M/T Metal Series Bumpers Give Jeeps Much More Than A Tough Look

M-T Metal Series Bumpers

Want to take your Jeep Wrangler JK to the next level? You can make it look like it came out of a high-end custom shop with the all-new M/T Metal Series Bumpers, and you can do it yourself in just one day.

The new M/T Metal Series Jeep JK Front and Rear Bumpers provide a rugged and aggressive look for your off-roader, but they also deliver sturdy and functional platforms. They are made in the USA from fully welded steel, offer heavy duty frame attachment points, and receive a durable powdercoat finish.

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The M/T Metal Series Front Bumper offers a choice of three different end caps and two brush guards, so you can create a custom bumper that fits your needs.

The front bumper offers protection as well as a place for accessories such as lights, a winch, and D-rings. You can order the front bumper with a choice of three bumper ends, two guard options, and D-rings are standard, as are integrated rock light ports in the Stubby and Full Length end caps.

For the backside of the Jeep JK, the rear bumper is available with a 40-inch tire carrier with one-handed swing open action, rear brake light relocation, and high-lift jack mount. It also comes with rock light ports.

Thirty-three-percent lighter than competing products, according to the manufacturer, the M/T Metal Series Jeep JK Front Bumper won’t bog down your rig, and it offers 30 configuration options to let you customize the look of your Jeep. Although this job is best done with the help of a friend, it is a fairly straight forward installation.

Major steps in the front bumper installation include (clockwise from top left) unplugging lights, removing the stock bumper and the vacuum pump; cutting off the pump bracket; bolting in the winch tray; and installing the kit-supplied pump bracket and the vacuum pump.

Front End Makeover

Using an 18mm socket wrench, the eight nuts holding the factory bumper to the frame can be removed. If your Jeep is a 2012 model or newer and equipped with a vacuum pump, the pump needs to be temporarily removed. You will also need to cut the factory vacuum pump bracket from the frame. The safest method is to use a plasma cutter, but a cutting wheel or grinder may be used.

The winch tray can then be mounted right to the frame horns for maximum support. It’s best to run a bolt in through the front of the frame on both sides until tight to make sure the winch tray is flush with the frame, and then tighten the side bolts of the winch tray.

Once you have flushed-up the tray, you can remove the bolts from the front of the frame. For 2012 or newer models, the vacuum pump relocation bracket in the kit gets mounted next. Tightly secure the pump to the bracket first, then mount the bracket to the winch mount.

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The front bumper is bolted on to the factory frame horns. It’s easier to mount the winch in the tray prior to installing the bumper.

Now is the time, according to the instructions that come with the kit, to set the winch into the winch tray “cradle” and run the winch mounting bolts into place. We suggest the fairlead already be in place on the bumper. Now with the winch tray and winch in place, you can move on to mounting the M/T Modular Front Bumper.

There are three choices of end cap options: Flush End, Stubby End, or Full Length End. These are mounted on the Front Bumper before the bumper is attached to the frame horns. You also have two options when it comes to Bumper Guards: Low or Stinger.

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Installation of end caps and brush guard are next. Up to 30 different configurations can be made with a choice of three caps and two guards. Seen here are Flush End Cap with Stinger Guard (bottom left), Stubby End Cap with Low Guard (bottom right), and Full-Length End Cap with Stinger Guard.

The bumper guards are mounted over the end cap options. For this installation we chose the Full Length Cap. Each end cap is placed in position on the bumper so their mounting holes line up with the holes in the bumper ends. We also chose the Front Bumper Guard Stinger for this installation, and lined it up so the holes of the mounting flanges matched up with the mounting holes of the Full Length End Caps.

The kit-supplied M/T Modular Bumper hardware was inserted through the mounting holes of the Front Bumper Guard Stinger mounting flanges, the Full Length End Caps, and the M/T Modular Bumper ends, then tightened. That takes care of the front bumper, so now you can move to the tail end of the Jeep.

Bring Up The Rear

While supporting the factory bumper, you can begin by removing the bolts that secure the rear bumper’s outside mounting brackets to the frame and those that secure the bumper to the rear frame crossmember. Once the factory bumper is removed, replace the mounting bolts in their original locations, they will be used later. The factory tow hitch can stay where it is, as the M/T Metal Series JK Rear Bumper fits around it.

The M/T Series Rear Bumper offers a sturdy bumper-mounted tire carrier, high-lift jack mount, and third-brake-light relocation kit (left). The first step is to remove the factory bumper, but the trailer hitch can be retained.

Some preparation must be made for later installation of the M/T Tire Carrier such as cutting the wires to the third brake light, removing the third brake light, and unplugging the brake light harness. The factory spare tire carrier must also be removed from the tailgate.

Now you can begin installing the M/T Rear Bumper. First, the driver side and passenger side bumper mounts must be slid into the frame ends. Now comes a tricky part: you must carefully position a kit-supplied template plate under the passenger side frame rail below the passenger side bumper mount, and center punch to mark the pilot for three holes to be drilled in the passenger side rail.

Rear bumper mount brackets are secured using kit-supplied hardware (driver-side seen at far left); properly aligning the kit-supplied template to center punch and drill three holes into the bottom of the passenger-side frame horn is the tricky part (center); an internal brace that will help support the weight of the tire carrier is slid inside the passenger-side frame horn with the bumper mount and bolted into place (right).

Once that has been accomplished, you temporarily remove the passenger side internal and outer frame mounts, and drill out the punched locations. Next, reinstall the passenger side internal and outer frame mounts, and insert a set of bolts with washers into the three holes just drilled through the frame and into each mount.

This next step is where that friend will really come in handy. The bumper must be lifted into place on the frame and aligned with the mounts. The studs will stab themselves through the frame brackets, holding the bumper vertically, then you can fasten the bumper to the studs. A floor jack and a block of wood can come in handy during this operation to help line up the bumper bolts.

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The rear bumper is hung on its brackets (during this operation is when a friend really comes in handy), and then secured using the kit-supplied hardware.

Carry Big Meat

The M/T Tire Carrier is next. The pivot shaft assembly must first be installed into the pivot barrel of the tire carrier, then the carrier bracket and tire carrier joined together. The tire carrier can then be mounted to the rear bumper by carefully lowering the tire carrier and carrier bracket assembly onto the bumper, inserting the pivot shaft into its hole in the bumper.

Once the tire carrier assembly is mounted to the rear bumper, all of the remaining nuts and bolts on the tire carrier, pivot shaft, and carrier bracket can be tightened, but DO NOT use air tools on the pivot shaft bolts. They can be over-tightened and stripped out. Lastly, go back over all the hardware installed into the mounts, frame, and bumper, and fully tighten all with a socket or wrench.

The pivot shaft assembly is installed in the pivot barrel, and the carrier bracket attached to the tire carrier (left). Then the tire carrier assembly is lowered onto the bumper, inserting the pivot shaft into its hole on the bumper (right).

A kit supplied door plate is fastened to the tailgate door, and then the turnbuckle assembled. Using the adjustability of the turnbuckle, the instructions suggest a good starting length of 6-1/4-inches from rod end to rod end, and leaving the jam nuts completely adjusted outward. The turnbuckle is then installed on the back of the tire carrier and adjusted for proper engagement.

Last, but not least, is the third brake light installation. Excess plastic from the factory light should be cut away. Reattach the wiring plug, and then reusing the factory Torx screws, the factory third brake light is installed into the kit-supplied brake light mount. The entire assembly is then installed into the two center-most holes in the top of the tire carrier, and the wiring harness reconnected. Installing the high-lift jack bracket completes the rear bumper and tire carrier job.

A kit-supplied door panel anchors one side of the turnbuckle that is attached to the tire carrier (left). The turnbuckle guides the carrier's swing when the tailgate door is opened. The optional high-lift jack mount (right) bolts into place on the passenger side of the tire carrier.

These all-welded steel front and rear bumpers are made in the USA, have a durable two-stage black powdercoat, offer D-ring mounts, feature integrated rock light ports, deliver a lifetime limited warranty, and are pretty darn easy to install. So if you’re looking to customize your Jeep Wrangler JK with heavy duty front and rear bumpers with all the great features you want, search no further than the M/T Metal Series Bumpers.

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The M/T Metal Series Rear Bumper/Tire Carrier (with its relocated third brake light) is all buttoned up and ready for the trail; and is capable of carrying up to a 40-inch tire and a high-lift jack.

About the author

Stuart Bourdon

A passion for anything automotive (especially off-road vehicles), camping, and photography led to a life exploring the mountains and deserts of the Southwest and Baja, and a career in automotive, outdoor, and RV journalism.
Read My Articles

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