Well crap – this bumper is not going to work with my winch so I need to swap it out with another

When I went shopping for a new bumper, I found myself on the Brooklyn Coachworks website. Brooklyn Coachworks is a builder / restorer of bespoke Land Rover Defenders, and I admire this company because their aesthetic is spot-on and each and every one of their builds (that I’ve seen in pictures) perfectly appeals to my own taste.

Photo Credit Brooklyn Coachworks

Photo Credit: Brooklyn Coachworks – These are the vehicles that I use for inspiration. While my own Defender is far rougher around the edges, these restorations are drool-worthy.

On the web, they have an online store featuring a few aftermarket parts, which probably isn’t a major focus of their business. However, the winch bumpers listed there were sensibly priced, and I was confident that I’d receive a good bumper that matched the utilitarian aesthetic I was aiming for.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do sufficient research, and paid the price.

Although purchased from Brooklyn Coachworks and received with no identifying labels, I believe this to be a Terrafirma Commercial winch bumper for Land Rover Defender L316

Listed in their online store as “Aftermarket Winch Bumper” for Defenders without air-conditioning. It’s a handsome winch bumper and I paid $380 USD plus shipping in early 2024.

You can see the mounting hole in the winch cavity, and there is no more room to correctly align the winch over the footprint
Just an inch to the right should do, but the gearbox is already against the frame rail. This ain't happening.

The bumper I received was of good quality, and looked great on the defender. While the winch fit nicely in the cavity, and the bolt pattern was correct, the footprint and fairlead opening were offset for winches where the gear-box side is shorter than the motor side.

An example of this would be the timeless Warn M8000, or the more contemporary Warn 9.5XP.

Warn M8000

The Warn M8000 with detached solenoid has been around for a while. As you can see, the motor side is longer than the gear box. This would fit perfectly in the bumper I received.

Warn 9.5XP

The somewhat more recent Warn 9.5XP features similar dimensions with a larger motor with heat sink, but is also an offset design.

Close, but no cigar

My COMEUP Winch 9.5si is nearly symmetrical and requires a centered footprint and fairlead opening. The same is true for the Warn Zeon 10S. Neither of these winches would work on the bumper I received – at least not without modification.

Almost a perfect fit, but the symmetrical COMEUP Winch needs a centered footprint and fairlead opening for this to work. The footprint and opening on this bumper are offset about an inch to the right for a different winch style.

So I need to course-correct on this one. Rovers North has an elegant winch bumper listed on their website that explicitly states that it is compatible with the Warn Zeon, and if that is the case, it’ll work with my COMEUP Winch, too.

I regret not going that route in the first place.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to sell the brand new bumper I purchased from Brooklyn Coachworks locally, and hopefully get some of my money back.

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