Bull Bars- Steel or Alloy?

Submitted: Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 12:43
ThreadID: 8818 Views:14670 Replies:10 FollowUps:6
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Hello All,
Just looking at the pro's and con's of the steel bull bar Vs Alloy and for the point of the exersize assume not a winch bar.
My views are:
Stronger- Less damage to vehicle if you hit a Emu or other large animal
Heavier-more weight on front suspension

More likely to get pushed back to vehicle on a solid hit.

Any views or comments welcome.


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Reply By: Member - Ross - Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 13:10

Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 13:10
Probably right but I've seen plenty of hugh trucks with alloy barsRosco
AnswerID: 38795

Follow Up By: Tony - Monday, Dec 01, 2003 at 08:05

Monday, Dec 01, 2003 at 08:05
8 - 10 mm thick as well......................
FollowupID: 82842

Reply By: Member - Wim (Bris) - Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 14:28

Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 14:28
Hard to say. Like most things though, I guess its a compromise and its up to the individual as to where they draw the line.

Question though, have the new air bag regs had any impact on steel bars? Sorry for the pun.

RegardsThis 4WD stuff is addictive,
time consuming & expensive.
AnswerID: 38803

Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 15:28

Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 15:28
The steel bars on most new vehicles with air bags have a combination of crushable mounts (or mounts designed to yield at certain forces ) and urethane 'bumper ' pads on the front. If you get a new steel bar from an approved manufacturer (arb tjm etc etc) designed for airbags then it's not a problem. For mine i'll take steel over ally any day.Moo... everyone knows what a Jackaroo looks like :-)
FollowupID: 82674

Reply By: simon - Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 15:28

Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 15:28
Hi Mark

i would recommend steel over alloy any day
I have a Tjm type 15 alloy bar on my GU (came on the car) they are a great looking bar but absolutly bleep weak bent mine going up a sand dune!
On previous vech had an Arb bar which was great knocked over a few roos without even a sratch would have killed the alloy bar and prob the radiator and head light.
Its upto your personnel needs

AnswerID: 38812

Reply By: mrdesmo - Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 16:10

Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 16:10
I got rid of the alloy bar that was on my 80 when I bought it and put on a steel one....
It was all nice a sparkly when I bought it...within a few weeks it had tarnished and needed a buff....bugger that....I've got better things to do than polish my bar...!! :-P
AnswerID: 38817

Reply By: troy - Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 20:17

Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 20:17
i have a steel bar on my hilux
recently had an accident with the rear of another car -$2500 damage done to his and the bar just had some paint taken off.
AnswerID: 38835

Reply By: Chris (W.A.) - Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 23:50

Friday, Nov 28, 2003 at 23:50
On muddy track 4 years ago and braked - no response, steered no response, hit a big stinkin tree at about 20km/h - took paint off, nothing else. Just get the heavier coils if you're worried about weight on the front.
regardsNice southerly coastal fishing trip someday.
AnswerID: 38852

Reply By: Coops (Pilbara) - Saturday, Nov 29, 2003 at 01:53

Saturday, Nov 29, 2003 at 01:53
Check out Irvin Bullbars in Midalnd (www.Irvinbullbars.com.au) as they make great looking Aluminium bars that have that polished look. I'll be getting one soon.
After what seems like a lifetime in the Pilbara I can tell you I've seen some horror damage to alloy bars and wouldn't touch them with your money let alone mine.
My steel one actually got pushed back far enough to damage around indicators etc before springing back to almost it's original position.Allyn
Some days we are the flies; some days we are the windscreen.
AnswerID: 38857

Reply By: Member - JohnR - Saturday, Nov 29, 2003 at 08:09

Saturday, Nov 29, 2003 at 08:09
Mark, hardly anything to add to the comments above.

I have talked to truckies who have had alloy bars and one told me never again will a Valiant driver drive under the front of his truck. Was a bad experience for him obviously. Decent steel was then the only choice.

Have noticed with the bars we have had on farm 4bys that there are bars and bars. Alloy looks nice til it has lost its shine ar had the bingle. Steel bars are not all the same either. Some have trays under the main bumber that bend too easily and/or push back into the body work. (have an idea someone pushed a bull with it)

I don't look at alloy now
AnswerID: 38862

Reply By: gunna - Saturday, Nov 29, 2003 at 14:23

Saturday, Nov 29, 2003 at 14:23
Have you thought about a plastic one?

Don't kno about them but i've herd they bounce back into shape and would be light as well.

Does anybody else kno bout these?
AnswerID: 38876

Follow Up By: ThePublican - Saturday, Nov 29, 2003 at 15:49

Saturday, Nov 29, 2003 at 15:49
Have had the plastic on for years,,lighter than original bumperbar so no suspension mods required,no painting or polishing and reverts to shape after a " hit " ,,,once tried will never revert to steel or alloy.
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Saturday, Nov 29, 2003 at 22:27

Saturday, Nov 29, 2003 at 22:27
I've had alloy and steel in the past and a Smart Bar (plastic) for the past 3 years. Prefer the smart bar. I'd rather have a flexible bar with a bit of give, than a steel bar with collapsible mounts or an aluminium bar which is permanaently damaged the first time you hit something. Its lighter, and still looks as good as the day it was born. The Prado bars look exactly like the steel ones anyway. they have better ventilation too for the radiator.
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Follow Up By: Wil - Sunday, Nov 30, 2003 at 09:26

Sunday, Nov 30, 2003 at 09:26
The plastic ones may be good. But some cost indication will be good.
Would think that steel should be the most economical choice. But total cost of ownership may be something else..

Reckon it's steel if you are into real heavy duty work (farming, mining, skifield work, play n play). Other options for those who tread lightly (round main centres & weekend sightseeing).

Why replace your OEM bumper with something inferior?..?
FollowupID: 82782

Follow Up By: ThePublican - Sunday, Nov 30, 2003 at 11:47

Sunday, Nov 30, 2003 at 11:47
Wil,,the cost of a smart bar is less than the comparable alloy or steel bar,and in most cases less than half the cost of an oem bumperbar,,as for being inferior???? dosnt rust,is lighter, never needs polish or paint and reverts back to shape after a bingle,,inferior ??? more like superior!!!!
FollowupID: 82795

Reply By: member-skippyking - Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 17:59

Saturday, Dec 06, 2003 at 17:59
looking from another angle. We have an alloy bar on the Jack. Recently we did the Anne Beadell Hwy. Metal fatigue at the welds and a lack of bracing saw it fall off due to the corrugations (and that was before it got bad!!!) It has in it's history 2 big hits on big roo's so this probably helped contribute to the problem. It showed no visible damage to either of these.

Anyway, got to Coober Pedy and no-one could weld it up! No aluminiun welders in town. I was amazed at this. So we had to miss the Oodnadatta track and head down to Pt Augusta to get it fixed (plus another 'minor' problem). So.....had it been steel it probably would not have cracked as easily and it could have been welded anywhere, even by myself with a couple of batteries and welding gear right on the spot. PhilG can attest to seeing my bullbar atop our camper trailer. sigh.

SKMost human problems can be solved by an appropriate charge of high
AnswerID: 39570

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