Smart bar on new shape 200

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 07:27
ThreadID: 133584 Views:6195 Replies:9 FollowUps:10
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I have my new 200 and starting to fit it out.

I am deciding what to do with a Bull Bar. I love going to the high country, and while I'm less into difficult tracks, a winch is nice as insurance if it rains. I also do a few touring trips.

I *think* I want a winch again.
I do want to improve the approach angle.
I was never happy with the ARB delux bar on my old 200. It wobbled and was so heavy it made the front "boat" on sand scollops even though I beefed up the suspension. ( Yeah, I know ARB say it is the chassis moving not the bullbar). ARB say it is 80KG but it is more like 105kg plus the winch.
I don't generally drive at dusk or night.
I am looking for a solution that weighs less.

Smart bar are releasing a 200 bullbar. which doesn't look too bad.

Smart bar for 200

I have read a few of the old Plastic vs Steel arguments here and elsewhere but has anyone used them and had an incident?

I am currently considering an alternative like an ARB sahara bar which would presumably offer less protection.

This is pretty impressive. Any thoughts?

This is from Smart Bar, but here are Aluminium, Steel and plastic in a crash test from about 1:10min. ( Note how the Steel bar wobbles pre impact even on a flat test bed)

Now that all bullbars have the crumble zone mounts, maybe steel ones can do more damage than the Smart Bars because they are all designed to fold at some point. It looks that way in this video.

Any other alternatives that save weight ( besides aluminium.)

I would love a detachable winch if it was available too.
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Reply By: Life Member TourBoy, Bundaberg - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 10:32

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 10:32
The problem with smart bars is that they still deflect like an alloy bar on impact destroying the radiator. At least with a steel bar you can probably still drive home rather than being stuck on the side of the road with a bar that recovers it's shape but the vehicle is damaged behind it.
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AnswerID: 605047

Follow Up By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 10:46

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 10:46
Don't know about 200's but heard plenty of anecdotal stories of other trucks having had radiator damage from smarts deflecting.
You need to decide what your driving priorities are - potential damage and disabling of vehicle versus...
Steel or custom aluminium for me.
FollowupID: 874828

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 11:04

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 11:04
I am not sure if a modern steel bar is much better. If you look at the mounts on air bag compatible bullbars, they are designed to crush and bend so the bullbar stays relatively straight but it bends at the mount point, potentially folding onto the bonnet.

Side rails would obviously help but that is more weight.

Those videos are pretty convincing.
FollowupID: 874829

Follow Up By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 12:44

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 12:44
I hear you but the deflection on my TJM 100 series bars would not put anything into the radiator. Hopefully I can still drive the vehicle.

Yes the video is very convincing but the bar is not fitted to a 200. Wonder if there's any test videos on other vehicles.
Do you see a need for a winch? Not sure you can mount a winch on a smart bar?
FollowupID: 874832

Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 10:49

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 10:49
Smartbar is now owned by ARB I gather, so that tells you something.

They're likely kinder to pedestrians and other road users.

Re any bar, can I suggest you approach the retailer to see if they'll formally agree that the product will meet your written needs. Eg. hit a 100 kg roo at 80 kmh without immobilising the vehicle.

This is probably the most common reason we have for fitting a bar. How many makers will stand by their product in this respect?
AnswerID: 605048

Reply By: nickb - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 17:20

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 17:20
I must admit the early smart bars looks ugly as sin but the pic of that 200series and smartbar looks really good.
AnswerID: 605050

Reply By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 18:05

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 18:05
I wonder at their claim that one litre of petrol produces more than two kilograms of carbon dioxide.
AnswerID: 605051

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 19:47

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 19:47
Seems a lot doesn't it.

Diesel 2.68Kg per litre
Petrol 2.31Kg per litre

I just google it and got similar results on a few sites.

This was one explanation.

Petrol is a hydro-carbon fuel. This means its molecules consist of hydrogen atoms and carbon atoms. When you burn the petrol those atoms combine with the oxygen atoms of the air. Two hydrogen atoms will combine with one oxygen atom to form H2O (water in its gaseous form) - but each one of the carbon atoms will combine with two oxygen atoms. So the produced CO2 will have more than triple the mass of the carbon atoms of the amount of petrol burned.
You can first subtract the mass of the hydrogen atoms in the amount of petrol (because this does not produce any CO2)and then multiply the remaining mass of carbon atoms with 3.67 and you will get the mass of CO2

You see, even when 1 liter of petrol has only a mass of 0.75kg, the 2.3kg of produced CO2 is reasonable without "reinventing the laws of physics"
FollowupID: 874836

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 20:56

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 20:56
I've had a Smart Bar on two vehicles over 250 000km, hit 3 roos colliding at estimated 60-80km/hr after some braking, albeit not big ones, but one centre on.
In all cases Smart Bar did it's job, no damage to the vehicle
Had a friend who lives west of Goondi where roos are really thick. He was the one who put me onto them, he said he'd never go back to steel bars.
No doubt Tuff bars with their side rails give superior protection.
I've never seen any comments from owners who state they didn't do their job, read plenty of claims from those "who know someone who said they didn't save their vehicle"

I really can't imagine a roo pushing smart bar back far enough to hit the radiator, at least on my Pajero.
As to whether they are ugly or not Boobook, that "old saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder"?
To me the current 200 series is just plain ugly but Toyota sure do sell a lot of them!
AnswerID: 605055

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 08:33

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 08:33
Thanks Mark, I have been doing some online research and your comments are typical of what I read.

Non owners have lots of reasons why they may or may not work, but every owner comment that I've found has been along similar lines. They would never go back to a steel bar.

FollowupID: 874847

Reply By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 09:27

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 09:27
BHP commissioned Crashlab to undertake an ANCAP test on a HiLux with a steel triple loop bar.

The result was worse than without. A hole was punched into the footwell and the pedals were crossed over.

As a result BHP restrict 4WDs on their mine sites to those with ANCAP 5.

Last time I went digging there were only two vehicles with bars and ANCAP 5 - both Rangers; one with an ARB steel bar and one with a SmartBar. Of course the gong is only given on destructive testing and the maker needs to be big to afford it.

But the point remains: if you retrofit a bar you don't know what safety level your vehicle now has. Quite possibly it's worse. Every star drop in the ANCAP system means approximately 10% higher fatalities.

Bar work is a big industry - selling pigs in pokes, with just a few exceptions.
AnswerID: 605062

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 09:53

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 09:53
Here's some slides reporting the Crashlab test:
FollowupID: 874850

Reply By: CSeaJay - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 23:21

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 23:21
Do not underestimate the benefit of the weight you will be saving with the smartbar
I don't feel comfortable hanging all that extra weight cantilevered over the front axle. It has to affect driving.
But more so it robs you of payload, something no moderns wagon has much of. Without doing the sums and depending on other additions you may have already, it may well save you more than 10% of available payload
AnswerID: 605083

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Thursday, Oct 13, 2016 at 08:06

Thursday, Oct 13, 2016 at 08:06
Yes. You could estimate around 60 kg or more for a bar and winch. There's a good chance you will need suspension work. It will make your steering heavier and fuel consumption worse. That would be OK in my book if manufacturers published performance data so you could make a decision about costs and benefits, but they don't.

We've had decades of design work and retrospective data analysis of the performance of crumple zones. Their purpose is to protect the occupants from injury. Are we expected to believe, without data, that adding a bar won't compromise that, or actually do better?
FollowupID: 874875

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:04

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:04
Often see a number of police Commodores in Longreach with Smart Bars fitted, Boobook.

Think your comment:"..... don't drive at dusk or at night" sums it up for you, a Smart Bar might be quite adequate. At night one needs the security of a metal bar to ward off high speed 'roos that are intent on committing suicide, at the expense of your panels.

Another thought is if they are still making these bars, someone must be buying them.


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AnswerID: 605115

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 06:15

Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 06:15
Thanks Bob. Also the fact that ARB bought the company fairly recently says something too I guess.

They told me that ARB has helped them with the design and the accessories like bash plates mounts etc are now compatible with ARB parts.

I suspect they have thrown some cash at development too, there seems to be a lot of new, better design products coming out.
FollowupID: 874908

Reply By: Jim-Bob1 - Monday, Oct 17, 2016 at 10:29

Monday, Oct 17, 2016 at 10:29
G'day Boobook,

We have a 2008 200 series TTD and I didn't want a bulbar either, so I stripped the bumper down and had a look at what could be done.

I made up a cradle, as per photo, and mounted it this way.

If you were to enquire at Toyota they should be able to supply you with one.

Regards Jim-Bob.
AnswerID: 605161

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Oct 17, 2016 at 11:14

Monday, Oct 17, 2016 at 11:14
Very nice Jim Bob.
FollowupID: 874935

Follow Up By: TomH - Monday, Oct 17, 2016 at 13:43

Monday, Oct 17, 2016 at 13:43
Is that actually legal. The reason I ask is you may not modify or interfere with the integrity of bumper bars etc because of airbags and crush panels.
It is even illegal to weld a bracket in to have a towball at the front to maneuver a van as it alters things as above.
I would think that at the very least it would require certification by an engineer.
Unless as per your last sentence it is a factory supplied option.
FollowupID: 874936

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