ARB Bull Bar – A Review

July 26, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

As a proud owner of a new Toyota Hilux I provided my views on the vehicle to My HQ readers earlier this year.  To date the Hilux has lived up to its reputation as being a sturdy, reliable multi-purpose vehicle, however some early off road experiences and planned long country driving trips saw us recently go out to replace the factory front end with an ARB deluxe winch bull bar.

Hilux w bull bar

In conjunction with the ARB bull bar we also agreed to upgrade the suspension to the Australian designed and made Old Man Emu.  This raised the clearance of the vehicle by an additional 55mm and fulfilled my desire to be sporting the ubiquitous yellow struts on my vehicle of choice.  It is highly recommended that when fitting an ARB bull bar and particularly one where a winch is to be installed to upgrade the suspension – ultimately you will be forced to as the factory suspension will sag over time – how would you feel if you went from carrying 10 to 15kgs at the front to around 50kg!!!!

The suspension upgrade, to Old Man Emu, has made the vehicle more stable on the road, reducing body roll and providing a much smoother ride compared with the factory suspension.  I was impressed that there is no noticeable impact on the vehicle from the addition of the ARB bull bar and this must be down to the suspension to a large extent.

While I thought there would be a change in the fuel economy from strapping on the bull bar it has not been the case and this may be courtesy of the suspension changes. It further reinforces the benefit of this type of upgrade for a 4×4 when you consider the added safety benefits of the ARB bull bar and upgraded, vehicle tuned suspension.

The guys at ARB were once again excellent, explaining all elements of the upgrade and the impacts it would have on the vehicle.  Never pushy but confident and knowledgeable in their business the ARB guys provide honest and informed answers – generally based on their own personal experience which are of extreme benefit.

A big reason for choosing ARB is that the ARB Bull Bars are manufactured in Australia to ARB specifications and not imported.

The fitting of the ARB bull bar and suspension took a day to do and the follow-up check up after 500kms took a little over an hour – due mainly to the steering wheel being off-centre and requiring adjustment.  It is little surprise, based on my experience, as to why ARB is so respected among 4WD’ers in Australia and overseas and I would highly recommend them to anyone considering buying or upgrading their existing 4WD.

A big thanks to the boys at ARB Thomastown.

Much to my wife’s displeasure I see many visits to ARB over the course of my beloved Hilux’s life.  Who knows it may even replace Bunnings as my favourite place to waste away a few hours!!!!!!!

For further information:

CarHq’s review on the Toyota Hilux: Toyota Hilux Review

On the Toyota Hilux


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Category: Products

Comments (2)

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  1. Jenna Hunter says:

    I’ll keep in mind that installing a bull bar will take up to a day to do. My husband as always wanted on and I am thinking about getting him one for Christmas this year. I will be sure to get in touch with a mechanic to keep researching!

  2. Brad says:

    Are you sure that the bullbar is manufactured in Australia? It’s my understanding that ARB have a manufacturing plant in Asia.

    Also you comments about advise and expertise of ARB has not been my experience. I wanted some advice on which bullbar wouldn’t need the original plastic bumper retained and cut and was told by ARB head office that all the bullbars needed a cut in the plastic bumper. Only after a bit of research did I figure out that the deluxe bar doesn’t require the plastic bumper at all.

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