Way back in early 2019 I installed the Warn Elite Series stubby bumper on my JL. Installation is straightforward and after a hard year of weather, use, and abuse here’s how it has held up.
I’m going to keep this short and simple. Remove your original bumper. There are eight bolts that hold it on and a single disconnect for your factory fog lights if equipped.
The Warn bumper is a little harder to install because there is less space around some of the bolts to get your hand or tool in to tighten them. The Elite Series bumper uses carriage bolts that further complicate the install.
The hardware is strong, resists corrosion, and will outlast every part on the Jeep so I understand why Warn used it. Even with the bumper being more difficult to install I would rather have the higher quality hardware.
The Elite Series stubby also has an integrated winch plate rated up to 12,000 pounds. The winch plate is integral to the bumper and not a separate item. This adds to the overall bumper strength and peace of mind when winching.
How is it holding up?
The bumper finish is showing signs of wear. The powder coat is faded, there is some surface rust around the welds on the winch guard tube, and several areas inside the bumper have rust scale.
These are completely cosmetic. The metal is not pitted or deteriorating more than just surface oxidation. The welds are all holding up superbly. At some point in the near future, I will remove the bumper and refinish it with a good zinc-based primer and a new coat of satin black. That should give the bumper many more years of service.
Things I would change.
Not much really. I would modify where the light mount holes are on top of the bumper so you could fit a little bigger light right beside the bar. I would adjust the mounting area to allow easier access to install the bumper, and I would redesign the skid plate accessory.
About that skid plate.
You can see in the pictures I don’t have the skid plate installed. It’s a really nice part and it does protect the sway bar assembly superbly. It’s just too hard to install and service.
The v-notch pictured is ludicrously small and the hardware combined with my hand size is not a good match. I had it installed for a while after I performed some other work where I needed it removed I just didn’t install it again. The effort needed didn’t match the protection provided.
You may feel completely different about the skid plate. I will point out that it does protect the sway bar from damage off-road and once installed it is very strong and makes the front end look great.
I would recommend it as a bumper for anyone.
The Warn elite Series stubby bumper fits both the JL and the JT and really does look good on both platforms. Priced at $828.99 from Warn it’s not the most budget-friendly bumper. Deals can be had from resellers and for the excellent durability, capacity and style it is a good value. Unlike many bumpers, this one won’t rust out in a year or need to be replaced anytime soon.