JK Front Bumper Feedback NEEDED for Preproduction Changes.. - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 06-29-2015, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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JK Front Bumper Feedback NEEDED for Preproduction Changes..

What we hope to achieve through this thread..

- We want to get feedback on what people like and what people don't like about our design and configuration. Tell us how it is... We are ready.
- We also want to have these in production by the middle of July.. So we are ready to listen and take action according to what feedback we get.

Background

STOUT FABRICATION is a shop based out of Las Vegas, NV that has been building Jeep (primarily YJ, TJ and LJ) parts for the last several years. Our bread and butter has been rear corner guards, flat fenders and sliders for the above listed models, with lots of in-house builds that range from nice small grandpa rides to $100k JK's. With full CNC capabilities in the way of Laser Cutting, CNC Bending with the help of AutoCad and Solidworks, we are capable of creating parts that are as competitive as many of the big names out there. We have recently begun designing our JK line and we are trying to get caught up with the times. We have always been proud (in a good way) of our competitive prices and customization of many of our parts. We do all we can to help those DIY'ers, as that is where we all come from. We look forward to being able to offer a competitive product and VERY competitive pricing. We have several neat products coming down the pipeline in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out.

Front Bumper Information

We will incorporate 2 fog lights for the factory or factory replacements as well as clevises for D-Rings. It has a slightly recessed area for a winch, dropping down about 3/4" from the rest of the top of the bumper. We will have optional bull bars as well. This bumper will mount using the factory horns and will not require relocating any factory parts. It has an overall width of 54" to keep the law off of your tail.

PLEASE REFER TO POST #28 FOR UPDATED PHOTOS OF THE CURRENT VERSION WITH A RECESSED WINCH....


Rear Bumper Information
This bumper stick out to the side just wide enough to cover the outside of your license plate and extend forward to catch the backside of your flares while maintaining a high clearance on the outsides to avoid dragging unnecessarily on obstacles. It sticks out the back behind the tailgate far enough to protect your tailgate so you don't drop off of an obstacle and land on your spare tire, smashing your tailgate and rear window. We will have an option for recessed reverse lights as well as a receiver for light duty use (not pictured).




THANK YOU

Thanks for taking a minute to look through what we have going on. PLEASE take a minute and let me know what you think we can do different or what really stands out to you that you like. We all know that a bumper is a bumper and it can be difficult to think completely outside of the box, but we think that we have hit on many of the things that people are really looking for (as have others out there), and we hope to be able to bring it to life at a price that works for many people! Thanks again for your time and feel free to call or E-Mail any time with questions if we can do anything for you.

Bryce Stewart
Stout Fabrication
www.StoutFabrication.com
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post #2 of 31 Old 06-29-2015, 10:58 PM
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The bumpers look simple and clean to me.

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post #3 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 04:16 AM
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For a front bumper I look for one that allows me to reuse the factory fog lights. I also like the winch mount to be between the frame rails, or as low as possible for the best air flow for the radiator. If the bumper requires the vacuum pump to be relocated, the relocation bracket and hardware should be included with the bumper. If the person has already relocated their vacuum pump then you could have an option to opt out of receiving the bracket. While I can live with trimming the vacuum pump mounting ears off, but I don't like it when I have to trim the frame horns or the crash bar for a bumper. I flat out won't buy a bumper that requires the crash bar to be cut out. I also look for a bumper that comes all the way down to and attaches to the crash bar. I would prefer not to have to buy a separate skid plate to bridge the gap between the bottom of the bumper and the crash bar. I would also like to see an option for a winch bar, and a stinger. Some people like the lower profile look of a winch bar while others like the stinger look.

For a rear bumper I look for one that will fit with the factory receiver hitch. I also like to see options for general and additional reverse lighting. Rear lighting is really lacking for the JK. I don't like bumpers that don't come all the way forward to the rear fender opening. Bumpers that run short of the fender opening might provide a tiny amount of clearance but its not worth the exposure that is left. I've seen this area get crinkled from dropping off into a rock. Below photo credit to Poison Spyder Customs and modified by me for more clarity.

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post #4 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 05:05 AM
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Being able to reuse the factory fog lights is one of my main things when choosing a front bumper so that's a plus!


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post #5 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 06:05 AM
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I may have missed it but is material of construction C.S. or Alum.? Really like the simplicity of the design.

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post #6 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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20JK10- Thanks for the feedback. Honestly, I was affraid that the front bumper had too many brakes in it, but there was nothing that I could do to eliminate them. Simple is definitely the look that we were going for! Thanks again!

IndyJLH- I think that we caught most of what you mentioned with the exception of a fully recessed winch. We are working around a Warn Zeon 10-S Platinum and that sucker seemed pretty snug to be recessed in the frame, plus when we put it in position, it really didn't sit in front of the grill nearly as much as I was expecting, minimizing the amount of blockage you are going to get to your grill. Being in Vegas, we know the importance of airflow in the summers and we are confident that it will not hinder temperatures. I also agree with you on including what would be needed to relocate what needs to be done when selling a part, such as bumpers. Those brackets cost next to nothing for a company to make (literally maybe a dollar when building mass quantity), so throw the dang thing in and if the customer doesn't need it, they can put it on the shelf or give it to a buddy.
Our Bumper will tie in with the crash bar, so we have that one covered as well. It will also work with most aftermarket swaybars. We will definitely have an option for both bar options on the front. Personally, I am a fan of the lower profile bar, but I am even a bigger fan of being able to offer whatever someone wants, so we will have a stinger option as well.
As for the rear bumper, it will extend forward to the two bolts that you see down low on the frame. It will go forward far enough to the flare that when you come off of something, there wont be a chance of landing on the body. The additional lighting was never really a huge deal until I saw my first few rigs that had recessed reverse lights. What a difference that makes!! It is funny how you don't know what you are missing until you see what simple additions someone else has done that completely change your outlook. Thanks again for taking a minute to give us your thoughts and please feel free to give us a shout if you need anything in the future.

OHRNG_BEAST15- If you have the lights, there is no good reason to ditch them, so I agree that they are a good thing to have up there. I also like that they break up the flat front some and add just a little character to the front end. Thanks for jumping in here and letting me know what you think. We are really exciting to have one of these done in the next few days to start mounting up and make any needed changes before doing a production run here soon. Thanks again!!

Bryce Stewart
Stout Fabrication
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post #7 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 06:24 AM Thread Starter
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RubiCajun- Right now we will be doing our first run in 3/16" Steel with some thinner and thicker parts in there where needed such as gussets and things. We are certainly entertaining an Aluminum run of these. We will be building atleast one set of Aluminums for one of our rigs to see how it turns out and holds up. I am certainly onboard with the weight savings, but I have always been reluctant with the gouging and things that a bumper would take. That being said, we want to give the customer what they want, so we will be doing what we can to offer whatever will sell. We may need to go to 1/4" Aluminum to make up for some of the strength, but we will see how it all goes. Thanks for asking as I should have piped up with that earlier.

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post #8 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 07:54 AM
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I would agree with most of whats said so far.

2 biggest things for me (looking at bumpers for the wifes jk now) are 1- the winch needs to be sat down into the bumper instead of sitting up on top. don't like how that looks and it blocks the radiator. 2- using factory fog lights

something to keep in mind (which I'm sure you hopefully are thinking about) is strength. don't make them too thin so everyone can have a lightweight bumper. I'd be pissed if I was wheelin and folded or bent a new expensive bumper. it better hold up to a beating imo.

edit* just saw your post above mine




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post #9 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 08:16 AM
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I am in the market for a front bumper. requirements are need to be winch ready for a warn VR series winch, stock fogs, No cutting, simple clean design and under 60 lbs. It also needs to be powder coated.

I looked long and hard at rear bumpers and for me it came down to either an AEV or Shrockworks and Shrockworks won out and I am 110% pleased with my choice.. I would not hesitate to get a Shrockworks front if they were not so heavy.
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post #10 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 09:54 AM
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I agree with what's been said and for the rear bumper, what IndyJLH said nails it. There needs to be protection all the way to the fender flare and by your image it looks like that there's a piece that does that, which I find more aesthetically pleasing.

They look like very solid designs but I think the tough part of this will be the pricing. I'll be in the market for a bumper/tire carrier combo in the future but the reason I haven't bought one is price.
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post #11 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 10:24 AM
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I would think the rear cutout/shelf would interfere with the rear cross member. I like the look and if you come up with a reasonably priced but durable aluminum setup with tire carrier I might be interested.
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post #12 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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I really appreciate all of the feedback!
As for strength, we intend to build most of our parts of 3/16" steel. There will be some beefier parts integrated in there to support the winch as well as some beefy parts for the rear bumper to tie in.
It seems more and more that people are interested in a fully recessed winch. I will make some changes there to make that happen. We will then add an opening between the lights to allow for a fairlead.
Shrockworks builds some nice stuff and I know several people that are running their equipment. I don't blame you for running their stuff.. But mine will be better. Haha..
I have a few guys that hit me up about a month ago to get their bumpers built. I was not able to have even an idea of a design, so I told them to move forward with someone else as I didn't know my timeframe. They ended up going with another company.. Very famous and reputable. Well, their rigs are done and look great (well over $100K invested) but they are still waiting on their bumpers because they are still on a boat. I understand how costs can be cut by building overseas, but I am a proud American and can't wait to be able to provide a 100% made in America set of armor. For the foreseeable future, I don't see my lead times ever needing to be more than 1.5-2 weeks if I don't have them sitting on the shelf. Our pricing will still be amazingly competitive and I guarantee that we will have a super clean product. I haven't been able to pin down my costs obviously until I finish my design, but I know that it will be VERY enticing.
Thanks again to everyone that is helping us out with some ideas and things. We really appreciate it. I will see if I can make some changes today and get some pictures back up. Keep the feedback coming in..

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post #13 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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I know that we do not intend to have a built in tire carrier. They are difficult to build and have them not rattle like crazy. There are a couple on the market that work the way that they should, most do not. For that reason, we will be keeping focused on just a bumper in our near future.
We have the entire Jeep modeled and I can give you assurance that there is no interference. There are areas that are tight, and that is the way that they should be in our minds. The rear crossmember has about 1/2" of clearance below my step/shelf area. The bumper will wrap around to the flare on the sides with a bit of clearance between it and the body.

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post #14 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 10:34 AM
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just be careful with lead times..... don't let your greed for earnings overshadow the customer service side of things. be completely honest with your customers and ALWAYS keep them in the loop.



a potentially good company can get ruined quickly if not run the right way.

imo, many of these mass produced bumpers are way too expensive. companies jack the price up because they are using expensive machines to do them (instead of just using them for quickness and quality) and that price transfers over to the customer. it shouldn't cost $1000 for a freakin bumper.

be that guy who has awesome prices and truly takes care of your customers

good luck



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post #15 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 11:01 AM
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One last thing about the front bumper. Due to local ordinances I can't run a stubby front bumper. It needs to at least cover to the center line of the tire to be legal. This basically makes it a mid width bumper. While I'm not 100% sure, I would bet the majority of the market would be mid width and stubby. I don't see very many full width bumpers due to lack of clearance and the heavy weight.
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post #16 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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1tfrot- Well said on many levels. One things that I can true say that I try my hardest at is keeping my customers happy. That is one thing that, if you look up some reviews on Pirate or many of the other sites we sell on, I feel we do pretty good at. A much much larger portion of my sales come from referrals than I would have ever imagined.
I can't even put a price out yet as I am still very early in the process (I should be able to narrow it down in about a week), but I can say that we will be VERY competitively priced. I would rather move twice the product than to gouge customers. Yes, there are a lot of things that go in to bumpers and a lot that goes in to the machinery (upkeep and simply replacing the tooling that wears over time is NOT cheap), but prices of $800-$1,100 for a bumper is pretty insane! I will be nowhere near those kind of numbers.. I can say that!

IndyJLH- Thanks for the heads up on the middle of the tire. Jeeps have a (factory) track width of 62". Call it an 8" tire, you are looking at 54" center to center. That is exactly where we are at. We don't want it to stick out more than it needs to because this is the kind of look that we are going for. That being said, would there be enough concern that it would be worth making it 56"? The fact is, if you have law enforcement that is going to actually measure to the center of your tire, there are going to be A LOT of other things wrong on a Jeep that they will flag you for as well. We would consider it if people think that it has enough merit to widen it a couple inches, but at what point do we stop bending for the law? Any idea what the standard "mid width" bumper is as I try not to look at competitors products as much as possible to stay away from being swayed in to a design by something that I saw on their products. Thanks again for all of the input! I truly appreciate it!!

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post #17 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 12:02 PM
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Simple and sweet.

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post #18 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 01:23 PM
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What happens in reality is if it looks good enough the local police don't bother. However, if it is blatantly obvious they will pull you over and actually measure. As long as its close to covering about half the tire width it would be good enough. My interest in your product is peaked.
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post #19 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 06:44 PM
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Well I can't really add too much to what others have already said, but I will say that during my shopping one big turn-off for me is when I see the company's emblem/logo actually cut out of the steel. I don't like that.
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post #20 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 07:41 PM
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Please offer the bumpers unpainted. I hate paying for powdercoating on a surface I intend to scrape often. I can touch-up rustoleum black easily and often.
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post #21 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Huge thanks to everyone that has chimed in... I really really appreciate it!!

kjeeper10- I agree with you and that is certainly a look that I like. I had a few guys locally that came by today that said the same thing. One of them said it was too simple.. As in a negative way, which is perfectly fine. Again, to expect EVERYONE to love it is not reality. Thanks for the feedback!

IndyJLH- I agree with you on the law front.. Give them reason to measure and they will. I intend to burn a single set out of course first and we will adjust it from there. I have some tricky ways to add some more pictures that I will try to do tomorrow after making a few changes to this one. It should give us some perspective. I am glad to hear that you will be keeping an eye on this bumper.. After all, everyone needs to have their first customer on each new product.. I am good with that being you. Haha. Hopefully tomorrow I will have some more good pictures with the slight changes and it should really show a few new features. Thanks for your help!

Steve- I am there with you. I have always hated that, but I will be the first to admit that I USED to do that. I certainly understand why companies do it though. Like it or not, every time you see that little spider you know exactly whose stuff it is right? I have a couple guys telling me that I have to do that between the lights.. Luckily I am going to recess the winch, so now I have an excuse not to with a fairlead hole right there. Thanks for chiming in!

Hickey- I will certainly offer it raw. There are a lot of issues that come up with shipping them powder coated.. Such as the fact that UPS or FedEx are brutal with stuff. For a smaller outfit like us who hates to have a full time packing guy, it makes it tough shipping "finished" products because you quadruple your packaging time which ultimately passes that expenses on to the customer in the big picture. We have a foam shop here in town that has done some amazing things for us in the past and we will certainly be getting with them to see what we can do to protect these during shipping for those that want a finished product though. But yes, I will have raw products ready to go probably a week or more before I have the powder coated products ready for shipping. Thanks to the feedback, I truly appreciate it!!

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post #22 of 31 Old 06-30-2015, 10:58 PM
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I like the design of both.

Flat out, you won't please everyone. Right now, I have a BFH front bumper on my Jeep. It required cutting both the crash bar and the frame rails. Was I super pumped to do it? Not really, as it would have been the most permanent thing I've done to my Jeep. Am I glad I have that bumper? Hells yeah. Here's why... i wheel mine. The approach angle that I gained is awesome. I have a few buddies with jk's that actually hit their bumpers on a few climbs. I have yet to touch mine. Pure function with aesthetically pleasing lines. Plus, the bumpers that wrap down to the crash bar look kinda stupid and it's unnecessary weight. The crash bar isn't structural so it doesn't provide stiffness to the frame. Overall, the design looks good.

The rear bumper I like. Except, you didn't put a trailer hitch in it. Sure, can probably retain the stock one, but it is stupid low and tends to drag on stuff a lot. My JK is my everything vehicle. So, once in awhile I need it to tow a small trailer. A hitch is a must with me. Being in the market for a rear bumper, I'll tell you that I already omitted the Genright and Poison Spyder BFH because of the lack of integrated hitch. My search landed on the Crawler Conceptz rear Skinny and the VKS rear. Also considering the PSC Rock Brawler II, only cause it has a hitch. Even though it's at a different price point.

Price plays a large factor in this, too. For every one person that runs an actually well made bumper, there's 5 that went with something from Smittybuilt or the likewise. All cause of price. If you can land yours somewhere reasonable, it will be viable. You're going to be trying for a market that is absurdly flooded with options.

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post #23 of 31 Old 07-01-2015, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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2Door- Thanks for the little review. I know there is a lot of chit chat going on and a few responses are long on my part, but in one of them I mentioned that the back bumper WILL have a receiver option. It will also have an option for recessed reverse lights as well as D-Ring mounts. Personally I will run one with a receiver as we have plans to build a trailer that we will drag through everything with this Jeep.

I know what you mean about cutting the horns off. We have a few shops that we have worked with for years as well as a couple of dealerships and when we first started putting together some JK drawings, we got together to see what exactly they needed to have to meet their needs best and one of those things was that it needed to bolt on. I agree with you on the approach angle talk, but like you mentioned, certain styles (bolt on vs. cut frame) would probably sell 10:1..? We will be doing a bumper that cuts the horns off, but that is a couple months down the road right now as we have front and back bumpers, sliders, light bar brackets and a few other things that some big shops need us to finish for them.

I can say this.. All of our products will be very competitive on pricing! Can we be competitive with Smittybilts price...? Who knows, but they are not really who we have our sights set on to meet for quality and construction. There is a purpose and place for them, don't get me wrong, but we certainly hope to have a better reputation for durability.

Thanks for the feedback and hopefully we will have something to show sooner than later!

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post #24 of 31 Old 07-01-2015, 10:38 AM
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I missed the receiver comment, my bad. Overall, looks good.

Yes, the bumper that I chose to put on my Jeep is far from for everyone. But the function is worth it. Light, better angle, mounts a winch. But there's already quite a few options out there if a person wants that (PSC, Crawler Conceptz, VKS, etc) so a bolt on as an entry into the market would probably be best.

And no one expects you to get close to Smittybuilt pricing. At that point, you're sacrificing quality. I'd rather pay a little more for something that is well done and stout, cause I'm going to smash it off stuff, compared to something that was cheap and is going to crinkle and potentially cause damage the first time it gets intimate with a rock.

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post #25 of 31 Old 07-01-2015, 10:51 AM
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so what is a ball park figure for the front stubby winch ready and a realistic release date?
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