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Old 03-03-2011, 02:03 PM   #1
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Base plate on Wrangler ('11)

Looking at replacing our Element with a 2011 Wrangler 4 door. Can anyone tell me what is involved with installing the base plate (Blue Ox) on the Wrangler? The older Jeeps were not much of a problem, but the one I am looking at seems to have a lot of plastic etc and maybe a safety bumper. Does the Jeep baseplate attach under the bumper some way? Do you have to cut some plastic to make it happen?
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:50 PM   #2
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I just installed one on my 2011 Wrangler. Wasn't difficult at all, in fact it was easier than what the directions stated. On earlier Wrangler models there was a section of steel on each side of the frame that needed to be cut off. That's no longer the case on the 2011's. There are just eight bolts to remove the bumper. Here's a link to some pics I took. Wrangler Tow Setup Install pictures by bobged - Photobucket The first 6 or 7 are of the base plate installation. The rest have to do with installing the Brake Master tank and tail light kit.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:13 PM   #3
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Currie enterprises baseplate replaces the plastic valance panel under the front bumper with a steel skid plate with tow fittings welded on, takes about an hour to install, mates up to Blue Ox towbar, and costs $200. Don't even have to remove the bumper (do have to drill a few holes, though; it's held on with about a dozen 3/8 Grade 8 bolts, some of which replace existing hardware). I looked at both the Blue Ox and the Currie, and the Currie was easier, cheaper, pretty much foolproof, and hell-for-stout (Currie makes the Rock Jock line of skid plates; hit something with this base plate, and the something's going to give). Also works with many aftermarket bumpers.

Short story is, a Wrangler is rediculously easy to set up for towing, what with the simple base plates and the Cool Tech wiring harness. I couldn't believe it only took me a couple of hours, including fishing the wiring harness through the frame (because I'm compulsively neat) and fishing the breakaway wiring for the Break Buddy through the firewall (probably the hardest part).
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:37 AM   #4
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Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the Currie base plate is 7 ga (3/16") steel with 3 ga tabs, while the Blue Ox is all 3 ga (1/4")
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:31 AM   #5
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You should be able to find the installation manual on-line, on the Blue Ox site. I know I did when I got mine 4 years ago.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:31 AM   #6
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Here's a link to the written installation instructions http://www.aemfg.com/pdfs/BX1126.pdf
and link to a video YouTube - Blue Ox Baseplate Installation However as I previously stated you do not have to cut any portion of the frame on the 2011's.
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobGed View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the Currie base plate is 7 ga (3/16") steel with 3 ga tabs, while the Blue Ox is all 3 ga (1/4")
you are correct; however, the designs are very different. The Currie is a large plate that goes from the bumper to the first crossmember, and is attached with about a dozen bolts. That's pretty much the whole deal--it replaces the plastic valance with a steel plate. The Blue Ox is, as I recall, several pieces that attach to various places, and leaves the plastic valance pretty much in place.

I'd trust either for just brute strength; the materials in both are of adequate gauge to do the job, and then some. The big advantage of the Currie that I see, other than possibly cost, is that it's a simple, one-piece installation. The big advantage of the Blue Ox is that it's certainly better hidden and shows careful craftsmanship and considerable thought, while the Currie is a brute-force piece. I'm not looking for a "mine is better than yours", which is what many of these threads devolve into; we all pretty much think the one we bought, whatever it is, is a good one, and we're all generally right. Point is, there are choices besides the usual RV suppliers, and some of them are pretty good (Cool Tech comes to mind here as a good example).
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:13 PM   #8
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This is the exact information and discussion I had in mind and was looking for. Thanks to you all. BobGed the pics are great. Thanks again
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:54 AM   #9
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Does anyone have pictures of the Currie Base Plate, after installation on a JK Wrangler? I've seen pics of the Blue Ox after installation, but not a JK with a Currie on it.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobGed View Post
I just installed one on my 2011 Wrangler. Wasn't difficult at all, in fact it was easier than what the directions stated. On earlier Wrangler models there was a section of steel on each side of the frame that needed to be cut off. That's no longer the case on the 2011's. There are just eight bolts to remove the bumper. Here's a link to some pics I took. Wrangler Tow Setup Install pictures by bobged - Photobucket The first 6 or 7 are of the base plate installation. The rest have to do with installing the Brake Master tank and tail light kit.
You must be refering to the CJ as my 03 required no cutting to mount the Blue Ox, just take out some bolts and replace.
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