Thanks for the kind words. Yes I decided to try both front and rear bumpers from Affordable Off-road. I am happy with the end result, just not so much with the road it took to get me herei didn't realize you did a front and rear bumper! i thought this was just more of the rear bumper you did.
great write-up! and even though it took a lot of work your end result looks as good as or better than most options out there..
Great review and I love the vacuum trick, will definitely use that a couple of times in the near future. Kind of disappointing that so much work had to be done to it to make it strong enough for your taste. I would expect better from something that costs so muchMy final thoughts on the Affordable Offroad front bumper....
The pros for this bumper:
A. The lower cost-currently this bumper is $755 shipped. This is probably half of other offroad bumpers on the market.
B. The sectional design of the bumper-I like the idea of the three sections of the bumper. If one of the "wings" takes damage you can order and just replace the damaged "wing". I also installed the wings after I mounted the center section and the winch so it was lighter to work with for the install.
C. I will list the fact the bumper as unfinished in the pros section. I like being able to add my own touches and changes and not have to worry about ruining a factory finish. I also like the fact of using the Monstaliner. Since it is roll on, I can touch-up or repair the finish any time I need to.
D. The profile and shape of the bumper. Several bumpers I looked at seemed to be to big or "beefy". This bumper doesn't stick out too far but it does hold my winch after a few modifications.
E. The grade 8 hardware included in the bumper kit. This was a plus. I expected to have to go and buy my own hardware to replace lesser hardware.
The cons for this bumper:
A. The pieces welded together were welded only on one side of the joint. I went back and welded the other side of the joints to ensure a strong joint. I have never designed a bumper for off-road use and the one sided welds may have been strong enough but I didn't want to chance a weld breaking while winching or being towed out of a tough spot.
B. The cuts of the steel pieces. As I mentioned in the thread, it appears the manufacturer used a plasma cutter to cut out the steel pieces and the "key hole" starting points are very prominent. The starting points of the cuts should have started off of the piece needed for the bumper and this would have kept the cut much cleaner.
C. The clevis mounts on the bumper are not strongly welded to the frame of the bumper. They are welded to the front "skin" of the bumper and one edge of a bulkhead. I did not trust these clevis mounts to hold if I was ever pulled out of a tough spot. I went back in and added reinforcing steel gussets and extra welds to strengthen these clevises. I still don't put a lot of faith in them after I beefed them up.
D. Poor design of the winch floor plate. I felt the floor plate the winch mounts of was not braced well enough for pulling with the winch. I went in and added 1/4 steel plates to extend the winch floor plate to the bulkhead pieces of the bumper. I would not have had faith in the floor plate if I had not strengthened it.
E. I wasn't too happy about the shipping method. The three major pieces in the box were not secured from each other and there could have been damage just from the pieces banging in to one another. Fortunately I did not have any damage.
The old saying of " You get what you pay for" is true.
If you want a "off-road" looking bumper and don't plan on having any stress put on it by a winch or through the clevises, then this might be an option for you.
If you do plan to use this bumper for winching and pulling by the clevises, then prepare yourself for extra work that should have been done by the manufacturer. There is so much on this bumper that needs to be strengthened before off-road use.
I am happy with what I have installed on my truck, but I had to take a product and alter it to what I consider a usable condition. I would not recommend this bumper unless you want to do the extra work as well.
When it comes to the value of time spent, I would probably say this bumper ended up costing just as much as some of the big name bumpers out there.
Take this review for what it is worth to you, it is just my personal opinion.
Yes there are two extra bars that come off of the main push bar. I decided not to put them on because of the removable wings of the bumper. There would have been a challenge to have them on the bumper and still keep the wings removable. I considered a threaded tab to bolt the wing end of the tube and weld the end on the push bar. but I didn't like that idea and just decided not to use them.Thanks for posting such detailed photos and descriptions of your bumper mods and installation- It looks great! It appears that there were two smaller diameter tubular pieces included with the bumper kit that were intended to mount from the "loop" and brace down to the "wings"...Is that correct?