Sometimes, even a modest lift can't save your precious rig's behind from touching and rubbing against the terrain. But that challenge is really part of off-roading. Protecting the rear end of your rig is just as important as protecting the front. The demands of travelling through off-road terrain make your OEM bumpers prone to damage. And as you become more engaged with these kinds of adventures, the more you should invest in protective equipment for your rig. Outback off-road brand ARB has its own line of rear protection for your rig. This line-up should supplement the ARB bull bar that you might already have installed to the front of your rig. We installed the ARB bumper, particularly the rear bumper, to our Toyota FJ Cruiser. Here's what we found out:
- Equipped with dual hi-lift jack points
- Optional tow hitch; will not work with OEM tow bar
- Allows fitment of up to 35-inch tires
- Vehicle-specific design
- 2 years warranty
- We made our way through ruts and steep descents. There were a few times that the rear's bumper clearance was not enough to avoid the ground. The sound of metal rubbing against the ground worried us. Upon clearing those parts, we checked the underside of the bumper to see if there is any damaged. We found light scratches, but there were nothing as serious as dents or deep gashes.
- We have been notified of a rear-end collision before. The rig was equipped with the ARB rear bumper was able to leave the scene with just scratches. Unfortunately, we don't have the guts to deliberately bump our vehicle just to test the bumper's integrity.
- Just like with the ARB bull bar, the problem with having an ARB rear bumper is the extra weight. This can affect your need for suspension adjustment or upgrades, the change in fuel economy, and possibly handling.
- The ARB rear bumper does not match a few OEM components such as the tow bar and rear parking sensors. For the sensors to be functional again, you will need to do some modifications.
Combining the ARB rear bumper with the ARB bull bar and side rails can make a tank out of your rig. These can provide you adequate protection from off-road terrain, road hazards, and even collisions. But we believe that the rear bumper is less essential compared to the bull bar. Also remember that like a tank, your vehicle runs slower and heavier as you add more armor. Should you want your rig to still deliver the same performance, you will have to compensate for through other modifications.