Following the installation of the roof-rack the next accessory to be installed was an ARB Deluxe Bar. As a very regular rural driver travelling often at night in remote areas frontal protection is a ‘must’. The amount of kangaroos on the road can be quite dangerous at times so a good bullbar was high on my list of accessories. With previous vehicles I have had an abundance of choice when it came to frontal protection and have had no problems finding good quality bars having high levels of protection and the ability to house a number of other accessories such as driving lights and winches. The Wrangler on the other hand, does not seem to be so well catered for from the main 4wd aftermarket companies here in Australia. The main problem for me was finding a bar that offered good protection in the event of animal strikes. There seems to be an abundance of bars available from the US market but these are mostly designed for the hard-core off-roading that you find in the USA, not the type of touring associated with a lot of local 4wding.
It seems, given the abundance of them, that bars that have no hoops or just a small centre hoop are most popular with Wranglers. While they may look good, and can support winches and a couple of driving lights, they don’t offer a lot of protection for quite large areas of the front of the vehicle (e.g. headlights, upper grille etc). The best that I could find was the ARB Deluxe Bar (pictured).
Overall, I am pretty happy with the bar. The hoop could have been a bit bigger so that I could fit some decent sized driving lights in it. The original fog-lights were retained, which is nice but I will be replacing them hopefully. There are four mounting points for accessories (lights, antennas etc) and place for a winch. There are also jack-points for using a high-lift jack. The quality of the bar is very good, which you would expect from a brand like ARB. Overall, this rates as a 4 out of 5 for me – a bit more extra protection from animal strikes would have seen a 5 out of 5.