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Sarge Green in Texas


May 25, 2020
Member Number
Front bumper install. Yeah, lame thing to do first, but what's a mall crawler without a bumper and winch. Got my VKS fab Informant bumper at lunch yesterday. Grabbed it off the porch before it rained. I watch the misses try and pick it up over the Ring doorbell, very comical. Couple of customary pictures. I love this green. It's clear coated, but no metallic flake. Takes on quite a bit of colors. Couple pictures after having it home and in the rain (already been through 2 hail storms, damn Texas weather).
afternoon, light side.JPG

Bumper is badass. VKS Fab makes great items and very low cost (for not doing it yourself). After work, I got the bumper cleaned and prepped for primer and paint. Since I sometimes scrape the bumper on the occasional parking lot bollard holding the light post, I use Rustoleum enamel flat black. Two coats of Rustoleum primer and two coats of the black. Smooth process. In between coats I was disassembling the stock Rubi bumper. What a shit-show of plastic push-pin, assortment of bolt sizes, flimsy ass skid and other cheap plastic parts. Go through the steps, finding each nock and cranny that the Italians sought to put one of these things. The fog lights were fun to take out as well.

For field testing and see how much additional weight was going to be put on the Jeep I weighed the new bumper. 55#s including the fairlead mount (which was 3# itself) and the nuts and bolts to get it on tight. After getting all the stock mumbo-jumbo off the Jeep, I put it together for the same test. Just the bumper was 33#s and the remaining crash bar, skids, bolts, etc ended up being 13#s, for grand total of 46#s. 46 off and 55 on, net gain of 9 pounds. Not bad going from plastic flimsy to full metal that will not deform. I will not keep the crash bar or the frame horns (in red below) that hang down. I will end up cutting these off. Either recip saw or plasma (found a friend that has one). Will probably end up being the saw as I can just get it done in the garage faster.

Rubi swaybar motor will be flipped up as well (in blue below). Got the hardware to accomplish that one as well. I wanted to see how tight the bumper went on before I flipped it as well.
IMG_2434 - Copy.JPG

Next on the list winch. Going to go with the Smitty x20 with synthetic line. It is one of the nicer newer winches with a moveable solenoid box, most new winches have the solenoid box hard mount above the spool. I'm thinking either tucking it inside the bumper OR up by the battery. I will use my daughter as the weight for the winch for the time being. Seeing if I am going to lose height and see what I need there.
Finished up the bumper install. Had to reroute the fog wiring, easy enough. Everything button up well.

Flipped the swaybar motor. Gained 2” of clearance. The lowest part is now a metal nub that’s now on the bottom. Better than the wiring harness that was on the drivers side of the motor. All in all good modification. Enough clearance with the bumper to.

Now I need to cut the frame horns as I state before. These hang down around 5”. It will definitely clean up the front from low hanging fruit. This will be the last change up front for a bit.

Edit: removed frame horns that held factory "skid". Total of 4 additional pounds. Total off 50, 55# on, net gain of only 5#. Cleared the way for tires and approach.
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