I am running Metal Tech's front tube bumper with winch mount, rear tube bumper, and their sliders with 2 stage rub rail. I decided to go with Metal Tech because of the strength and design of their bumpers and sliders.
I have been running their sliders with 2 stage rub rail for about 2 years. In my opinion, these sliders are terrific. They bolt to the frame of the vehicle and the mounts are incredibly solid. They're very strong, look great, and do a fantastic job protecting the FJ. While wheeling, I have come down on them very hard numerous times, used them to get over obstacles, and even used them to slide around large rocks, trees and tree roots, without any damage to the FJ. They have held up every time I've needed them and I know they will continue to hold up. I clean up any "trail rash" I recieve with sand paper and black spray paint and I'm good to go. Just like most sliders, you can lift the entire side of the vehicle up using a Hi-Lift jack. *Side note, If you jack the vehicle up using the sliders and a Hi-Lift, I would suggest opening the door on the side you're lifting from. In the event the jack fails, it won't slam into the closed door and damage it. You'll notice in the pictures my door is closed, I was given that advice after the pictures were taken.
Another thing I like about these sliders is the protection they offer in parking lots. The Metal Tech slider with 2 stage rub rail have a "kick out" welded to them which causes them to stick out even further. I can't tell you how many times I've walked out to my FJ after eating, watching a movie or whatever else (NOT AT THE MALL) and seen a paint mark on the slider. I know thats from some jerk who threw his door open without a care in the world and nailed my sliders. No damage to the FJ, but I'm sure that donkey had a nice ding in his door. When I see this, it brings a smile to my face.
I have been running their front tube bumper with winch mount for about 1 year and I couldn't be happier with it. I have used the front bumper with winch mount along with the recovery points to recover stuck vehicles, recover myself and move downed trees on the trails without any failures. In my opinion it is one of the better looking bumpers out there. It is very strong and very well built with a lot of thought put into its functionality.
It is a 2 piece bumper which makes installation and possible future maintenance easier, not to mention better strength. The winch mount/plate and the bumper both mount independently to the frame of the FJ. Once the winch mount/plate is bolted on and installed, then you slide on the front bump, bolt it on and you're good to go. Installation is rather simple. Now getting back to the strength part. I like the fact that the winch mount/plate bolts to the frame independently and not to the bumper itself. When I'm winching, most the torque is on the frame of the FJ verses the bumper. In my opinion, bumpers that have built in winch mounts/plates could possibly fail before the the winch mount/plate to the frame would. Another thing I like about it mounting to the frame is it seems to put the winch lower on the vehicle than others. I feel this helps reduce the center of gravity slightly (winching at odd angles) and helps to reduce the amount of pressure on the front suspension, bumper, and other parts. It also puts most of the energy and torque low on the frame of the FJ. Having said all that, I have not seen a failure in other bumpers or winch mounts/plates while winching and I might never see one, but in my mind the possibility is still there. That is why I prefer a frame mount.
The newer Metal Tech front tube bumper with winch mount has 2 recovery points welded onto the winch mount/plate. Again, I like where they put the recovery mounts. They are lower on the on the vehicle and welded directly to the winch mount/plate which again, is bolted to the frame of the vehicle. My reasons for liking the location of the recovery points are the same as the winch mount and how it bolts to the frame. I have not seen a recovery point welded to a bumper fail (I have heard of it though), but I didn't want to take the chance which was another deciding factor in going with Metal Tech.
The Metal Tech front tube bumper with winch mount has several light tab mounts welded on to it. It has a total of 4 light tabs (2 on each side) mounted lower on the bumper and 2 light tab mounts on the top center of the bumper. For me, the most time-consuming part of installation was spent running wire and mounting all of my lights (I like lights).
Overall I am very happy with this bumper. It has a good approach angle, easy to keep clean, light, looks great, and does a good job protecting the FJ. I have hit several trees (smaller trees) without damaging the bumper or FJ. On my last wheeling trip, I made contact with a rocky, dirt wall and the bumper did it's job. It took the impact, protecting the front drivers side fender. It was a small hit, but a hit none the less. I'm positive if I didn't have the bumper, I would have broke the front turn signal housing and damaged the front drivers side fender. I clean up any "trail rash" I recieve with sand paper and black spray paint and I'm good to go.
*Note: If you do decide to go with Metal Tech or another bumper, be cautious how much He-Man strength you give on the front frame bolts. This was not a failure on Metal Tech or any other manufacture, it was a failure on my part. I over tightened the bolt and broke the frame stud off. Even though I did like 7 push ups that morning, it wan not my guns that broke it. It was the impact I was using and the fact that I drank way to much coffee that morning and was way to excited and over tourqued the bolt. Lessons learned.
I have been running their rear tube bumper for about 1 year and I am very pleased with it. Just like the rest of their products I have, it is very well built and solid. In my opinion, there are better looking rear bumpers out there, but when it comes down to strength and protection, this is one of the best bumpers.
This one piece bumper makes installation and possible maintenance in the future a little easier. It has a built in receiver, which is nice and it doesn't hang down to low. It also allows for installation of the factory back up sensors. It has two recovery points welded onto it. I have used them several times to recover and tow vehicles. Installation was very simple and straight forward. The longest part of installation was removing the factory bumper.
The Metal Tech rear tube bumper is amazingly strong and can take a beating. I have come down very hard onto rocks and the bumper took the hits. It did not flex into the body or dent/bend the tubing of the bumper. Another thing I like about the rear bumper is the side protection it offers. I have damaged the "wings" on the side of the bumper by sliding into trees, rocks, and other things. Again the bumper took all of the force and held strong without flexing into the body. I can't tell you how many trees (smaller trees) I have backed into without damaging the bumper or FJ. Again, any "trail rash" I receive while wheeling gets cleaned up with sand paper and black spray paint. The bumper does not have any light tab mounts or cut outs for rear lights, but I did add a pair of Rigid SR-M's by bolting them to the bumper and wiring them into the revers lights. The lights are tucked up high enough that they are protected by the bumper, but still put out a good amount of light.
Overall I am very happy with their rear tube bumper and can't count how many times it has saved the FJ from damage. Looking back though, I wish I would have given more consideration to the Metal Tech Red Eye swing out bumper. Reason being, I upgraded to a larger tire (Nitto Trail Grappler 295/70/17). It would not fit on the mount because it made contact with the bumper. In order to mount the larger tire, I added a 2" wheel spacer and washers to act as spaces on the bottom of the tire mount. After doing this, the spare tire fit on the mount. Another reason is the new tire is heavier and now sits further out from the door (due to the spacers), increasing the weight on the door.
I hope you find this review useful. I'd like to thank Metal Tech for making great products that hold up and work on the trails. I will continue to update this write up in the future and add anything, good or bad that I find. Thanks for your time.
*If you're interested in checking out Metal Tech products or other vendor products sold by Metal Tech, please click the link below. www.MetalTech4x4.com