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Discussion Starter #21
I know it was pretty dry while you were back Blue. What I would like to know is if the new bumper and the cutting has improved the flow of water when you hit standing deep water. On my 06 it just shoots the water over the windshield making it impossible to see for a coupe seconds.
I don't know Creek, it was extremely dry while I was back and I didn't hit any river or stream crossings where I was.

Maybe when I get back in November, things will be a little wetter - or I can search out a stream crossing somewhere and have a better answer for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Maybe other who have modified their front end can chime in.
Hopefully.

Just out of curiosity Creek, do you have a snorkel on your XK to be going into water that deep?
 

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Hopefully.

Just out of curiosity Creek, do you have a snorkel on your XK to be going into water that deep?
No I am talking standing water on the road. Always thought it was a design flaw since it has happened since 06.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
No I am talking standing water on the road. Always thought it was a design flaw since it has happened since 06.
That may be the case.

How fast are you going through the standing water when this happens to you?

I'm asking because I usually avoid standing water when I can - and when I do drive through it, it's usually at pretty low speeds.
 

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More pics:







Late to the party I know .. But man this looks awesome .. I have no need for a winch so that should make life a bit easier .. To be honest the only off road fun I see myself having in the future is in the badlands off road park close to Chicago .. And it gets very busy.. Also there is always people around to pull you out .. Maybe the dunes as well but a winch wouldn't help there .. Let me ask you this would having it shipped and doing it alone be worth it to save money .. Or is the install cheap enough to avoid the work?
Those pictures of him going at the core support kind of have me worried .. I was thinking this was a remove and bolt up type of deal ???
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Late to the party I know .. But man this looks awesome .. I have no need for a winch so that should make life a bit easier .. To be honest the only off road fun I see myself having in the future is in the badlands off road park close to Chicago .. And it gets very busy.. Also there is always people around to pull you out .. Maybe the dunes as well but a winch wouldn't help there .. Let me ask you this would having it shipped and doing it alone be worth it to save money .. Or is the install cheap enough to avoid the work?
Those pictures of him going at the core support kind of have me worried .. I was thinking this was a remove and bolt up type of deal ???
This is not a remove and bolt up kind of deal - it's a little more involved than you think and there is some cutting involved which is unavoidable.

I'll post some pics here in a minute and you'll get a better idea.

They charged me 4 hrs labor at $200.00 an hour - so $800.00 for the install but it actually took them a full 8 hrs to do it with 3 people working on it, so they actually gave me quite a break on the labor cost.

Doing it yourself would probably save you some money (depending on where you are getting it shipped to) - but unless you have someone competent to help you, I really doubt this is a job that one person can do alone.







41229










 

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Discussion Starter #28
So here is a review and some follow up info, 1 year after the install:

I had the installation done at WAM's shop & they did a pretty good job - not a great job. To be quite honest, I don't think they have done a ton of these bumper installs on Commanders.

Negatives:

Some things to bare in mind for anybody that is considering this upgrade, this is not a flawless, perfect process, there is tweaking that needs to be done post install; IE securing the forward, bottom part of the front wheel tubs in place and securing the bottom of the grille in place;

Cutting away the front fascia from the factory bumper cover, does away with the factory clips & mounting points that normally hold everything neatly in place - and I'm sure there will be similar issues with the rear bumper as well, if anybody chooses to get a WAM rear bumper/tire carrier installed.

These are the kind of details that people don't give any thought to - until they are staring you in the face - at least that's what happened to me.


They had to remount the motor for the winch because where they mounted it initially, the connector for the handheld winch control would not fit; (there was not enough room between the Whammy Commander bar and the winch motor and the connector is somewhat long) WAM bought the patent/design for this Commander front bumper from the original designer which was Tactical Armor Group.....when I went to their shop, I found out that the Tactical Armor Group founder (whose name I do not remember) was actually there working for them - which I found a little ironic but unfortunately, he was not around during this part of the install, as it's one of the final steps towards the very end of the job - otherwise I'm sure he would have caught it.

The folks at WAM (Natalie in particular) asked me not to mention the TAG founder's name and did not want him to be mentioned at all, as an employee of theirs, in my initial write up about my visit to their shop (which I found somewhat odd) and that's why I don't remember his name - but here is a pic of him since I do believe in full disclosure to our forum members:



Tactical Armor Group Founder

So they had to drill a second hole for the winch mounting bracket and spray paint over the old hole - during this process, they managed to get some over spray on my headlights - which I caught right away and was able to clean off; they also got some over spray on one of the large PIAA fog lights that I could not clean off, fortunately they a spare on-hand that they replaced on the spot.

My smaller PIAA fog lights were actually mounted upside down (which I didn't notice until after I got home) I disconnected them, pulled them out and flipped them over while I was home on leave back in January, took me maybe a half an hour.

I had to paint the mounting bracket for the winch motor, as it was just a bare piece of steel that would have been good & rusted by now, had I not done that shortly after the install.

The paint job - particularly on the lower half of the bumper and where the cuts were made, was what I would call sub-standard; I have already sanded down the edges and repainted the entire lower half of the bumper (with a paint brush instead of spraying it) last month to keep it from rusting - some minor surface rust & discoloration was already starting to show, in areas where there was little - to almost no paint at all, in some of the crevices where there were tight angles and on a lot of the underneath flat surfaces as well.

Fortunately, because I'm very meticulous and routinely crawl around underneath my XK, I caught it early enough to where it was repairable and didn't cause any permanent rust damage.

Considering this bumper/install cost me $2,300.00 these are things I don't think I should have had to deal with post install, as well as things I don't think I should have seen in just 1 year's time, with a very limited amount of driving & outdoor exposure.

Positives:

Now I will say that WAM only charged me for 4 hrs of labor - but the job wound up taking them a full 8 hours from start to finish, so they gave me 4 hours of labor at no charge. I will also add that because of my work schedule, I could only give them 30 days advanced notice and they went out of their way to squeeze me in - which I did greatly appreciate. I'll say that from a communication & customer service aspect, WAM was exceptional.

But at the same time, I paid them in full - well in advance of the job being done - and the quality of some of the install work was definitely a little sloppy, now that I've had some time to look back on it & reflect.

I'm not trying to rip WAM by any means, I just want anybody that is considering going there to know & see the bigger picture.

But at the end of the day, I'm still quite happy with the bumper & WAM's customer service was great.

 

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Discussion Starter #29
So for a while, all the pics in this thread were missing - because they were all posted from my old Photobucket account, which no longer exists, since they started charging people an arm & a leg for image hosting;

I finally got around to uploading all of the WAM installation pics to my imgur account, so all the pics in this thread are visible again, for anybody who might be considering going to WAM for a custom steel front bumper.
 
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Thanks for the refresh of the pics, Photobucket's "business plan" when they realized they couldn't maintain their service for free certainly is a pain to deal with and feels a bit like extortion at the prices they're charging. I don't think I've ever seen Wam come up in my searches for winch bumper options online before and your post led me to glance at their site. Not bad prices for some good looking bumpers. I've bookmarked them for the future. I particularly like the look of the v2 commander bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Thanks for the refresh of the pics, Photobucket's "business plan" when they realized they couldn't maintain their service for free certainly is a pain to deal with and feels a bit like extortion at the prices they're charging. I don't think I've ever seen Wam come up in my searches for winch bumper options online before and your post led me to glance at their site. Not bad prices for some good looking bumpers. I've bookmarked them for the future. I particularly like the look of the v2 commander bumper.
@brianfmeister;

Glad you found it useful;

There are 3 places I know of that make aftermarket steel bumpers for Commanders;

WAM, jeepsteel & Bluelake Off-road;

Jeepsteel sells cheaper bumpers - but make no mistake, its a cheaper quality product.

I'll warn you upfront; Bluelake Off-road has had alot of well documented customer service issues in the past, taking very excessive amounts of time to fill orders.

I don't know if their customer service has improved or not, over the last couple of years.

Here are links for jeepsteel & Bluelake Off-road;


 
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