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Bestop HighRock Bumpers

Bestop Highrock front

A friend of ours has been living with a bone stock 2007 Jeep Rubicon for almost 2 years. It’s a capable off-road machine, as most Jeeps are, but its stock form just wouldn’t do. The first thing our buddy’s Jeep needed was some trail armor and a bit of pizzazz. Knowing that the trails we frequent have steep approach and departure angles, we decided to source a set of bumpers. The front bumper must offer good ground clearance, a front winch mount and must be tough enough to handle the harsh Arizona granite. The rear bumper must also be tough and offer good clearance and departure angles. 

We have had our eyes on Bestop’s HighRock line of bumpers for a while now and this would be the perfect opportunity to test a set of their new bumpers. The HighRock line of bumpers from Bestop are made from 1/8” thick steel plate and each mounting tab is fully gusseted and reinforced for additional strength. They are real brutes that bridge the gap between function and form. From HighRock bumpers offer a sturdy winch plate that accommodates most standard-sized winches too. Both front and rear bumpers offer attachment points for D-Rings and other recovery equipment, and their rear bumpers includes a class 2.5 receiver hitch that accepts many popular 2″ hitch accessories. All HighRock bumpers also install with common hand tools and require no drilling, cutting or welding. 

Moreover, there are three nice options that you can get for your HighRock Bumpers as well: 

  • HighRock 4X4™ SlideAway™ (97-06 vehicles) offers dual purpose storage and step unit
  • Approach roller mounts to front bumper while optional departure roller mounts to rear bumper to get over the toughest obstacles
  • Tubular grill guard for front bumper protects grill and headlights and is available in textured black or stainless steel

 

Installation

Bestop HighRock

We receive our new front and rear bumpers from Bestop and we were pretty impressed with the build quality. The thick steel material, coupled with the stout mounting points showed us that these are tough bumpers that should be able to take a serious beating.

We began by removing the Jeep’s stock front bumper. We were gravely disappointed at the OE Jeep bumpers; they are nothing more than a stamped steel center section covered in a plastic skin. Worse yet, the steel center section is little more than a few recycled soup cans. 


We then moved towards the rear of the Wrangler to remove what we thought would be a similar steel and plastic construction rear bumper. However, the rear Jeep JK bumper is laughable; it is nothing more than molded plastic. There isn’t an ounce of steel in it at all. It weighed a meager 10 lbs. 


Bestop hightrock bumper bracketLuckily, our Jeep has been liberated from this plastic hell that could barely protect the Jeep from a toddler on a tricycle and will now be home to some durable, tough and far better looking Bestop HighRock bumpers.

We were now ready to being installing the new HighRock bumpers. We broke out the directions and gave them a quick perusal – nothing too difficult here, really. The directions are well laid out and included a section for installing a winch on the front bumper

Bestop Highrock bumperInstalling the winch on the front bumper took longer than installing the bumper itself. With the exception of routing the wiring for the winch, the front bumper is a straightforward bolt-on process and was accomplished in about 10 minutes (20 minutes for removal of the stock bumper, 20 minutes to mount the winch, and 10 minutes to bolt the bumper onto the Jeep). The front of the Jeep was now complete. 


Out back the HighRock rear bumper is held in place by six factory bolts. Unfortunately this was where the simplicity ended. It seemed that no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t get the rear bumper mounting plates to slide far enough down the frame for the bumper to bolt up. After scratching our heads for a few minutes I reverted to the one tool that never lets me down, the sledge hammer. Surprisingly, even the 10 lb. sledge could not get this bumper to find its home. After a few critical measurements where taken, I made a quick call to Bestop, it was determined that the mounting tabs on the rear bumper where welded on too close together.  


In Bestops’ defense, a new bumper was shipped to us the same day and 3 days later we had the new bumper installed in less than 10 minutes. Again, a simple bolt-on operation. 

 

The Verdict 


Bestop Highrock frontThe Highrock bumpers look great on the Jeep JK, and follow the lines of the factory fender flares perfectly. We especially like the front “gull wings” on the front HighRock bumpers too as they offer far more ground clearance and angled-approach angles than a standard straight-across style bumper. Both front and rear bumper where shipped with a black powder coat finish that looks great and resists scratches and bangs far better than paint. 

I’m still not completely sold on the HighRock approach and departure rollers, but when installed on the front bumper, it does a great job of protecting the steering box and the servo for the sway bar disconnect. 

With super tough steel construction, higher approach and departure angles than stock, the Bestop Highrock bumpers make a great upgrade for any Jeep.

 

Bestop, Inc.
P.O. Box 307
Broomfield, CO 80038 U.S.A.
Toll Free: (800) 845-3567 (U.S. and Canada)
Phone: (303) 465-1755
Website: 
www.bestop.com

About Rick Webster

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