The rear bumper
operation was similar to the front. Remove the original bumper
and use existing holes to mount the new one. We had a hitch on
our Cherokee previously so it needed to be removed first. The
tricky part of the rear bumper was getting the hardware inside
of the Jeep's frame. Once again, patience will pay off here, as
it can really test your temper trying to line everything up in
you can see the two air fittings in the bumper (red). The
standard bumper mounts only to the crossmember. We chose the
additional undercarriage mount. |
you can see both the standard crossmember mount (top) and
the optional undercarriage mounting (bracket with 5 bolts
in it) that secure the bumper for towing and give it plenty
of extra support.
the bumper is on, we were still left with another decision to make.
The Cherokee came with plastic body cladding that extended back
behind the rear wheel and met up with the original bumper in a very
clean manner. With our new bumper on, however, one of several things
had to be done.
the cladding down so it didn't interfere with the Bulletproof
the cladding off and be finished with the job
Bulletproof's diamond plate guards for additional protection
and a rock-ready look
chose to go with option number three. The cladding comes off easily
and was held on with a metal bracket, which was riveted to the body
of the Jeep. Once you remove the bracket, there is pretty much no
going back. We tried to pry the bracket off but decided that it
would bend the sheet metal. We used our RotoZip to cut it off and
smooth the left-over metal down.
order to put the diamond plate armor on the sides, you need
to remove the cladding brackets. To do this cleanly, you'll
need to cut them off and grind them down flat. |
the bracket is removed, file the rivet hole edges so they
are nice and smooth. Then clean the area so your silicone
will adhere nicely.
you have the bracket off, you have to be bold one more time. Using
silicone, we stuck the diamond plate in place where we wanted it.
We then drilled pilot holes in the Jeep's sheet metal through the
holes already in the plate from Bulletproof. We then carefully put
the provided self-tapping screws through and cinched up the diamond
plate to the body. The trick here is to check that the diamond plate
is straight then check again. We drilled holes and inserted screws
a couple at a time to make sure nothing moved as we put them all
in. Once the plates were in place, we used a black paint pen and
blackened all of the shiny screw heads.
the diamond plate is screwed on the back is finished. |
diamond plate really completes the overall look.
diamond plate guards add a nice, finished look and add a good bit
of protection to the back of the Jeep. The diamon plate also reinforces
the body by stiffeening it up. However, because of the complex shape
of the sheet metal, it would be nearly impossible for them to be
fabricated to perfectly match the curves of the body. Therefore,
the lower-most area of the sheet metal is still exposed. In Moab,
we did manage to get a little bit of body damage here but it's pretty
much not noticeable at a glance and would probably work right out
if we tried.
of the curve of the sheetmetal, it would be nearly impossible
to form the diamond plate perfectly. Going all the way to
the bottom would not fit well and would look silly. |
down-side to the guard not going all the way is the potential
for some sheetmetal damage, as seen here. Nothing a little
tugging probably won't pull back out.
the Cherokee is a much more finished-looking SUV than say a Wrangler,
building bumpers that are not only functional, but that also look
good is a tall order. Bulletproof has come about as close as we
could expect anyone to come and we are quite happy with how everything