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Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby MikeKey » Mon May 08, 2017 6:54 pm

So we've been in Moab for a little over 11 days. And have wheeled the truck almost every day with the bumper. What follows are my thoughts on the ordering process, dealing with Kye and overall impressions of the bumper. I know some of you have been PMing me asking what's up and if I got my bumper yet. And where I got it from.

I placed my order on February 28th, 2017 for one of Kye's bumpers. I paid a total of $1,998.00 usd via Paypal.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4513

My initial quote for a lead time was exactly this:
Lead time is currently estimated 3 weeks+ shipping. The only thing that could potentially delay that is delivery of my new power wagon. It is supposed to be delivered by this Friday, but has been delayed once already. At the moment I am truckless, and I test fit each bumper prior to painting to ensure the fit is great.


However, Kye informed me on March 10th, that he was still waiting on his truck. And I sent him another email on March 20th asking him for an update, if he had received his truck. I heard back later that day that he would be receiving it the following Friday. On March 30th, I sent another email, asking for an update on the status of the bumper build.

I received an email reply that same Friday evening from Kye that he was getting his truck the following Friday.

Now, here is where I get annoyed, I sent him a follow-up on April 7th, seven days later hoping for an update. And another one on April 9th, after no reply. And finally got an update and a ship date of April 14th.

However bumper didn't actually ship out until the 17th of April, and I received it the day before we left for Moab on April 26th. Overall though, I suppose 8 business days isn't terrible for freight. But TheDirtRoad had his bumper shipped on April 21 and recieved his at his door, the same day I picked mine up.

I don't think Kye thought out in advance the shipping process. Kye chose a transport company that doesn't service the area he was shipping the bumper too. They sent the bumper to El Paso, Texas, then handed it off to another company Estes. Estes operates near where the bumper was shipped from. I lost tracking for a few days as the bumper didn't move before it finally arrived in Boise at their distribution center. Which I had to pick up myself. Also, it was in a crate, which was a bit unexpected. :shock:

I will cut him some slack though being an early customer and having received the bumper.

Kye is new to this, and this is a new business venture. Not sure how old he is, but it's obvious the business end wasn't thoroughly thought through. I was told by the other parties that purchased a bumper, that the bumper was actually cut and welded by someone other than Kye. :shock: And that he might have just been doing the finish work...

This would seem to jive a lot with Kye's initial decision to tell us he wasn't going to sell anymore and complaints about not making any money off the bumpers. I think this is just growing pains, and if Kye can figure out the shipping and build process he can find the profit. But if he's paying everyone else, well.... :popcorn:

-----


Now as for the bumper itself, the finish work, needs some work. It was welded and then the welds were grinded down, but there are a lot of noticeable scratches in the metal that will have to be reworked. That being said, it was GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME. I already put a dozen +++ dings and scratches in the bumper while in Moab over the past 10 days.

The other problem I have is that the back side of the bumper was not welded. With what I want to do with this bumper, a couple good hits and you could get cracks in the welds and have a plate separate. Not good. I'd recommend and hope that he starts having the back side of the bumper welded as well as the front. That should increase the strenght of the bumper.

That being said, as is, it's pretty damn tough. I accidently drove straight into a good sized boulder while fliddling with my GPS on the trail.

As for DESIGN, this bumper is EXCELLENT. THIS IS A REALLY GOOD LOOKING BUMPER. This is a truly great design. I have ZERO complaints and tons of PRAISE for the design, and the ease of installation. Kye didn't provide instructions in time for my install, he did send an email. But it was so easy, I had it installed before he could reply to me. It's really self-explanatory. And very secure.

The bumper works as intended as a high clearance bumper. It will take you some time to learn the new approach of your truck. I have smacked mine a bunch. With your factory bumper, you're usually afraid to get up on things. So there is a learning curve since now you have a skid and high clearance in learning where the front of the bumper is when approaching.

Another nice touch, is the full wrap-around protection the skid offers. The bumper wraps down and around the back. Really, very nice design overall.

One area that could use improvement is maybe to weld 1-inch strips to the lower skid, this would act as a grip plate to prevent sliding off rocks.

Overall I have no complaints about design or functionality. Really, this could be the best aftermarket high clearance Power Wagon specific bumper. All that really needs to be improved here is business end process stuff. As for the product, it's great. I'm 100% happy with this bumper.

If you want to wheel your truck hard, BUY this bumper. It will greatly improve your approach angle, going up and coming down. It will also make your flex shots that much cooler. :rockon:

Now for the photos:
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This right here makes this bumper worth it. I was able to climb things real easily with it. Makes it worth it. :cheers:

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So as far as finishing the bumper, I'm going to get the back side welded. Then I'm going to get it blasted and powder coated. I plan on having the lower skid part Line-X'd when I do my sliders. And I'm still planning on LED's.
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby MikeKey » Mon May 08, 2017 7:07 pm

And a few more showing off the approach, so nice.

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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby nts007 » Mon May 08, 2017 7:29 pm

Awesome review. Awesome bumper. It's hard for someone to have a fantastic design or idea and get it into production. The fact that he has made some and gotten them out albeit delayed speaks of his integrity. Being a small business with a good product puts you in a horrible uphill battle. Especially when it comes to startup costs. If he can get his business organization together and get his net costs down he will have an easier time. Get his costs below 60% retail and he will be able to improve the product and build his business.

I really like that bumper!! And it's costs are fully justified
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby MikeKey » Mon May 08, 2017 8:56 pm

Yup, I agree. It's reasonably priced. I think shipping on a pallet should reduce shipping costs too.
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby Hammerballs » Mon May 08, 2017 10:19 pm

So does that skid plate come off to change the oil?

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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby RAM4ROKS » Tue May 09, 2017 7:07 pm

Great write-up MikeKey!!! Thank you for sharing!!!! That bumper looks awesome on your Wagon!!! Great way to test it out, a trip to Moab!!!!

I'd recommend shipping via Fastenal (when it's an option)- cheap, fast, and easy!!! (so long as there is a Fastenal near the recipient) EXTREMELY cheaper shipping cost, the only downside is you have to take it to a Fastenal and it has to ship to another Fastenal but, they're dang near everywhere in the US so, can still be pretty convenient! Also, I have been VERY pleasantly surprised at how quickly my stuff has been shipped!!!

I really like the bumper design!!!! I could be wrong but, my understanding is that he designed the bumper, made the cut files, then has them cut, and then he has the welding farmed out? Makes perfect sense from a production standpoint. Looks to be a great product, I hope he makes it through the growing pains and gets to go full scale production. Compared to all the other bumpers on the market, this is the only one that is TRULY Power Wagon specific, IMHO. (there are others that claim to be but, looking at their design, they are a compromise of adapting over a generic Ram design to work on our trucks, NOT a scratch built product designed specifically from the start to fit our trucks like this one is!) I do agree with you on the welding of the backside of the bumper but, I can see as how it might be difficult, with warping issues and possibly limited access to the backside of the bumper while it is jigged up. (not to mention a LOT of extra production hours in welding and cleaning up spatter) A LOT of bumper manufacturers do not weld the backside and merely depend on proper penetration of the welds. It would definitely be reassuring if the backside of the bumper could be full welded though!
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby RustyPW » Tue May 09, 2017 9:35 pm

Like that bumper. :rockon: As for welding the back side. I would do it. With proper settings for a mig. There would be little spatter to clean up. If the bumper is 1/4", 1/8" thick. Warping wouldn't be a problem. The reason for not welding the backside is cost of labor.
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby ramv » Tue May 09, 2017 10:02 pm

sharp
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby MikeKey » Wed May 10, 2017 9:17 am

I'm actually just glad it wasn't powder coated already. I've scratched the shit out of my bumper and my sliders this year. Mostly because I keep using my sliders the way you're supposed to. LOL Also I've been trying to take on things to see what I can do now. And as I said, with a bumper that you can't see, and offers the approach, you're going to smack a lot of things a first learning where it's at and how to get up on stuff you couldn't before hand. You don't need to take things at those angles as much.

If you want to wheel your truck or climb things, this is def the bumper to get. Hopefully, Kye can get this up and running and profitable enough to keep producing and improving.

RustyPW wrote:Like that bumper. :rockon: As for welding the back side. I would do it. With proper settings for a mig. There would be little spatter to clean up. If the bumper is 1/4", 1/8" thick. Warping wouldn't be a problem. The reason for not welding the backside is cost of labor.


Bumper is 3/16” steel. About that welding the backside, my biggest concern for anyone thinking about it, is that the attachment points to the frame are in fact the shackle mounts. And they are only welded on the front it looked like. I'll be pulling the bumper off again when I get home. We are still in Moab for another week. And I will take photos of the backside.

I would think doing it himself might reduce the pay someone else costs. But if you can't weld, then ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I can barely weld, not good enough to make a bumper, that's for sure. Up to Kye to decide though. If he sells more, I think you will be happy with the purchase. I am.

Also, we get a ton of double looks now on the truck.

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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby RustyPW » Wed May 10, 2017 11:08 am

Is the whole bumper 3/16"? Most are 1/4" front plate, and the rest is 1/8". Some are 3/16".

My rock rails are rusted up from being slid over things. :lol: Every slid plate has dings and dents. Bottom of the bumpers have scrap marks. Have used the front diff to plow the north 40. :lol: So get used to some damage.
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Mods to the PW; Nerffed Mopar RockRails, Wheel Well Liners, Bushwacker Pocket Fender Flairs, Garvmin dezl 560LMT GPS, Power Wagon Winch Kit, Line X Ultra Bed Liner, PIAA Headlight Bulbs, PIAA 580 Driving Lights (135 watt), PIAA 520 Fog Lights (135 watt), PIAA 520 ATP Off-Road Lights (135 watt), Locker Bypass, Modifed Rockcrusher Diff Covers, Mopar Utility Bed Rails and Tool Box, Warn Winch Wireless Remote Control, "el-cheapo" Inclinometer, Airaid CAI, Winch TPS Bypass, 35" Toyo's, Mopar Spare Tire Lock, 'T' Steering Linkage, Modifed PSC Steering Brace, P3 Brake Controller, Modifed Fusion "mall crawler" rear bumper , PIAA 1500 Back-Up Lights, 1Ton HEMI Tranny Cooler, Leer 100XR Bed Cap, Factory Tow Mirrors, CenterLine Rims 17x9-5.25 BS, Mag-Hytec Tranny Pan, AutoMeter Gauges, PSC Extreme Hydro Assist Steering, Carli Track Bar, Carli Ball-Joints, Dynatrac FreeSpin Hubs, Snorkel, RCV Axles, EBC Pads & Rotors, Aluminess Front Bumper, BIG Pul-Pal, 60" Extreme Hi-lift Jack, and more riggin' equipment, Carli Long Travel Air Bags, Bilstein 7100 Shocks - Carli Valving, MORE STUFF COMIN'.

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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby TheDirtRoad » Wed May 10, 2017 5:29 pm

I have Kye Kinzers bumper mounted and I will share my thoughts on it as well. First off if Kye continues to build these bumpers I would highly recommend it . As it is probably the highest clearance, tightest fitting, PW specific bumper out there. Kye did some very impressive engineering on this.

I was texting him quite regularly discussing different things I was considering(lights etc.) for the 4" portholes for the lights and he kept telling me that "there isn't enough room this is the highest clearance possibe" Well holy shit he was not exaggerating I had to mount the 4" LED's upside down so I would be able to access the adjustment screw.

I had mine sent to me bare steel so I got to look it over a little better that Mike plus I wasn't in a hurry to get it mounted. I had mine Line-x'd .
The bumper is 3/16" steel all around except for the part that curves(just the curve) around by the headlight I believe it is 1/8" steel. He also added pipe on the winch opening to make a rounded edge instead of a sharp edge in case the rope contacts it.

I did think it should be welded on the back side also (which I discussed with Kye). I also had a cracked weld on the front when I received it. It was on the top piece. I talked to Kye about this and he was not very pleased having used a certified welder to do the job. Due to the crack I pulled out the angle grinder and Mig repaired it and welded up the back side. The frame mounts are welded front and back. speaking of the frame mounts the factory bumper uses 4 bolts where the Kinzer bumper uses 6. He utilizes 2 of the existing factory bolt holes and the 4 bolt holes where the " factory fangs" are mounted . Very secure and strong mounting point. Again the engineering on this bumper is impeccable!!!

Mike tested his in Moab on rocks where I will be using mine mostly for crossing through deep washes and some rock crawling. I have taken it out once and like Mike said it is different trying to get used to where the bumper is now due to it's high clearance. We took the truck through washes that we would have had a hard time with the stock bumper even approaching at extreme angle because the bumper would have dug in. Also with the incorporated skid plate you can just power up and over.

Again if you are looking for the ultimate high clearance bumper The Kinzer bumper is the way to go and it is worth the money . For those of you with the 2017 PW your grill does stick out about 2" farther but this bumper still looks good on it. I saw pictures of Kye's 2017.

I am more of a function over looks type of guy and with this bumper I got the best of both worlds.This bumper follows the body lines flawlessly also.


One thing I will probably modify just by adding some thin plate is the openings to access the bolts for mounting it to the frame . To me those are just places to catch mud and throw it in on top of the skid plate on the bumper.With the wheels turned they line up with the openings. Kye did design it to drain off the back side but why throw more in there.

weld back.jpg


front weld.jpg


right front.jpg


left front.jpg


side.jpg


kinzer.jpg


kinzer 3.jpg
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby TwinStick » Wed May 10, 2017 7:31 pm

IMHO, this is one of, if not the, best looking bumper on the market today. Definately the best bang for the bucks $$$. I wish they would make them for 3rd Gens.

:secret: I wish they would make them for 3rd Gens ! :rockon:
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G-56 Gear ratios: 1st) 6.29:1 2nd) 3.48:1 3rd) 2.10:1 4th) 1.38:1 5th) 1.0:1 6th) 0.79:1 Rev 6.29:1 --- = 78.01613:1 Crawl Ratio
-------------------------5.94:1--------3.28:1-------1.98:1-------1.31:1-------1.0:1-------0.74:1-----5.42:1 ---- = 73.675:1
545RFE----------------3.0:1---------1.67:1--------1.0:1--------0.75:1-------0.67:1------------------3.0:1 -------=37.21:1

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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby RPS1030 » Wed May 10, 2017 9:41 pm

I like it a lot. Hope he can get them out again.

Questions...

Fit 1 of my Baja Design Squadrons in the light holes?
How much room on top for a S8 (3" deep) or Onx6 (4.39" deep)?
Is the fair lead opening bigger than stock? Can't fit a Factor55 Flatlink in the stock opening.
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby RustyPW » Wed May 10, 2017 10:14 pm

:rockon: That would be the bump to get for any 4G, 4.5G. Would like to see what he could do for a 3G.
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby TheDirtRoad » Thu May 11, 2017 3:36 pm

RPS1030 wrote:I like it a lot. Hope he can get them out again.

Questions...

Fit 1 of my Baja Design Squadrons in the light holes?
How much room on top for a S8 (3" deep) or Onx6 (4.39" deep)?
Is the fair lead opening bigger than stock? Can't fit a Factor55 Flatlink in the stock opening.


I can't answer your questions for the lights since the bumper fits so tight I can't get in there to measure. If you contact Kye he could probably answer that.( Kinzer offroad)
The fair lead opening is 4" I believe the factory is 3 1/8" So yes it is wider.
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby LagunaH1 » Thu May 11, 2017 3:47 pm

How much does it weigh?


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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby yellowranger1 » Thu May 11, 2017 4:14 pm

Very sharp looking bumper in person! Growing pains are understandable with any new product/business, if Kinzer does continue making them I'm sure all of that would be addressed, especially the shipping.

With so many light options out there I k own it would be difficult, but as the bumper is refined, it would be nice if the light pockets (or plate work behind) could accommodate different brands/sizes.

Like Laguna, I'm also curious on the weight. Do you guys know what the stock bumper weighs for reference? The trucks are heavy as is, not like they're going to notice a few extra pounds up front, the protection is more than worth it!

Nice job @Kinzer!
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby MikeKey » Thu May 11, 2017 4:29 pm

130lbs, I was able to simply deadlift the bumper into place. I held it up, wife slide bolts in. Boom, done. Surprisingly easy to install.

For as strong as it is, it's not real heavy. I do not know the exact weight of the factory bumper, but I'd say the Kinzer has about 30-40lbs on it when you factor in that you remove the factory bumper, lights, brackets, and the factory tow hooks. But that's just a guess from picking up the factory bumper.

I have Rigid Duallys right now. Not sure what I plan to do for the Kinzer bumper. I do like LED's, but I've been looking around and might find an OE 4 inch fog and install something like a Morimoto FX-R Projectors with HID's.

I also have a Rigid light bar that used to be mounted on the bumper. Still thinking about that. I'll experiment when I get back to Boise. We're in Moab until tomorrow afternoon.
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby RustyPW » Thu May 11, 2017 5:06 pm

Boy Mike, your PW is evolving rather quickly. :lol: :cash:
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Mods to the PW; Nerffed Mopar RockRails, Wheel Well Liners, Bushwacker Pocket Fender Flairs, Garvmin dezl 560LMT GPS, Power Wagon Winch Kit, Line X Ultra Bed Liner, PIAA Headlight Bulbs, PIAA 580 Driving Lights (135 watt), PIAA 520 Fog Lights (135 watt), PIAA 520 ATP Off-Road Lights (135 watt), Locker Bypass, Modifed Rockcrusher Diff Covers, Mopar Utility Bed Rails and Tool Box, Warn Winch Wireless Remote Control, "el-cheapo" Inclinometer, Airaid CAI, Winch TPS Bypass, 35" Toyo's, Mopar Spare Tire Lock, 'T' Steering Linkage, Modifed PSC Steering Brace, P3 Brake Controller, Modifed Fusion "mall crawler" rear bumper , PIAA 1500 Back-Up Lights, 1Ton HEMI Tranny Cooler, Leer 100XR Bed Cap, Factory Tow Mirrors, CenterLine Rims 17x9-5.25 BS, Mag-Hytec Tranny Pan, AutoMeter Gauges, PSC Extreme Hydro Assist Steering, Carli Track Bar, Carli Ball-Joints, Dynatrac FreeSpin Hubs, Snorkel, RCV Axles, EBC Pads & Rotors, Aluminess Front Bumper, BIG Pul-Pal, 60" Extreme Hi-lift Jack, and more riggin' equipment, Carli Long Travel Air Bags, Bilstein 7100 Shocks - Carli Valving, MORE STUFF COMIN'.

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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby MikeKey » Thu May 11, 2017 5:12 pm

RustyPW wrote:Boy Mike, your PW is evolving rather quickly. :lol: :cash:


The key is to get your wife involved in your hobby. :wink: Anyone who came to PWIM will know what I'm talking about. :D
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby Reloaderguy » Fri May 12, 2017 10:54 am

There is no accounting for taste and I think it looks kind of weird. I get the concept obviously but the lack of protrusion just looks a little off. Function over looks and all that but I'm not in the rock crawling crowd. It does seem to meet Mike's needs perfectly so in that regard it's a homerun. I hope Kye continues to make the bumpers and refine his design and processes.
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby RAM4ROKS » Mon May 15, 2017 8:28 pm

Reloaderguy wrote:There is no accounting for taste and I think it looks kind of weird. I get the concept obviously but the lack of protrusion just looks a little off. Function over looks and all that but I'm not in the rock crawling crowd. It does seem to meet Mike's needs perfectly so in that regard it's a homerun. I hope Kye continues to make the bumpers and refine his design and processes.


The fact that it doesn't protrude is one of the main things I like about it!!!! I wish more bumpers on the market were tucked close in like it is! Looks a heck of a lot better to me than the giant cow catchers 95% of the bumpers on the market are!!!! :rockon:

I just wish I could talk my wife into letting me get one! :duel:
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby DamageWagon » Mon May 15, 2017 8:44 pm

Every bumper is a compromise. Minimal protrusion is great for rock crawling, but horrible if you hit a cow or deer. I was very thankful for my bull bar this morning when we were the first ones running the roads this season when they opened the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We were pushing 50-70 foot pines out of the road with the bumper and winching others. The bull bar and mesh in the front kept a branch from puncturing my radiator. Obviously common sense applied, but even driving around this region I'm glad to have the front protrusion that keeps logs off my hood and out of the grille. That's just my use though. This bumper was also a small crutch in Moab. Win some, lose some.
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby hunterman6 » Tue May 16, 2017 12:23 am

Thank you all for the kind words. Thank you MikeKey and Thedirtroad for taking the time to review and post up your thoughts of the bumper. I'm glad you are both liking the bumper. And thanks for sharing pictures!!!!!

As anyone who has ever designed something knows, there are always compromises; but you try to make you're design meet your performance requirement for your application. I am happy with the design for this application. There are always areas for improvement with any product and process.

One thing that I have said before, but I will reiterate, is this is just a small side hobby/project for me. I work 50+ hours a week at a "real" job, so I just do this on the side for fun. As such, if you are looking for a bumper quickly, or have high demands, then buy a different bumper. I will likely make a couple more bumpers and by then it will be hunting season, and my priorities will be shift to the important stuff!

I appreciate all the feedback, pointers and encouragement from you guys , which is what initially made me offer some of these for sale.

Thanks guys :rockon:
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Re: Kinzer Off-Road Bumper - Reviewed - Moab Tested

Postby MikeKey » Tue May 16, 2017 9:09 am

I recently came across another option, but I see a few design flaws with it for that are shopping.

http://www.775fabrication.com/shopbumpe ... -2014-2017

I do see a few design flaws though, like how do you access the clutch lever for manual release of your line? And the plug cut out is... mhem. My plug died, this bumper would require removing to replace if yours went bad. With Kye's I was able to replace without removal of bumper.

I do like the angles on the lights, but it looks like it lacks some of Kye's protection. But it's another option for those wanting a bull bar too.

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