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What are the differences between the "standard" bumper and the "heavy duty" one?
simplest way to tell is to look at the bumper from the side of the vehicle: _ _ | | | | | | light duty heavy duty -william
Here is my understanding. The original HD bumper is the full boxed one with the "ears" and hole at each end and has the 4 holes on each side midway between the frame bolts and the bumper end. This is the true HD bumper, same as the military units. The holes on the ends are for the shackles...the 4 hole patterns are for the military tire carrier and the military gas can holder.
In 95, they made what we call the light duty bumper. AFAIR, it was drilled with the 4 holes on the right side but not the left so as to fit the civilian tire carrier. Makes sense b/c it was made for the civilian market only. The original literature from AMG said that the optional HD bumper was needed to use the swing away tire carrier. I am assuming that they were afraid of the weight w/o the rigidity in the bumper. I remember this clearly b/c I was thinking how stupid it was to have the holes that nothing fits onto :). I know that later the SATC could be used with it...I am thinking they use a reinforced bracket on the back or something...never seen one.
In 96 sometime, the HD bumper was not ever optional anymore...only the light duty bumper. Now sometime near the end of 96 or starting in 97, the HD bumper came back. I cannot remember if it was optional or became standard again. Anyway, the new HD bumper is not the same as the old one. It does not have the ears and holes at each end but does have the 4 holes on both sides. The only problem with these things is that the ends have a tendency to fold in a little when you catch rocks. The bolt holes near the ears have tubes inside the bumper which stiffens it up. I would suggest people with the new HD bumper weld a plate across the ends (or just part of it) or something to that effect.
Some additional information:
On my original '95 HD bumper, there were no holes on the driver side for the can carrier. It did have the holes and dogs for the shackles on the ends of the bumper. Couldn't say about the '94 and earlier ones.
Also, the bumper, stop, and retaining pin on the civilian tire carrier mount in the holes used by the military can carrier (driver's side), not the holes used by the military tire carrier (passenger's side).
The civilian tire carrier is made from round tubing, holds the tire more toward the center of the truck, and does not obstruct the view of the three rear (civilian only) marker lights. The military carriers are made from square tubing.
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