4x4 Magazine 4WD how to article 867

By Christian Sturtz, [email protected]

Photos by Christian and Zoey Sturtz

4x4 Magazine 4WD how to article 868With so many options available, it is important to find a product that stands out above the rest. A company with outstanding fit and finish is MetalCloak. MetalCloak’s front bumpers are fully customizable, which allows you to choose what you want and where you want it.  On our application, we choose a crawler style front bumper with a small winch guard. MetalCloak offers two rear bumpers for our application: a Slim Crawler or their standard Crawler rear. We opted for the Slim Crawler because we did not need a 2” receiver, and we wanted the most ground clearance available.

To start the front install, we removed the tow hooks/bumper mounting bolts from the top and bottom of the bumper and slid it off. To prep the new bumper for install the winch guard must be installed. (*Tip: MetalCloak is great about giving you more hardware than needed, if you are installing a winch guard, you will need the longer bolts) Next, the endcaps are bolted into position along with the winch fairlead mount. Fairlead mounts are available separately. We used lineup bars to locate the mounting location for the fairlead. Finally, the bumper was bolted into position with the original bolts. We also chose to install a MetalCloak steering skid plate in conjunction with the bumper- it easily bolted into place with the supplied hardware, requiring only one hole to be drilled and tapped.4x4 Magazine 4WD how to article 868

For the rear, we removed the endcaps and unbolted the rear bumper. The new Slim Crawler requires installing two threaded inserts (a drilled-out nut, to aid in the installation of these inserts, is included). First, the threaded inserts must be installed in the rear cross member. Then, the bumper is held and bolted into position. Finally, the included frame reinforcements are installed using the nut plates. Now your front and rear end are ready to throw down.


Parts Used:


Front Bumper (FB-TJ-270001)

Fairlead Mount (2153)

Steering Skid Plate (2198)

Optional: Stock Swaybar Kit (2191)

Rear Slim Crawler Bumper (2804)



2484 Mercantile Dr.

Rancho Cordova, CA 95742



APEX Tool Group4x4 Magazine 4WD how to article 866

910 Ridgebrook Rd. (Suite 200)

Sparks, MD 21152




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