By: George “Kickstand” Pandoff
Usually I start with the 'What you get' followed by the 'install' and lastly the 'review'. This time I'm starting with the
review first. After reading my review and ordeal with getting the parts from Quadratec I will explain why (if you don't
already know by the end of the review).
I am unhappy to report that I have had my first bad upgrade. A couple
of weeks ago I asked one of my jeep forums for reviews of the Olympic Reverse-A-Bar. I received two favorable replys, so I
decided to try them for myself. Well, after installing and testing these bars, I can tell you they will fail if you attempt
to hold the weight of the jeep on these bars, such as sliding down a boulder. It's a long story so if you're interested read
Liking the design, and having talked with the people at Olympic, I decided I wanted their model 371 bars and they told me
that Quadratec would be able to assist me with getting this Olympic product.
I ordered Olympic Reverse-A-Bar model 371 from Quadratec and questioned as to whether they could get it for me since they
only have model 171 listed. I was told that the one they carry is actually the 371 model and that it was the same cost as
the 171 and that they kept the same price for the beefier bars. (Suspicions say "Hmmm") I continued to grill the
person I spoke to that he was sure these were the right bars. I absolutely did not want the cheaper light weight bars
because I put my Jeep through some difficult obstacles and intend to put them to the test. Repeatedly I was told I would
receive the 371 model.
7 days later...
Bars arrive and the box seems too light. (Suspicions saying "I told you so") Sure enough I open the box and there
sits the 171 model. I call Quadratec again and they tell me that Olympic doesn't make the model 371 and doesn't know why
they have it on their website when they don't make it.
Now to call Olympic again...
I spoke with one of their reps as to whether they make the 371 bars and about all the problems I had with Quadratec. Olympic
told me that the information I had been given (both times) was incorrect. They do make the 371 bars and they are
approximately $100 more than the 171 bars. This was what I had expected for the beefier model and was why I had been so
suspicious. Olympic told me that sometimes they send out the 371 to customers when they run out of the 171 model and that
was probably why I was getting poor information. I asked the rep as to whether the 171 model would be able to support the
weight of the vehicle when using a high lift or when the weight of the vehicle is resting on the bar on top of a boulder. He
said he believed it would.
Now back to Quadratec...
I wanted to discuss with them the fact that Olympic does make the 371 bar and the fact that now
I no longer have the extra money for the beefier bar due to purchasing other upgrades based on their assurances. And now I
have a bar that I suspect will not hold.
The Olympic rep gave me the name of someone to talk to at Quadratec, so I gave them a call. He acknowledged that "I'm sorry,
but we screwed you twice" (which wasn't said in a sarcastic tone but acknowledging that I had been greatly misinformed). I
explained to him all that had happened and that I no longer had the additional $100 to upgrade since I was repeatedly
assured I was getting the right part and spent it on other mods. I also explained that I now have a bar set that probably
isn't any good for my needs. Quadratec told me they couldn't eat the $100 for the screw up and that if I wanted, I could
keep the bars and they would credit me the total cost of shipping to and from them in consideration of my
So I decided to try the bars out because the Olympic rep said he believed they would hold up to a hi-lift.
Suspicion is yelling "Listen to me, dummy!"...
After the bars were mounted, I started to lift the vehicle. Before the vehicle was 3/4 up (one tire off the ground) the weld
on the bar tube that meets the frame mounting bracket cracks and the mounting bracket buckles. I also notice that the bar
has come up into the underside of the body.
Hi-lift lifting test: FAIL
So what to do now...
What I think I will end up doing since I like the design is have some welding done to the bars to properly carry the load of
the vehicle. Specifically more braces attaching to the frame.
Although I expected the weld to crack/break, (suspicion says: "DUMMY, see I told you so again") I didn't expect the
frame mounting bracket to fail.
I think it's a great idea poorly executed.
Look elsewhere for a slider.
I came across another person with the heavy duty bars. His experience was the same as
mine pertaining to the failure and bending of the mounting "sandwich" bracket. As I had suspected, welding the brackets to
the frame is what you have to do.
$200 plus shipping through Quadratec
Word of caution... Just because the phone rep swears upon his firstborn that you are
getting what you ask for, don't expect them to honor his promise. Even if it shows it in their computer.