What bull bar should i get

JapPlonk

New Member
I was looking to buy a bull bar. I had a look at arb which was really expensive, but the TJM and Ironman look more reasonable. I heard that Ironman isn't that good. What is your experience and recommendations? I was wondering what is the build quality of each of these brands, and if any of brands I should pass, the actual type of bull bar I can choose after considering what I need and want. I have a hilux 2018 Sr5.
Thanks in advance
 
Last edited:

dabbler

Active Member
The first question I would ask is "What do I want the bullbar to do for me ?".

Front end protection or more ? Do you want brush bars, winch cradle, light mounts, antenna mounts ? Not all offer these capabilities, some bars can be modified, some capabilities don't matter as much as others.

My Hilux came with a steel ARB and beefed up front suspension to cater for extra front end weight. Even though there might be better options, it is sufficient for my needs so I put my coin elsewhere.
 

JapPlonk

New Member
The first question I would ask is "What do I want the bullbar to do for me ?".

Front end protection or more ? Do you want brush bars, winch cradle, light mounts, antenna mounts ? Not all offer these capabilities, some bars can be modified, some capabilities don't matter as much as others.

My Hilux came with a steel ARB and beefed up front suspension to cater for extra front end weight. Even though there might be better options, it is sufficient for my needs so I put my coin elsewhere.
I will get a winch but i was wondering what is the build quality of each of these brands, and if any of brands I should pass.
 
I will get a winch but i was wondering what is the build quality of each of these brands, and if any of brands I should pass.
I can't speak for the others but there has been a TJM bar on the front of mine for at least 10 years. It has a slight crease in the front from an impact with a large roo, but took the shot like a champ. Can't say the same for the roo.

It's rock solid, has a few scuff marks on it from wear and tear but zero rust. I have no reason to replace it at any stage. Honestly, anything from the major manufacturers will do the job. It will come down to your needs and preference regarding style and looks. Also whether you want steel or will alloy do the job you need?
 
Last edited:

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
TJM and ARB would be on par for quality which is excellent. Ironman used to be noticeably cheaper with build quality and finish but haven't looked at them for several years. Still would do the job for you regardless
 

discomatt

Well-Known Member
I have a ECB alloy bar on mine, very solid but without the weight of a steel bar although it was on the car when I bought it so nor sure on weight comparisons , you could also consider just a winch mount set up and keep the original look, if I was to build another Disco 4 I would almost definitly go the discreet winch mount
 

John U

Well-Known Member
I have a ECB alloy bar on mine, very solid but without the weight of a steel bar although it was on the car when I bought it so nor sure on weight comparisons , you could also consider just a winch mount set up and keep the original look, if I was to build another Disco 4 I would almost definitly go the discreet winch mount
I saw the ‘discreet mount’ option for the first time yesterday. I didn’t know it could be done. Was on an amarok. Looked good.

Within reason, I’d be doing whatever I could to keep it light. Even though my Ranger came with a commercial ARB bar, it had ShuRoo. I reckon this thing has contributed significantly to avoiding a strike in the first place. Would get another if changing cars.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
JapPlonk, you don't say what 4x4 you have but consider a Smart Bar. After years of ARB bars I took a gamble on the winch bar for my 200. At first I thought it was ugly but then, I got used to it and after 6 years think it looks much better than a stone chipped painted one. I have hit a tow bar and a pole enough to dint it. But after about 3 months the dints completely disappear.

They only make them for vehicles that a commercial operator would buy so the range is a bit limited.

Mine is 70kg lighter than my old ARB, doesn't wobble and has a high lift jack point and a steel frame for the winch.

I would get one again. There are some videos of 4wds hitting cattle and kangaroos. There is also one showing impact testing of it, steel and aluminium. That is an eye opener and made me short list it against steel.

It's also the only one that meets the pedestrian safety part of the bull bar AS standard, if you do contract work for big coonractors or mines, or live in a city, that requirement is coming down the shute soon. It's already in place for some sites.
 
Last edited:

Lost1?

Well-Known Member
I chose MCC. Price and availability at the time were the deciding factors. 4 years later, everything is still in good shape. I also have a wheel carrier from the same company. The powder coating is coming off some of the narrow edges on the wheel carrier. I will need to tidy that up to ensure I don't have issues later. So QA can be inconsistent.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
I’ve just put the deposit on an MCC phoenix bar for the BT50. It will have a winch so the front struts have to get done also. With the outback armour springs/struts the price is still cheaper than the ARB bar. I needed a full replacement bar for mine also because it is fixing some accident damage. We put a couple of ARB bars on the 2021 hilux’s simply because they were getting canopies etc pre delivered on them and it is easier that way. The white colour ‘match’ isn’t even close. Not worth it.
If I wanted to spend $4k it would have been a predator bar, but it is a work Ute so I’d rather spend it on beer. There are many options better (IMHO) than TJM and ARB these days.
 

John U

Well-Known Member
JapPlonk, you don't say what 4x4 you have but consider a Smart Bar. After years of ARB bars I took a gamble on the winch bar for my 200. At first I thought it was ugly but then, I got used to it and after 6 years think it looks much better than a stone chipped painted one. I have hit a tow bar and a pole enough to dint it. But after about 3 months the dints completely disappear.

They only make them for vehicles that a commercial operator would buy so the range is a bit limited.

Mine is 70kg lighter than my old ARB, doesn't wobble and has a high lift jack point and a steel frame for the winch.

I would get one again. There are some videos of 4wds hitting cattle and kangaroos. There is also one showing impact testing of it, steel and aluminium. That is an eye opener and made me short list it against steel.

It's also the only one that meets the pedestrian safety part of the bull bar AS standard, if you do contract work for big coonractors or mines, or live in a city, that requirement is coming down the shute soon. It's already in place for some sites.
I would love to get one of these but I can't understand why, with all the options they should have for shaping the plastic, why they can't make them look better.
If I was building a ute now, plastic bash plates and a plastic long range tank would be a no brainer. With the right appearance and winch/spotty fitting options a smart bar would also be a no brainer.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
TJM, ECB, ARB all good,

our installer refused to install MCC he said there quality was not up to par
Bugger. I picked it because of the good reviews the got on the owners group. No backing out now, at least I’ll review it fairly.
 

Outrage

4x4 Earth Contributer
Bugger. I picked it because of the good reviews the got on the owners group. No backing out now, at least I’ll review it fairly.
I recall their 1st series of bars was quite light weight. Saw one of these original series rear bars of MCC's on a patrol and was very flexible compared to the main brands and reputable small fabricators. Just opening the wheel carrier, you could see the bar twisting.

From the rumour I heard. Their 2nd series they purchased Powerful 4x4's designs, which were considered an ok entry to mid-range option at the time.

Can only assume they haven't gone backwards since then? (10ish years ago)
 

hulsty

Active Member
I was looking to buy a bull bar. I had a look at arb which was really expensive, but the TJM and Ironman look more reasonable. I heard that Ironman isn't that good. What is your experience and recommendations? I was wondering what is the build quality of each of these brands, and if any of brands I should pass, the actual type of bull bar I can choose after considering what I need and want. I have a hilux 2018 Sr5.
Thanks in advance
FYI ARB is cheaper than TJM, about $50 cheaper.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
I recall their 1st series of bars was quite light weight. Saw one of these original series rear bars of MCC's on a patrol and was very flexible compared to the main brands and reputable small fabricators. Just opening the wheel carrier, you could see the bar twisting.

From the rumour I heard. Their 2nd series they purchased Powerful 4x4's designs, which were considered an ok entry to mid-range option at the time.

Can only assume they haven't gone backwards since then? (10ish years ago)
The one I’m getting has recovery points and high lift jacking points. Knowing me they’ll get used so it won’t be hard to see if it is very flexible. I don’t mind a bit of flex, dynamically it is a terrible place to add weight to any car so a bit thinner doesn’t bother me if it does the rest ok.
 

LongRoad2Go

Well-Known Member
Am doing a 'shopping list' for future 4WD purchase - narrowed down to LC or that mythical INEOS ;). The other personally significant thing to add for consideration is: is the widget made in and owned by Aussies? No gossip intended, but stories suggest some of those Australian companies get stuff made elsewhere. Take it for what it's worth ... or not.

P.s. thanks Boobook, I initially discounted that bar, good to hear feedback and just had a look at it again - that is definitely a goer for a future build.
 
Last edited:
Top