Bull/ Roo/ Emu? Bars

Submitted: Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 11:32
ThreadID: 2935 Views:2035 Replies:10 FollowUps:0
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G'day again

I have a Patrtol (GU) and I'm looking at fitting a bar (no not a XXXX one). What opinions do you all have on the options of either steel vs alloy vs "Smart" bars. I do not intend to use a winch or do any really serious muddy-stuff.

Thanks

Gazza O
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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 12:32

Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 12:32
Hi Gazza,

We have a GU fitted with an alloy bar by East Coast Bullbars and fitted by ORE. Very strong looking bar, well finished and attractive.

We've had 4 four wheel drives, 2 fitted with steel b/b, 2 with alloy. Funny thing is, we've hit 2 roo's but both times in our sedan not fitted with up-front protection of any sort &*%$#!

Anyway, personally I wouldn't have a smart bar because I don't think they look as good as a nice powder coated steel or polished alloy bar. But that just my opinion...Yes, the main consideration should be functionality but when you've got to look at it everyday...

There is little doubt that the smart bars do "give" and will usually bounce back into shape within a few days. However, I have heard that of a couple of instances where the smart bar "gave" so much, it failed to adequately protect the front end of the vehicle which defeated the purpose of having the bar in the first place. Apparently this is a problem where the bull bars are fitted close to the front end and replace the front bumper etc.

So when you are looking at the smart bars, just ask the question...if the bar "gives" is there enough room between the bar and the vehicle to allow for it?

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 11172

Reply By: JC - Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 12:32

Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 12:32
Gazza O,

I put an ECB alloy bullbar on my NM Paj (looks good!) and cost around $1200 fitted.
However, if I had my choice again, I would put a steel one instead. They are stronger, easier to repair, cheaper, and MUCH easier to keep clean. They are heavier though (ARB guy told me thay are about 90KG).
I knew all this before I decided on the alloy but I still went for the alloy...go figure!!

JC
AnswerID: 11173

Reply By: EXTREME1 - Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 13:31

Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 13:31
Gazza
I would go the ARB steel bar, great looking bar and built very strong plus you can get it colour coded to match the colour of your car.

cheers
Duncan
AnswerID: 11177

Reply By: Joe - Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 13:33

Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 13:33
Gazza,

A lot depends on where you are going to do most of your driving and what other accessories you intend to fit.

Smart bars are reputedly fantastic for traffic bumps and medium size impacts, but as has already been pointed out, they can deflect enough to cause some panel damage. Having said that, I believe that they still protect the radiator etc, even in a big roo impact.

Alloy bars (and I have a polished alloy BOCAR bar on mine) are light and reasonably strong. I am still not 100% convinced that they will protect as much as a steel bar. If I was going to get another alloy bar I would get one that has been coated in Hammerite or a similar finish. Polishing the mirror finish bar is a total pain in the butt.

Steel bars – strong, but heavy. If you get a steel bar you should probably be looking at a suspension upgrade to carry the weight. If you get a dual battery kit as well then you NEED a suspension upgrade.

I have had a steel bar (without a suspension upgrade) and an alloy bar on my trucks and if it was going to do it again I would be going back to the steel bar and upgrading the suspension.

If I was going to do most of my driving around the suburbs with just a couple of bush trips a year then I would be looking seriously at the smart bar – light and pedestrian friendly as well as capable of handling most of the outback bangs you will get.
AnswerID: 11178

Reply By: OziExplorer - Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 17:44

Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 17:44
Gazza looking at the specifications and reading the reports on the SmartBar it would be my number one choice. Rather wreck the SmartBar than bend the chassis and have massive repairs. There are some reports on another newsgroup how effective they were and saved their vehicle from any damage. I would have fitted one to my new vehicle if they had a fittment. Unfortunatly was 5 months away at the time.
AnswerID: 11196

Reply By: diamond - Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 18:30

Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 18:30
hi gazza i had the same problem with my gq steel/alloy so i decided on steel winch bar arb want about $1200 melbourne trading post about $300-$500 panel beater about $100 to colour match so much cheaper and looks new also noticed here in bendigo some car yards pull bull bars off might pay to ring a few of the big 4x4 dealers where you are.
AnswerID: 11205

Reply By: diamond - Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 18:32

Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 18:32
hi gazza i had the same problem with my gq steel/alloy so i decided on steel winch bar arb want about $1200 melbourne trading post about $300-$500 panel beater about $100 to colour match so much cheaper and looks new also noticed here in bendigo some car yards pull bull bars off might pay to ring a few of the big 4x4 dealers where you are.i recently did a roadworthy for a car yard on a navara 2wd with a 9000lb warn winch on it used twice to pull calfs from cows told him would be easier to sell car with out winch so people didnt think it was used for hard stuff so i got the winch for $500
AnswerID: 11207

Reply By: Member - Graham - Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 18:39

Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 18:39
Hi Gazza, just another opinion, friends of ours have a 100s with a smartbar they don't off road much but got damaged in a car park probably a 4x trayback cracked corner light and cut the bar, brother inlaw has a gu with an alloy he's now on bar no'4, being in the country he's found a couple of skippys & a fence post after a tyre failure at 80k's
he reconed 1 skip was small, I myself have had ARB steel on 2 4xs apart from some character marks from rocks, scrub & a concrete post at the shops from my partner, 5 yr on a re- powder coat & you wouldn't know, but it comes down to what the general use would be ??
Smartbar & Steel can brush off small impacts relatively unscathed
Alloy does mark easier & if slightly bent doesn't repair as easy as steel
regards Graham

AnswerID: 11209

Reply By: johnsy - Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 19:31

Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 19:31
G day Gazza O Ive had both and the alloy bars both flogged out in the mounting holes so vibrated a bit also were a major pain to clean bugs off , and prefer steel because easy to clean paint and maintan .But the best investment are some good lights so you see the skippies in the first place also regardless of what bar you put on make sure they put the tow hook back on . johnsy
AnswerID: 11212

Reply By: Bruce - Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 23:07

Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 23:07
I tested a Smart bar on Saturday night on a big roo. My '97 cruiser was crusing through a LH sweeper at a 100 KPH. The roo came out of the inside of the corner. I didn't even get a foot to the brake. I hit the roo slightly off centre and to the right.

The bar deflected and touched the bonnet. Bent bonnet. broken plastic around the headlights. Bent panel below the headlights. Small dent to front corner of the mudguard. The bar sprung back into shape except for some permanet deflection around the RH mount and permanet dishing of the box section between the posts.

I'll go for another smart bar.
Alloy is too hard to keep clean and in my old cruiser I T-boned a Gemini. The damage was greater but so was the object I hit. The bar was badly bent and almost touching the tyre. I had to break some of the Al off the make some clearence.
I don't like the idea of steel as the force gets transferred to the chassis.
Make sure you have plenty of room between the bar and the grill to allow for the deflection.
In a big hit you will do damage. As long as you can drive home the bar has done its job.
AnswerID: 11242

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