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Thread: Southern style off-road slimline bumper with warn winch and s8 lightbar

  1. #1
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    Default Southern style off-road slimline bumper with warn winch and s8 lightbar

    Hey guys, I know a lot of people are interested in this bumper but just weren't sure about pulling the trigger due to lack of reviews. I personally prefer something that isn't mass produced out of China that everybody has. I love the fact that it looks like it belongs on the truck from the factory, that it's lightweight, and it's made from a small business with attention to detail. It's for these reasons amongst some others I decided to purchase the sso slimline hybrid oem bumper paired with and designed specifically for the warn Xeon 10s platinum winch and Baja designs s8 lightbar. SSO has many different combinations such as the oem or universal bumper that can be designed specific to your tastes whether you want it powder coated, with or without bull bar, with winch plate, for different light bars, ect. Depending on your tastes it can be designed specific to accommodate you. I decided to do a review for anyone on the fence so they may decide for themselves if this bumper is the right fit for them. Those of you that have come to know me I've promised to do a thorough review on the product and it's installation so here we go.



    First off you must realize that from the time you order your bumper it will not be on your doorstep the next day. It took a little over a month to receive mine but I knew going in it was not something they pull off the shelf and ship. Each bumper is made from the time you pay and it's built according to your specifications. Like I said I decided to order over the phone while looking at their website and picked the options of the bumper itself being the oem version designed exclusively for the warn Xeon 10s platinum. The difference is there are no holes in the bumper to access the clutch due to the fact the winch has a wireless remote included that through the push of a button you can engage or disengage the clutch. I decided to have it black powder coated with a stinger or bull bar on top. I also purchased through them the warn relocate kit since it fits so snug within the bumper and paired it with a s8 Baja designs s8 lightbar, I finished my order off with 2 red D rings.



    After impatiently waiting lol, I was informed via email my shipment was on its way. The bumper showed up delivered to my doorstop I believe via fed ex in a big brown cardboard box. When I got home I was ecstatic. I was a little nervous when I inspected the box because there was a hole on 1 side. Obviously it wasn't sent that way so I opened it up and checked everything out. Despite being packaged very well and taking all the precautions of packaging with a whole bunch of those foam type pillows the damn delivery people obviously didn't take great care of my package, obvious from the hole in the side of the box which looked like something was either smashed into the side or just simply wasn't handled with care despite the instructions clearly written and placed on box. Long story short everything survived and was perfect due to the protective packaging despite the 2 smaller metal tabs that secure the bumper underneath the vehicle to where your factory tow hooks are placed. Both tabs were bent and due to the bend some of the powder coating was removed. However, the primer was still there and it was nothing myself with the help of a rubber mallet and some krylon black textured rust proof spray paint couldn't fix to look back to new. (Damn you fed ex lol) I contacted the owner of SSO Kevin and he was very helpful in resolving my issue even taking the time to respond to my email outside of business hours on a Sat around 10pm EAT. That meant a lot to me and kinda gives you an idea of the type of person you are considering doing business with.



    Here you can see the type of care taken to protect the package and unfortunately despite the extra care taken the hole in the box during shipping and the little bit of damage that occurred to the bent metal tabs. The foam pillows were placed all around the bumper and lightbar along with the Styrofoam sheets and plastic wrap protecting the whole entire bumper and all other parts that came with the shipment. Despite the condition of the box which I could tell was not taken care of during shipping I gotta say the extra precautions taken in protecting the rest of the bumper and other contents in the box paid off in protecting everything else. All hardware was included in an envelope and clearly marked plastic bag for installation. If you desire like me, I ordered everything needed through SSO and everything was included that was needed to complete the installation. The only thing I didn't purchase through them and decided to get locally was the winch and a factor 55 hawse fairlead, despite warn including a chrome fairlead in their winch box. Everything else including the lightbar, d rings, warn relocate kit, ect I ordered through SSO.

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    If you are handy and confident feel free to skip to next paragraph. This is for everyone else out there to either help them get confident to tackle themself or scare them away into paying someone else to do this for them. I'm hoping more people realize this IS something they can do themselves. A little background and just some I think helpful info to help convince those like myself that might not have been confident enough to decide to tackle this job on their own. I will say despite the ability for 1 person to be able to install everything themself, I decided and was glad I did to have a friend from work give me a hand. It's not necessary to require 2 people for the install, but imo it does make it easier with things such as holding the bumper in place while attaching ect. Although not required, if you can convince a buddy to come over for a couple beers you might find it a bit easier to get the job done and probably save yourself a little time in the process. I will say neither of us are professionals by any means. We don't have a mechanical background, we do things like tree work, drive big cdl trucks, masonry work, landscaping, paving, ect. I'd say we have sort of a well rounded construction related background. So we are accustomed to working with tools which helps, but even if you've never held a tool in your hand before this you probably could still get the job done with google and YouTube videos on your cell, lol. As long as you can read the instructions on their site and have access to some pretty basic tools, I think you can probably do this install yourself. If not, convince a friend with the tools that's pretty handy and between you and him I'm pretty sure between you both you can figure it out and make it happen. Like Nike, just do it. I decided to pay someone else to do my tints, shackles, shims, wheel spacers, tires mount,balance, and alignment. Everything else I've done to my truck I'm proud to say I've done myself. Undercover swing box, interior led lighting including front and rear footwells, installing diamondback bed cover, bed lighting, reverse tail light tint, 3rd brake cargo light tint, and a couple other small easy mods if you will. If it's something I can handle and do myself, I save myself the money and learn how to do myself getting more satisfaction when the job is done. After reviewing the install instructions pdf on the sso website I was pretty confident it was something I could stumble my way through and figure it out. Now that it's done I gotta say it feels great to do it myself, I saved myself enough money by not paying someone to install for another good size mod later lol. I really believe this is something almost anyone can do if you either have like myself or can borrow a couple tools and just have a little bit of know how to use the tools. Like I said before I am by no means a car guy or really know much about anything when it comes to vehicles. I'm a little handy and do have some construction skills in my background which help, but really it's just simply a matter of having the nerve to be confident enough it's something you can handle yourself. Besides that it's pretty simple and nothing too crazy, simply follow the directions step by step and within a days amount of work you too can do just what I did.



    Now onto the install specifics, wake up, if i haven't bored you to death by now with my little pep talk, for those that are confident in their skills here we go. Enough nonsense talk, hope my little rant convinces you to save yourself some money and tackle this yourself. This might be the only tool that I happened to have that not everyone out there might have, a dremel. I'm pretty sure this part could be done with other tools but I happened to have a dremel and figured out of my other saws and tools that it was probably the best tool for the job. Like I said I could be wrong since I don't do this type of stuff everyday, but I was pretty confident it would work and I was right. I started by taking some blue painters tape and placed it in the location I was going to cut the factory plastic lower bumper. I did this so I could take a pencil and draw the exact line to cut. Obviously it's a little hard to see a line on a black piece of plastic and I'm not a perfect free hand straight line cutter so i decided to go the fool proof way of taking an extra minute to set myself up for the cut. I could be wrong but I think I remember hearing back in the day taking this extra step not only helps insure against any accidental touches to the bumper you don't want to cut and helps control making a nice clean cut without additional fraying if that's possible on plastic, see I told you I'm no expert. I know it helps on things that can splinter like wood so figured why not to help with the plastic too. Just remember, you can always take more off if needed, but you can't put more on, unless some of you guys know something I don't. Although the cut does not need to be perfect, you must leave a little lip for the surround piece to sit on as this helps close the gap between the sso bumper and the plastic factory bumper you are leaving on there. On the sso website instructions you can see in their pics the lip you will want to leave for the plastic surround piece. Take notice of this lip and make sure to leave it going all the way around. The dremel along with a couple hard material reinforced cutting wheels will make short work of this before the cut scary step. Looking back, it was pretty easy and nothing to really worry about. Just make sure you take notice of the pics on their site to leave that little lip around the edge you cut. They outline in red where to make the cut and clearly show in the pics the lip you will want to leave. Long as you follow their outline in pic it will come together nicely at the end when you place the trim piece around. I used a utility knife and a small metal file to remove any remaining jagged edges left on by tge cutting wheel.

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    Next up remove the piece you were just scared to cut and realize it wasn't that bad. It should look like this when done cutting and removing.
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    Next you will remove the grill, theres 2 black push tabs that pop out and about 4 silver screws on top that remove with a Phillips head screwdriver.
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    Next remove this piece and place somewhere safe next to the grill because later those 2 things will go back on.
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    Before I forget, please forgive me if I happen to forget a small step or don't get very detailed in it. Like I mentioned before, the step by step install instructions are on the sso website and I was trying to stop to take pics for everyone at each step but may have got caught up in the install myself and forgot to pull out the camera on a step or two. I assure you if I did, it's nothing too crazy I forgot as in being difficult to do, and it certainly was not intentional. Chances are it's such a small insignificant step that I didn't think it's something even worth documenting. Anyway, next you remove the factory crash bar. I'm petty sure it's aluminium and removed by 3 bolts on each side in the circular spaces you see in front of it.
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    After you have now removed the crash bar and previously that black piece,the grill, and plastic part you cut out bumper you are ready to move on to..
    [​IMG]Removing the extension piece. There is a similar looking piece that this attatches to that you will eventually attach the sso bumper to.
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    After removing the lower part of bumper and aluminum crashbar, next you will take the supplied ziptie and hang the removed lower part of bumper to get the crashbar out in place back on while you install the sso slimline hybrid bumper.
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    Next it was time to bring the bumper over and get the lightbar and winch all setup. The lightbar mounted very easily with the supplied hardware in the s8 box to the mounting tabs within the bumper. Since the bumper was fabricated specifically for this bar the edges in the face of the bumper were scalloped and the metal tabs that the bar mounted to with the supplied hardware from Baja designs fit perfectly on the both sides to the metal tabs in bumper. Next I mounted the fairlead. I then continued by running the winch line thru my separately purchased and mounted factor 55 hawse fairlead and attatched the winch securely to the bumper with the supplied hardware.
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    Next involved removing the control pack off the top of the warn winch and attaching it to the sso supplied mounting bracket I attatched.
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    Next I found it most easy to put the bumper on a floor jack while I slid it over and raised it up to its desired location. It slides onto the 3 bolts on each side of the removed black bumper extension. If you remember we removed those two sides earlier, where we took off those pieces there's 3 bolts on each side that the bumper slides onto, then secure on those bolts. Work smarter not harder right.
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    [​IMG]It's the sorry 4 bolts you see on the backside of the bumper extension that you removed that it attatches to on each side.
    After hanging the bumper on those 4 bolts on each side you secure them there with the supplied hardware and also to the bottom removed tow hooks. You can re-use the factory tow hooks to as they fit back on over the 2 metal tabs on bumper (remember the 2 I bent back from shipping)
    Look you can even make your friend crawl under the truck to do that part lol
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    And whala!!!! If I spelled that right
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    After working overtime on a Sat from 7-1 my friend and I banged it out with still some daylight you can see in the top pic. We had the winch all set up and the sso slimline oem bumper all installed in about 5-6 hours. The only other part we had left to do is run the wiring and hookup the Baja designs s8 lightbar. I added the appropriate supplied stickers to the box and....
    [​IMG]Boom check that bad boy out, imo looks badass!
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    The following week we hooked up the Baja designs s8 lightbar and boy did it not disappoint.
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    [​IMG]The output of light from this thing is ridiculous.
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    I knew in my heart the sso slimline hybrid oem bumper specifically paired with the warn platinum Xeon 10s winch and a Baja designs s8 lightbar was going to be a badass combo. I just didn't realize just how happy I'd be with it all. Damn now I love my truck even more and I didn't think that was even possible. I gotta say too, much thanks to Kevin, the owner of SSO, answering my questions at crazy times of day due to my work schedule(like midnight via email). He's a great guy to do business with and makes an awesome product. Bailey from Baja designs, not the owner of baja but none the less, another great guy answering my questions. Mr warn for making a kick ass winch.
    In all seriousness I hope this review helps any of you that may be on the fence. I remember there being a lot of people that mentioned this bumper but weren't sure about pulling the trigger due to not that many reviews. I know there were a bunch of Tocoma owners that were happy with it and that was good enough for me to take the chance. If you are hesitating only because of the lack of reviews for the Tundra, here I am saying don't hesitate, you will be very happy with the product. You don't have to go with the oem bumper either with the expensive winch so don't let that scare you either. Their universal bumper is made with access holes for all other winches. There's other lightbar options too if you want. You can save money in a whole bunch of different ways with their product depending on the route you decide to go and what you want according to your budget. Don't ask me about price, build exactly what you want on their site. I can almost guarantee it will end up being different from mine and as a result a different price. I don't mind answering any other questions about how I feel about the products or about the install. I did this because I know there were many on the fence about purchasing. Well here's a non dealer, non paid, regular site member giving 2 things up on the product. I always like to keep in mind you get what you pay for and these products are no different. Would I love to get for free sure, but that's never gonna happen. So I'm ok paying decent amount of money as long as I get a great product in return. That I can assure you these products I feel are all awesome, I couldn't be happier if you couldn't tell. So there you have it, those on the fence I say go ahead, those that know me that I promised a honest review there you have it. I say go for it, everything I got kicks was. Here's a couple more pics.
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    Again, any questions feel free to ask. Remember I did this for all you guys I remember being on the fence about the bumper. I also did the product and install review because I promised those that have come to know me I would for you. I got tons of pics, in case you can't tell so if you are looking for somethingin particular don't hesitate. If I didn't get some enjoyment out of helping others trust me I wouldn't spend this crazy amount of time doing the review for you all. I don't need the review, I got it and love it. This is for everyone I promised and those that it may interest and are on fence about the bumper. If you didn't want to read the whole thing and scrolled all the way down to end looking at just the pictures, to sum it up, get it, the bumper, the winch, the lightbar. You won't be sorry about any of it.
    Mike
    Or don't go out and buy it, you all know how I like to be different being either the only guy with something, or one of a few with something. I guess that's why I didn't go out and buy a bumper that everyone else has, just me being me and enjoying being different. Wait a second, I just realized something, this product review and install thread better not result in everyone having one, just like the pro grill I now see everyone driving around with lol, if so, I'll take back everything I said about it. You guys are gonna make me change my grill next. Lol. No, all seriousness, if you're looking for a kickass, cool looking, lightweight, but built tough, made in America, go ahead and support a small business Tundra related owner I'd heavily consider getting a southern style off-road bumper.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Southern style off-road slimline bumper with warn winch and s8 lightbar

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Southern style off-road slimline bumper with warn winch and s8 lightbar

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Southern style off-road slimline bumper with warn winch and s8 lightbar

    Nice DIY!! Thanks for adding to the TG database!!

  5. Thanks wayword53 "Thanks for this post"

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