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WAM Custom Front Bumper with Smittybilt 9500 XRC winch & synthetic s/b98495 line.


Of all the mods I have done to my XK, this is the one I waited the longest for & planned the longest for;

My custom made WAM hidden winch mount steel front bumper with Whammy Commander Bar in black bed-liner finish with Smittybilt 9500 XRC winch & synthetic s/b98495 line.

BEFORE

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HALFWAY DONE

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The Finished Product

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Last edited by Big Blue XK, 6/24/2018, 5:34 pm


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http://bthefloridacommandersclub.runboard.com
9/10/2017, 2:46 pm Link to this post Send Email to Big Blue XK   Send PM to Big Blue XK Blog
 
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Re: WAM Custom Front Bumper with Smittybilt 9500 XRC winch & synthetic s/b98495 line.


Here's a link to their website: [sign in to see URL]

This is a review and some follow up information, 1 year after the install of my WAM custom hidden winch mount front bumper:

I had the installation done at WAM's shop & they did an alright job - they did not do a great job.

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 holds 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 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 [sign in to see URL] 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 founders name and did not want him to be mentioned 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:

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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 had a spare on-hand to replace it with 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,[sign in to see URL] 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 look at & see, the whole picture.

But at the end of the day, I'm still quite happy with it and have no regrets about the purchase.

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Last edited by Big Blue XK, 6/24/2018, 5:47 pm


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http://bthefloridacommandersclub.runboard.com
5/5/2018, 12:53 am Link to this post Send Email to Big Blue XK   Send PM to Big Blue XK Blog
 
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Repainted my WAM front bumper by hand with a brush yesterday (6/29/2018)


I completely repainted my WAM front bumper by hand with a brush using black Rustoleum Bed-liner paint which seems to be a higher quality paint than the spray on bed-liner that WAM used - and it definitely coated a lot thicker.

Here are some pics:

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6/30/2018, 7:28 pm Link to this post Send Email to Big Blue XK   Send PM to Big Blue XK Blog
 


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