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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys -

Newb here to the forums. Just got my new FJ and I'm ready for some quality upgrades. I have an ARB front bumper, ARB lift with heavy springs, and Demello round sliders. I'm looking for a rear bumper with the following features:

- hi lift points
- recovery points
- fuel can mounts
- aggressive clearance
- hi lift mount

I've narrowed it down between the Expedition One or Metal Tech Red Eye bumper. What do you think is the best bumper for my needs? I'm torn between the two unless you guys think of a better option?
 

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I purchased the E1 rear bumper as well. I don't have it installed yet, but my purchase choice tells my preference.
 

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I went through the same decision process several months ago and decided on the Metal Tech, mainly because it has an option for fuel can racks, plus the swing arm is supported on both ends.

The Expedition One is a fine (and fine looking) product, and a lot of people have one and like it, but I was concerned that all that extra weight on the swing arm would overstress the pivot joint. I think that if all you are carrying is a spare tire then it should be fine, but once you start adding all that other stuff (you can also store a Hi Lift jack right on the bumper), the extra weight could become an issue. Also the further the weight is from the pivot point, the more stress it will generate, especially as you are bouncing down the trail. I just felt that the design of the Metal Tech bumper would provide better support for that. Note that the Metal Tech also opens with the rear door, but of course requires an extra step to unlatch the swing arm on the passenger side.

Potential downsides of the Metal Tech (besides the latch) are that it is not a single piece of construction, and some people do not like the "unfinished" look of the exposed frame on the back. Also if you have backup sensors it's not as straight-forward to retain those (but it is doable). It also does not work with aftermarket trailer hitches that bolt to the underside of the frame - I had to replace my Reese hitch with an OEM hitch to install the bumper (other bumpers may have this restriction as well). However the design of the bumper gives it a very sharp departure angle since no part of it extends beyond the "box" of the existing frame.

In the end, I decided that the ability to carry stuff on the swing arm was the most important factor to me personally, so that's why I chose the Metal Tech. I've only just installed it (and obviously don't have an Expedition One bumper to compare it to), but so far it seems pretty stout. The swing mechanism is very smooth and I really like the ability to store extra fuel and a jack back there.

In the end, I think it boils down to what you want out of the bumper. The Expedition One is a more aesthetically designed product, whereas the Metal Tech is more utilitarian. Since I wanted a bumper that I could "use", that made the choice an obvious one for me.
 

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I went through the same decision process several months ago and decided on the Metal Tech, mainly because it has an option for fuel can racks, plus the swing arm is supported on both ends.

The Expedition One is a fine (and fine looking) product, and a lot of people have one and like it, but I was concerned that all that extra weight on the swing arm would overstress the pivot joint. I think that if all you are carrying is a spare tire then it should be fine, but once you start adding all that other stuff (you can also store a Hi Lift jack right on the bumper), the extra weight could become an issue. Also the further the weight is from the pivot point, the more stress it will generate, especially as you are bouncing down the trail. I just felt that the design of the Metal Tech bumper would provide better support for that. Note that the Metal Tech also opens with the rear door, but of course requires an extra step to unlatch the swing arm on the passenger side.

Potential downsides of the Metal Tech (besides the latch) are that it is not a single piece of construction, and some people do not like the "unfinished" look of the exposed frame on the back. Also if you have backup sensors it's not as straight-forward to retain those (but it is doable). It also does not work with aftermarket trailer hitches that bolt to the underside of the frame - I had to replace my Reese hitch with an OEM hitch to install the bumper (other bumpers may have this restriction as well). However the design of the bumper gives it a very sharp departure angle since no part of it extends beyond the "box" of the existing frame.

In the end, I decided that the ability to carry stuff on the swing arm was the most important factor to me personally, so that's why I chose the Metal Tech. I've only just installed it (and obviously don't have an Expedition One bumper to compare it to), but so far it seems pretty stout. The swing mechanism is very smooth and I really like the ability to store extra fuel and a jack back there.

In the end, I think it boils down to what you want out of the bumper. The Expedition One is a more aesthetically designed product, whereas the Metal Tech is more utilitarian. Since I wanted a bumper that I could "use", that made the choice an obvious one for me.
^^^THIS


Excellent post brought up everything I was going to mention :bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's some good info and very helpful. I don't have nor I am intending to get a roof rack. The FJ doubles as a daily driver and has more utility for me to be able to fit in most garages so I like to have storage for my necessecities on the rear. I'll let you guys know how it pans out when it's done.
 

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I have the TOY Outfitters (now Hardline Fabrication) rear bumper. It's a great swing-out tube bumper if that's what you're looking for. The attachment on the release side is a PITA, since it's a threaded connection instead of a latch, but it secures the swingout to both sides of the bumper. I believe he'll also customize it for you depending on if you want to carry jerry cans, Rotopax, etc. Everything is way over built and I bought my bumper used from FJNewb, who bought it used directly from Stan. So mine is the 3rd truck MY bumper has been installed on and it doesn't have more than a cosmetic scratch on it. However it is very pricey, and I'm not sure I'd pay retail for one (not sure I'd pay that price for any bumper). But if you like the look of tube bumpers it's the only option other than custom.

HFS Rear Bumpers | Hardline Fabrication Services
 

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I don't have nor I am intending to get a roof rack. The FJ doubles as a daily driver and has more utility for me to be able to fit in most garages so I like to have storage for my necessecities on the rear.
You have a lot of the same concerns as me. My FJ came with a roof rack, but the first thing I did was take that off - had no desire to store anything up there, plus it wouldn't fit in my garage with the rack attached. Of course, after I install a 3" lift, it'll probably be too tall again, but I guess I'll deal with that when it happens.

Basically I needed the ability to carry as much as possible on the swing-out, and the Metal Tech was the only one that fit the bill.
 

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I have the EXP1 and have no problem adding fuel cans and hi-lift to it , the pivot holds without stress since the swing out is also connected to the door at the other end. I don't like the unfinished look of the Red Eye or tube bumpers, so it was not hard for me to go with EXP1.
 

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I'm looking for a rear bumper with the following features:

- hi lift points
- recovery points
- fuel can mounts
- aggressive clearance
- hi lift mount

I've narrowed it down between the Expedition One or Metal Tech Red Eye bumper. What do you think is the best bumper for my needs? I'm torn between the two unless you guys think of a better option?
The biggest problem with trying to use any bumper for all of this ^^^ is that you simply don't have the room. By the time you kick up to 33+ inch tires, you can't really fit too much else back there.

I have the Expedition One with swing-out, and added a NATO / Jerry can mount to it. It touches the tire (a standard 33-inch Duratrac) and has no room left to move if I mounted a bigger tire. You can buy specialized mounts to fit the smaller/thinner tanks (Rotopacks etc), but you won't have enough room to mount a hi-lift and a rotopack.

So I'm going to make another suggestion, if your goal is storage: buy a better roof rack, and plan on storing much of this stuff on the roof. By all means, still get the bumper, but don't get the bumper thinking that it's going to add a lot of storage. It really isn't.
 

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The biggest problem with trying to use any bumper for all of this ^^^ is that you simply don't have the room. By the time you kick up to 33+ inch tires, you can't really fit too much else back there.

I have the Expedition One with swing-out, and added a NATO / Jerry can mount to it. It touches the tire (a standard 33-inch Duratrac) and has no room left to move if I mounted a bigger tire. You can buy specialized mounts to fit the smaller/thinner tanks (Rotopacks etc), but you won't have enough room to mount a hi-lift and a rotopack.

So I'm going to make another suggestion, if your goal is storage: buy a better roof rack, and plan on storing much of this stuff on the roof. By all means, still get the bumper, but don't get the bumper thinking that it's going to add a lot of storage. It really isn't.
it is very tight back there but you can get everything in there. I'd suggest dumping the hi-lift and getting a radflo hydralift from baertrax.com lighter, more compact, safer and easier to use
 

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and getting a radflo hydralift from baertrax.com
Yeah......I was at BaerTrax recently to see the progress on my FJ and Josh showed me one. I ordered one immediately. Light years easier to use than a Hi-Lift and takes up a lot less space.
 

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I'd suggest dumping the hi-lift and getting a radflo hydralift from baertrax.com lighter, more compact, safer and easier to use
Radflo Suspension Technology - Hydra-Jac

Have you ever used one of these on an FJ? Weight limit is 2200 lbs, our curb weight is ~4200-4300 without mods. I've got bumpers front/rear plus armor and other mods, I'm probably closer to 4800-4900 lbs fully loaded. This is designed to use the rock rails, so you're lifting that whole side of the truck.

You'll get some weight shift to the lower side, but it's still pretty close with our trucks. Hi-lift weight capacity is 7000 lbs.

To be honest, our trucks aren't easy to lift using either of these. You're pretty much stuck using the rock rails, and unless you get the angle right the support arm is still pretty close to our doors. I'd rather use a base for the factory bottle jack that you could just stash in the back, at least with that you've got a lot of placement options.

Purely my opinion here: I've been fortunately to never blow a tire on the trail, but I've seen it happen several times. And every time my main feeling is: I'm glad that's not me, because there doesn't seem to be a good way to fix this on the trails.
 

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As a secondary issue, which bumper is compatible with both back up camera and sensors?

Both are. I have a 2010 w/ camera and purchased the MT Red Eye. You do have to extend the camera wire (and buy the camera mount or fab your own) and extend the license plate lights depending on your state laws.
I was going to purchase the EXPO1 bumper and decided I liked the Red Eye better. I loved the integration of the jack mount and gas can holder. I didn't care for the built in lights on the Expo1.
My only 2 dislikes (dislike seems harsh too) with the MT are:
1. Its a very tight squeeze for your hand to open the rear door once you unlatch the swing arm with the gas can holder and plate installed. I don't go in the trunk area often so it's not a deal breaker for me.
2. I was concerned how the stinger attached to the arm which holds the spare. Easy fix, I added and extra bolt for safety.

Other than that, I would buy this bumper again without reservation.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Love my Red Eye bumper!
 

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Radflo Suspension Technology - Hydra-Jac

Have you ever used one of these on an FJ? Weight limit is 2200 lbs, our curb weight is ~4200-4300 without mods. I've got bumpers front/rear plus armor and other mods, I'm probably closer to 4800-4900 lbs fully loaded. This is designed to use the rock rails, so you're lifting that whole side of the truck.

You'll get some weight shift to the lower side, but it's still pretty close with our trucks. Hi-lift weight capacity is 7000 lbs.

To be honest, our trucks aren't easy to lift using either of these. You're pretty much stuck using the rock rails, and unless you get the angle right the support arm is still pretty close to our doors. I'd rather use a base for the factory bottle jack that you could just stash in the back, at least with that you've got a lot of placement options.

Purely my opinion here: I've been fortunately to never blow a tire on the trail, but I've seen it happen several times. And every time my main feeling is: I'm glad that's not me, because there doesn't seem to be a good way to fix this on the trails.
I saw Josh lift a highly built Tacoma with 18" travel shocks and it lifted it off the ground. The Tacoma had a bed cage so it was pretty heavy.
 

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the pivot holds without stress since the swing out is also connected to the door at the other end.
If I'm not mistaken, that is not really a structural connection (can't find any good pics of it on-line, so not 100% sure - feel free to correct me if I am wrong). The swingout has to be able to "float" relative to the door, since the two do not pivot at the same point. This is accomplished with Heim joints, which are not load-bearing, so you're not really getting any additional support from that attachment point.

You'll notice that almost all the fuel can mounts for the Exp-1 swingout put the cans on the left side of the spare. That's because the load is greatly reduced by having it closer to the pivot point - no way you could put that much weight on the right side without any additional support (which the Red Eye is able to provide, since it has a second support point).

Note - I hope this does not seem like Exp-1 bashing. It definitely is not intended that way. Each bumper has its advantages and disadvantages, and it's important to understand those completely before making a purchase decision. The choice needs to be made based on what's best for the individual and their specific requirements. I chose the Red Eye because I felt it would work best for me, and I pass no judgement on people who reached a different conclusion for their own needs.

Both bumpers are well-built, so what we are really talking about here is features - no disrespect is intended to any person or product, at least not by me.
 
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