Installation and Review of the Maximus-3 Winch Mount, Bumper Hoop, Hook Anchors & D-Ring Loops
The Mopar designed Rubicon X front bumper is a great foundation for a superb, strong and utilitarian styled factory front end. As part of only a few Limited Addition packages from Jeep over the past three years, it’s a sharp upgrade over standard Rubicon or Sahara front bumpers. This well engineered front clip sets our Rubicon X apart from just another standard out-of-the-box Rubicon. We loved the balance between style and rugged modular steel construction. The visible Torx bolts remind us of the visible rivets on old military hardware. We also like the integrated driving lights and easily removable wings that transform the front end into a high clearance rock crawler. Considering the fact that we would probably be replacing a standard Rubicon front bumper at some point, it seemed well worth its share of the X packages extra expense so long as we kept it on the Jeep. But it would need a few things.
The Need for Upgrades
It was obvious our Rubicon X front bumper was going to need a few add-ons to make it complete and expedition worthy. For starters, the as-advertised “winch-capable” front bumper doesn’t include the necessary winch plate to bolt a winch to the bumper. While Mopar offers a winch mounting kit for around $450, it is stamped steel, and somewhat more expensive than another option we had our eye on. A company called Maximus-3 out of Auburn Hills, Michigan caught our attention the moment we considered the X package. Maximus-3 offers several great upgrades for the Rubicon 10th Anniversary, Rubicon X and Rubicon Hard Rock models, including that winch mount we needed at a much better price than the option from Jeep. It is also fabricated from heavier gauge steel with welded seams, and powder coated to match the X bumper’s finish. Did we mention it’s almost half the factory option price? The Maximus-3 enhancements actually helped us make the decision to go with the Rubicon X package, thanks to what the final outcome of the Mopar bumpers could be with their products added on to the package. Beyond the foundation for our winch, Maximus-3 offered a whole lot of other Rubicon X products (X, 10A & Hard Rock) that we had to have. One key thing we noticed is that every product designed by Maximus-3 is meant to enhance the Rubicon Limited Addition Package components, not replace or mask it in some way. Exactly what we were looking to do.
Maximus-3 offers several packages for the Mopar front bumper, so we went over their packages and components and came up with a short list of items we wanted to add to enhance an already sharp front clip.
- Winch Plate
- Classic Hoop
- Offroad Light Brackets
- Hook Anchors – Installs right behind the Houser Fairlead and gives us a place to park our winch hook
- D-Ring Loops – Attaches to the bottom of the winch plate and gives us a couple of more recovery attach points on the front end. A very useful thing to have when we need a secure attach point to use a line pulley (elaborate).
Also part of our installation was:
- Warn 9500i Winch
- Red Powder Coated D-Rings
- D-Ring Spacer Isolator Bushings
- Lightforce RMDL170 ‘STRIKER’ 170mm Lights with H.I.D. Conversion
- Rubicon Express Billet Aluminum Hawse Fairlead
While spec’ing out our requirements, we had a few questions about the installation options using our winch. Joseph, one of the engineers at Maxumus-3, was extremely helpful with our questions and gave us a few pointers letting us know our massive Warn 9500i would fit, although it would be very tight, even letting us know there would be a specific bolt that we would have to cut shorter.
Maxumus-3 engineered their winch plate to accept both a center mounted winch and an offset mount winch. Even though our large Warn 9500i would have had better clearance in the offset position, we really wanted to mount it centered and were able to get that accomplished. Maximus-3 also offers several varieties of trim plates depending on the winch and how it’s installed. After we were able to settle in on how the winch was going to be mounted, we gave Joe a call to describe our application and Maximus-3 sent over a set of upper trim plates to nicely finish off our installation.
One of the great products Maximus-3 offers is their D-Ring Loops, which bolt to the underside of the winch mount plate and extend down through the bottom of the bumper. Fabricated from 1/2″ steel and powder coated, these D-Ring Loops provide a strong installation point for 3/4″ D-rings. While the factory Rubicon hooks are great for a quick throw-over with a tow strap, sometimes you need a safe, closed loop that won’t detach during a hard pull. The D-ring loop is also very useful for double line winch pulls where you need multiple closed loop anchors points on your own vehicle. Our thought is that it’s always better to have more rather than less anchor points on your vehicle, both front and rear, because you never know what type of situation you might find yourself in.
Installation and Review
The next several pages document the installation, and then wrap it up with our review of the Maximus-3 Winch Mount, Maximus-3 Classic Hoop and D-Ring Loops, and the Maximus-3 Light Brackets.
Go to Bumper Removal
Maximus-3 Upgrades to Project Rubicon X
Rubicon Bumper Removal
Maximus-3 Winch Mount Installation
Winch Install onto Maximus-3 Winch Mount
Maximus-3 D-Ring Loops Installation
Maximus-3 Hook Anchor & Hauser Fairlead Install
Reinstall Bumper & Maximus-3 Classic Hoop Bar Install
Thoughts, Analysis & Review of the Maximus-3 Classic Hoop, Winch Mount, D-Ring Loops, Hook Anchor & Light Brackets
I love what you guys at Maximus are are up too. Such clever ideas for the Hard Rock JK. Keep up the terrific work guys I’ve incorporated your designs into my own 2016 Hard Rock.
We stumbled over here from a different website and thought I might as well check things out. I have a HArd Rock and didn’t even know abotu Maximus-3. So I checked them out and I’m glad I did. Great article. Thanks for the tip.
Really nice setup! I have a 2012 Rubicon with AEV’s Heat Reduction Hood and I’ve been thinking about getting a Mopar front bumper. The Maximus-3 Hoop, winch mount and the D-ring loops really set it off nicely! Great photos, really helps get a sense for what it looks like without seeing it in person. I have a silver paint, black wheels and black accessories look and seeing the red pop like it does on your Jeep, I think that will look real nice on my Rubicon. Thanks for the info and pics!
Great writeup. Spring project for the Hard Rock
Great series of articles. The hoop looks fantastic. I have a Sahara and bought the Mopar bumper from a friend. I’m definitely ordering one of those hoops.
Great article. Been looking at these componenets wondering how difficult it was to install on my Hard Rock. Answered a lot of questions.
Just wanted to throw my 2 cent in and thank you for a well-written writeup on the install. I bought this same package except with a stinger for my Hard Rock and before I dug in, I found this page. It was nice to read through someone elses install before I put wrench to bumper. Like checking out good Street View on Maps, it was like I had already gone through an install when I did mine. Very helpful tips and I got through it in a weekend without a hitch. Thanks Offroaders.
Maximus-3 is a decent company. I bought their rear tire carrier a year ago and it’s been great. Solid design and it took the weight off my door. I’ve been looking at these products and I think I’m about to place an order. I see on their site they sell roof racks. Does Offroaders have any experience with their roof racks?
I was recommended this website by my cousin, a real-deal Jeep fan. I’ve got an X and there’s going to be a Warn 9000 under the tree this year. The Hoop and D-rings look fantastic, got to add them to my xmas list.