Bull bars are an accessory that can be added to almost any vehicle. Bull bars help protect against damage to the front of a vehicle which, in turn, adds more protection for the driver and its passengers. In other cases, farmers use them to push animals out of the way without damaging their trucks. With all of this heavy-duty protection, you may wonder if adding a bull bar to your car would require alterations to your suspension.
Do bull bars need a suspension upgrade? Bull bars do not need a suspension upgrade. Bull bars weigh generally between 25 to 60 kg or 55 to 120 lbs, so they aren’t so heavy to the point where a vehicle has to get a new suspension system. Most vehicles have enough clearance to install bull bars so a vehicle shouldn’t have to be lifted or modified at all to fit bull bars.
Bull bars are one modification to a vehicle that doesn’t require you to modify a hundred other things. Sometimes if you are installing a new tailpipe or shocks you have to modify many other parts of the car like the exhaust system, wheels, joints, and connectors. This can be a real hassle and modifications cost much more than what was originally planned and budgeted for, but this isn’t the case with bull bars. Bull bars are simple. They can be popped onto your car and then you are ready to go.
Why Bull Bars Don’t Need A Suspension Upgrade
Bull bars don’t require a suspension upgrade on your vehicle. If the bull bars weigh more than 40 kg then they probably will cause the nose of your vehicle to dip depending on what your suspension system is rated to or how worn out it is.
Most suspension systems should be able to carry the added weight of bull bars without scraping against the road. If the bull bars cause your vehicle to scrape or it makes your car dip to the point where you have very little clearance, then you will most likely want a new suspension system.
Usually, bull bars do not peek out of the bottom of the car more than a few inches so it shouldn’t be much of a concern. Since it is the frame of the car that you are attaching the bull bars to, having to make modifications isn’t something you’ll need to worry about. In all cases, bull bars will cause depression in your suspension system so your shocks will bottom out faster than they usually would. Make sure to take this into account when doing activities like off-roading.
Are There Any Other Components That Need To Be Upgraded When Installing A Bull Bar?
As stated before, there usually aren’t any modifications that you have to make when you install bull bars. However, even though there aren’t any required modifications, there are plenty of other modifications that can be made. Aside from the suspension system (which includes shocks and struts), one of the things that you can modify is the lift of your car. Lifting your vehicle a few inches is going to eliminate any risk of the bottom of your vehicle’s bull bar scraping.
Another thing that you can upgrade on your vehicle after installing a bull bar is the tires. Bull bars add an aggressive look to any car; the best thing you can do to add to the aggressive look is to get a mean set of tires.
If you have an off-roading vehicle, then a set of all-terrain tires or mud tires can help your car go from looking aggressive to looking amazing and off-road ready. If you have a street vehicle then getting some slick racing tires can make your car make heads turn as you roll down the street.
A lot of people wonder about the legality of bullbars and if it’s legitimate to have them on your car while driving on the road. The answer to this depends on where you live. You can learn more by reading our article “Are Bull Bars Legal?”
What Are Some Useful Accessories To Install On Your Bull Bar?
If you are going to add a bull bar to your truck or car then you might as well go ahead and add some more helpful accessories. A winch is a perfect complement to any bull bar and is a popular accessory people choose after installing a bull bar.
Now, of course, this accessory is going to be helpful primarily if you own a truck or off-road vehicle; winches are such a useful tool. If you want to get into some serious off-roading, a winch is almost a must-have. Winches can help get you out of some tough situations when everything else has failed.
Another accessory that can go along with a bull bar is a light bar. Though light bars don’t usually go on bull bars, they are a common accessory that many choose to install. Light bars are popular among off-roading fanatics.
Having a well-lit trail can be a game changer when off-roading at night or in low-light times of the day. Light bars not only can look cool next to your bull bars but they can help you stay out of nasty situations. A great thing about light bars is that they aren’t crazy expensive and are very easy to install.
When off-roading you often get stuck and nobody wants that. While a winch can often be the tool to help you get unstuck, another accessory that is helpful in these situations is a high jack. High jacks are portable and don’t cost very much at all, only 80 to 100 dollars usually. High jacks when paired with winches are super useful and can get you out of almost any situation. High jacks can fit very conveniently on the top of bull bars. You should easily be able to find mounting brackets for a high jack.
As you can see, most of these accessories discussed are for an off-road vehicle. If you have a street vehicle and want some bull bar accessories, there are unfortunately not a lot of options. For vehicles strictly driven on the street, the only accessory I would consider getting is some sort of light.
Are There Any Types Of Bull Bars That Would Require A Suspension Upgrade?
Full-length bull bars, the bars that cover the entire front side of a vehicle, are likely a style that is going to require a suspension upgrade. These bull bars are going to weigh double, if not triple, the weight of bull bars that only cover a small center portion of the front of the car. On average these types of bull bars weigh 60 kg or more. This amount of weight is going to cause the nose of the vehicle to dip drastically and possibly even scrape the ground.
Driving with a dipped nose is risky seeing that you will most likely be scraping up your bumper, but it can have some long-term effects on the vehicle as well. Having that much weight on one end of the vehicle with a suspension system that isn’t designed to support it is going to hurt your suspension system and most likely make your front shocks wear out very quickly. A vehicle with this much of a dip is also going to have an undercarriage that is dangerously close to the ground.
Near the front of the vehicle, there are a lot of components that are important to the functionality of the vehicle. A lot of these parts are exposed through the undercarriage and if a suspension system isn’t there to absorb shock and keep it from hitting the ground a lot of damage can be done.
To fix this problem, you are going to have to get a new suspension system with shocks and struts that are rated for heavier weights. Instead of just replacing the front suspension you are most likely going to want to give the whole suspension system an upgrade.
This same situation could arise if you install a winch onto your bull bars. Winches are going to add to the weight of the bull bars so you will need to take them into account when figuring out how much weight you can put on the front of your vehicle. Finding what your current suspension is rated for before you install a bull bar is highly suggested. If you already know that you are going to need a new suspension system then you can have the new suspension system installed at the same time as the installation of the bull bars.