February 12, 2015

Bullbars

Words: Pat Williams
Take a look at the best bullbars on the Australian market.

Bullbars are a very Australian invention, born out of necessity to protect our vehicles from animal strikes, and are one of the first accessories most people think of fitting to a new 4WD. Having a bullbar fitted will, in most cases, improve the aesthetics of the vehicle, and will reduce costly repair bills in the event of an accident or animal strike. It could mean the difference between continuing on your journey or calling for a tow truck. Bullbars are also a great place to mount accessories like your winch, driving lights, sand flags and aerials.
When shopping around for a bullbar you need to know what you want, because there are many different types and configurations available. Bullbars are made from steel, alloy or polyethylene (a form of plastic). Alloy and plastic bars are lighter, but steel bars provide the best protection for your vehicle.
There are a few things you need to think about when buying a bar, such as whether your car has airbags (which most cars will these days), in which case you need to make sure the bar you choose is airbag compliant. Most bars will be winch compatible, so even if you are looking to fit a winch later down the track, then at least your bar will be ready for it. Not all bars are created equal, so sticking to the better known brands is a must, because they have been tried and tested and are definitely up to the job of protecting your vehicle and its occupants.

ARB

ARB has a great range of steel bullbars, with the current Ranger and Hilux bars being two excellent examples of their work. ARB’s bars come in three styles; the Deluxe, Sahara and Commercial.
www.arb.com.au

Ford Ranger Deluxe Bull Bar

ARB’s Deluxe bullbar for the Ford Ranger incorporates multi-fold, upswept wings for an improved approach angle, along with ARB’s proven split pan design that provides increased airflow while also delivering exceptional structural strength. The bar also features extensive under wing protection panels and a centre stone shield with large openings to facilitate airflow to the engine. Twin Hi-Lift jacking points and provision for IPF lights and aerials are also featured. The Ranger bar is suitable for winch and non-winch applications.
RRP  $2337 (price is for a black bar, fitted with fog lights - optional colour coding is available for an extra $220)

 

Toyota HiLux Sahara Bar

Complementing the sleek, modern look of the HiLux, the Sahara bar incorporates many of the features of the ARB deluxe bullbar, including the extensively tested, airbag-compatible mounting system that secures to the vehicle’s chassis via high tensile bolts.
ARB’s five fold upswept and tapered wing design has been tailored to suit the appearance of the Hilux, while also optimising approach angles and ground clearance. The split pan design allows for maximum strength and airflow, while extensive under bar protection panels on the centre and either side of the bar provide increased protection. To cater for demanding offroad conditions, the Sahara bar is fully compatible with ARB’s new under vehicle protection panels and recovery point. The bar can be configured with or without the polished centre tube.
The Sahara bar’s additional features include twin Hi-Lift jacking points, provision for both round or rectangular IPF lights, and two CB aerial brackets located on the alloy centre tube. The bar is winch compatible and is finished in a durable millennium grey powder coat. The Sahara bar comes with the option to be colour-matched to your vehicle.
$2304 (price is for a fitted bar in millennium grey colour - colour coding is available for an additional  $220)

Toyota HiLux Commercial Bar

ARB’s commercial bull bar for the Toyota HiLux offers superior protection via its unique design that features heavy gauge steel tube for the centre and outer frame. Forgoing a number of cosmetic features such as colour coding and urethane buffers, this bar is ideal for a rugged work vehicle or those who want to get out on the tracks on a budget.
ARB’s commercial bars have all the safety features and functionality of the Deluxe and Sahara bars, but are squarely aimed at practically minded 4WD enthusiasts. These bars are winch compatible, feature twin Hi-Lift jacking points, have two aerial brackets and are finished in a hard wearing powder coat.
$1035 (plus an extra $250 for fitting)

TJM

TJM have both alloy and steel bars in their line-up, and all TJM bars are engineered to each individual vehicle, allowing for the best style and performance no matter what vehicle you drive. TJM bars are airbag compatible and are available in winch-compatible and non winch-compatible varieties. They incorporate the usual features including driving light and aerial mounts, integrated fog lights and indicator/park lights.
www.tjm.com.au

Ford PX Ranger T15 Alloy Deluxe 96350811

The T15 Alloy Deluxe bar for the Ford PX Ranger from TJM is a full bumper replacement that does not require any cutting of the original bumper. This bar is designed for improved approach angles, featuring both lower wing and centre guards for increased protection. It also features recovery points rated to 8000kg.
The bar is constructed from 76mm thick centre tube with 50mm thick outer tubes, and allows for fitment of dual aerials. Other standard inclusions are integrated fog lights (fog lights, wiring harness and switches included), flush mounted polycarbonate indicator/park lenses and the ability to accommodate large driving lights (up to Britax Xray Vision 220 series). The T15 also includes a low profile winch mount and is airbag compatible, ADR compliant and will not void your new vehicle warranty.
RRP $2365 (plus an additional $400 for fitting)

Toyota 150 series Prado T13 Outback

The T13 Outback steel bar for the Toyota 150 Prado is once again a full bumper replacement, with no cutting of the bumper required. The bar is designed for improved approach angles featuring both lower wing and centre guards and with full cato straps, uniquely styled to the vehicle for incredible strength and damage deflection. Standard inclusions are integrated fog lights (fog lights, wiring harness and switches included) and flush mounted polycarbonate indicator/park lenses, this bar also accommodates large driving lights. Reinforced T-slot recovery jack points make jacking the vehicle safe and easy. This bar also has a low profile winch mount, provision for fitment of dual aerials and is airbag compatible, ADR compliant and does not void your new vehicle warranty.
RRP $1842 (plus an additional $450 for fitting)