LoD Off Road Rear Bumper Install

LoD Off Road Rear Bumper Install

{tab=A great bumper for the FJ Cruiser}
LoD Off RoadWhen it finally came time to select a rear bumper for our ’07 TRD FJ Cruiser, we narrowed it down to the Expedition One and the LoD. We ultimately decided on the LoD, mainly because we haven’t seen many of these on the road and thought it would be great for our readers to learn more about this option. LoD Off Road has been a top name in the world of Jeep aftermarket parts for years, but their rear bumper is the first product they’ve produced for the FJ Cruiser. Chris Leuch sent us a very well packaged bumper in early September so we could get her installed for the October issue.

Right off the bat, you can tell this is a quality product. I’ve never seen any product packaged as well as this bumper, right down to the wooden frame surrounding it. It seems as if LoD literally builds the box around the bumper, because it took about 20 minutes and more than one tap with the hammer to spring the steel from its container. We give them two thumbs up for making sure the bumper arrives as perfect as the day it was built.

A major feature that led us to choosing this bumper was the swing-out rear tire carrier. Unlike most other carriers, it’s attached to the door so when you open the door, the carrier swings with it. The carrier is beefy and well engineered to ensure a rattle free ride when on the trail. Installation time was a respectable 4.5 hours, with only a few minor issues that had to be figured out.
The instructions on the LoD website are very well constructed and easy to follow. While there are a few minor items missing in the instructions, overall they break down the install process very well. The provided high-resolution color photos definitely help (see the sidebar for a list of installation tips).

If you've never removed the stock rear bumper before, it can be a little intimidating. You have to tug quite hard to get the side plastic pieces off, so you may want to pop a screwdriver between the plastic and the truck to help you out. Once they’re free you’ll hear a distinct ‘pop’. Once you get the sides popped out and the rest of the screws out, the rear bumper comes off very easily.

The most tricky part of this (and virtually every other FJ Cruiser rear bumper install), is cutting the stock plastic that will be re-used. There is no good way to template what needs to be removed, so it’s a bit of a guessing game. LoD includes several pictures and instructions that are as exact as possible to make sure you get it right, so read and re-read these steps as many times as you need. We ended up leaving on more plastic than needed and then trimming as required just to make sure we didn’t cut off too much.

After 45 minutes of measuring, looking, and cutting we were able to re-mount the plastic portion of the OEM bumper. Some don’t like the fact that you retain this much plastic with a rear bumper, but I personally think it helps to maintain the lines of the FJ better. There are a few bumpers available that don’t re-use the rear plastic. See our rear bumper comparison (Jan 2011 issue) for details on all your bumper options.
The remainder of the install went fairly quick. The only task that took quite a bit of time was drilling through the frame. LoD specifies the holes to drill (there are four total), so review the instructions and make sure you have new, high quality drill bits to do the job right. Remember the key to drilling the frame is to use slow speed and to keep the bit well cooled/lubricated.

The bumper is attached to the FJ Cruiser with 12 bolts total. There are four in the center where the receiver hitch attaches, two underneath into the frame on each side (4 total), and four that you drill/tap yourself (although we chose to drill straight through the frame and use carriage bolts for these four). There is no doubt that this bumper will handle anything you throw at it.

Some of the design features we really like about the LoD Rear Bumper include the sloped corners, integrated lights, and two heavy duty recovery points. The receiver hitch doesn’t take away too much clearance (we’ll probably add an Outrider Bumper Saver for trail use), and the overall look compliments the FJ very well.

The swingout can support up to a 37” tire, and we’ll be adding the jerry can mounts and cargo rack as soon as they come in. The adjustable linkage on the swingout also makes it easy to fine-tune how everything lines up, so it’s easy to achieve a rattle free installation. We also really like the Zirk fitting on the swingout pin to help keep it well lubricated.

We’ll be hitting the trail a couple of times this fall to put this bumper through its paces. We’ll be sure to test every aspect of it from recovery to performance on tight trails, so look for that full review in the January 2011 issue of FJC Magazine.
LoD Off Road

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