Jeep Wrangler JL Westin WJ2 Rear Bumper – Textured Black Review & Install

Hey, what’s up guys? Ryan here from ExtremeTerrain. And today I’m here with a Westin WJ2 Rear
Bumper in textured black, fitting your 2018 and up Jeep Wrangler JL. Now if you’re looking to change up the appearance
of your Wrangler while adding some additional protection and functionality, then you should
be thinking about swapping out that rear bumper for an aftermarket heavy-duty steel option. This bumper is made of a heavy-duty steel
plating fully welded up and it’s gonna provide plenty of strength to the rear over that factory
plastic bumper. It is a full-width bumper so you’re still
gonna maintain that flare to flare protection and of course, it has a ton of features, some
of which I have yet to see on another bumper. This bumper is gonna allow you to add additional
LED lighting. It even has spots for rock lights and great
recovery points with the welded D-ring mounts. One of the features I have yet to see on another
aftermarket bumper is going to be a cutout right here in the bumper to install a Hi-Lift
jack, allow you to lift up your vehicle on the trail when you need to make those repairs. This bumper has a very aggressive angular
design and along with that full-width bumper, it has high clearance. This is gonna give you better departure angles
when you’re on the trail and you’re coming down off of an obstacle. The whole thing is finished off in a very
nice textured black powder coating. It’s gonna add to that aggressive off-roading
good looks of your Wrangler while protecting your investment from the elements, providing
corrosion protection. This bumper accommodates your factory tow
hitch and even some aftermarket tow hitches as well and it even comes with a relocation
bracket and additional LED lighting so you can relocate that license plate and license
plate light. Now this bumper is completely bolt-on. It comes with all brand new hardware, everything
you need to install. So there’s no drilling or modification required
and this bumper fits very, very well. Now this style bumper can range anywhere from
$400 all the way over to $1,000 and this one is coming in right around $500. Now, of course, those higher price options
are gonna be comprised of better steel and have a better powder coating and they’re designed
to last you a long time. For the money, the fitment and all of those
features that you’re getting, I think this is a great option to go with for that price. Now, as far as install goes, I’m gonna give
this a two out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter as you can get this thing installed
in about two hours just using basic hand tools. Now, with that being said, let’s hop into
the install. Tools we used for this install: 3/8 drive
impact, 3/8 drive extensions, 21-millimeter socket, 19-millimeter socket, 16-millimeter
socket, 13-millimeter socket, eight-millimeter socket with a quarter-inch drive extension,
10-millimeter wrench, 3/8 drive ratchet, 3/8 drive air ratchet, quarter-inch drive ratchet
and a wiring tool. So if you wanted to get that spare tire out
of the way, would be a good idea, give you a little more room to work with but this is
totally optional. If you decide to take this off, you’re gonna
have to take off this center locking cap and you’re gonna have three lug nuts. You’ll need a 22-millimeter socket to get
it off. We’re gonna jump right into the bumper uninstall. So I’m gonna hop on my creeper, get right
under there and we’ll get started. So the first thing we’re gonna do, we’re gonna
start on the end. We have these little plastic splash guards
we need to take off. There’s gonna be three screws total. I’m gonna do this outer one first and you’ll
need an eight-millimeter socket to get that screw out. So then you’re gonna have two on the inside
right here. Same thing, eight-millimeter socket, we’ll
pull those out, we can get this cover off. So next we’re gonna take off this bracket
that was underneath of that plastic section. You’re gonna have four bolts total. You’re gonna have two going into the bumper
right here and you’re gonna have two on the other end that go into the frame. We’re gonna start with these two right here. Gonna use a 16-millimeter socket to get those
out. So we’re gonna go on the other side and get
these bolts out of the frame section. Once you get that last bolt ready to come
out, you wanna put a hand on this bracket because it’s ready to come off. So then we’re gonna hop on over to the other
side and do that same exact thing. So we’re gonna stay on that same side. Next what we have to do, we have to get our
tow hook off. So, we have two bolts on the side and we have
one bolt down here. This bottom one’s gonna be a 21-millimeter
and these two side ones, we’re gonna use a 19-millimeter socket. Let’s start with this bottom one first and
get that out. And while we’re over here, we’re gonna unplug
our license plate light as well. So that’s gonna be this little plug right
here. Can pull that off of here. And on this front side, we’re gonna have this
little tab. We need to press in. So you have this gray locking tab we’ll need
to press up. Once you get that up, gonna press down on
that gray tab. Once it’s out and up, that’s gonna allow us
to unplug it. So we’re gonna go over the other side. Now, as you see, we don’t have tow hook here
so we don’t need to take out this bottom bolt. However, we do need to take out these two
side bolts. So we’re gonna use that same 19-millimeter
to get those out. So then we’re gonna move to the middle. Right in the middle, in front of the muffler
right here on this frame section, you’re gonna have these two bolts. We need to get those out as well. These are gonna be 19s just like the side
of those tow hooks. So we’re gonna go ahead and thread these out. So now we have all that hardware removed,
we can go ahead and get our bumper off. It’s relatively light. It’s just made of plastic so you can probably
do it yourself. I am gonna open the tailgate just to give
me a little more room and get our spare tire away from our bumper. So we finally got our stock bumper uninstalled
which was a relatively easy uninstall. Before we get this new bumper installed, we
do still have some things to do. Have to attach a relocation bracket up top
and wire up some lights as well as some other bracketry. But before we get to that, wanna take a moment
just to talk a little bit about these two bumpers, some of the differences between those
two and as well as some of the features and benefits you’re gonna get with an aftermarket
bumper such as this. The first thing I wanna talk about is your
factory bumper. Your factory bumper is made of plastic so
it’s not gonna provide very much protection. This is great for daily driving and light
bumps and bruises whether you’re on road, in a parking lot or if you’re on the trail
but if you’re looking for more functionality, which the stock bumper really doesn’t have
any functionality, it is a full-width bumper so it’s gonna provide a good amount of protection,
then you wanna go with an aftermarket bumper such as this. Now this bumper is pretty cool and Westin
has covered the majority of the options and all of your bases as far as this is considered. Now one of the main issues with our JL is
when we’re ditching that rear factory bumper, of course, our license plate and our light
is located in the bumper. So many other options in the aftermarket world,
they’re not gonna include relocation brackets or lighting and that’s something that you’re
gonna have to outsource, costing extra money. Westin has already taken care of that and
that’s the first thing I wanna talk about. They give you a relocation bracket and they
even give you two little LEDs that you can wire directly into your factory harness and
that’s gonna illuminate your license plate. Now this bumper is filled with a ton of features
and I’m gonna talk about them one by one. First one I talk about is this little tiny
hole down here in the side. Now that’s actually for a rock light. So you can install a little tiny rock light
there and they are angled so they’re gonna shine outward. Well this is great if you’re backing up on
the trail or if you’re just backing up on a very dark road at night. That’s gonna light up right behind your rear
wheel and that’s gonna give you a lot of vision in the dark. Next thing I wanna talk about is this little
notch right here. Now you have one of these on both sides. Same with these rock lights. This is actually for a farm jack or a Hi-Lift
jack. You can stick your jack in there and that
gives you a great point to lift your Jeep up and do any fixes or recoveries that you
need to do on the trail. Now this bumper doesn’t come with D-rings
but we have plenty of options to choose from on our site. Now this thing is fully welded up. That’s gonna give you a great recovery point
for when you’re pulling someone out or if you’re getting pulled out, you get stuck on
those trails. Now the next little cutout, it’s gonna be
this little square and that’s actually gonna allow you to mount a little LED light. Same thing, you have one on both sides and
you can fit a three-inch cube light. This is gonna be great for when you’re off-roading
in the dark, you wanna backup on those trails, you need some extra lighting or if you’re
doing a rear recovery that’s gonna light up everything. Now along with that relocation bracket for
your license plate, Westin includes a bracket for any trailer harnesses. So if you have a tow package on your vehicle
and you have that trailer plug, they give you a bracket to mount that and that’s gonna
hold that for you. Next thing I wanna talk about is this cutout
in the center. Now they give you the cutout and this is gonna
fit a factory hitch, an aftermarket hitch or even Westin’s own hitch and that’s gonna
allow you to throw this bumper on there and and utilize that factory hitch. This bumper has a very aggressive angular
design and it’s gonna add to that aggressive styling. It’s made of full steel. It’s actually 3/16 and it’s a very heavy bumper. This is one of the sturdier bumpers that I’ve
come across when installing these on the Wranglers. This is a full-width bumper so you’re gonna
get that flare to flare protection just like your factory one, only it’s gonna be better
and the whole thing is finished off with a black powder coating. It’s gonna add to that aggressive styling
and it’s also gonna protect your investment from the elements, keeping this thing corrosion
free. Now, like I said, we need to attach our license
plate bracket and we need to wire up those lights. So we do have a couple brackets that we need
to install. One thing I like about this is a completely
bolt-on bumper and Westin, like I said, has covered everything that we need to do. So with that being said, we’re gonna get this
stuff bolted on then we’re gonna get it on the Jeep, show you how to install it and what
it looks like. So, like I said, before we get our bumper
installed, we need to mount a few things. I’m actually gonna show you how to install
your license plate bracket right here, the relocation bracket, of course, these little
LED lights that they give us and I wanted to show you exactly this trailer plug bracket. Now this doesn’t bolt to the bumper. This actually bolts to the frame section. I looked underneath of there. There’s actually two threaded holes to line
up with this. So, our particular Jeep doesn’t have this
but I just wanted to show you this bracket and I’ll show you where those mounting points
are when we get underneath of the Jeep but right now, I’m gonna show you how to install
this relocation bracket then we’re gonna put our license plate in with our license plate
lights. So, like I said, this is your relocation bracket. We have our four mounting points for our license
plate and this does have an offset. Now the bottom right here has these square
holes. That’s gonna sit against the bumper and we
have these carriage bolts that have a square top right there. These are actually gonna drop down through
and that’s what’s gonna keep those in place. So, we’re gonna go ahead and set this on top
and then we’ll get it bolted down. So once you get both of those bolts in, we’re
gonna tighten it up. I’m gonna use a 13-millimeter socket on a
ratchet to tighten them down. So, next thing we have to do is install our
little LED license plate lights. Now these are pretty cool, actually, the way
they work. They’re gonna capture our license plate inside
of this bracket. What we’re gonna do, first thing, we’re gonna
slap this license plate on. Line those holes up. Now each one of these lights is going to have
a washer and a nut on there so you’re gonna have to unthread those as well. Once you get those off, we’re gonna pull all
that stuff off and then we’re gonna feed these through. Once you feed them through, we’re gonna slide
that washer and that nut back on there, then we can line them up, angle them and then tighten
them up. So you wanna make sure that your little LED
is pointing down at your license plate. Once you get that in place, we’re gonna use
a 10-millimeter wrench. All we’re gonna do is just gently tighten
up that nut. So we do have one last thing to do before
we get this bumper installed. Now, from the factory, inside of our frame
rail here on the passenger side, we have a nut plate. Now this nut plate only has one threaded hole
and our brand new bumper requires two bolts to go up through the bottom. So we need to get that bolt plate out. Now from the factory, we have a nut plate
in here and this only has one threaded hole. A brand new bumper requires two bolts to go
up through the bottom. So we need to get that nut plate out. Now we have a brand new nut plate here. It has a double nut plate on here and we’re
gonna install that in the frame for when we put our bumper on. Now, on our driver side, we already have two
welded nuts on that side so we don’t need to put any one of these bolt plates in. We only have to do it on this passenger side. So I’m gonna take a 21-millimeter socket on
an extension so I can get past this exhaust system, take that bolt out and slide this
plate out. After you get that bolt plate out, next thing
we’re gonna do, just gonna go ahead and slide that in. We wanna just line it up with these holes
then we’re ready to install our bumper. So at this point in time, we’re ready to install
our bumper. Now this is a pretty heavy bumper. We have no way of holding this up besides
getting that hardware installed. So I would strongly recommend grabbing a friend. I have my friend Andrew here. He’s gonna help me out. Also you wanna stage that hardware. We’re gonna be using the largest hardware
that they give us in the kit. We’re gonna lift this up, get some of the
side bolts in and then we’ll secure this thing. So we’re underneath of the Jeep. We’re gonna start installing some of our bumper
hardware to bolt it to the frame. Now, you can see we’re using these large stubby
black bolts. Each one is going to get a lock washer and
then a flat washer on top of that. You’re gonna have two holes on the side and
you have two underneath. We’re gonna start with the side holes and
then just get these bolts started. And we’ll just get these bolts started by
hand. So now that we have all of these in, we’re
gonna wait to tighten them up until we get the other side in. So since we have our nut plate on this side,
we’re gonna have to be pretty careful not to push it out of the way and we wanna gently
thread these in and get them started. Once you get one started, it’s gonna be a
lot easier to hold that other side still so you can get that other bolt started. So now that we have both of those installed,
we can go around and tighten up all of our hardware. So to tighten them up, we’re gonna use that
same 21-millimeter socket. I’m gonna start with the bottom ones. That way it’s going to push this bumper up
and set it in place. After that, we’ll do our side ones then we’ll
go to the other side and do the same thing. So, last thing we have to do is wire up our license plate
lights. Now we have our pigtails here. We’re actually gonna splice both of these
into each other and then we have our factory harness over here. So the way Westin wants us to do this, they
want us to cut this plug off here and then they give us these heat shrink butt connectors. So the first thing I’m gonna do is attach
these to these wires. Now on these lights, you’re gonna have a red
and a black. Your red’s gonna be your positive. The black’s gonna be the ground but what we’re
actually gonna do, we’re gonna take both of these reds, we’re gonna twist them together
and install them in one butt connector. We’ll do the same thing with the black wires,
our negative wires, we’re gonna line both of those up and we’ll twist them together. So I’m gonna take might do-it-all wiring tool. What I’m gonna do is just go in there and
I’m gonna crimp these. So we’ll make sure that we get both of those
wires inside of there. Then we wanna smush that connector, that way
both of them are in there. And we’ll do the same thing for the black
one and then we’ll work on getting that plug off. Make sure that wire’s all the way inside of
that butt connector before you crimp it down. So now we have both of these ends on there. We’re gonna work on getting this plug off. So, if you wanted to, you can cut these wires. You could splice in a butt connector, run
another wire off and connect these to it. That way you won’t have to cut this thing
completely off. You’d still have this plug if you ever wanna
put your bumper back on. However, we’re gonna do it exactly how Westin
wants us to do it. So we’re just gonna cut these wires right
here, nice and neat, and we’ll take that same wiring tool, strip the ends of them. Now we’re ready to connect these wires. So, on your factory plug, you’re gonna have
a black wire and you’re gonna have this white with a blue trace. This black wire is gonna be our ground. So we’re going to connect black to black and
then we’ll do the other ones to our positive wire. Same thing. You wanna insert that in the butt connector. Make sure we get all of those copper wires
in there if you have to. And then twist the ends a little bit and that
usually does a pretty good job at keeping them together when you’re trying to fish them
in here. Get all the way inserted in. Wanna be real careful not to pull it back
out and then we’re gonna crimp the end down. So now that we have that one, we’re gonna
do the same thing for this other one. We’re gonna start by twisting the ends of
this wire right here and we’re gonna feed that in, then we’ll go ahead and crimp it. All right. So now that you have both of these in, this
whole thing’s wired up. Now these are heat shrinked so what you wanna
do is apply some heat. You can use a hairdryer or any anything that
you have that’s gonna put out some heat. That’s gonna shrink these shut and it’s gonna
keep any water or anything from getting into there and corrode in that connection. So at this point in time, we have this bumper
come freely installed and you’re ready to add any 3-inch LEDs and of course, source
rock lights directly from Westin. However, with that being said, that’s gonna
wrap up my review and install. For more videos and products like this, check
us out at

About the Author: Michael Flood

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