Winch Bullbar – Ironman/ARB/TJM/Other

I currently have an Alluminium bulbar on my 2000 Rodeo which has served me well over the last 7 years. It is still in good condition with no dints. We also have a portable 10,000lb electric winch which we store in the boot and get out as req’d.

Long story short. I am looking to get a winch bullbar for 1) less hassle when I need to use the winch and 2) better balance of weight across the car when fully loaded on trips.

What I am looking for in a bullbar is
1) strong and not likely to bend or break under the strain of a difficult winching situation
2) maintain good entry angles and ground clearance
3) have mounting points for spot lights and 2 antennas
4) mount solidly so there is not any rattles, etc on corrugated roads
5) not be ugly

So far I have priced an Ironman Bar at $1080 and a TJM bar at $1600. Neither had photos on what the bar would look like on a rodeo so purchasing is solely based on a generic bar they have in the store which makes it hard to answer my questions above.

Fitting was likely to be around $300. I would get them to fit the bar (mainly for warranty aspect) and I would fit lights and antennas as well as remove the old bar. I Imagine the ARB bar would be $1600+ plus fitting.

What experience have others had with these brands or others that I could consider? Are there other factors I should also consider?

On the dollars side of things the Ironman bar is a lot cheaper, how does it compare to the others on quality. I would be prepared to pay the extra amount for a TJM or ARB, etc if the difference is significant, but if they are all the same and it’s just the brand name I am more than happy to put that money toward my next trip. For me it’s not so much about the brand as having a quality product that wont let me done when I need it.

Does anyone have any photos of these bullbars, especially on a Rodeo?

Thanks for your suggestions and help.

Geoff
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Reply By: Wherehegon - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 18:22

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 18:22

AnswerID: 416560

Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 18:28

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 18:28
Sorry Geoff,Just reread your post, I think these pics are for the model after yours. Depends on also if you want it for looks as well as purpose. I love the look of ARB's sahara bar but have an ARB steel winch bar (classed as comercial) mainly as I got it off ebay for half the price of a new one and is in near new condition. Check out ebay just punch in holden rodeo bullbar and it will bring up a fair few, you might find one with a pic of your model with different brand bars. Regards Steve
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FollowupID: 686686

Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 19:13

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 19:13


This is ARB's comercial bar. Regards Steve M
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Follow Up By: 2000 Red Rodeo - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 22:10

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 22:10
Thanks for the pics. I do like the look of the ARB bar and have never heard anyone complain about them. The pricing on the Ironman bar is tempting but maybe that extra cost of the ARB bar equals peace of mind?

Most of the ARB bars I have seen have very good underneath protection. In your experience would you agree?
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FollowupID: 687053

Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Monday, May 17, 2010 at 20:09

Monday, May 17, 2010 at 20:09
Hi Geoff, yes ARB do make a great product and put a lot or R&D into their products. I have always has ARB I was temped with ironman bar for the old prado I had but didnt like the hammertone finish on the deluxe bar and once again was lucky to come across an ARB bar (sahara bar) on ebay so grabbed it ($2600 new got it for $500) so was a bargain. I did think of getting TJM bar for current prado I have (mine in pic) but as mentioned above if you want a winch you need to buy a seperate cradle for behind the TJM bar as with the ARB like the one in the picture above the winch just bolts straight upto it.(you can see the holes under number plate) Dont forget to check out ebay you might grab yourself a bargain. Regars Steve M
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Reply By: Von Helga - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 19:18

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 19:18
Geoff,
I have had an ARB black steel bar on my first 100 series and an Ironman on my second 100 series.
I would have put an Ironman on the first if I had known as I can not see any difference in either except the price which as we all know is close to all our hearts.

Cheers
Trevor
AnswerID: 416574

Follow Up By: 2000 Red Rodeo - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 22:28

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 22:28
Hi Trevor

Thanks for your comments

Just wondering if you have used a winch with the Ironman bar?

For the price I would be silly not to seriously consider the Ironman Bar. They look as good as the others. But given the price (and only the price) I am a little suspicious of their strength. Compared to the others they are just so much cheaper.

My main fear is being let down by the bar bending/breaking while winching up a hill.

Geoff
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FollowupID: 687054

Follow Up By: Von Helga - Monday, May 17, 2010 at 08:14

Monday, May 17, 2010 at 08:14
Red Rodeo
Using the same logic of cost /value I got the Ironman winch as well and with the dollars saved I got the 12000 lb instead of the 9000 lb.
I have winched without incident.
Trevor
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FollowupID: 687074

Reply By: Member - Chris & Debbie (QLD) - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 19:59

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 19:59
Hi Geoff
Just check that the TJM comes with the winch mounting kit in the price they give as normally it is an extra. By the time you add on the price of the kit it ends up more expensive than the ARB. Otherwise the bars are basically the same.
If you want to save money, fit it yourself. I doubt they could knock back a warranty claim of a faulty bar just because you fitted it.

Chris
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AnswerID: 416580

Follow Up By: timothy - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 09:00

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 09:00
Yep when I was looking at winch bars the TJM one did NOT come with the winch cradle and the ARB one did. With the cradle included the TJM one ended up being more expensive so I went with ARB.
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Reply By: Tonyfish#58 - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 20:11

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 20:11
Image Could Not Be Found

This is the ARB on the later model
AnswerID: 416581

Follow Up By: Member - Stuart P (WA) - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 00:13

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 00:13
ou are going to need supprt bracing for our high gain antenna mount. the weight of the antenna will break the original mount . if you have a query mm me
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FollowupID: 686741

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 12:31

Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 12:31
This antenna uses the original mount and is still going strong - No issues at all

Cheer
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Reply By: Wilko - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 21:00

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 21:00
Hi red rodeo,

Check my photo on my profile. Its an ARB on a 1999 rodeo.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 416594

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 01:07

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 01:07
ARB...it won't let you down, geeeez you should have seen the treatment mine got a few weeks ago,

.
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AnswerID: 416614

Reply By: Member - David C2 (VIC) - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 01:34

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 01:34
Hi Geoff, Another point to remember is if you change to a steel bar and winch, you may have to look at your suspension as it will sag over time with the added weight.

Cheers Dave
AnswerID: 416616

Follow Up By: 2000 Red Rodeo - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 22:43

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 22:43
HI Dave

Agree with your comments. I have an after market suspension front and back. Part of the reason for the change is to better balance the car. When fully loaded it is currently back heavy, making steering lighter.

I probably need to add an extra spring to the back or maybe add an air suspension to the rear.

Regards

Geoff
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FollowupID: 687056

Follow Up By: Fatso - Monday, May 17, 2010 at 19:24

Monday, May 17, 2010 at 19:24
As far a looks go a winch bar will be no where near as cosmetic as your alloy non winch one. Probably have a reduced approach angle as well.
You will have to change your front springs for heavier ones. It will sag with the extra 50 or 60 kg of the steel bar plus the weight of the winch.
You probably won't get much change if any out of $2,500 after you buy a bar & a winch & have them fitted Then have new springs fitted & a wheel alignment done.
Better make that $3,000. Fitting coils (if that's what you have) & getting a wheel alignment will be about $400 without the heavier shocks to handle the heavier springs.
Don't consider air bags. Going on previous posts they can be lethal on leaf sprung dual cabs.
Have you considered reducing your load in the rear? Sounds like you are overloaded.
Increasing the load on the front to compensate for an overloaded rear doesn't make sense.
Especially when it could cost $3000 on a car worth $10,000.
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FollowupID: 687140

Follow Up By: Fatso - Monday, May 17, 2010 at 19:25

Monday, May 17, 2010 at 19:25
I also heard that airbags for leaf springs will set you back about $700.
Can somebody else verify that please.
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FollowupID: 687141

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 18:46

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 18:46
Pro Bag Load Assist Kits

Fatso - Mine was around $500 a couple of years ago from the above mob

Worth their weight in Gold

Cheers
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FollowupID: 687521

Follow Up By: 2000 Red Rodeo - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 20:56

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 20:56
Hi Tony

Thanks for the link. Something I will be looking into before our next major trip.

Geoff
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FollowupID: 687549

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Monday, May 24, 2010 at 17:52

Monday, May 24, 2010 at 17:52
Geoff - You will not be disappointed with them, that's for sure. You can pump your load back level with ease and they carry that load with a cushion effect - I find them excellent
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FollowupID: 688014

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 08:43

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 08:43
Got the TJM on our 04 Rodeo , think you'l find that the $1600 does not include the winch mounting kit , that said the kit is a large very heavy bent to shape steel plate that replaces the plastic underbody guard and stops just short of the sump ,
AnswerID: 416634

Reply By: 2000 Red Rodeo - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 23:04

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 23:04
Thank you everyone for your comments.

While I am leaning away from the TJM bar due to the winch cradle being separate to the bar I still haven't decided whether to go ARB or Ironman. I have no doubt the ARB bar won't let me down. But given the $$$ savings the Ironman needs to be considered.

If I could be certain the Ironman bar was as strong as the ARB I would go that way for sure.

Geoff

AnswerID: 416960

Reply By: Member - Gary J (NSW) - Monday, May 17, 2010 at 11:58

Monday, May 17, 2010 at 11:58
Hi Geoff,
We recently put an Ironman Deluxe bullbar on the Navara plus a 12,000lb winch. All works well.
AnswerID: 416996

Follow Up By: Fatso - Monday, May 17, 2010 at 19:28

Monday, May 17, 2010 at 19:28
Geof what did it set you back with springs?
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FollowupID: 687143

Reply By: Michael_FNQ - Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 21:29

Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 21:29
Hopefully this will info will help.

ARB Deluxe Winch Bar Retails for $1,225.00
Fitting is $128.00 Fitting of winch is extra.

One of ARB's strongest but cheapest bars.

Good Luck.
AnswerID: 418471

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