Chassis Unlimited Octane Rear Bumper Review

Chris-DTA

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Black Friday 2022 I ordered a dual swing-out arm Octane Rear Bumper from Chassis Unlimited. Initially, I was quoted a delivery shortly after Christmas, but that never materialized. Whenever I reached out, it was almost ready. Then this, then that until it finally shipped on February 22nd.
The pallet arrived at a friend’s business as he has a loading dock/forklift. I went the next day to take look, but felt quite disappointed. The pallet was wrapped in heavy-duty shrink-wrap which was fine. The bumper was “protected” by Smirnoff Ice cardboard boxes and maybe that explains the issues. There was no mounting hardware, no brackets. Just the bumper and the spare tire mount.
I reached out to Chassis Unlimited the same day, but it took additional 2 days before a shipment went out. It looks like two shipments actually, which caused additional confusion. One box came via UPS and one via USPS.

Installation: Ok, time to get this thing installed. If you can hold/operate a drill or impact driver, you can install this thing yourself. The instructions were not provided with any of the shipments, but fortunately I had reached out about it when I requested the mounting hardware. The instructions were extremely generic and it seems to be one set of instructions for all their bumpers. YouTube to the rescue, but there is no install video for this Chassis Unlimited bumper (or for any other one with the right level of detail). Fortunately, I found a video from Chandler Truck Accessories (CTA) for one of their rear bumpers. This video got me 80% to the finish line. Removing the old bumper was easy following the Chandler Truck Accessories video.

Then the problems started happening. Nothing to be a showstopper, but annoying and time consuming and I have additional work lined up as well for reasons I will explain shortly.

Mounting Brackets. I had to guess how they went onto the truck, but figured it out quickly. The CTA video helped. Then I transferred the parking sensors to the new bumper and things turned bad. The cut-out holes are a tiny little bit to small. Just enough that the sensors did not fit back in the holding. I tried all 4 sensors and then called Chassis Unlimited. I was eventually told, that I have to shave down the sensors or the holdings to make it work. This was bad, but I made it work. However, there is a weld on the left side of the bumper near where the sensor is located and the sensor wire connector hits the weld just right to prohibit installation. So, I shaved down the casing of the wire connector for the harness as well. Two of my sensors are now loose and I will need to glue them in, but that is for another day.

License Plate lighting. The instructions barely talk about the LED lighting for the license plate. It feels like some obscure LED lighting. It works, but you have to mount it before you install the bumper and then I wonder how I would ever get the license plate off or install a new rear camera with a license plate bracket?! The provided LED lights feel cheap and the wiring is even worse. And – there are no instructions of how to wire it to the existing harness. Again, the CTA video provided a solution. I will probably work out something different for this, but for now it works.

Rear lights. The bumper has two openings for 3” LED Cube pods/lights. I did buy two Diode Dynamics Stage Series 3" SAE/DOT White Sport LED Pods. There is no way to flush mount these. Even leaving a tiny gap is difficult. I have yet to wire them up, but I have the feeling they are pointing a bit upwards. It’s not horrible, but it is definitely not good or great. I am considering to buy other LED pods that may fit from the outside and drill some holes into the bumper to have them flush with the bumper. I will decide when I have them wired up, but right now I am not sure I like this.

Mounting the rear bumper. My buddy helped me to mount the bumper and we ran into a major issue on my 2022 F250 Tremor. On each side at the tail end of the truck where the original bumper fit like a glove there is some plastic cover mounted. Again, the instructions don’t mention this, but to make the bumper fit so that you can bolt it on you have to remove the plastic pieces. It is a total of 4 fastener clips/fender clips or whatever you want to call them. Once these plastic covers are removed, the bumper fit onto the mounting brackets and I was able to bolt it on. There are now openings in the fender that I need to seal up or cover up. Most people will not notice, but I think it looks like sh!t/sloppy/cheap.

Home stretch. The opening for the trailer hitch plug is too small. It is too low as well. There is no way the standard plug from Ford is going to fit in there. I started shaving off the bottom of the plug, but realized once I had enough height clearance, that the plug was also too wide. I am not even mentioning that the flip cover is hitting the bumper and will not close ever unless I come up with something. But wait – there is more. Not sure if to blame Ford or Chassis Unlimited, but the plug/bumper is now further away from the vehicle body and the wiring harness will not reach the plug – ever. The only solution I see is to cut the wire and make my own extension to get it connected. So, I am debating how to fix this. I do not have a metal grinder, but if I can wide the hole for the plug I may get the plug into the bumper. Not sure what to do about the fold-up lid/cover. It looks like the specific plug section may still be covered if I shave off a bit more. I am not planning to tow anything, but that does not mean this needs to be done properly.

My opinion: So, I am quite disappointed at this point. Parking sensors are pretty much the same – no matter the car/truck manufacturer. Why I am forced to shave down the plastic of my sensors is beyond me. I get that the bumper is thicker, but that cannot be it. This is sloppy engineering in my opinion. If I search on YouTube, other bumper makers get this done just fine. But that the trailer/hitch plug does not fit – I mean – not even close – that is really bad!!!! Really bad. The opening is too low and needs to be moved up a quarter or a half inch. And then it is a tiny bit too narrow. Just enough to make this a super frustrating experience. It took me ~4 hours to install the bumper. Probably could have done it in less than 3 hours. I assume I will need another 2 hours to address the issues mentioned.

Ok, but what about the bumper itself? The right-side swing-out arm had some minor scratches on the powder coating, but those will be invisible once the spare tire is mounted. Speaking off – I had to look at product pictures on the Chassis Unlimited website to find the right way of mounting the spare tire mount. Anyway, everything feels solid. It is a good bumper. The welds look good, the powder coating looks good. The swing-out arms work and feel solid. The truck looks great and probably even more, once I have the spare mounted. Had to realize that I could not use locking lug nuts with my Method 305 HD wheels and had to order other lug nuts. The bumper will grow on me, I love the truck's look, but I had higher expectations.

PS: I wish they would have shipped some of that Smirnoff stuff with the bumper. Needed a drink this evening.

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Like yourself, I too ordered from Chasis Unlimited back in November and have been promised many dates, having not hit any one of them just yet.

I have a strange feeling it's soon, if not on their way, but after reading your review, I am less than thrilled now.

To make matters worse, I ordered front and rear bumpers, only difference being non spare for the rear.

And thusly, I have a sense in feeling that the front won't be any different than your experience with the rear because of the notorious adaptive cruise control mount and making it properly work and the all infamous ford/warn winch. After all, I did go this route to find a permanent solution for the winch mount strength and it not affecting the ACC sensor any longer as I have already experienced with the factory set up. Just hit the 9th month mark of not being able to utilize the CC function in my 2022 King Ranch Tremor :rolleyes:

Yet the CC on my 2007 6.0 with nearly 400K on the odo, works just fine.

While the bumpers once installed do look great (reason why I was sold on them instantly), something did tell me this new company wasn't ready for all the fuss they made and the attention they received from the get-go and much just like all fabricators out nowadays , they simply do not care.

They can barely pump out their products to the consumer much less dedicate any extra time to provide decent customer service.

In the end, if they have taken this long (and continue to), perhaps life is trying to tell me something.

Too bad they have been paid in full.
 
This is sloppy engineering
Possibly, but may be an execution/manufacturing issue. It is one thing to design a product, but a entirely different animal to produce it a repeatable fashion.

Granted, the hitch plug seems like a miss, though :(

They can barely pump out their products to the consumer much less dedicate any extra time to provide decent customer service.
It is expensive to operate a business and cover all aspects. Many underestimate the manpower and investment required. Or, as you also stated, just don't care. It's no wonder many small business go under...
 
Possibly, but may be an execution/manufacturing issue. It is one thing to design a product, but a entirely different animal to produce it a repeatable fashion.

Granted, the hitch plug seems like a miss, though :(


It is expensive to operate a business and cover all aspects. Many underestimate the manpower and investment required. Or, as you also stated, just don't care. It's no wonder many small business go under...

I know all too well what it's like to run a small business - I am a small business owner.

To me, this is like grade school - you either go prepared to learn or just sit there like a warm body.

The fact that it needed 3 shipments to completely fullfill his order and never received instructions is once again, showing up to school with the proper supplies ready to learn or empty handed because you simply do not care.

Shame on Chasis Unlimited; sure had high hopes for them with great looking products.
 
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If look at the pics on the Chassis Unlimited site, the bumper shown doesn't even have license plate lights or trailer plug provisions. Seems like they never finished the development process.
 
If look at the pics on the Chassis Unlimited site, the bumper shown doesn't even have license plate lights or trailer plug provisions. Seems like they never finished the development process.
They send me these LED lights that function as the screws to mount the license plates. The lights work, but it is not an elegant solution as you will have to cut the wires if you need to remove the license plate or (like me) wants to mount a reverse camera that has a license plate mount. Once my spare tire is on the swing-out the stock rear cam from the tailgate will have no further purpose as it is blocked.

The wires for the LEDs are super thin and flimsy and I had fear of ripping them apart when putting electrical tape around the butt connector. I'll install the new reverse camera over the weekend.

@AZsurveyor I hope you have a better experience with your bumpers. Are you installing them yourself?
 
They send me these LED lights that function as the screws to mount the license plates. The lights work, but it is not an elegant solution as you will have to cut the wires if you need to remove the license plate or (like me) wants to mount a reverse camera that has a license plate mount. Once my spare tire is on the swing-out the stock rear cam from the tailgate will have no further purpose as it is blocked.

The wires for the LEDs are super thin and flimsy and I had fear of ripping them apart when putting electrical tape around the butt connector. I'll install the new reverse camera over the weekend.

@AZsurveyor I hope you have a better experience with your bumpers. Are you installing them yourself?
I have those kind of license plate lights on my hotrod Corvette. I used Posi-Locks to connect the wires from the lights to the wiring harness so I can disconnect them if needed.


Chassis Unlimited missed the boat on this one.
 
No, @Chris-DTA - I am having a local shop do the install but I can guarantee you they won't happy by any means with all the modifications it takes to make this work as you just described.
 
No, @Chris-DTA - I am having a local shop do the install but I can guarantee you they won't happy by any means with all the modifications it takes to make this work as you just described.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you. By the way - here is the installation video from Chandler Truck Accessories that really helped to get me through this installation. Cannot hurt to give that to your shop as well.
 
Keeping my fingers crossed for you. By the way - here is the installation video from Chandler Truck Accessories that really helped to get me through this installation. Cannot hurt to give that to your shop as well.
I'll give you credit for putting up with all that, I would have made them ship me a new bumper or a refund.
 

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