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Jeep Cherokee Blog

Dec 22, 2008

Rear JCR Offroad Cherokee Bumper Installed and a review

I finally got my rear JCR Offroad Cherokee  bumper installed and although it is sturdy and solid I have a few concerns about it. I guess you could call this a review of the rear JCR Offroad bumper.
Category: General
Posted by: andy

I have mixed feelings about the JCR Offroad bumpers I bought from JCR Offroad. I think the build quality of the rear is very good. Both front and rear Cherokee bumpers are very solid.

The rear JCR Offoad bumper is in my opinion the best of the two even thought I have seen some better builds of rear tire carrier bumpers. The welds were solid and the swing arm works well although it is much longer than it needs to be. In order to open the tailgate you need to be a fair distance from anything behind you to account for the large swing radius of the rear tire carrier. It also places the wheel right in the middle of the rear window which restricts sight of cars that are directly behind you. I would rather see the car directly behind me than to see the cars to the side out the back window. I also have seen the wheel tilted forward and parallel with the rear window on other rear tire carrier bumpers and I think this has a better form factor than the design of the Cherokee bumper which leaves the wheel straight up and down and perpendicular to the ground. I really like the placement of the hitch receiver. It is placed recessed into the bumper so you don't have it sticking out to hit the ground on a steep incline. I also really like the way they tie the lines of the rear bumper into the lines on the Jeep.

The rear JCR Offroad bumper would have been much better if they would have built the swing arm shorter and with the wheel placed to the side. This would allow the rear bumper swing arm to open even in tighter spaces. I think they took the easy way out so they wouldn't have to figure out a latching mechanism that went down into the bumper instead of protruding up from the bumper. Additionally, if the rear Cherokee bumper had a shorter swing arm the wheel would have been naturally placed to the side which would be my personal preference.

Attaching the rear Cherokee bumper was easy until it came time to attach the tie-in bracket. They must dumb down the instructions on purpose to make it look easier than it actually is. I found myself pulling out tools that I didn't think would be needed to install this 'plug and play' JCR Offroad bumper. The problem was mostly with the nut strip inside the frame rail. Rust and broken bolts will be a common occurrence when installing the frame rail tie in, but you can expect this on any rear Cherokee bumper install.

In summary, I will give the rear stage 3 JCR Offroad Bumper a B- rating. I think they could have made the rear swing arm a lot better and clarified the instructions more. All in all not a bad Cherokee bumper.

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  • August 21, 2009, 11:29 am - I admit I was a bit ignorant when I purchased this bumper and didn't think how it could affect the everyday driving and usage of my Cherokee. I wasn't thinking about the extra clearance I would need to open my rear tailgate once it was installed or how the view out the rear window would change. I don't believe I am alone in this ignorance though. This is why I hope my notes are helpful to those looking into buying a rear tire carrier bumper for their Cherokee. As far as the instructions go... they are sufficient. There could have been more info on the nut strip. They don't tell you there WILL be rust on your nut strip since these Jeeps are getting old so I thought those that read this would like to know what they are getting into when they attempt to install this bumper. Read it again. I didn't fault JCR Offroad for my rust. And I started with the PB a week in advance. The bolts that broke were half way rusted through already. - Andy
  • August 21, 2009, 7:38 am - Hmm, A B- ? I can see your comment on the tire carrier, but you knew what it looked like before you bought it. Their website is pretty good at showing how things look and work. With respect to the install, you can't fault them for rust and such on your jeep, Did you use PB on everything for a few days to make sure the stuff would break loose? Great guys who work really hard to produce stuff at a reasonable cost. - xjarcher