Our project Land Cruiser has been sans rear bumper for, well, nearly 10 years now. The OE bumper-ettes were sent to that great recycler in the sky moments after I bought the FJ40. I haven’t had a rear bumper since, not because it didn’t need one, it’s because I’ve never found a rear bumper that I really liked. Most rear bumpers I’ve come across for FJ’s were gaudy, square tubing relics that looked like they were fabbed out of a mixture of farming implements and old scrap metal or, they were so huge that they killed any decent departure angle.
This all changed during a recent trip to the Off Road Expo in Pomona, CA when we caught a glimpse of the new Jeep TJ rear bumper made by Mountain Off Road Enterprises (a.k.a. M.O.R.E.). This bumper is made from 7 gauge steel, features a recessed and semi- frenched 2-inch receiver, is mounted with 8 high-quality bolts, has stout internal bulkheads, graceful angles which improve the departure angle and it is – in my mind – the best looking rear bumper I’ve ever seen. But wait, there’s more… The M.O.R.E. bumper also sports a built-in hi-lift jack holder, a super-stout, sealed, double-bearing swing-away tire carrier, and it features a double-locking latch system that ensures your tire carrier will never open – or close – when you don’t want it to. Oh yeah, did we mention that the tire mounting plate is adjustable? It doesn’t matter how wide your tire is, the mounting plate will slide in an out several inches.
At this point you’re wondering why I mentioned a TJ bumper when I was talking about my FJ40. The fact is, the body dimensions of the Jeep TJ is very similar to that of an FJ40 Land Cruiser, and when I saw this bumper I quickly imagined it mounted on the back of ours. We acquired the specs and dimensions of the new Jeep TJ bumper and surmised that with a few modifications, we could make it fit.
A few hours of fabrication in the shop proved our hypothesis and before evening set, we had the Jeep TJ bumper mounted securely to the FJ40, just in time for the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, UT – the perfect place to test this and other new products.
Behind the Rocks, Prichett Canyon, Hell’s Revenge, and Area BFE were the test bed. Bumpy trails, washboard roads at speed, rock crawling and waterfall ledges were the stage of suffering. While we fully anticipated that the swing-away tire carrier would rattle like a bag of aluminum cans, it was in fact quiet as a mouse fart. The primary tension latch keeps it locked into place so tightly, there is virtually no movement to the entire carrier section. We also figured that with a 35″ tire and relatively heavy rim the swing-away carrier would drag, sag or generally be a bit hard to move – this certainly was not the case. The swing- away tire carrier features a massive spindle that holds a bottom seal, a lower bearing, an upper bearing and a top press-fit metal cap that seals the whole unit from water, dust and other debris. We figured a few good bangs on some large boulders would dent the bumper, but the only scars we have are some scraped paint on the bottom of it.
In closing, M.O.R.E. left no stone overturned when they designed this rear bumper. The welds are flawless, the engineering perfect, the departure angles and functionality are superior. So, whether you have a TJ or an FJ, if you’re in the market for a really sexy bumper that will take a lot of abuse, give the folks at Mountain Off Road Enterprises a call.
|Mountain Off Road Enterprises|
|P.O. Box 843
Rifle, CO 81650
Phone: (970) 625-0500
Fax: (970) 625-3747