For Phase 2 we went with new bumpers, winch, spare tire carrier and trailer hitch. There a lot of choices but we decided to go with the Rugged Ridge XHD bumper series. We like steel and the look of the textured black of the XHD series. We didn’t want too large of a striker on the front end so we went with the Double X Striker. What is great about Rugged Ridge’s bumper sets is you can piece together the bumper kit you want or go with one that they package for you. We started by building our own and then found that they had packaged the same pieces together. So we went with the kit.
For the front we chose the XHD Bumper Kit that included a front winch mount bumper, double X striker bar and high clearance ends (#11540.55). We liked the high clearance ends because we didn’t want any interference with larger tires and the high clearance ends match up nicely with the stock fender flares (which we planned to keep — at least for now). If we later decided to replace the factory flares we can then replace the high clearance ends with the included end caps or stubby ends.
Installation of the front bumper kit was a snap. You simply bolt on the high clearance ends, the double X striker and the winch to the new front bumper. The old bumper comes off very easily by removing a handful of bolts. The only minor difficulty is that you have to move a factory installed vacuum pump before installing the new bumper because its otherwise in the way of the new bumper. You have to cut away one of the mounts and then lower it with the included brackets. I cut the mount away easily using a saber saw with a metal blade. Its pretty much a one person job except when lifting the new bumper which is heavy and difficult to do while trying to bolt it on. If you are considering upgrading your fog lights, this would be a great time to do it since it is very easy to replace these with the bumper off. Rugged Ridge has some great LED fog lights that replace the factory ones. See http://www.ruggedridge.com/led-light-mount-kit-circle-11232-27.html. Since we are doing lighting for Phase 3 of our build, we will have to remove the bumper again to install these during Phase 3.
To match the front bumper we went with the XHD rear bumper in textured black (#11546.20), which include two heavy-duty D ring attachment points. See http://www.ruggedridge.com/xhd-rear-bumper-textured-black-11546-20.html. Since we were installing a new rear bumper, we thought it would be the most practical time to add a receiver hitch so we would be ready to tow anything we needed to. Rugged Ridge has a receiver hitch that bolts on to the rear frame of the Jeep and comes with an easy to install wiring harness (#11580.51). See http://www.ruggedridge.com/receiver-hitch-kit-with-wiring-harness-11580-51.html. Since we didn’t have anything to tow, we thought we would put a D-Shackle Assembly in the receiver hitch – mostly because it looks cool (#11234.01). See http://www.ruggedridge.com/receiver-hitch-d-shackle-assembly-11234-01.html
There was nothing to the installation of the rear bumper and trailer hitch. The old bumper comes off with the removal of a few bolts and the new one bolts right on. It is more efficient to bolt the receiver hitch on first since you have to have the rear bumper off in order to install the receiver hitch. So don’t forget to do that after you have removed the factory rear bumper. Since I did it in reverse order I had to take the rear bumper off once. Whoops. No big deal. It was very easy to put back one. The wiring harness for the receiver hitch is a snap as well. You simply remove the driver side rear taillight and plug the included wiring harness to the existing taillight. The wiring harness splits so you can replug in the taillight and then run the other end under the Jeep to the receiver hitch. The wiring harness even has plastic pegs that matches up with existing holes and holds the wire snug to the frame. Very simple. Very neat.
When it comes to winches you want a winch capable of pulling at least twice the weight of your rig. If you are in the early stages of your build when you get your winch we like we were, you may want to go a little bigger to take into account the additional weight you will be adding in the later part of your build (big wheels and tires are heavy!!!). We went with Rugged Ridge’s 12,500 lb Spartacus Performance Winch with Synthetic Rope (#15100.21). See http://www.ruggedridge.com/spartacus-performance-winch-synthetic-rope-12500-lbs-15100-21.html. We added a winch cover and a license plate holder. Since we are in Virginia we are required to have a front plate and if you have a winch mounted on your XHD bumper there is no good place for your front plate to mount (#15102.02 and 11238.07). The front plate holder is really great. It snaps into your winch opening and can be easily removed when you need access to your winch. See http://www.ruggedridge.com/winch-cover-8500-and-10500-winches-15102-02.html and http://www.ruggedridge.com/front-hawse-fairlead-license-plate-mounting-bracket-by-rugged-ridge-11238-07.html.
Finally, since we are expecting larger tires we needed to upgrade the rear tire carrier so that it can hold a larger, heavier spare. We replaced the factory tire carrier with Rugged Ridge’s HD Tire Carrier Kit (#11546.50). See http://www.ruggedridge.com/hd-tire-carrier-kit-07-15-jeep-wrangler-jk-11546-50.html. The kit replaces the factory rear door hinges with much larger stronger textured black aluminum hinges. It also replaces the spare tire carrier with a larger stronger one and raises the third brake light to allow for a larger tire. Very simple to install and it looks great too.
Our next article will discuss Phase 3 of our build – LED Lighting. Check back and see what we do.
A Quick Note From Our Founder –
Over the past few years I’ve taken a very special interest in helping people lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. Please take a moment to read Brian Flatt’s incredible story and how he burned over 12 pounds of fat in 3 weeks by Working With Nature, Not Against It.
Did You Know That Your Body Is Stuck in “Fat Mode” for 20 Hours a Day?
Learn How New Research Can Unlock Your Hidden Fat-Burning Potential.
In America, we’ve achieved something incredible:
Absolute freedom from the dangers of nature.
Nature’s most vicious predators are no match for humans.
But one danger still haunts us, something that’s stuck with us from the natural world that we simply can’t fight off.
In fact, it’s killing more Americans than any other cause of death.
Here’s just a glimpse as what Americans are suffering through:
● Heart attacks and strokes that put an immediate end to the life of people we love. (If you’re walking around with extra fat on your body, you never know when these illnesses will strike.)
● Back and join pain that stops you from enjoying life, keeps you stuck on the couch, and ruins your mood from the moment you get out of bed.
● Plus diabetes, liver failure, sore muscles, arthritis, and more, costing thousands of dollars in prescription medication every year.
Even children are suffering the consequences.
My Daughter Was Thin, But She Was Suffering from My Weight.
When I was overweight, I thought, “you know, it’s not so bad. I can live with this.”
But then one day, my chest started to ache, and I thought I was having a heart attack.
Just at that moment, my daughter looked up at me with the most scared look I ever saw.
I knew I couldn’t leave her behind, so I decided to look into the real causes of my weight gain.
I Was Spending 20 Hours a Day Gaining Fat, Even if I Ate 3 Meals a Day.
I was shocked when I found out that our bodies can only be in one of two states.
Either we’re burning fat… or we’re gaining it. There’s no in-between.
And many Americans are unknowingly spending 20 hours a day stuck in the fat-gaining mode, especially if they’re overweight.
20 hours a day!
And the only time they’re actually burning fat… is when they’re asleep.
That’s when I realized that no matter how much exercise I did, no matter how healthy I was eating, it wouldn’t matter unless I could fix that problem.
I had to find a way to force my body into fat-burning mode for more than 4 hours a day.
Finally, I was lucky enough to stumble across a new system that works with nature’s big secret to keep my body in fat-burning mode for 12 hours a day or more… and I lost over 12 pounds in just 3 weeks!
I Burned Over 12 Pounds of Fat in 3 Weeks By Working With Nature, Not Against It.
Your body has a natural ability to burn fat.
In fact, you can burn a surprising amount of fat in just a few weeks with the right strategies.
So what are they?
Well, the plan I made works in 3 phases, and they’re incredibly easy to follow.
Basically, here’s how it works:
1. It forces your body into fat-burning mode for 3 times as long. By multiplying your fat-burning time, you make weight loss easy, even without difficult workouts.
2. Plus… it showed me how to make my work outs easier and actually improve my health. (As it turns out, many people are already doing the #1 exercise you need to burn fat!)
3. In Phase 2, I dropped over 1 pound per day, and I was pleasantly surprised as how easy it was to do.
At the end of 3 weeks, I had lost over 12 pounds of fat.
I kept it up and continued to lose more.
And yes, I looked amazing.
But what really mattered wasn’t the weight loss.
I had made a change for my daughter.
I’m Going to Live to Watch My Grandchildren Grow Up.
I may not be old enough to have grandchildren yet… but now, I’m not worried that I’m going to die before my daughter is ready to have kids.
We’ve really connected again, going out to the park and playing games like we used to. I can even go shopping all day long without getting aches and pains in my back!
So I shared these strategies with some of my friends who wanted to lose a little weight, and they were shocked at the results.
In fact, some of them were losing more weight than I did… up to 23 pounds in 3 weeks!
So my friends told their friends… who told their friends… and eventually, the secret got out.
People Started Offering Me Money for My 3 Week Diet.
I couldn’t believe it when complete strangers started emailing me, asking for my diet.
I had no idea it was going to become such a big deal!
That’s when I realized that I had to get this out there for anyone who wanted to start burning fat and looking their best.
(Who am I to hide this from other people?)
So I decided to put together all the information I had on this strategy and put it online.
The only problem… is that it costs a lot of money to do this.
I was a little overwhelmed by how much I had to pay to put together a website and package it all up in a nice little ebook.
So yes, I have to charge people for these strategies.
But when people are losing 12 to 23 pounds per week, I’m not hearing any complaints!
I’m Going to Save You $20 on These Fat-Burning Secrets.
When I showed my website to a friend, he told me I was crazy for making my book so cheap.
“You should be charging twice as much, at least. I’ve seen books like yours for $60 or more.”
He works in marketing, so he thinks everything should be expensive. (Sorry, Dave.)
I just couldn’t do that. I really wanted people to be able to afford this book and use it to change their lives.
So I did the math and figured out exactly what I have to charge to get my money back on this whole thing, and that’s how I chose the price.
If you can help me cover my costs, I’m more than happy to give you these secrets at the bare minimum price.
So click this link to get full access to these fat-burning tricks, and I promise… no, I guarantee… you will lose 12 to 23 pounds in 3 weeks!
Creator of The 3 Week Diet & Weight Loss Consultant