Shorty - thanks for the info. I have gone out on a limb and bought aftermarket bumpers made by Smittybilt. These are made for the Jeep Wrangler. But I spent a few hours at the 4x4 shop where I bought them to measure the Sporty and the display-bumpers to see if I could find some that would work. Here are links to the two I bought (front & rear):
I'm hoping the rear mounts with enough clearance so I can add the tire mount. But we'll see how that pans out...
I was able to spend the afternoon working on the front bumper mod. Here are a few photos of the progress, along with a few of the body lift & the mod to make the stock bumpers fit after the body lift...
Tabs used to lift the stock bumpers.
Nudge-bar nubs left after cutting them off so the front bumper could be relocated after the lift.
Don't look! I'm naked!!!
Smittybilt front bumper mocked for mounting at frame-level.
Same mock-up from the side.
Shifting the bumper up to the level of the lift-blocks.
Above the frame, from the side.
So here's where I'm at with the front-bumper install... I'm trying to decide if I should mount the bumper at the level of the frame or just above it - even with the body blocks. As I see it, mounting at frame-level will likely be stronger. And it will be easier to accomplish. But I though the mounting looked more "natural" with the bumper above the frame. That won't be as easy to pull off, because I'll have to replace the front body-blocks with steel to provide a mounting surface for the bumper... Then I showed the photos to my wife. And she said it looked better with the bumper set low , which left me procrastinating... but leaning towards the "easier to accomplish" route. I'm off tomorrow (Monday) for Labor Day (U.S. holiday... celebrating working by taking a day off and getting mad because all the stores are closed to honor the holiday... ). So I hope to make some progress... on the front at least. I'll try to post the results.
-------------------- 1997 Sportage 4x4, auto-trans, Warn manual hubs, 3.5" UPYOURKIA lift w/TJ 105AA rear springs, 2-5/8" custom body lift, 31x10.50 Adventuro MTs... and SmittyBilt SRC front and XRC rear bumpers with swing-out tire mount - and an OBX LSD front diff!!!
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