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Help! New ARB Bull Bar Won't Fit (Tried Two Bumpers)

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Ruggedly, Apr 16, 2018 at 4:51 PM.

  1. Ruggedly

    Ruggedly

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    Hey all. So I'm trying to figure out if I'm dealing with a bad batch of ARBs or if my frame rails are unexpectedly jacked up. I just removed a non-winch ARB which came off without incident and was reinstalled without incident the same day. Right after removing that one from my LC, we tried to install the new winch-compatible ARB, and it clearly was not going to fit. The sleeves for the frame rails appeared to be about 1/4" too narrow from even the tightest fit being possible. Thankfully, since I picked the new bumper up from 4WPW, it was a quick call on Saturday and they had a replacement ready for me today. I had them measure the frame rail sleeves on the second ARB before I drove off and there was a solid 1/4" difference between the two (measuring inside edge of one sleeve to inside edge of the other).

    I just got it home and went to install the second one and the same issue is present, but to a lesser extent. WTH??? I've determined I may be able to use an inverted hi-lift to pry the sleeves apart enough to get it to slide on, but I want to get to the source of the problem first. If my frame rails are the issue, then I'll take the risk of manhandling it into place. If the ARB is the issue, I'll return it AGAIN in hopes of getting a good one.

    SO, that being said, would someone be kind enough to measure their frame rails OR their ARB frame rail sleeves for me?

    When I measure outside edge of frame rail to outside edge of frame rail, I get almost exactly 30" (measuring in the middle of the rail - see pic) but only 29 7/8" when I measure the bottom (see pic). I just realized I didn't measure the top edge and can when I get back home, but this leads me to believe my frame rail could be a bit suspect. However, considering the fact that my old ARB transferred no problem, I'm not entirely sold on that theory.

    When I measure the outside edge of the frame rail sleeve to the outside edge of the other frame rail sleeve, I get only 30 1/4" (see pics), hence the problem. Can anyone confirm if this is in line with what the ARB should measure?

    Thank you all for the help!

    David

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  2. mct75

    mct75

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    The frame rails spread over time, I had to use a hammer, grinder, and comealong to get mine to fit.
     
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  3. Ruggedly

    Ruggedly

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    Thanks for the feedback. Then why wouldn't ARB build them with the extra "room" on the outside to accommodate this? there's at least 1/4" of wiggle room in each sleeve, but it's still "too small". Considering the first one I tried was 1/4" SMALLER, I don't know what to think.
     
  4. BILT4ME

    BILT4ME

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    I don't have the outside dimension, but my INSIDE dimension is exactly 25" inside surface to inside surface (between the rails)
     
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  5. Ruggedly

    Ruggedly

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    Thanks - I'll do an inside-to-inside measurement when I get home.
     
  6. chap79

    chap79 Wheel. Break. Fix. Repeat. SILVER Star

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    I had a similar experience when I had an ARB as well. I used the factory bottle jack and some blocks of wood to spread the bumper to fit the frame horns. :meh:
     
  7. Irish Reiver

    Irish Reiver SILVER Star

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    When I fitted my ARB the frame rails had spread outwards. I think I used a couple of ratcheting cargo straps to bring them together enough to get the ARB started. Once it got going it went on fairly easily.
     
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  8. Technician1985

    Technician1985

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    If it's really only 1/4" I wouldn't lose much sleep over it, you can probably take up the difference with a ratchet strap or something. Even if the bumper's mfg tolerance is off 1/4" it will still probably be easier to compress the front of the frame than to try to get a new bumper IMO
     
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  9. Ruggedly

    Ruggedly

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    Thanks guys. I totally considered using a ratchet strap but wasn't sure if it'd actually pull the frame rails together. I'll give these ideas a try. Would much prefer this to returning another bumper, especially if it's possible the next one will have the same issue.
     
  10. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

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    Have had to horse several of them on. Haven't installed a gAy-aRe-Bee in a longtime, seems to have solved that problem! :hillbilly:
     
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  11. woodsman 44

    woodsman 44

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  12. GregS86

    GregS86

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    Go had to use a BFH on my frame rails to get my ARB to fit.
     
  13. whaler

    whaler

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    Mine was welded too short on the left top of frame rail bumper mount. Impossible to fix without cutting and welding.

    sounds like they had someone new in the assembly line during this recent batch...
     
  14. Bryanseye

    Bryanseye Inaffective Grammer Nazi SILVER Star

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    Just installed one a few weeks ago. Same problem. Solved by hooking one side onto a frame rail and bouncing a sledge hammer on the inside of the opposite bumper mount while pushing. Did it solo but would have been much easier with a helper. Two good whacks and it slid on.
     
  15. Rivman1243

    Rivman1243 SILVER Star

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    This might help
     

    Attached Files:

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  16. MountNGoat

    MountNGoat KK6WRY. Always Learning GOLD Star

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    A month ago I had the same issue with a new ARB winch bumper for my '97 LX450. It was about an 1/8" off from fitting. I have a hard time buying the 'it spreads over time' argument. As a structural material steel does not creep. And this vehicle has not been wheeled hard (yet - it's going to Rubithon in June). I came up with the same solution as @chap79 and incrementally expanded and tried to fit until it would go on, using the bottle jack and a 4x4. Then, the bolt holes were clearly fabricated incorrectly for some of the side bolts and required a generous opening up to get them in. I do believe they are having fabrication issues as had previously installed two ARB winch bumpers on other 80's in the family - that had twice the mileage as the current one - with no problems at all. I'm not sure if the supply chain has been fixed or not, but talking to a friend at 4WheelParts, he reported that ARB could not tell him when any more were even shipping to the States, whatever that meant.
     
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  17. MANUCHAO

    MANUCHAO omnia mea mecum porto

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    HD ratchet straps, a 2 footer 4x4 piece of wood and a BFH are your friends ....
     
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  18. Roadhouse78

    Roadhouse78

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    I used a bottle jack to spread my rails..... little sketchy but it worked.
     
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  19. danthman114

    danthman114

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    I used a bottle Jack in between the frame
     
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  20. Ruggedly

    Ruggedly

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    You guys are freaking awesome. The bottle jack method was a success tonight (and completely solo). Not only that, but I also discovered I have a big leak in the rear sliding window that’s been slowing rusting away the base of my bottle jack. Only owned this LC for a couple months, so who knows how long it’s been rotting away. Will try to find the thread I saw the other day about fixing leaky sliding windows.

    Of course, here are some pics of the journey! Thanks for all the help!

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    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 9:16 AM