Bullbars, Brushbars and Winch Bumpers

Range Rover Classic

GDE Winch Bumper

Introduction
Great Divide Expedition Bumper
ARB Winch Bumper & Bullbar
Wrap-around Brush Bars
Winch Bumpers Without Brush Bars
Rear Step/Bumper
Rear Brush Bar/Load Carrier

Introduction
In the later years of Classic production, a light duty aluminum wrap-around brush bar became available as an official accessory, and is found on many used Range Rovers today. There was also a (much less commonly seen) factory accessory known as the Great Divide Expedition winch bumper (photo at top of page). Meanwhile, a number of aftermarket manufacturers have provided bumpers, brushbars and winch mounts for the Classic. This page illustrates the pros and cons of a number of the available options. (Note that most aftermarket brushbars and bumpers are not certified to be compatible with the intended operation of airbags where fitted on late model vehicles).


Great Divide Expedition Bumper
The accessory Great Divide Expedition winch bumper for the Classic Range Rover (photo at top) was available through the Land Rover of North America dealer network for about $2,300 and now may be found on a select few used Range Rovers. Its design is similar to the one used on the actual Great Divide Expedition, and replaces the stock bumper and spoiler. It consists of an aluminum bumper inside which a Warn 8,000 lb winch is mounted. An integral brush bar is also part of the design. The complete package is a neat, practical and lightweight unit.

GDE Front BumperThe limited-production Great Divide Edition Range Rover models sold in 1990/91 (photo at left) had an aluminum bumper which looks similar but is only about 5 inches tall -- not enough to accommodate a winch inside it. (This bumper was also available as an accessory.) For more detail and photos of this special model, see this page in the Model Year Specs section.  Rovers North has been known to modify these bumpers by welding an addition along the bottom to create room for a winch. Unless you are an expert aluminum welder and mechanical engineer (to analyze the winching stresses in your particular modification) I wouldn't do this as a home garage job.

ARB Winch Bumper & Bullbar
ARB BumperPerhaps the best known aftermarket bumper for the Classic is the heavy duty ARB winch bumper made in Australia. The photo at right (courtesy of Atlantic British) shows this bumper on a Classic with a winch and driving lights mounted on it. (Note that a version of the bumper without provision for mounting a winch is also available at slightly lower cost). This bumper is solid steel and considerably stronger than the Great Divide Expedition bumper, as well as being much cheaper and still available! It is now a well-proven design that has been around for many years, and is a good choice for serious off road duty.

Due to the weight and bulk of this bumper you might wish to have it delivered from a supplier not too far away. Atlantic British is the main supplier on the east coast of the US; they sell the  non-winch version for $649, and the winch mount version for $769. A complete kit with all mounting hardware and an 8,000 lb winch is $1749 (they offer a choice of three Warn winches in all ranging from 8,000 to 10,000 lb capacity).

ARB Bumper (non-winch)On the west coast of the US, British Pacific is the main and original supplier of ARB products. I recall in my early days of Classic ownership they were about the only source I could find in the US.

BP offers rock bottom pricing on ARB bumpers and bars for the RR classic, as follows:
Front Bull Bar (non-winch) 3230020 $599.99
Front Bull Bar (winch compatible) 3430020 $699.00

More details and information are provided on the British Pacific ARB bumper pageThe non-winch version is illustrated at left (photo courttesy of British Pacific).

BP also stocks the ARB rear step bumper for the Classic (see sectionn below on rear bumpers/brushbars). See the Range Rover Winches and Winch Mounts page for details of other winch options for the Classsic.

Wrap-Around Brush Bars
Genuine Brush BarDuring the life of the Classic, various designs of wrap-around brush bars emerged. In all cases, these were add-ons which supplemented rather than replaced the existing bumper, providing extra protection for the front body panels, lights and radiator grille. Most can be mounted using the existing bumper mounting hardware.

One example of this approach was the light-duty factory brushbar option (see photo at right, courtesy of The Rover Connection) which still sells this unit for about $650 -- much less than it used to cost as a factory accessory). This was made from aluminum and was a common addition to new Range Rovers in the later production years of the Classic. Although not tremendously strong, it was good-looking and incorporated headlight guards which could be removed for easy cleaning and access.

Another example of the wrap-around brush bar is the much stronger (and considerably less expensive) steel version currently sold by Atlantic British. Three versions are available as illustrated below, costing $269, $419, and $499 respectively (photo below right shows the wrap-around bar mounted on a Classic).

A-Bar

Wrap-Around

Wrap-=Around with Fog Light Guards

(Photos courtesy of Atlantic British)

Brush Bar

Basic A-Bar

Wrap-around design

Wrap-around bar with fog light guards 

Wrap-around bar mounted


Another very sturdy but surprisingly inexpensive aftermarket design ($379) is offered by British Pacific (see photos below).  
On this tubular wrap-around brushbar, the headlight guards are permanently fixed and much heavier than the Genuine version (which costs $400 more), while the bar sits lower for easier engine access. It is also farther away from the bodywork, in case the bar hits something hard and is bent back. (I have often wondered why the genuine brush bars fit so closely to the body, so that a slight bend will push it into the bodywork, defeating its whole purpose!!). The wraparound also extends further back along the sides, and there is stout under-bumper protection for the driving lights.

BP Brushguard

BP Brushguard

British Pacific Brushguard (Photos courtesy of British Pacific)

Front view of $379 British Pacific Brushguard


This version is especially easy to install requiring only simple hand tools and no drilling. For more details, see the British Pacific wrap-around brushbar page. In the above illustration, IPF driving lights are shown, available at extra cost: these bolt right in to predrilled holes. These are one of the most convenient lighting additions for Range Rovers, as they are less expensive than the usual overpriced off-road lights, but are precision-engineered and come in complete easy to instal kits. For more information see the BP IPF driving light page).

Variations on the basic wrap-around brushbar design are available from several other sources (see listings on the Range Rover links page).


Winch Bumpers Without Brush Guards
Terrainmaster bumperAs someone whose Range Rover spends a lot of time off road, I have always been a skeptic on the subject of brush guards. In my opinion if you do have an encounter with "brush" or other substantial hazards, the wraparound wings are likely to get pushed into the sheetmetal or headlights and cause more damage than they prevent. I would rather have a sturdy bumper to fend off real and more likely hazards and let the upper bodywork take care of itself. I recently came across a very neat winch bumper made by Terrain Master (pictured here courtesy of
Atlantic British) which achieves this effect and even enhances the look of the Range Rover, while providing a sturdy winch mount, integrated jacking points, and strong protection where it is really needed. Cost is about $690.


Rear Step BumperRear step bumpre
The rear bumper and bodywork are just as prone to off-road insults as the front, but curiously few manufacturers make accessories for the rear end of te vehicle. An exceptionn is the ARB rear step/bumper for the Range Rover Classic.
This is a very sturdy replacement for the stock rear bumper, and comes with aluminum tread plate on the top so it can safely be used as a step for easier access to the roof rack (see photo at right, courtesy of British Pacific). On later models with Class III hitch receivers built in, the factory hitch is cut off before the ARB bumper is installed, as the design includes a replacement hitch receiver and gooseneck. British Pacific is the only supplier I have seen in the US for this bumper; it is available from them for $599. More information appears on their ARB bumper page.
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Rear Brush Bar/Load Carrier

An accessory that has been available for many years is the Bearmach combination rear brushbar and load carrier. It consists of a tubular steel brush bar with hinges at its lower mounting points so it can double as a load carrier capable of supporting up to 230 lbs. It quickly folds down and locks in place with a pin and "R" clip.  In the US this bar is available through Atlantic British for about $370 (see photos below courtesy of Atlantic British).

rear bar

rear bar mounted

 

 

 

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Page revised February 10, 2012