged, streamlining the look of it and making the hinge assembly more user/installer friendly.

Stock Jeep Bumper and Tire CarrierWell 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 lot 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 another. 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 handy.

At 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.

remove the spare, hanger and bumper endcaps

Once all those parts are 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 other side 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.

Frame Tie-in Kit

Jeeperman frame tie-inOn my 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 were in 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 kit.

Great the bumper is done, so now on to the carrier.

strikerThe first thing you will want to do is install the striker pin.

Code3TJ warned me to install this first 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 a good 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.

Prep the Tire Carrier

Hinge detailThis 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 shims.

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 the quality 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 My tailgate will now last a whole lot longer. The weight of the Moab and Goodyear MT/R was bending it.

Jeeperman bumper and tire carrierJeeperman bumper and tire carrierJeeperman bumper and tire carrier

Disclaimer: 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.

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