Garvin Wilderness Front
4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD!
Things sometimes happen in the strangest
ways. For some time I had been waiting for an opportunity to purchase an aftermarket
front bumper. There were some very specific things I was looking for in a front bumper:
- clevis mounting tabs
- recessed 2" receiver hitch
- wide enough to protect the front fenders
- light weight
- price around $200
One bumper met most of these requirements
- The Garvin Wilderness Jeep Bumper. It cost a little more than $200 but not much.
I figured sooner or later I'd get one and wasn't in a big hurry. Then one day
I was in too much of a hurry to get out of my driveway and I drove into the side of a speeding minivan. The
net result was moderate front end damage, including enough damage to the front bumper that
the body shop decided to replace it and one of the two rubber snubbers. The estimate
showed that they had allowed $190 toward this repair.
My mind started working: If I let
them put the new factory bumper and rubber part on, I would be back to status quo and
still be waiting for a new front bumper. If I took off these new parts right away
and tried to sell them on eBay, I'd be lucky to get $25 including shipping! So I
went ahead and asked the body shop what would happen if I wanted to get a different
bumper. Would they still credit me $190 towards something else? The answer was
music to my ears: "Yes, I could spend $190 of the insurance proceeds towards
any bumper I wanted." Yes!
So I looked up the Garvin bumper and
found that I was going to have to pony up a weeks worth of lunch money to span the
difference between what the insurance company was paying and the asking price. So I
skipped lunch for a week (not really...) and ordered the Garvin bumper.
While waiting for the bumper
to arrive, I ordered two more d-shackles from
McMaster-Carr, to match the two I have mounted on the rear bumper.
Installation of the bumper
was pretty easy. I removed the winch plate mounting bolts from the frame and tow
hooks. Then I snuck the bumper onto the frame. Lining up the holes was a
little interesting for me because the frame was tweaked in the accident. Even though
they straightened it on a high-tech frame machine, I had to fiddle with everything to get
it lined up well enough to thread the bolts into place.
I am pleased with the results. It's
simple yet effective, matches well with my rear bumper,
provides the tow points and receiver hitch capabilities that I wanted, and was the right
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