Making the 4×4 Prettier (Jeep JK 2 Door Sport S) PICTURES

A couple years ago I needed a rack on the Jeep to haul my Uncle Paul’s Canoe back from Ohio. It worked okay. You can read about it here:  Trail FX Rack Installation

The Trail FX Rack did the job like I said.  It was okay, but I had to cut the stock plastic bumper to clear the new hardware.  I also had some other things I didn’t like about the rack, but mostly the rear bumper has been an eyesore ever since.

The hole was added because I was concerned the plastic bumper might just fold over from wind force now that it had been cut open.  I put the stock bumper back on at the time because I didn’t want to give a bored law enforcement officer an easy excuse to pull me over in the middle of the night on some long lonesome highway east of Omaha.

Anyway, I hate the way the butchered stock bumper looks now.  It was functional at the time, but now it has to go.  Recently I installed a new front bumper on the Jeep in preparation for a winch install, and I really like the look of the new bumper.  I still have not installed the winch, but the front bumper sure looks good.  If you are interested in that take a look here:  Making Some Room In The Shop  I ordered a matching (pretty close match) bumper for the rear.  It looks like it has “some” more clearance, but I still don’t know for sure it will clear the uprights for the TrailFX rack.  If not I may lose or modify the rack.  I want to modify other things about the rack anyway, but that is probably a subject for another article.

ITS IS NOT A ROLLL BAR as somebody recently called it.  Modern Jeeps including this one came with a roll bar.  The roll bar for this Jeep is covered in padding and hidden from view by the doors and hard top.  If this rig rolls the luggage rack would certainly collapse, but the factory roll bar would do its job.  Anyway… on to the bumper.

I think this will look a lot better than that butchered plastic on the back of the jeep.

Its got some features that are a huge plus besides the cosmetically obvious.  I can get rid of that ugly hitch receiver as the new bumper has a more aesthetically pleasing receiver tube of its own built right in.  No.  It’s not going to be any weaker.  In fact, because the bumper will bolt onto the sub frame at both ends it should be just as strong or even stronger.

Speaking of bolting into the subframe, you might notice something missing.  There are currently no recovery hooks on the rear of the Jeep.  I had to take them off to accommodate that rack.  I probably could have modified something at the time, but I was running out of time.  That left me with the questionable option of using a drawbar in the receiver (its not a real receiver) tube if I had to be pulled out or pull somebody out.  If a light straight pull did the trick it would work, but a shock strap recovery could be quite dangerous.  The new bumper has its own recovery points much closer to where it bolts into the sub frame.  Not quite as convenient as hooks, but they should do the job if needed.

That’s pretty much the same as on the front bumper.  Now I guess its time to read the instructions and get to work.

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