Bullbar dilemma ...

Submitted: Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 14:20
ThreadID: 132537 Views:3546 Replies:11 FollowUps:13
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Hi All, I have a quick question for you guys and i know that I'm going to open a can of worms ... sorry ...
Next week i'm going to pick up a new Ford Everest (base model, with no front sensors) and i'm trying to decide witch bull bar to be fitted.
ARB (Summit model) and TJM (T13 model) have an identical price, the Opposite Lock but it is a lot cheaper ($400 cheaper). All the bars have fog lights.
Decision decision decision ... ??
Worth the extra $400 or it is just a brand name?
Thanks heaps!
Luca
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Reply By: TomH - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 14:34

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 14:34
Have you checked to see if East Coast Bars make one for it.
They are usually reasonably priced.

ARB and TJM buy them in and resell
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Follow Up By: luca_ki - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:24

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:24
Apparently they are not in production yet ...
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Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:00

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:00
Ask the makers what what force it's designed to absorb before hitting the body work.

Not least, has it been tested and met ANCAP 5 stars?
AnswerID: 600598

Reply By: Jackolux - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:04

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:04
I would get the lightest , you will probably have to upgrade the front springs any way , they would all be ADR approved ,

If I didn't want a winch , I probably wouldn't have a BB .
AnswerID: 600599

Follow Up By: luca_ki - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:23

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:23
Thanks Jackolux, no need for a winch but we have a lot of "roos" here in Kangaroo Island ... :-)
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Reply By: vk1dx - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:24

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:24
If you are intending to do some serious off road and remote outback travel then get the dearer ones.

Cost is not that important when the bullbar protects the sensitive area of the car, like the radiator. We had an accident and if the bar had been weak or plastic and easy to bend, then we would have been stuck.

The steel ARB bar kept us off the rock wall and we simply slid along it. Yes the whole left hand had to be straightened with door skins and a fender replaced, but we drove home safely! And to top it off, legally as well, as all the lights worked and no sharp bits stuck out.

If this travel is going to be solo, ie on your own and not with other vehicles, then get one that takes a winch which can be added later.

In any case, don't get one with "speckled" paint. If scratched, as they all get, then it can't be resprayed by a handyman with a can from the saturday morning shop. Just as I found out.

Phil
AnswerID: 600600

Follow Up By: luca_ki - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:26

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:26
Thanks for the advice!
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:41

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:41
+1
There are cheaper bars around that look the same from the outside, but a lot of what you are paying for and don't see is the mounting system to tie the bar to the chassis and carry the weight.

I have seen bars that look solid that have cracked the vehicle chassis because they are only bolted straight to the same mounts that held on the factory plastic bumper.

I also saw an almost brand new bull bar that had fallen off up on Cape York. It is a long way from home and a lot of shaking, but the welds that held the bar to the brackets that bolted to the chassis shouldn't have failed so spectacularly.

I bought a factory second TJM bar, it had a few scratches, it has a lot more now. The attachment system runs about 15" back along the chassis, has weak points so it will crumple, yet is built to carry the weight. This bit is what you are paying the extra for.

My old vehicle is 18 years old and spent most of it's life running to, from and around the farm and is still going, having never had an animal strike and still running the factory bumper, so I probably don't need one anyway.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 16:02

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 16:02
No argument against all that, sorry mate but what has it to do with my post?

Phil
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 16:28

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 16:28
the 'If you are intending to do some serious off road and remote outback travel then get the dearer ones.' bit
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 16:48

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 16:48
What about it? Are you agreeing with or against "then get the dearer ones"?

Reading your post in the last paragraph you basically say don't bother even getting one.

So are you saying that if you get one then get the cheapest one as it was a waste to put one on your farm car? Sorry your point is still not clear to me.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 17:46

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 17:46
I have seen good ones, and I have seen cheap ones.

Cheap ones have a tendency to fail because the mounts are rubbish.

The mounts are where the value is.

I bought a good one at a discounted price because I wanted a bar and didn't want it falling off.

My 18 year old ute didn't have one and hasn't hit a roo/cow/horse. It's a bit like not buying insurance because my house has never burnt down.

Do dot points make it easier?
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 18:42

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 18:42
I give up. I think that you are agreeing with my statement.

Why not just say so.

No worries mate

Have a good day.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 17:17

Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 17:17
I could see from the outset Hoyks agrees with you Phil :)
The +1 sort of straight up says that.

Very good points re the mount strength, even with modern crumple zone needs.
The only thing that concerns me with posts here is it equates quality / strength with higher price !!
This is certainly not always the case, that's for sure.

A lot of poor to mid quality can be disguised in some products, bullbars included.

But a bullbar has mostly visible ways to check quality . . . mostly welded, not bolted on, hoops, good thick well laid welds (no spatter / signs of ground off / sanded off spatter), good strong mounting brackets, thickness of material weight an indicator to some degree, though there are lighter steels now that are as strong as regular mild steel . . . some hoops are larger dia and probably stronger than others, just have a good look or take someone that is a bit of an engineer type and knows a good product when he sees it.
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Reply By: Member - peter h (SA) - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 16:12

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 16:12
I have the summit bar and seems to me to be a very well made and strong bar. I will put a winch on later but feel it offered more front protection from roos than the others . Peter
AnswerID: 600603

Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 18:08

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 18:08
I agree with the majority comment above - get the best you can afford.

If I were you I'd choose between the ARB and the TJM. As far as I can tell, it's looks. An ARB colour coded bar does it for me.

Cheers
FrankP

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AnswerID: 600615

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 18:09

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 18:09
I live in Roo country , roos out our way are in plague proportions due to drought , there are 3 Ford Everests locally [ don't know and don't care if base model or top of the range ] 1 has ARB , 1 has TJM other has ' Tuff ' … all have side rails / step fitted , the one and only that after a large Roo strike at 45 degree frontal to NOT suffer damage is the ' Tuff ' … make of it what you will ….
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Reply By: gbc - Friday, May 27, 2016 at 05:47

Friday, May 27, 2016 at 05:47
The ARB on my Px ranger is faring a lot better than the fleet bars from ironman in the same area. I do believe you get something for your money in this case and I am not the biggest ARB fan about the place.
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Reply By: Member - WBS - Friday, May 27, 2016 at 09:01

Friday, May 27, 2016 at 09:01
I've fitted an ARB Delux Winch Bar to my BT50 the other day. I wanted to fit a winch so I needed a bullbar to fit it on. I've never fitted a bullbar to any of my previous 4WD's . This time I'm going more remote and solo (single vehicle) so I thought it would be handy to have a winch.
Why the ARB Delux ?
It complies with ADR's as do all the others I presume;
Its a common and popular bull bar not a bespoke one;
It is colour coded to match the vehicle;
It looks good ( well at least I think so)
It was part of a package of accessories I had fitted by ARB.
The all up cost including fitting for the Bullbar - $2500.
My advice? If it complies with ADR's buy what suits your budget and your needs. There's no need get colour coded if you are not fussed about fitting a black one.
$400 will buy you a decent CB radio or a good compressor
WBS
AnswerID: 600634

Follow Up By: luca_ki - Friday, May 27, 2016 at 09:20

Friday, May 27, 2016 at 09:20
Thanks,
I finally decided for a TJM bar.
Part of my decision is due because TJM has someone here in Kangaroo ISland who can install and this will save me a trip by ferry to Adelaide ... witch is not cheap!
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Follow Up By: Member - WBS - Friday, May 27, 2016 at 16:57

Friday, May 27, 2016 at 16:57
Sounds like good logic to me.
WBS
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 09:50

Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 09:50
Luca,
I'd seriously consider the "no bar" option.
Bear in mind the down side of a bar is the dollar cost, the impact on fuel consumption, the impact on vehicle suspension, the adverse affects on vehicle handling.
Despite living in and traversing heavily rooed areas for many years I have managed to avoid collision by slowing down, anticipating roo behaviour, and avoiding driving when they are at their worst. In the last twenty five years a roo ran into the side of my stationary car, and a friend hit a roo while driving my car.
I'll admit it will be hard for you to not go ahead with the purchase because the bar will make your car look like a real fourby, and we all love blowing our dough on shiny new gear. After all this is is how the after market crowd thrives.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with ARB, TJM, ECB or any other manufacturer or panel beater.
Bob
AnswerID: 600669

Follow Up By: luca_ki - Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 16:04

Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 16:04
Thanks for your advise Bob.
I do not spend $2,600 on a Bullbar only because it will make good looking my 4wd ... I'm a Tour operator in Kangaroo Island and I drive many kms some time ad dusk and at night time as well (we do nocturnal tours also ... ).
I agree with you that if you drive slowly and if you are careful you will avoid them but ... In the last few years I did not hit anything because I have also a good set of spot lights .... hence I need a solid bar so I can install my LED lights ...
A bull bar for my vehicles (I have also a patrol) is not an option but a good insurance ...
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Reply By: Sigmund - Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 22:04

Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 22:04
There's only 2 bars I know of that've been ANCAP tested to 5 stars. ARB steel on a Ranger and Smartbar also on a Ranger if memory serves.

So any other bar/vehicle combo is throwing away your 5 star rating.

BHP commissioned Crashlab to ANCAP test out-of-lease Hiluxes with and without a steel triple loop bar and the results were worse with the bar - a hole in the footwell and bent pedals.

Ask yourself why in nearly every case manufacturers don't publish design specs or performance data?

Without them you're not buying insurance, you're buying a pig in a poke.
AnswerID: 600686

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