We were planning on installing the ARB bullbar and Warn XDC9500 winch today, but an absent fitting kit for the bar/winch combo meant we had to find other jobs to do. It was a bit of a disappointment because I had 3 of my brothers come over specifically to help with the bullbar, and it was the one job we couldn’t do. Alas, I still ended up working a full day!
This is Patrick removing the factory tow hooks after the old TJM alloy “farm bar” was removed. The factory tow hooks get bolted back on underneath the ARB winch bar later on.
Patrick is holding the bar while I attempt to mount the winch and fairlead frame. We thought we were doing something wrong, but it turns out we didn’t have the necessary parts! Lesson learned, always trust your first instinct - if it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.
This is as far as we got with the bullbar installation today. Not to worry, it laid the framework for some smaller jobs that we had to do anyway, so what better time to complete them than now!
I don’t have a photograph of the side skirts, but while Patrick and I were figuring out the bullbar issues Andrew and Daniel installed the ARB side steps. They did a fantastic job, and I will be sure to post a photo of their brilliant handywork tomorrow.
Up goes the ARB aluminium roof rack! We had previously mounted the Narva LED light bars to the roof rack and had set the horizontal spacing on the roof rack mounting legs, so it was just a case of putting the rail channel in, lifting the rack up, and bolting it all down.
Of note with this picture is that LED light bars still have a few questions regarding legality. The ADR’s can be interpreted in a few ways that may imply that LED light bars are illegal. It seems to be the case that a single long LED light bar is flat out illegal, no questions asked, however 2 smaller LED light bars can be argued that they DO comply with the ADR’s. Hence, we have gone for 2 smaller ones for the reason above, but also (and no less importantly) we have the 2 bars angled outward at a very small degree (maybe 2-3 degrees). The intended use for our light bars is to light technical 4WD tracks that are traversed slowly at night - NOT for high speed driving or for any kind of road driving. As such, the angle of the light bars will throw light further out to the side, giving us even greater illumination for the few times we need to make our way along those tight technical tracks at night.
This is a view of the ARB aluminium roof rack from behind. The reasons for utilising an aluminium rack should be obvious - you want to minimise the amount of weight you are carrying on the roof as much as possible. There is no question regarding the strength of this rack either - it has been proven for many years on many vehicles in extreme conditions.
Here is a somewhat artistic shot of the right hand side Narva LED light bar. The mounting system for these light bars is great. It is very easy to adjust the angle of the light, and seems exceptionally solid, meaning no drooping lights when the corrugations take hold. We will do a full field review once we hit the dirt.
While the front of the Landcruiser was naked, I took the opportunity to further improve our lighting. Have a read of how I upgraded the factory 80 series headlights.
Tomorrow Elly and I are planning on installing our OME 2” suspension lift, which comprises of shocks, springs, and steering stabiliser. We will also be putting brand new rubber bushes through the Landcruiser in a few weeks when we have a wheel alignment done.