4×4 Bullbars: The Kings of Front-Body Vehicle Protection

18 Nov 2020
Larry Ficks
31

The front of your 4×4 may look super rugged and may even be super rugged but there’s one thing it probably doesn’t do at its best. And that is protection. Front body protection isn’t available on a 4×4 straight out of the factory, and most vehicles for that part. One way to make sure your 4×4 has proper protection at the front (where it matters the most) is with a bull bar.

This type of aftermarket upgrade is a large piece of aluminium or steel which covers the front grille and headlights. Although the cover provided by bull bars is made up of a cross bar and a loop bar (sometimes multiple ones) it still makes a big difference. With a bullbar you don’t have to worry about trees and branches damaging your radiator and you will stay safe from animal strikes too which can destroy your chassis.

Are Bull Bars Worth It?

No other type of front-body protection offers the same benefits as bullbars which makes them the best option. 4X4 bull bars are definitely a worthwhile investment that can literally save your life in a head-on collision situation. Whilst they are not as lightweight as some of their smaller counterparts, bull bars still make for the better choice when protection is concerned.

bull bars

Are Bull Bars Universal?

Although 4×4 bull bars come in different styles and sizes they are not universal. Different car models will require a bull bar with a suitable mounting option and hardware. You will need to search for a bullbar designed for the specific model of your vehicle or find one that is compatible with multiple vehicle makes, including yours.

Bullbar Styles

Single & Triple Hoop

Single hoop bars have one hoop (bar) going over the radiator and they are attached on the bumper section. With single hoop bars, you get a middle ground product that offers a balance between weight and protection. Single hoop bars also tend to look better than a triple hoop.
Triple hoop bars may not be aesthetically pleasing but they offer the highest level of protection. This is because they have two hoops that go over the headlights too. However, triple hoop bars are also the heaviest. If animal strike prone areas are part of your daily off-road commute, then these types of bullbars are a must. Otherwise, you’re better off with single hoop bullbars.

Bumper

Bumper bars offer the least amount of protection when bullbars are concerned. However, they still provide an improved form of protection compared to your stock fenders.

4wd bull bars

Baja

Although similar to bumper bars, baja bars are not as light. Even though they aren’t as protective as single or triple hoop bars, baja bars come with added reinforcement into the chassis. This makes them compatible with high-power winches. Baja bars can be used for off-road competitions.

Nudge

This type of bar is made for light impacts and it is usually an aesthetics upgrade. While nudge bars are not mounted to the chassis, much like a real bullbar, they are still a worthy upgrade. Do not consider buying one if you frequently travel in animal strike prone areas though.

Competition

Maximum ground clearance packed with decent protection is at the core of competition bars. These bull bars have one major advantage over their heavy-duty counterparts. When a competition bull bar gets damaged, it is easy to remove and replace within seconds which is why they are most commonly found being used in off-road competitions across Australia, hence the name.

How to Clean Bullbars?

Although bullbars can be extremely rugged, they still require some maintenance. This involves bringing the bullbar’s shine back since over time all those stone chips and mud splashes wear it down. To make your bullbar shine again you’ll need to get yourself some polish. In this case, Autosol is the most preferred product but you can go with Silvo Silver polish if you want.

4x4 bull bars

1. Start off by giving your bullbar a good wash with a water hose and make sure to remove as much dirt as possible. You don’t want to have pieces of sand sliding across the bar and scratching it as you polish it. Before you head on to apply the polishing compound make sure to dry off the bullbar with a microfiber cloth.

2. After you have it completely dry, apply some of the polishing compound onto a clean microfiber cloth. Start polishing the bar by applying the compound in circles. Rub it on until you see the compound turn black. The black colour indicates that your bullbar has some sort of protective coating on it and that it is safe to continue polishing it. Do not put a lot of pressure when applying the polish as it is abrasive and doing so can do more harm than good.

3. After that make sure to buff the compound out with a cotton cloth or a wool polish pad placed on a polishing machine with variable speeds. You can spray your bullbar with Mr Sheen to get rid of bugs after a long day on the road.