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How to find the right bullbar for your Jeep JK

What to look out for when buying a Jeep bumper

Researching which bumper works best on your Jeep could easily become a field of science on its own. There has probably more time been spent researching which bullbar to fit on a Wrangler than the whole pharmacy industry spent finding an antidote for hayfever. And we totally get that. There are just so many variables and aspects to consider when you want to replace the old plastic bench on your Jeep. We have to think about design and aesthetics as a bullbar will change completely how the Jeep’s face looks like. Is your new bullbar useful on the trail too or is it for road-driving only? How much will the new bar weigh? How versatile is it?

Take a heavy-duty steel bullbar and include a winch in the package and you might find yourself in the situation that you need a lift kit now too. Let’s talk about versatility. Some bullbars are just there for pure protection but don’t offer any additional features while others come with fog lights, winch cradles, recovery points and mounting points for high-jack lifts, bash plates and even hidden storage boxes.

We can’t make a decision which bullbar to buy for you but we can help you find out which bar suits you most based on what features each of our bumpers have and why impact they have.

Is your Jeep on a weight-loss program?

Now, let’s start with the weight. If you concerned about overloading your frontend then a lightweight aluminium bar might be perfect for you. Aluminium bullbars still have strong structural integrity and the added benefit of not rusting like steel. Also in the case of an impact, they have more give than a steel bar, distributing more kinetic energy thus putting less stress on the passengers.

Due to their lighter weight, they will also not contribute to increased fuel usage as heavy-duty steel bumper. But aluminium is not as easy to weld hence please look out for quality welds when inspecting your new bar. By the way, we at JK Warehouse encourage all our customers to feel free to come into our store to check before purchase.

Looking for a heavy duty impact negotiator?

Let’s jump directly to the other end of the spectrum of our impact protectors and let’s call them, for the lack of a better word, heavy-duty bull bars. Those bullbars are made of thick gauge steel, have plenty of reinforced mounting points to bolt them onto the Jeep frame and they often come with a range of accessory mounts. Even integrated bash plates are not uncommon.

Now, what’s the benefit of integrated bash plates? First of all, it benefits your bank account because you can save at least 250-300 dollars as you do not need to buy an additional front bash plate. These plates are important to keep sand, mud and small stones out of your engine compartment thus avoiding belts and pulleys wearing out prematurely.

Those bars often come with plenty of mounting options for additional accessories such as antennas, fog and spotlights, led bars and electric winches. To fully support the force that’s caused by using those winches (which are often rated between 9,000 and 12,000 lbs pulling power) hd bullbars have an additional or integrated winch cradle which bolts down the winch with hd-bolts to the bullbar. Because of that extra thick steel, mounts and winch cradle those bars weigh considerably more than the light-weight bars we mentioned earlier.

Before buying a heavy duty bar you want to check for at least two things: Does your vehicle is well within its GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) and will the extra weight be supported by the suspension? Because it’s not uncommon that heavy bullbars cause the suspension to “sack” most aftermarket suspension manufacturers offer HD springs to bring your Jeep back to its normal ride height and driving behaviour.

How do you like Transformers?

They are not as sophisticated as in the movies but they are still very cool - transformable bullbars. With just a socket wrench and a hex key, those bullbars can be transformed from a full-width bar to a stubby bumper by taking the wings off. This gives a lot more clearance on the trails yet you are still road-legal as soon as you put the wings back once you leave your offroad track. Often those bars offer different styles of side wings (with/without fog light inserts) and some bars have their u-bar hoop bolted to the main bullbar section hence they are also detachable or even replaceable by a stinger (different style of u-bar that protrudes much further to the front of the bar).

You will be seeing more of these transformable bars in our inventory in the future.

We have a an ever-growing variety of front bumpers in our inventory. Most of them are available and ready to be shipped out from our Brisbane-based warehouse. Are you looking for something special? Send us a PM on our facebook page.