Second Shipment from Rugged Ridge – Phase 2 begins
Phase 1 of the Roadfly Black Bear Build involved the installation of a four and half inch suspension lift. With the lift installed, we began looking into getting larger tires that would fit nicely with the new lift. We have been working with multiple tire vendors for wheels and tires and while we were working on this we decided we could move forward with Phase 2.
Our second shipment from Rugged Ridge was dropped off today and it is filled with a bunch of goodies. Phase 2 is bumpers (front and rear), winch, spare tire carrier and trailer hitch. We are hoping its all in there and we are pretty excited to get these parts installed. According to FedEx Freight, its about 450 pounds of goodies to be exact – on an extra large pallet no less.
Anyone who is serious about building a rock crawler is concerned about weight. Everything you add to the jeep adds pounds – pounds that the suspension wasn’t built for, pounds the engine wasn’t built for, pounds the gears weren’t built for, etc. The last thing you want is an overbuilt, over weight rock crawler that sinks in the mud. So when you are looking at new bumpers, weight is a legitimate concern. You basically have two options – aluminum or steel. One is lighter. One is arguably stronger (arguably, but if it’s the right type of aluminum and its fabricated correctly that may not necessarily be the case).
So I got on the phone with Rugged Ridge and we talked pounds. Mike at tech support for Rugged Ridge, who I’ve been working with on this build, is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. Mike has an old jeep that he built and regularly wheels and Rugged Ridge has several built jeeps that they wheel on a regular basis. Mike is knowledgeable about all of their parts and is great to talk to. What I learned about aluminum from Mike is, whether or not as strong as steel, at the end of the day it wasn’t that much lighter. When I asked Mike what their customers typically prefer he said steel outsells aluminum by about 16:1 on their front bumpers and 10:1 on their rear bumpers. So we went with steel. I thought the steel rear bumper looked cooler anyway. After much deliberation (there are a lot of bumper options to choose from), listed below is what we thought would look and work best for our Roadfly Black Bear Jeep Build.
XHD Bumper Kit: Front bumper with winch plate, Double X Striker, High Clearance Ends — #11540.55
Rear XHD bumper with D rings — #11546.20
Receiver hitch kit w/ wiring harness — #11580.51
Receiver Hitch D-Shackle Assembly — #11234.01
12,500 lb winch with synthetic rope — #15100.21
Winch cover — # 15102.02
Winch license plate holder — #11238.07
HD Tire Carrier Kit — #11546.50
After opening up the pallet and going through the boxes, it looked like everything was there. We couldn’t wait to start ripping the old parts off and getting these new parts on the rig. This would be a significant step toward truly having an off road capable rig. We will get into more detail on these products in our next article.