Fabulous Protection: Adding Fab Fours Bumpers & Warn Winch to our 2011 Ford Super Duty
We Install Fab Fours Bumpers With a Warn Winch for Off-Road Protection & Recovery
When it comes to adding protection to an off-road truck, especially a ¾-ton beast, bumpers are great upgrades that add function and burly, ready-for-anything styling. Since our ’11 Ford F-250 Super Duty is built for weekend off-roading, we wanted to add a set of bumpers that would provide protection on the trail and flair for a night on the town.
Knowing we wanted bolt-on bumpers with D-ring mounts and a spot to fit a Warn winch, we called our good friends at Fab Fours and had them send us their matching Premium front and rear bumper set. The Fab Fours bumpers are designed to bolt on to the stock location and boast a fit and finish the OEM would be jealous of, so we knew we made the right choice.
Since we spend weekends burning oil on the trail, we wanted to add a winch in case we needed it or desired to assist a fellow stuck wheeler. With our F-250 weighing in at nearly 8,000 pounds, we opted to for the biggest 12v winch Warn makes: the 16.5ti winch that offers 16,500 pounds of pulling power. This setup should suffice to pull our Ford out—even if it’s buried to the frame. We also opted for a Rigid Industries lightbar to not only complete the look but to provide much needed vision on dark nights.
With all our parts loaded in the bed, we headed over to our local 4 Wheel Parts in West Covina, where we added serious protection and capability to our late-model F-250.
1. With the bumper, winch, batteries and lightbar accounted for, we put the truck on the lift and were ready for tear down.
2. The stock Ford bumper served us well through its years of service, but without provisions for a winch it was no longer a viable option. A few bolts later, the factory bumper was off, and the frame was ready to accept the Fab Fours bumper.
3. The Fab Fours Premium winch front bumper is made from 3/16-inch steel and tips the scales at 185 pounds, giving it the strength to support our 16.6ti Warn winch. The hard angular lines follow the body of the Super Duty perfectly and give the Ford an even more menacing appearance.
4. The first step was to install the Fab Fours-supplied foglights and turn signals in the bumper. With a drop-in bracket and all the required hardware, the lights were easily installed.
5. With a 4-ton truck and our keenness for playing in the sand, we opted for the biggest winch we could fit—the Warn 16.5ti. It offers the most pulling power (16,500 pounds) without upgrading to a PTO winch.
6. Since we won’t have access to the winch mounting location once the bumper is installed, we stuffed the winch into its home on the bumper and bolted it down from the front and the bottom.
7. The controller on this winch is adjustable and was quite easy to line up with the access port in the top of the bumper, giving us quick access to the plug for the controller when we actually need to use it.
8. With the winch mounted to the bumper, we turned our attention to the roller fairlead, which lined up perfectly with the pre-drilled holes.
9. The Fab Fours bumper uses a unique two-piece mounting system that allows for corrections to fine-tune the fit easily. The mounts can either be installed on the frame first or to the bumper first, like we’ve done here. We left everything loose for easy adjustment.
10. The bumper and winch combination is more than 300 pounds and is impossible to lift alone. It took three guys to wrestle this beast into place, but thanks to precise measurements from Fab Fours it slid right on.
11. We used a set of jacks to support the bumper while we made adjustments to its fit against the truck. If you’re doing this in your driveway, regular jackstands or blocks of wood would work well, too.
12. With the bumper sitting where we wanted, our tech, Cesar, began tightening all the bolts down, first with the impact and then by hand.
13. With everything bolted down and sitting where we wanted it, the brawniness this bumper added to the front of the truck was impressive.
14. To actually use the winch, we had to finish wiring it, which was quite easy because the Warn winch only requires a power and ground connection that comes pre-crimped from the factory. Since this winch will draw several hundred amps under load, we added a set of deep-cycle Optima YellowTop batteries to make sure it had the juice it needed.
15. Since we might be on the trail after the sun goes down, we opted to add a Rigid Industries LED lightbar. We went with its new 30-inch E-Series Midnight Edition bar that features a cool, blacked-out optic that helps the light disappear during the day.
16. With the location marked, we drilled two holes for the Rigid Industries lightbar—the only modifications we had to make to the bumper at all.
17. With the wiring completed, the bumper bolts double-checked, and the light mounted and wired, the front end was ready to hit the trail. With the head-on shot of the Rigid Midnight Edition, you can see how having the black optic helps this light blend into the bumper.
18. Now that the front end was protected and ready to pull us out of the deepest ditch, we turned our attention to the rear of the Super Duty. With a matching Fab Fours Premium bumper, the back of our Ford would be protected from rogue rocks on the trail and awful drivers on the road.
19. The stock rear bumper unbolts with ease, as only a few bolts hold it to the frame. After unplugging a few connectors for the backup sensors, it’s ready to slide right off.
20. The brackets included from Fab Fours are similar to the front, with a two-piece design to allow for easy adjustment in every direction. They bolt right in to the stock location and are much sturdier than the stamped-steel stock mounts.
21. Since our truck had factory reverse sensors, we ordered our Fab Fours bumper with mounting provisions. Epoxy is included so you can mount the plastic housings into the new bumper and easily attach the OEM sensors without any modification.
22. With the sensors plugged back in and the license plate lights and bumper sitting where we wanted them, the back of this Ford means business. Thanks to the cutouts in the side of the bumper, we can easily hop into the bed—even with 4 inches of lift.
Fab FoursPineville, NC 28134
Warn IndustriesClackamas, OR 97015
Rigid IndustriesMesa, AZ 85215
Optima BatteriesMilwaukee, WI 53209
4 Wheel Parts (West Covina)626-812-9472