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Old 10-06-2016, 08:26 AM   #1
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Is a 02 Wrangler stock bumper suitable

Just bought an 02 Wrangler with 8K Warn winch on front. I have a Ready Brute tow bar with Blue Ox tabs. Is the stock bumper suitable/adequate to weld or bolt Blue Ox tabs to hook up the tow bar. A Blue Ox base plate will not fit but a Roadmaster will but then have to change to roadster tabs on the tow bar for 100.00. Any thoughts? Thanks John
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Old 10-06-2016, 08:43 AM   #2
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Personally I would go with the Roadmaster baseplates. Looking at the stock bumper on our 2004 Wrangler I wouldn't trust it to be strong enough in an emergency situation. Also you'll be bolting the tabs to something that's bolted to the frame. To me it's just one more junction point which means one more place for potential problems.


We use a Roadmaster system on our Wrangler. The baseplates are bolted directly to the frame. One less junction point and one less place for potential problems. This is our second Roadmaster setup. The original baseplates were destroyed when the Jeep was rear ended while being towed. We were traveling the speed limit of 65 mph, but the kid behind us was texting while driving at 75 mph.


Even though the baseplates, towbar, and drop hitch were destroyed nothing let loose. It was quite a chore to disconnect everything. I ended disassembling the towbar to get the Jeep free. I'm glad the baseplates were bolted to the frame and not the bumper. Even if they were mounted to the bumper and did hold there would have been far more damage.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marbles2016 View Post
Just bought an 02 Wrangler with 8K Warn winch on front. I have a Ready Brute tow bar with Blue Ox tabs. Is the stock bumper suitable/adequate to weld or bolt Blue Ox tabs to hook up the tow bar. A Blue Ox base plate will not fit but a Roadmaster will but then have to change to roadster tabs on the tow bar for 100.00. Any thoughts? Thanks John
John,
I've done what you're asking. I've towed the TJ model with the stock front bumper. Yes, you can do it but, in reality, if you take that route, you'd be smart to back-plate the area where your tabs or, any other connection points would be for tow bars. That is, use large backing plates, behind the bumper for additional strength and foot-print. It'll work.

But, while maybe a bit more on the coin side, an aftermarket front bumper, i.e. Rampage, Hardrock, Smittybuilt, Warn, and a few zillion others, supply fairly reasonably priced front bumpers that already have "recovery tabs" welded on. And those recovery tabs double as tow-bar attachment points so, ZERO base plate is needed. There are different tow bar adapters made for different tow bars and, styles of recovery tabs.

And, when you're done, you'll have a much stouter front bumper, complete with tow tabs, and a winch mount, all in one. Your choice.
Scott
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:07 PM   #4
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Scott mentioned the RockHard bumpers and those are a great choice. Both RockHard and LoD offroad make bumpers that have tow attachments which bolt through the bumper directly to the frame. Be very careful when looking at towing with the bumper D-Ring recovery tabs. Some bumpers are capable of being towed that way and some are not. Many tabs are just welded to 3/16" steel with no direct connection to the frame, I know mine are. I have seen at least one break completely off from the constant flexing while being towed.
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Old 10-07-2016, 03:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Marbles2016 View Post
Just bought an 02 Wrangler with 8K Warn winch on front. I have a Ready Brute tow bar with Blue Ox tabs. Is the stock bumper suitable/adequate to weld or bolt Blue Ox tabs to hook up the tow bar. A Blue Ox base plate will not fit but a Roadmaster will but then have to change to roadster tabs on the tow bar for 100.00. Any thoughts? Thanks John
Contact RoadMaster. They are good folks to work with and their equipment is top notch. JMHO
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