Bull Bars

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 17:45
ThreadID: 137395 Views:2198 Replies:16 FollowUps:28
I'm buying another ute and are going to fit a bull bar to it. My previous ute had a TJM bar on it and has served my well with two roo strikes of which one was at 100kph and suffered on damage to car or bar (good insurance), so was happy with the bar.
Now TJM and ARB make great bars and are around $2200 for winch compatable
Ironman and MCC also winch compatable which are around $1500 all unfitted.Are the cheaper of the bars the same strength and same build quality as the dearer ones and is $700 well spent on a dearer bar.
Has anyone had problems with any of the above bars or dislikes on one or the other like poor paint job, rust or bent with animal strike etc.
The bar l"m buying will not be colour coded and on going on to a BT 50 so then also are there known problems with non OEM bars on these utes.
A bull bar is just the start of all the things l need to get on this newer ute for touring mode so that it's the same as my old one.
Just your thoughts.

Murray
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Reply By: mountainman - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 18:25

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 18:25
Poor paint job or powder coating has nothing to do with any 4x4 accessory shop.
Bullbars come to the store in a unfinished condition.
Once customer buys it..
It either gets powder coated or spray painted matching the vehicle purchased colour.
Rust is also relative to the company that gets commissioned to do the final coating of bullbar and.... region of where vehicle will be used
Soo your bull bar will be powder coated going by the above info.
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 20:14

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 20:14
I don't think you will find many bars delivered to the dealers in the raw. They would rust to hell in transit and storage.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 21:00

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 21:00
All bars are delivered powder coated black from the factory. If you want it colour coded to your 4wd, they usually outsource it to a local panel beater to paint it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:09

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:09
I am not buying a colour coded bar so that sould not be a problem, was talking about long ternm rust and paint problems.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 00:09

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 00:09
Yeah I never seen a bar come in unpainted at TJM when I worked their things may have changed since but they come in black from the factory and when a customer purchased one at their local store it was sent to a local spray painter if the new owner wanted it colour coded so it was painted correctly.

What companies get them in unpainted ?
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Reply By: Member - MIKE.G - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 18:25

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 18:25
Hi Murray.

If you are looking at an alloy bar, talk to ECB -East Coast Bullbars. They have a branch in Melbourne. Good range, with or without winch capability and airbag compatible.
Very happy with mine on my 2014 BT50

Cheers,

Mike
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:10

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:10
Thanks but are looking at steel.
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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 20:35

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 20:35
I have an arb bar and I had a couple before, this one hasn't had any powder coat problems and sadly I have hit a few roos. Thats life.

I would have preferred to fit smart bar (now owned by arb) but at the time they didn't make them for a Ranger.

Great bars but some ting they are a little ugly. Expensive Yes, but they are light, forgiving and strong.
AnswerID: 621819

Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:21

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:21
Not sure if they make a smmart bar for the BT50 but agree they are ugly

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 at 00:19

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 at 00:19
Anything added to the front of a BT50, would have to improve that pig-ugly front end.
Even Mazda admitted it was a dog to sell, and have tried to improve it with the latest upgrade.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: axle - Wednesday, Nov 07, 2018 at 13:29

Wednesday, Nov 07, 2018 at 13:29
Lol ...LOL...Good job everyone has a opinion.



Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: Member - nick b boab - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 20:56

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 20:56
Hi Murray : I went down the same road when buying bar after a bit research decided on a ironman & are very happy !! its a very sturdy , fitted perfect , paint / coating great . I'v bought a bit of ironman gear so far and has been fine .
i think in the early days they were a it shabby
had it for about 18 months & still locks great .
fitted it myself , couldn't get out the packaging LOL
.
Cheers Nick b
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:23

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:23
I had the same hassle when l fitted my TJM bar to my ranger

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Reply By: Shaker - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 22:37

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 22:37
I have had several bars, timeline as follows:

ECB alloy, nice bar needed some hole elongation to make fit properly, ECB paid for the extra labour, very well powdercoated & long lasting.

ARB Steel bar, excellent fit & long lasting powder coating.

IRONMAN steel winch bar, poorly made & ill fitting, installer asked me to look at it before he completed the job, I told him to remove it.

TJM T13 steel winch bar (in lieu of the aforementioned Ironman) excellent nice fitting bar, well powdercoated although it does fade & requires polishing more often than I would like.

ARB Deluxe steel winch bar, fits well, micro-thin powdercoating has rust coming through all over, very disappointing. I can only assume that they now expect end users to have them colour matched.

AnswerID: 621829

Follow Up By: thinkin - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 23:18

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 23:18
"Ironman steel winch bar, poorly made and ill fitting"

I disagree, I have fitted three ARB bars to previous vehicles, when it came to fit one to my BT50 decided to look at Ironman steel winch bar at $700.00 cheaper it does the job perfectly.

Have driven great central road from Geraldton to Sydney and back, through the Murchison, Ashburton, Pilbara, Nullagine, part Gibb river road. Have checked the attachment bolts a number of times, none loose, it's all still tight after 65,000 KM

I can't fault the powder coating , no rust. To me the Ironman steel bar is just as good for $700.00 less.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 08:20

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 08:20
You can’t possibly disagree, because to the best of my knowledge you weren’t around when it was being fitted!
Yours may be ok, mine wasn’t.
I will add that I had an Ironman winch fitted at the same time, when I got it home I found that the wireless remote control wasn’t working. I rang Ironman & was told that I would have to return it for inspection, it would have involved a 400 kilometre round trip, or removing, posting & refitting the winch, all for a $20 part. Needless to say I bought the part & fitted it myself.



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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:26

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:26
The TJM T13 is getting a few points but hexxy. As said in OP roo stikes no damage TJM T13 bar

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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 at 08:03

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 at 08:03
What is “hexxy”?
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Reply By: Sulphur1 - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 09:17

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 09:17
ECB poor quality underneath powder coat. No prep so paint flakes anywhere there is a knock. Replacement indicator / daytime running lights very expensive (have to buy 2 for $184). Contact with a roo broke cover hiding an open front pipe on main horizontal & will get it finished with alloy rather than another expensive unnecessary fix. Just my / owner's opinion of what I have found.
AnswerID: 621833

Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 09:34

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 09:34
It just goes to show that quality can be like a lottery!
My ECB alloy bar did thousands of Outback & High Country kilometres & was virtually unmarked when I sold the vehicle after 200,000kms.
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 09:31

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 09:31
We fit a fair few to our fleet utes. The latest lot of ARB bars fitted to the PX rangers all came with pinholes and rust from brand new. That and you have to rotate winch gearboxes to fit them is enough to not go there again. I spray mine with penetrol regularly which has stopped the pinholes from bleeding. The TJM fleet bars have always been well built, well powdercoated and winches fit straight in. Some even have recovery points depending on the vehicle. The head company we contract to tried ironman on their PX utes - these vehicles work in accelerated weathering conditions but the ironman bars looked second hand within weeks and were bin jobs not long after. Even though the ARB's had pinholes they are still 10x better than the ironman ones. The smart bars last the best but don't exactly flatter the front end. I don't have experience with any other brands.
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:28

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:28
Another point for TJM

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Follow Up By: Member - nick b boab - Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 at 06:26

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 at 06:26
Having got and Ironman bull bar on a PX Ranger and had an ARB on a Triton and a background in steel fabrication I find this comment somewhat flippant " 10x better "
In imo both are well constructed solidly built and would fit the bill to what they were manafacture for . In my early years we would manufacturer bar protection for vehicles working on stations / mining etc in Northern Territory and know what they can look like in a very short period but you must compare apples with apples , the Average Joe is not going to be treating their equipment like this . After purchasing an Ironman bullbar and fittings it I was more than satisfied with the build quality and design knowing their reputation was a bit questionable . Having said all that they have a fair bit to go in PR before they can be compared to ARB . A pretty standard remark when dealing with complaints would be "haven't seen that before " where ARB would just give you a replacement no questions asked .
Cheers Nick b
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 at 07:22

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 at 07:22
Find it any way you like mate. Our vehicles work side by side with theirs with numerous of each brand bars so I’m happy with my description. Weathering in comparison with other bars is the same no matter where they are and I could not recommend Ironman over the three other brands I mentioned with the experience we had with them - in exactly the same conditions. There is a big difference between pinholes on welds bleeding and totally ill prepared plate section with rust bubbling out of it. I’m sure you see my point even if you don’t agree with it.
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Reply By: swampy - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 11:09

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 11:09
HI remember powder coating is lucky dip.

Depends on quality of product construction welds grinding marks etc etc
Depends upon blasting prior to primer / coating
Depends upon priming prior to coating
Depends on the guy powder coating

Laziness in any of the processes will effect the quality.
AnswerID: 621836

Reply By: Idler Chris - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 11:21

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 11:21
Do not buy a MCC bull bar. If you want to know the reason PM me.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 00:32

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 00:32
Why not tell us on here if there is a problem with them it's about helping others decide or avoid the same problems that we encounter with products we purchase. That's why we speak up and share our experiences with each other be it good or bad.
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Reply By: Bill R5 - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 11:32

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 11:32
My Silverado has a very tough TUFF bar.

I just checked their website and they make them for the BT50 too.
https://www.tuffbullbars.com.au/products/our-range/view/651/51/mazda/bt-50/2012-2018

Not sure of prices....you'd have to check for yourself.

Roachie

AnswerID: 621838

Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 16:37

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 16:37
I thought they were illegal.
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 17:12

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 17:12
5 posters with square edges and that lean forward at the top are.

The new TUFF Bars are more contoured to the shape of the vehicle and meet the Dept of transport requirements.

Still wouldn't want to wear one in the small of your back.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 18:04

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 18:04
I thought it was also the forward sloping bottom section.
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:33

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 21:33
If l put one of those on the front of a BT 50 l think it might become a plough LOL

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 at 04:48

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 at 04:48
When not in use you could slip it on the front of a little D2 and use it as a stick rake.

Shaker if they are illegal there are a lot of western vehicles in Qld that would come into that category.

Here is the answer to clear things up

Tuff bars answer
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 13:48

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 13:48
The major point of any bar is weight , nearly all bars be they steel or alloy will require a suspension upgrade if you don't want front end droop especially with a steel bar and a winch , having had on various different vehicles an ARB , TJM , ECB and a 'Smart Bar' and had my choice's over again I would have the 'Smart Bar' in a heart beat especially now that they have winch compatable models to suit .
AnswerID: 621840

Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 17:57

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 17:57
On some vehicles that have a steel bar fitted the suspension may need to be up graded especially if a winch is fitted as well. A good example would probably be an IFS vehicle as most are these days. The factory suspension is unable to support the weight because most are built for comfort and not load carrying these days but the manufacturer specs usually still clam they can support x amount of weight which in reality they can't. So the buyer has to fork out extra cash for a suspension up grade where in the past a solid axle vehicle would have generally be fine.

Most of the weight is a modern alloy bar is in the steel mounting brackets that have to be used on modern vehicles when fully assembled makes the whole set up a bit heavy. Unlike old school where the bar is mounted directly to the chassis without the need for extra brackets and are usually light enough to be easily picked up by one person.
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Reply By: Phil - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 16:22

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 16:22
I went through this exercise about 12 months ago for my Challenger and settled on a Smart Bar, minus the winch, and am happy with the result. According to my research they have a good reputation regarding animal stikes etc, and interestinly, according to their specs brochure, they are 'pedestrian compatable'. Looks are subjective to some but I don't mind it. The deciding factor was the weight, 34 kg fitted, and no suspension upgrade required. It came with aerial and driving light fitting points but did require a substansial amount of the front bumper cut away to enable fitting.
AnswerID: 621845

Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Friday, Nov 02, 2018 at 10:29

Friday, Nov 02, 2018 at 10:29
I have a TJM Silhouette bull bar on my vehicle and I am very happy with it. It is an alloy bar. With modern 4X4s the crumple zones negate any advantage in having a steel bar. The alloy bars are strong enough and have the advantage of less weight, no rust.
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Friday, Nov 02, 2018 at 18:47

Friday, Nov 02, 2018 at 18:47
Kumunara
l have mates who have had alloy bars and when they have had an animal stike they have bent and also suffered panel damage, that's one of the reasons l prefer steel.

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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Saturday, Nov 03, 2018 at 10:36

Saturday, Nov 03, 2018 at 10:36
Hit a big ole red roo with an aluminium bull bar and see how functional it is.

Supposed it’s something to mount spot lights and a uhf aerial on.

Cheers Greg
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Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Saturday, Nov 03, 2018 at 11:12

Saturday, Nov 03, 2018 at 11:12
I hit a big red roo near Burra. Only damage was where the bracket for the antenna on the alloy bullbar hit the bonnet. My old work vehicle hit a wallaby. Bent the steel bull bar. (genuine Toyota bull bar) Steel is stronger than alloy when referring to equal quality bars. But not all steel bars are as strong as a good quality alloy bar. On modern 4X4s the crumple zones will give way and you will get damage whatever bar you have. Frien hit a horse in his F250. Steel bull bar was only slightly damaged. Front of vehicle was caved in.
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Saturday, Nov 03, 2018 at 12:22

Saturday, Nov 03, 2018 at 12:22
I used to do a lot night driving in western qld at night. Nothing to hit 2 or 3 roos in a night. Not that that is anything to be proud of, but I would rather hit one than swerve.

Have had plain jane black Arb bull bars on my Toyota utes for years. You might get a bent pipe or something minor like that. The main damage was to driving lights. Spent a small fortune replacing them.

I don’t travel at night out there at night anymore, but I still put steel bull bars on any vehicle I own.

Cheers Greg.

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Reply By: Sulphur1 - Sunday, Nov 04, 2018 at 08:10

Sunday, Nov 04, 2018 at 08:10
ECB bar did not bend or deform after hitting 3 roos (2 large @ about 100km/hr) All the 'expensive' plastic bits broke though so not recommended.
Cheers Jon
AnswerID: 621937

Reply By: Sulphur1 - Sunday, Nov 04, 2018 at 08:11

Sunday, Nov 04, 2018 at 08:11
Sorry, should have mentioned ECB is a heavy alloy bar
AnswerID: 621938

Reply By: braggy - Thursday, Nov 08, 2018 at 07:32

Thursday, Nov 08, 2018 at 07:32
TJM bar are rubbish 3 years old and badly rusted,

TJMs out of warranty, too bad attitude ,doesn't make me a supporter of their products






AnswerID: 622020

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