One of the most important must-have items for off-roading is a winch. Everything from recovery and self-extraction to trail maintenance can be accomplished easier and faster with proper use of this device. But for safe use they must be securely attached to the front of the vehicle, and that's where having a heavy-duty mounting point in the form of a quality bumper comes into play.
Hanson Enterprises recently introduced just such a heavy-duty winch mounting point (in other words, bumper) to its line. Designed specifically for '93-'98 Jeep Grand Cherokees (ZJ), we thought we'd try one on for size and give you the skinny. What, you don't own a Grand Cherokee? Well, Hanson also builds bumpers for other Jeep models, Ford Broncos and Super Dutys, Dodge Dakotas and Rams, and Toyota FJ40s. The company also produces cargo rack systems, rocker guards, and other trail accessories out of good ol' solid American steel.
These bumpers are so nicely done we thought you'd like to see a few shots of one in the buff. If you'd rather have yours powdercoated in semi-flat black, Hanson Enterprises can take care of you for an additional $115. (Which is a screaming deal since a local powdercoater quoted us $300 to do the same job!) We decided to spray our bumper with a medium-gray, hammer-finish paint (Rust-Oleum, No. 7214 gray) for easy touch-ups and to complement the Grand's plastic body cladding.
Hanson builds two models of ZJ bumpers: A basic model sells for $559, while the Winch-Guard version shown here (with the extra tubular hoop over the winch) is $684. Both bumpers include the zinc-plated fairlead mount and all hardware. The bumpers are built of 3/16-inch, hot-rolled, pickled-and-oiled, steel plate (basically, top-quality material) and use 1/4-inch plate for the attachment brackets. This allows the bumpers a continued from page 62 great strength-to-weight ratio (ours came in just a bit under 90 pounds).
Looking at the pictures, you'll notice the nice welds and attention to detail such as a winch deck with a recessed clearance for longer winch motors (such as the Warn HS9500i and 9500Ti) and drain holes for the muck that normally collects and stagnates under a winch. In front, there are radiator cooling openings that afford easy access to the winch mounting bolts (10x4 1/2-inch standard pattern) and two fully-welded, 1-inch-thick, attaching tabs for shackles (or clevises, or D-rings, or whatever your favorite term might be).
The plastic fascia on Grand Cherokees basically snaps in place, so it doesn't require much
...Finally, pry out the three fasteners in each wheelwell that attach to the splashshields
You'll need to remove the tow eyes (or optional tow hooks) attached to your Grand's front
...If you have a lot of extra time and energy, a die grinder or large file could work as w
Bolt the Hanson brackets to the framerails, set the bumper on them, and loosely bolt the t
Finish off your Hanson bumper using the included fairlead mount and your favorite winch an