RockWare Bumper Review
RockWare has recently introduced a stout new bumper for CJs and
Wranglers. The bumper integrates a winch mount into the bumper
which gives the bumper a very clean appearance. The short and
sturdy design is everything a hard core four wheeler would want.
The bumper winch mount is made of quarter inch steel and there is
a version that fits the regular Warn and Ramsey winches and a version
that fits the Warn 8274. The pictured version is obviously the
version for the Warn 8274. The winch mount plate for the 8274
version also made of quarter inch steel. The steel is bent to
reinforce the face and neatly welded to the base.
The bumper tube is made of a 3 1/2" square tubing with
the ends bobbed off. The tubing is rather large, but it does
not hurt appoach angle. A tube comes up to protect the roller
fairlead and another tube reinforces the gaurd.
Since the base plate for the winch is a one piece design, the
winch sits a little lower than it would with the Warn winch mount.
This will allow a bit more air to flow though to the radiator. The
8274 plate mounts the winch sufficiently high so that the cable
will clear the base plate even if it gets bunched up a bit.
This version of the bumper does not have a receiver, but they will
build it with a 2" receiver if you request it. They also have
been talking about building them with a shackle mount up front made
of 1" steel.
The general rule of thumb for calculating maximum bumper length is
with the wheel turned to full lock, the bumper length should not
exceed an imaginary line from the outside edge of a tire. The Rock
Ware bumper easily passes this test with the 33s on my CJ-7. Stubby
bumpers maximize turning radius this way, because if there is a large
rock that is about tire high, you can make a turn as close the to
rock as possible without climbing the rock.
A short bumper also helps your effective approach angle. Sometimes
you want to climb something that exceeeds your approach angle. If you
come at it at a slight angle and get a tire on it, you will be able
to easily climb an obstacle tire high. If your bumper is long, it
will hit before the tire makes contact.
Installation only took a few minutes with air tools. I removed
my old bumper and 8274 winch mount. I slid the new RockWare bumper
under the winch and the holes lined right up. I slid the bolts from
the winch mount in place and tightened her down. It is always tricky
getting the nut on the bolt behind the power steering box. I just
put the nut in the box end of a combination wrench and started the
threads. You have to remove the wrench before it is tightened down
you can't get the wrench out. You use the open side to complete the
The four winch mount bolts secure the bumper in place and the single
unit looks a lot cleaner than mount and the bumper. These large
four bolts are strong enough to withstand extremely hard pulls. The
bolts are stronger than the 1/2" bolts that originally held my
bumper in place
The bumper performs exceptionally well. It is small enough to stay
out of the way. The first day out I tried all sorts of crazy lines
on a trail called Chinamen's Gulch and didn't scratch it all day.
I tried my winch out and the mount survived some hard pulls with
The finish is a a simple gloss black paint that should be easy to
maintain. I'd rather not have a powder coat that is more difficult
to maintain and more likely to scratch. The bumper is available
in a powder coat if requested.
For more information contact...
3109 N. Cascade Ave. Suite 203
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Last modified Wednesday, 01-Dec-2010 09:18:35 MST
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