smart bars

Submitted: Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:17
ThreadID: 20766 Views:1819 Replies:12 FollowUps:11
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I have a GU series111 Patrol just heard about these Smart Bars aleged to be as good or better than Alloy or Steel any opinions thanks
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:20

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:20
Just heard about them?

Anyway IMHO they are not worth considering... cant wait for someone to recover off of one, or similar!

So how are they "better" according to the allegations?
AnswerID: 100082

Follow Up By: TheUndertaker - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:32

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:32
Better weight ,impact rebound,nil polishing/painting,nil rust/tarnishing,self repairing after moderate impact and as for recovery the idea is not to get yourself into strife in the first place and tow hooks f/rear are chassis mounted.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:54

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:54
Some of these plastic alloys are very impressive. We have vandal proof security cameras that we use that have plastic alloy dome covers and cast alloy bases. I've seen the bases crack and give way before the plastic bits!

I don't really know a lot about the smart bar, but I reckon with the types of plastics they are making now days I can't see why it wouldn't be strong enough to do the job with all the weight advantages etc.

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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:57

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:57
Oh and Truckster,
"cant wait for someone to recover off of one"

Do you use your bullbar for recovery?? bloody hell, I wouldn't be doing that IMHO.

Rated recovery hooks on the chassis mate.

I'm suprised you'd even say somthing like that hey, I thought you would have been a bit of a natzi about the rated recoery point issue!
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 13:27

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 13:27
Jeff, yes ..
The ARB bar has 2 spots for recovery hooks on them same as the old 40 series and 60/80 series, and MQ, and many others. You can drag people out of chit with them no problems...

Still waiting for my painted bar to tarnish, rust or need polishing.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 14:07

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 14:07
Fair enough, point taken. I just remeber that knob head on TV one of those outback shows, who put the snatch on his old yoto's bullbar and ripped the whole bullbar off! LOL

I'm not knocking your steel bar either truckster, I'd probally go steel if putting one on the surf but I would certainally have a look at the smart bars as I think these new plastics are under estimated by most people. Alloy is a total pain in the ass, I've had them on both my previous 4bies and they look great when new but then turn to chit unless you spend your weekends polishing them!
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Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:34

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:34
Hi New Boy,

My brother in law has one on his 2002 series III GU and it seems OK so far. It is winch compatable and has recovery hooks underneath on the main chassis rails. It has survived many car park scrapes, but hasn't had to deal with anything more serious yet. It has provision for spotlights and CB aerials and is otherwise indistingusgable from a "normal" bar. I personaly much prefer a steel bar, but each to their own.

Cheers

Captain
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AnswerID: 100089

Reply By: Member - Karl - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:35

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:35
I have one fitted to my 80 Series Landcruiser and I think that it's great - though I must admitted that I haven't had the misfortune of hitting anything substancal with it.

In my opinion it was worth it. The good thing is that I didn't have the extra expense of having to upgrade my front suspension as you would have to with a steel or alloy bar.

Furhter I believe that if I was in a situation where I did hit something big no matter what type of bar I had, you would proberly end up having to replace it anyway - therefor in the advertising blurbs are true and the bars bounce back into shape after a medium to heavy strike then I am saving money, whereas with an alloy bar you would be looking at replacing/repairing it.

My opinion only I think that it was worth it - and they do look good.
AnswerID: 100090

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:48

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:48
G'day Karl,

I have always thought of them as being too "weak" to do the job, but did see a set-up in Adelaide last year at an exhibition where they had a bar mounted (on the back of a trailer I think) and had a wind-up ram type of gizmo that they could let go from about 10 meters. It impacted on the bar and bent it a bit, but if you went back later (like about half an hour), it had regained it's original position. Quite good really I guess; except that IMHO you really don't want it to "flex" in the 1st place......on impact, it could flex back and allow damage to the lights/grille/radiator etc then bounce back to original position, leaving you with a bill to fix the broken bits. My experience with steel bars is that, in a similar collision (like a roo strike), the bar will totally protect the vehicle and the only thing that will distort will be various bones of the animal.

Anyway, I would certainly rather have a smart bar than no bar at all and in fact if they outlawed steel bars and you only had a choice between aluminium and SMART; I would go for the smart bar without hesitation.

Cheers,

Roachie
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:39

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:39
remember the flexibar? I tested one out on a roo between Waramboo and Lock - absalutly useless. On the other hand I have collected plenty of roos/emus/goats in my camper and the only bend was the one that missed the front -

If it aint steel it aint real!!
AnswerID: 100094

Reply By: flappa - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:59

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 11:59
I seem to recall that Smart Bars are mostly designed for Pedestrian and low speed Car park type accidents.

From memory , anything up to approx 40 kph , you can expect the bar to deform and then bounce back.

Anything over that . . . . good luck.
AnswerID: 100097

Reply By: MrBitchi - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:15

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:15
Got one on the Pajero. Am happy so far but haven't hit anything with it yet.

Cheers, John.
AnswerID: 100104

Reply By: Utemad - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:19

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:19
I've seen ones that have bounced back from hitting things but they cracked around the chassis mounting bolts. Not sure of their price these days but when I was looking (4yrs ago) one for my Rodeo was quoted at $3000. I bought a steel ARB winch bar for $900 fitted.

I much prefer my steel one but if the plastic one makes you happy then that is all that is required.
AnswerID: 100105

Follow Up By: MrBitchi - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:25

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:25
Pajero NM, $950 fitted.
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FollowupID: 358308

Follow Up By: Utemad - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:37

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:37
I guess their price has dropped considerably as their popularity has increased.
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Follow Up By: TonyH - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 00:04

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 00:04
Utemad
I got mine in 2000 for $695 direct from rapid plastics. Is the same as the rodeo so someone was either having a lend or into serious mark-up ;-)

Tony Harding
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Follow Up By: Utemad - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 18:05

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 18:05
I can't remember where I got that quote from but I remember being very shocked. I almost bought a Rodeo with one already on it though.
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Follow Up By: TonyH - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 19:08

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 19:08
Oops! should have said Team poly not rapid plastics, they are nice people but they don't make smart bars ;-)

Tony Harding
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FollowupID: 358710

Reply By: H2O - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:33

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 12:33
My uncle had one on his AU falcon work ute. Doing 110km/hr drinking a coffee he hit a pig (and split coffee everwhere), apparently catapulting it many metres in front. He said it flexed back so far he couldn't open the bonnet but then at lunchtime it was back to normal. He is a pig chaser and roo shooter who has a monster steel bar on his hilux that has cracked welds due to many roo strikes and originally he thought the smart bar was crap but he is very impressed after that.

I think if you lived in the outback steel is the way to go but if you live in the city and only tour then maybe a smart bar (not that I would buy one)
AnswerID: 100109

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 17:35

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 17:35
As usual the knockers are those with no experience and a "plastic phobia".

These plastics are very strong, and are folded to increase strength. I had a smart bar on my Prado and couldn't fault it. Mine had a solid steel mounting system behind the bar that was stronger than most I see on steel/alloy bars. Its centre section was reinforced. It had better ventilation to the lower radiator than anything else on the market.

After 4 years, it still looked like new. I had done a lot of offroading and it had hit/scraped a lot of scrub and bushes. Mine was a factory second that cost me $500; then when I traded the Prado, I sold the bar for $400.

I've got a steel bar with the 79series, but thats because I have an open mind on the subject, and thats what it came with. Certainly prefer both steel and plastic to the alloy bars.

Cheers
Phil
AnswerID: 100148

Reply By: Member - Rob J (WA) - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 18:32

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 18:32
I have a Smart Bar on my AU ute and have hit a roo at about 40k/h and as
with H20's uncle, it sprang back into shape in no time with no damage to bar or ute.
I have the alloy Nissan bar on the Patrol and hope it does as good a job.
AnswerID: 100166

Reply By: itisi - Saturday, Feb 26, 2005 at 01:47

Saturday, Feb 26, 2005 at 01:47
Have had a Smart Bar on my Surf for around 4 yrs.

Heading "up north" a couple of years ago (with the van) I hit a damn big roo at about 80 kph (my vocabulary on the roo was a bit stroger at that time).

Result; broken indicator and slightly bent number plate. No panel damage and the bar, after a couple days in the hot sun, looked as good as new. Still does.

So I, for one, can recommend them.
AnswerID: 100214

Reply By: TonyH - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 00:17

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 00:17
I put one on my Triton back in early 2000. Looks good IMHO. Is light and won't corrode. Just fits a set of Cibie oscars in the front and has great flow to the radiator. Mounting bracket is solid, and I mean solid.
Been belting skippies since then averaging probably 6-7 good hits a year, only one visit to the panel beater with a roo headbutting the front quarter panel and side of the smart bar. No strength for side impacts but nothing does.

Had a dirty great big alloy custom jobbie on the previous utes, weighed a ton but lasted for 2 utes (navaras) at one stage hitting 10 roos a week. 1st ute had a bent chassis by the end of it.

Nup definately sold on the smart bar and your going to get the same amount of protection outa one of those at 60-80kph as you are a steel jobbie if not better.

Tony Harding
AnswerID: 100438

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