No proper touring 4x4 is complete in Australia without frontal protection.
You don’t have to head far from any major city or regional centre to see just how many ’roos are out there, or how much carnage an unprotected vehicle can sustain in the event of an impact. This is why we decided the first thing to get added to our D-MAX was a sturdy steel bullbar from Ironman 4x4.
We chose the Commercial Deluxe bar, for a number of reasons. Firstly, it just looks right. Designing a bullbar for the new D-MAX would have been an engineering nightmare, thanks to all the additional safety features found in this model.
Taking in to account those limitations from a design point of view, I feel Ironman 4x4 has done an awesome job designing this bar. It doesn’t impede the vehicle’s cameras and sensors, while still looking modern and dare I say, aggressive. Seeing it drive out of Truracks in Penrith (which did the fitting – thanks guys) made me almost feel like a proud parent. Our little ute was growing up.
As well as the bullbar, we decided to have a bunch of other gear fitted at the same time. As the front bumper was coming off, it would be rude not to basically. The main addition is a 12,000lb Ironman 4x4 Monster Winch with synthetic rope. I really like the positioning of the clutch handle; you don’t need to be a yoga instructor to operate it. I also rate the supplied controller, with built-in LED light and the ability to run it wireless or plugged in with everything supplied to do either. There was even a winch damper included, which I feel is a neat touch.
While the tools were out, a pair of rated recovery points were bolted on as well, again we didn’t want to be doing things twice. All that is left to do now is some underbody bash plates, which should arrive any day now.
All in all, this is a really good first mod to do, as we wanted to add weight to the vehicle, so we could set the suspension and wheel alignment just right. We also had the Truracks’ team wire up a set of Narva 180 MkII LED driving lights, with daytime running lights; but we’ll focus on these more in a full upcoming review.
As a side note, adding the weight of the bullbar, 12,000lb winch and recovery points made the stock suspension sag 20mm. If you were to do these mods to your vehicle, I’d strongly recommend upgrading the suspension as well.
A trip to Tough Dog Suspension is up next for us, to fix this issue and one other major problem we have with the stock D-MAX suspension.
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