For me, adding the Pronghorn MFES C1 to my Jeep is not just about upgrading its trail abilities, but about making a stand for expertly designed and highly functional off-road equipment. In a world inundated with mass-produced parts, it is a refreshing change to experience the C1.
Shipping and Packaging
This is one of the best features of the Pronghorn MFES (Modular Front-End System). Being delivered standard shipping makes it an even better option over its freight shipped competition. It is also clear that great care goes into packaging each piece. Wrapped in soft brown paper, the bumper is split in to three manageable sections; two end caps, and one main center platform. Nuts, bolts and other accessory parts are kept tidy in their own box or carefully tied bag.
Though “assembly required” is great for lowering shipping costs, it will make you pay in time during installation. Some may really dislike this step, but my opinion is that it is actually rather enjoyable. I was able to get everything unpackaged and organized in about 30 minutes. I was then able to began familiarizing myself with all of the parts. It was rewarding seeing it all come together while getting a tour of the fine craftsmanship that went into fabricating each part. One area I could see of improvement would be with assembly. Tagging like items and referencing their SKU in the instructions would help with any confusion. None the less, I wrapped up the assembly and proceeded with removing the stock bumper.
Discarding the stock bumper was simple. Removing four bolts that attach it to the frame, then disconnecting the fog lights was all that was needed. Getting the C1 in to place and lined up was easy as well. There are two large rectangular holes in the back of the bumper that serve as an entry point for the frame attachments. This makes it convenient to rest the bumper on the frame while getting everything aligned. With a combination of square tubing, spacer plates and the iconic yellow tow hooks, you have created the final mounting arrangement. Four bolts and the bumper is on. The grade used for all bolts and nuts is of high quality. Tightening them down and into place was rather satisfying.
Build Quality and Materials Used
Obviously this is my favorite part of the Pronghorn system. The quality is unmatched. As soon as you get it out of the box you understand that it is going to take anything you throw at it. From the high-strength T6 aluminum, to each cutout and weld, this bumper has clearly been created with love. The tow hooks feel substantially beefier over stock and have a robust yellow gloss that I am sure offers protection while in use. Furthermore, the black aluminum has a quality feel and look to it. Overall, this is the area I choose to boast the most about with Pronghorn.
The system is still new to my Jeep, so I have not had much opportunity to test its performance…yet. Winter is usually the season where we hit the trails and forest roads the hardest. I expect to really put it through its paces whilst stuck in two feet of wet and heavy Northwest white stuff. However, my initial impressions is that it will be able to hold up very well.