FMF Stubby Front Bumper and Smittybilt XRC 9.5 Winch

Today I removed the big plastic canoe that Jeep calls a front bumper and installed a Full Metal Fab Stubby front bumper. Like most things though, you had to do some prep work before bolting the bumper on. Seems you have to do some of these things for just about any aftermarket bumper you buy, especially ones that have a recessed winch mount.
I bought the bumper bare metal, I like to just spray pain most my parts, that way I can easily touch them up if they get scratched. The bumper is VERY well made, well designed, and welds that are like artwork.

First you have to relocate the vaccum canister from behind the bumper to under the hood. I have no idea why Jeep puts this thing behind the bumper, cooling maybe? I purchased the relocation bracket from FMF also, so it wasnt too bad to do. You just have to cut the factory plug wire off and extend the wiring. The vaccum hoses run up under the hood already, so you just shorten them and reconnect them to the canister.
Next you have to cut off the stock bracket that the canister was bolted to. It can be a bit trick to get the cutoff  wheel in there, be careful not to nick the AC line going to the radiator. Should look something like this when you are done.

       I purchsed the optional lower skid for this bumper that bolts under it and to the bottom of the stock crossmember. You will need to trim some metal off the ends that hangs down below the crossmember. This lets the optional lower bumper skid sit flush under the crossmember.

Install your facotry lights in the bumper before you install it. You can install the winch with the bumper already installed, which is nice. The hardest part is bolting on the optional lower skid, its a bitch getting your hands in there to get the bolts in, especially if you have a Rubicon with the electronic swaybar.
I really like how it all turned out. The bumper seems very well made and plenty strong, yet only weighs 53 lbs, plus an additional 17 lbs for the lower skid. Which isnt too bad for an all steel bumper.