Beefy Bumpers for YourJK

MetalCloak has you cov­ered

Jp Magazine - - Table Of Contents - By Stu­art A. Bour­don jped­i­[email protected]­

In­stalling a set of af­ter­mar­ket front and rear bumpers, a winch, and a bet­ter spare tire

car­rier might be the most com­mon “next step” af­ter up­grad­ing the sus­pen­sion and get­ting big­ger wheels and tires. That’s true for many new Jeep own­ers, and it was no dif­fer­ent when it came to this two-door JK. We had al­ready planted an AEV 2-inch lift un­der it and bolted up a sharp-look­ing set of Method wheels and Falken tires. The ComeUp USA winch and the body ar­mor and bet­ter tire car­rier from MetalCloak would make this Jeep ca­pa­ble of tack­ling mild to mod­er­ate trails with­out break­ing the bank to do it.

MetalCloak makes a wide va­ri­ety of products for Jeeps, rang­ing from body ar­mor to sus­pen­sion sys­tems. We got ahold of its Frame-Built Bumper #1402 set (in­cludes the Frame-Built Bumper Base, 56-inch Stock Flare Caps, and Mid Stinger), Crawler Rear Bumper Base with 6-inch Crawler Caps, and Sport Gate Tire Car­rier. These bumper bits are primarily made from 3⁄16-inch, 10-gauge or 14-gauge hot-rolled steel. The same goes for the tire car­rier. The Mid Stinger fea­tures 13⁄4-inch–OD, 0.120-wall steel tube.

The ComeUp USA SEAL Gen2

9.5rsi is rated at 9,500 pounds and fea­tures a wa­ter­proof wire­less re­mote con­trol; alu­minum die-cast hous­ing and steel drum that are de­signed to with­stand two times the rated load of the winch; a heavy-duty se­ries-wound mo­tor with ther­mal switch to pre­vent over­heat­ing; and the man­u­fac­turer’s new In­tel­li­gence Dash­board (IDB) and power cut­off switch. It came spooled with 100 feet of 3⁄8 -inch SK-75 syn­thetic rope.

We fig­ured out a few things dur­ing the process that can make your in­stal­la­tion a lit­tle eas­ier. Fol­low along as we share what we learned.

Tips andTricks

When re­mov­ing the plas­tic cowl from un­der the nose, it helps to squeeze the plas­tic on the back as you un­screw the cen­ter plugs from the re­tain­ing clips, but don’t be sur­prised if you have to drill the plug out of some of the clips.

Hav­ing plenty of zip ties will come in handy dur­ing the in­stal­la­tion when re­lo­cat­ing the vac­uum can­is­ter and fog­lights.

Paint any ex­posed metal from drilling (front bumper mount plates) or cut­ting (re­moval of the vac­uum can­is­ter’s fac­tory bracket) done for this in­stal­la­tion. It will help pre­vent rust.

To keep the tail­gate prop­erly aligned and in place dur­ing the re­moval of its fac­tory hinges and in­stal­la­tion of the new MetalCloak hinges, run a cou­ple strips of duct tape across the tail­gate and both rear cor­ners of the body. Card­board stuffed be­tween the bot­tom of the tail­gate and the body will help sup­port the tail­gate.

Pho­tog­ra­phy: Stu­art A. Bour­don

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