Bullbar paint protection

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 09:08
ThreadID: 134212 Views:7742 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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For better or worse, I had a color coded ARB bullbar fitted to my 200 Series LandCruiser, White.

Looks great, but it suffers stone chips, showing the black base underneath, and this will look a bit shabby.

I'm looking for suggestions for protecting the bar prior to an extended trip- Plenty Highway, Great Central Road, Tanami. Probably a good idea for general paintwork stone protection as well.

All suggestions welcome.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 10:31

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 10:31
Hi Bob,

If you have a painted bar, the only practical advice I can think of is to have the bar sandblasted, then powder coated in a matt or satin black finish. It will still chip over time but wouldn't be as noticeable as white on a black base.
Powder coating bonds the finishing coat to the base metal electrostatically and is the most durable of paint processes available for bullbars.


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Reply By: Member - RobnJane(VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 11:17

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 11:17
Hi Bob,

Our previous car had a colour coded b bar and was also subject to stone chipping on the rear wheel arch extensions, for us the remedy was to get a spray can of the factory paint made. This can be done by an auto spray paint supplier. Every couple of years I rubbed down affected areas, primed, repainted and gloss clear coated those areas and given the work the car did it looked really good.

Hope this is of interest.

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Reply By: GarryR - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:05

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:05
I had a Harley that would get sandblasted forks till a mate of my said place a strip of clear adhesive wrap on the top of the effected area only, and replace it every so often. Yep it worked, but over a long period of time I got a bit of discolouration from bear alloy to protected alloy. A bit of elbow grease, and a very soapy soft pot scourer and bingo what a treat. I do realise you cannot do that with painted surface but the plastic film may just protect the bar for a short period of time that you require. Ah, stone chips, the hazards of rural driving. Living in a country area and on dirt roads is a part of life here.
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Reply By: Member - 8111COLIN - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:58

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:58
The first post i right , the powder coating is rock hard , when they colour code the bull bars they use two pack over the top and doesn't stick to powder coating that well .
Get it powder coated the colour of your car or go the black powder coat .
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 18:16

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 18:16
Hi Bob,

My Troopy has a steel bullbar which was originally powder-coated. It had suffered coating loss in a couple of areas due to impacts, but also suffered from rust occurring under the powder coating in some areas even to the point of rust pitting of the steel. Some paint had been applied to these areas but to no avail..... the rust continued.

Eventually, I removed the bar and had it sand-blasted then promptly, before the fresh surface could become oxidised, I brushed it with 2 coats of good metal primer and 3 brushed coats of White Knight Rust Guard hammered finish in charcoal colour. The hammered finish is quite attractive and hides the pitting of the steel. I do have spraying equipment but chose brushing to achieve a thick coat and good coverage in the internal corners where spray often fails.
There is no way that I would consider aerosol paint spray for this job and the advantage of brushed finish is the easy ability to perform any repair if the coating is damaged.

I am not a big fan of powder coat finishes in an outdoor environment. I have seen too many outdoor electrical enclosures with such fail.

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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 19:23

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 19:23
I agree with you Alan
Powder coating is NOT the best way to go, yes it is a durable surface but it is also a brittle one that chips with stone type impacts and cannot be easily repaired.

A number of people I know who have powder coated their rims or ute tray have regretted it down the track after they have started to mark up

Whatever finish you put on a bullbar i think you need to expect it to receive some form of superficial damage so it is best to choose a finish that can be refinished without having to sandblast back to bare metal
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Reply By: swampy - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 21:58

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 21:58
Any new bar that comes with ""transport black"" needs to be removed via media blast or soda if u want a gentle blast . Some surface conditioning is needed for the paint to stick .
Then eurathane base coat and top coat with epoxy.
Its expensive !!
Way better than 2 pack .
A cheap alternative is powder coating . The powder coating firm will blast and prep steel .
The other alternate is a hammer tone finish , best all round .
Blast and paint
looks good
hides scratches
easily touched up
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Follow Up By: Member - DingoBlue(WA) - Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 13:01

Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 13:01
Probably better with two pack epoxy primer with two pack polyurethane topcoat. epoxies tend to chalk when exposed to UV.
If overcoating epoxy primer, be aware that there is an overcoating 'window' i.e. there is a limited time that the primer remains 'open' for topcoating.
Two pack resins generally have superior physical properties to single packs.
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