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Discussion Starter #1
So one of my end caps on my front bumper was hit this weekend. I am thinking it a good excuse to upgrade the front bumper. Any suggestions on which is the best winch bumper to buy?. Another option is I remember someone use to make flat covers to replace the ends or wings to keep them from sticking out in front of the tires. Does anyone remember where I can get some of these if I choose not to upgrade to a winch?

Thanks.
 

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So one of my end caps on my front bumper was hit this weekend. I am thinking it a good excuse to upgrade the front bumper. Any suggestions on which is the best winch bumper to buy?
I've installed or helped to install most of the major bumpers sold for the FJ. My top two suggestions:

1. The ARB bull bar bumper. It's the most metal per dollar of any bumper on the market, if you asked me to design an FJ to run over deer this would be my pick. The winch mounts sideways, which is unique to the ARB (makes for a stronger pull platform). You'll need a winch that can be clocked for this, plenty of choices that will fit. Not the best looking bumper out there, it's function over form.

2. The Expedition One bumper (Kodiak is my favorite looking grill guard setup). Better looking than the ARB, mounts strong to the frame, one of the easier bumpers to install, plenty of winch choices that will fit. Expedition One also sells the washer bottle relocate that you will need for it (high-clearance bumpers expose the bottom of the washer reservoir).

I've had Expedition Ones on both my FJ and now our 4Runner, so that's my personal preference over the ARB. But if you don't mind the looks of the ARB and you want the best deer protection, that's the one I'd go with.

Another option is I remember someone use to make flat covers to replace the ends or wings to keep them from sticking out in front of the tires. Does anyone remember where I can get some of these if I choose not to upgrade to a winch?
It looks like the flat bumper wings guy is still making them: Bumper Wing Eliminators - FJ Bumper WingsFJ Bumper Wings

There was another solution made out of plastic that looked like smaller versions of the existing wings, but those don't appear to be made anymore.
 

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When making your choice, you have to account for at least three things: intended use, style preference, and budget.

You could start by checking out this sticky.

The Expedition One and ARB bumpers are everything @jimmy-buffett said they are. You really can't go wrong with any of those choices.

Unless you want to go light. Like anything else, going with a lighter bumper has it's plusses and negatives. The obvious negative is that with less metal, you can't be quite as hard on it. If you're going to be running over an adult buck at speed, you want to have the beefiest bumper out there. But, if it's important that you retain some MPGs and most of the lift you paid so dearly for, a pre-runner or tube-style bumper may be the way to go.

Unfortunately, it's much harder to find tube bumper that can accommodate a winch. MetalTech makes this one, and everyone I know who has it loves it. The engineering is thoughtful and sound, it's pre-runner stylings are appealing to those who like that look, and it won't hit your wallet as hard as some other options.

I'm not affiliated with MetalTech, nor do I own any of their products (yet), but this would be my top choice for a winch bumper.
 

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I've installed or helped to install most of the major bumpers sold for the FJ.
jb -Any hands-on experience with the Demello front bumpers?

Being primarily set up for overlanding, I don't need something as massive/clunky as the ARB, and would prefer not to add another 120+ pounds to the front end.

I was looking at the aluminum bumpers from Demello, primarily the three-hoop or Baja-hoop models.

Just curious about well-thought out and clean the attachment to the FJ frame is, without any improvised modifications, etc.

.
 

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2. The Expedition One bumper (Kodiak is my favorite looking grill guard setup). Better looking than the ARB, mounts strong to the frame, one of the easier bumpers to install, plenty of winch choices that will fit. Expedition One also sells the washer bottle relocate that you will need for it (high-clearance bumpers expose the bottom of the washer reservoir).

Looks like OP has an 08, so the washer reservoir relocation wont be needed. (Even Better!)

I like the Expedition One bumpers as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Jimmy Buffet and others.

I made an offer on a Warrior 3530 w brush guard but they never responded to me so I just ordered the Bumper Wing Eliminators for now. They have also not gotten back to me after I paid them so I hope they are still in business. This way I can keep the original bumper with the Toyota brush guard. I think I might go with the winch mount that goes at the bottom of the original Toyota bumper. This forum has been online for so many years that I know this topic has been talked to death so please forgive me for bringing it up again.

I only use my FJ to get to my cabin in the Utah mountains during the winter for snowmobiling and during the fall to haul my kayaks to the water. It spends most of it's life sitting in my driveway watching the garage door. I drive it on weekends but a guy opened his door while I was pulling into a parking space this weekend and he took out my front side marker light and front bumper wing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Now thanks to ZerosFJ I am looking into either the C4 Fabrication or U.S. Off road winch bumper. Does anyone have experience with either one of these?
 

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I have the US Off-road bumper with a Warn Xeon platinum winch. It was installed at US Off-road. Very happy with it. I originally wanted the ARB bumper for protection but went with US Off-road for weight. I have a lot of stuff mounted on my FJ and the warn winch was pretty heavy. I actually like the ARB look but didn’t want the weight. Even with US Off-road I still needed to go with heavier springs for my King suspension. If you are staying on stock suspension, consider the lighter bumpers. You do sacrifice protection as stated.
 

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jb -Any hands-on experience with the Demello front bumpers?

Being primarily set up for overlanding, I don't need something as massive/clunky as the ARB, and would prefer not to add another 120+ pounds to the front end.
I've helped to install a couple of them. Lightweight as expected, my only gripe with the Demello bumpers is that there isn't a lot of space to work with a winch. It's a tight fit, and if you have something with a control box you have to get creative on where / how to mount it. That control box situation ended up adding a good 30-45 mins to our install time. If you're set on the Demello I'd make sure to use their recommended winch, whatever it is.

Compared to the Expedition One I'd say that the Demello bumper is "minimalist". Not quite to the extent of a tube bumper, but in that general direction. More front clearance, smaller spaces to work in, less metal all around.

If you want lightweight and a winch mounting solution, I'd also consider the US Offroad winch insert. You'll pay a lot less than for a full bumper, gain connection points on the front to pull with and still be able to mount a winch. Just a thought :) good luck!
 

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My Expedition One Trail Series DIAMOND front bumper is getting delivered to me tomorrow!:grin:grin:grin

I've heard nothing but great things about their quality, which is why i chose them - and they were very easy to deal and communicate with.

It took 8 weeks from order confirmation to delivery.
 
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