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Light Bar / Brush Guard / Bull Bar / Skid Plate


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58 replies to this topic

#26 Skemcin

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:52 PM

I want something like that for my 79 Brat, any possibility of a small production run of stuff for Brats?

possible, sure.
:-)

We've got a pretty good process down and it essentially goes like this. First, we have to find a local vehicle, or someone willing to drive whatever distance to allow us to have the car for any least one full (8am to 8pm) day. Once we can lock down the use of a vehicle, we post a deposit link - usually $200. It is fully refundable (outside of paypal fees) should the minimum of 5 deposits not be received. Once 5 deposits are received, we move forward with booking the build and we do the work. Once the bar is fit - it is usually no more than 2 weeks from the point that the batch is made (all depending on quantity sold) the bars are ready to ship.

I'm about to go on a week's vacation, when I get back I can begin to see if I can track down a local Brat - I know of one, but it is in mint condition and not likely going to be given up for us to play with. Obviously, if you happen to find one, please let me know. The shop is in New Lenox, IL.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Thanks for your interest and I hope we can get something worked out.

#27 outbackoklahoma

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:47 PM

so you do have a model ready for an 02 OBW?:clap:

#28 Skemcin

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:51 PM

so you do have a model ready for an 02 OBW?:clap:


We had two bars in stock but ended up selling them at the last second. If you're interested send me you zip code and I'll check to see if we have enough material for a couple more.

#29 BlindSight

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:52 PM

Sweet, im not sure if you can search on here by state but might be worth it to make a post asking to borrow a brat, im sure someone is around and would love to be the guinea pig for this. I would say though it would ptobably need to be something relatively simple and cheaper for us with these old beasts.

#30 outbackoklahoma

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:21 PM

We had two bars in stock but ended up selling them at the last second. If you're interested send me you zip code and I'll check to see if we have enough material for a couple more.


73063. its centeral oklahoma. ive looked everywhere for a bull bar but can only find them in austrailia.. o.O and by the looks of it this setup is far more advanced than any other that ive looked at. i like it. :banana:

#31 Skemcin

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:03 PM

Sweet, im not sure if you can search on here by state but might be worth it to make a post asking to borrow a brat, im sure someone is around and would love to be the guinea pig for this. I would say though it would ptobably need to be something relatively simple and cheaper for us with these old beasts.


73063. its centeral oklahoma. ive looked everywhere for a bull bar but can only find them in austrailia.. o.O and by the looks of it this setup is far more advanced than any other that ive looked at. i like it. :banana:


Understood. I've just started this company and I have a lot of reorganizing and planning to work out for the second quarter of 2012. We've got bars for almost all the Impreza's - not yet the 93-01 years - and all the Bajas. I've hope to organize some sort of confirmation of the Baja bar fitting directly on Legacy models as a sedan, wagon, and/or Outback set up. If the swap bar, center jack plate, and front subframe are unchanged than the only concern would be the bumper position/differences.

As for the older Brats and L-Series cars I'm sure something cheaper could be figured out since there isn't as much plastic in the way - the frame and bumper is much more accessible.

As for now - I have no idea when I will be able to get to all this. There seems to be a decent amount of demand, I just have to find the best way to address it. I am very much interested in serving the new and aged Subaru vehicles so I will work on getting some threads here (and on other forums) to help me gauge / address the most interest.

Thanks for all the posts and interest. I hope to get to everyone's request/vehicle at some point.
:)

#32 BlindSight

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:01 PM

Amazing, keep us all posted :)

#33 J.T.R

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:08 PM

Let me know if you can make anything to fit an 86 BRAT. I would be very interested in one.
J

#34 Moosen

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:34 PM

87 gl interested :D

#35 stinkydogfilms

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:46 AM

Second that on the 86 BRAT

#36 Skemcin

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:49 PM

Thanks for the posts guys. I'd love to get my hands on a Brat (any Subaru really) to get something fit. I'll ask around and see what might turn up. Would you guys (Brat owners) be interested in a bumper replacement with an integrated winch mount or just and outright bolt on bar?

#37 Skemcin

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:47 PM

FYI - we are looking for our next build to be in mid-June. So, I am starting to see where the interest would be. The build is based on two things:
  • finding at least 5 people who will place a $200 deposit on a bar that we'll build.
  • finding a local car/truck from which to fabricate the bar from.
I'll be posting a similar post of a few other Subaru sites and will synchronize updates with respect to what the demand is dictating.

So, please let me know year, model, and trim and I'll begin tracking interest.

#38 Fairtax4me

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 07:50 PM

These are nice looking bars for sure! I'd love one but I now have a 2" cross member drop which would make for some funny angling in the front and probably incorrect bolt hole locations. One concern I have with it is the spacers that mount it to the frame. I can see those bolts getting bent or sheared off if you hit something hard enough. A small bracket welded to the bar, something that wraps around the bar partially (Similar to what you have for the skid plate mounts on the Baja bar) then extending up to meet the frame, rather than using a spacer, would be tougher. Less side load stress on the bolts. Really tough would be bending that bar upward in the middle make that mount point flat on the frame across the whole length of the front. Then when the car lands full weight on a rock, the brackets don't get shoved up through the frame.
Don't want to pick apart your design too much though. It's still a lot better than what some others come up with. :D And the cost is very reasonable to boot!

And, the Baja has all its fuel and brake lines tucked away - they aren't exposed underneath the truck - pretty interesting.

All of the Legacy line has the brake and fuel lines run in through the firewall and inside the car along the drivers side rocker panel / floor pan. Keeps them away from rust and damage from using the car like it was meant to be. :brow:

#39 Skemcin

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 11:41 PM

These are nice looking bars for sure! I'd love one but I now have a 2" cross member drop which would make for some funny angling in the front and probably incorrect bolt hole locations. One concern I have with it is the spacers that mount it to the frame. I can see those bolts getting bent or sheared off if you hit something hard enough. A small bracket welded to the bar, something that wraps around the bar partially (Similar to what you have for the skid plate mounts on the Baja bar) then extending up to meet the frame, rather than using a spacer, would be tougher. Less side load stress on the bolts. Really tough would be bending that bar upward in the middle make that mount point flat on the frame across the whole length of the front. Then when the car lands full weight on a rock, the brackets don't get shoved up through the frame.
Don't want to pick apart your design too much though. It's still a lot better than what some others come up with. :D And the cost is very reasonable to boot!


All of the Legacy line has the brake and fuel lines run in through the firewall and inside the car along the drivers side rocker panel / floor pan. Keeps them away from rust and damage from using the car like it was meant to be. :brow:

Thanks for the feedback and interest. You bring up some valid points that we did discuss during the design process. Basically there were two reasons we went with them. First, we wanted to put as few bend in the tubing as possible as each bend weakens the metal that much more. Keeping the tubing on the same plane will retain the most strength and provide the most predictable reaction to any impact. The second reason spacers were used in some cases was to basically do exactly what you were commented you wanted to avoid. We feel better about the bar breaking off at the bolts/spacers with a massive impact rather than it bending the frame and doing who knows what else to other parts under the car. Another positive result of having the tubing on the same plane is to help in the other impacts you describe. The bar will disperse more energy of an impact over the entire surface area because everything is on the same plane. If there were more bends then the absorption of an impact would be more unpredictable.

I appreciate the feedback and when we do our fitment on our next vehicle, I'll be sure to bring these points up for consideration.

Thanks again for the input.

#40 shortysayhi

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 11:50 PM

Any news on the brat one that I sent you pics and dimensions about? Just curious.

#41 Skemcin

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 12:07 AM

Any news on the brat one that I sent you pics and dimensions about? Just curious.


I studied the pictures and there just isn't enough to go on without the truck in the shop. Getting the bends and the mounting brackets would be pretty difficult.

Sorry I didn't reply sooner - got pretty busy the last couple weeks. I'm still looking for a Brat in the area - checking for sale listings and such. Its a bit of a stab in the dark, but hopefully I'll find something.

#42 Shadabob

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 09:24 AM

:popcorn:

+1 on a Brat bumper, or even a front Bar...if I wasn't on the other side of the country I'd have my Brat down there in a heartbeat...

#43 gott-wagons

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 07:12 PM

would the brush guard for the impreza have a big enough gap for kc daylighters? I got those for free and dont really want to buy hellas

pm me with a price for that please

*by gap i mean the space between the hoop, im pretty sure they are the same size in diameter but wide i know the KC daylighters are quite a bit wider than the popular hellas

#44 Skemcin

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 07:22 AM

would the brush guard for the impreza have a big enough gap for kc daylighters? I got those for free and dont really want to buy hellas

pm me with a price for that please

*by gap i mean the space between the hoop, im pretty sure they are the same size in diameter but wide i know the KC daylighters are quite a bit wider than the popular hellas

PM Sent

#45 AppleJuz

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:33 PM

I really love what you've done with those brush guards. I'm currently using one made by Manik. I really think I'd want the ones your making.

#46 Skemcin

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 10:13 PM

I really love what you've done with those brush guards. I'm currently using one made by Manik. I really think I'd want the ones your making.

Thank you very much. We've had a lot of positive feedback with all our bars and, in fact, do have a production run planned for the end of August that we are currently taking deposits on. So far we have fit all years for the Imprezas with most bumper variations confirmed and also all year Bajas. Its my understanding the Baja bar should fit a couple years of the Legacy and Legacy Outback models but we have not yet confirmed that.

Let me know if there is any other questions I can answer.

Thanks

#47 RallyAlex

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 09:16 PM

I have a 1981 wagon that I'd like to bring by your shop. I am about 25 minutes away---wish I'd have seen you sooner. I am not always on the usmb, so best to contact me at: alxxhipp@gmail.com I will also try your email address. Your product looks very nice.

#48 Skemcin

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 10:00 PM

I have a 1981 wagon that I'd like to bring by your shop. I am about 25 minutes away---wish I'd have seen you sooner. I am not always on the usmb, so best to contact me at: alxxhipp@gmail.com I will also try your email address. Your product looks very nice.

Thank you and I got you're e-mail and responding accordingly.
:D

#49 ezapar

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 05:16 PM

Honest feed back here.

Um, I think your winch idea is a nice idea, but stops at that.

One, I wouldn't trust the way the whole A-bar/skid bar is attached to the car to hold up if it was depended on to pull a 3500 lb Outback stuck in mud. I think the combination of 12mm or 14mm head bolts won't be strong enough to keep it from getting pulled off of the car.

Two, have you studied the idea of approach and departure? That winch will be full of mud/dirt/turf first thing, cuz it's waaaayyy too low.

Three, the winch itself. What is it, a 2500lb? Even with a snatch block, it's gonna get fried trying to pull a 3500 lb Outback out of anything or up anything.

Four, your Abar set up. And it is an Abar, not a new idea. ;) It looks sweeet. Looks like it would keep gavel out of your engine compartment, help you slide along muddy grass at a muddy rally x. But it looks like if you tried to recover a 3500 lb outback that it would bend and warp and pull apart.



I would recommend you field test the winch idea extensively before you market it as a product folks can trust and depend on.

Cheers.

#50 Skemcin

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:33 PM

Honest feed back here.

Um, I think your winch idea is a nice idea, but stops at that.

One, I wouldn't trust the way the whole A-bar/skid bar is attached to the car to hold up if it was depended on to pull a 3500 lb Outback stuck in mud. I think the combination of 12mm or 14mm head bolts won't be strong enough to keep it from getting pulled off of the car.

Two, have you studied the idea of approach and departure? That winch will be full of mud/dirt/turf first thing, cuz it's waaaayyy too low.

Three, the winch itself. What is it, a 2500lb? Even with a snatch block, it's gonna get fried trying to pull a 3500 lb Outback out of anything or up anything.

Four, your Abar set up. And it is an Abar, not a new idea. ;) It looks sweeet. Looks like it would keep gavel out of your engine compartment, help you slide along muddy grass at a muddy rally x. But it looks like if you tried to recover a 3500 lb outback that it would bend and warp and pull apart.



I would recommend you field test the winch idea extensively before you market it as a product folks can trust and depend on.

Cheers.


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and particularly for providing a good amount of detail to which I can respond. You make a lot of valid points and I'll be happy to share my perspective on them.

Winch Mount
When we opened the winch itself we were sort of surprised at the hardware that came with it - in a good and bad way. First off, everything about the Superwinch we like - everything that was needed for mounting and wiring was there - no issues there at all. The only thing we did do is replace/upgrade the mounting bolts. As far as the winch mont design, we do acknowledge a couple things. First, there is a greater number of modern Subaru owners that use their car as a daily driver as well as for mild offroad or rallyx events. Second, we also realize the the more modern Subarus aren't engineered with the same purpose or mind set as some of the older ones. In other words, I think it is safe to say (in the world of comparisons) the older Subarus are much closer to the Jeep class of vehicle than the newer ones. That being said, the light bars to date have been build with that mind set and therefore we realize drivers aren't likely going to put themselves in the sort of predicament that would require them to have a winch and mount that is capable of dragging the non-rotating wheels, dead weight of the vehicle along a flat surface, let alone an muddy incline. These bars are engineered - at least for the current line up they are fit for - for mild to moderate off road self or assisted recovery. We would rather the bolts snap and the bar ripped off the vehicle than leave a car inoperable with bent strut towers, destroyed a-arms, and whatever else might result from an over engineered bar/ and an over-rated winch.

Approach/Departure Angles
Yes. Having several years of experience in offroading prior to and while owning my Subarus I have a very clear understand of the meaning an importance of approach and departure angles and your point is right on. I completely realize how much this bar reduces these angles as well as over all ground clearance. But, like the winch mount, the demographic for the bar is more geared toward mild/moderate offroad use (dual track trail and/or dune riding), rally and rallycross driving and not so much deep wood tight track offroading. Keeping in mind, the vehicles these are fit for can barely handle a 3 inch lift before all sorts of things start needing modification. That means these cars would be lucky to have a foot of overall ground clearance - and there isn't too much you can reasonably do with that. Having said that, we do intend to make full front and rear bumper replacements with nothing but the more serious offroader in mind - where the number one concern is going to be the approach and departure angles as well as overall strength. Another side note related point here is that I wanted to make something bolt on without any modification to the vehicle - something that anyone could install. That was achieved with this design which also leaves us the opportunity to make front and rear bumper replacements without worrying about our own products competing with themselves by being to closely positioned in the market.

Winch Choice
A winch should be rated about 1.5 times the gross vehicle weight to which it is being mounted. The winch on my car is rated at 4,500 lbs which is just under that recommendation. For me, I'd rather burn my winch out and have no harm to my vehicle than have my winch rip my car up trying to get unstuck. I have consulted a couple offroad specialty shop owners / enthusiasts and have provided them the details on the bar and the winch set up. All have agreed that for the target audience and the capabilities of the vehicle all is within reason. Now, as I mentioned, I do have intentions to build full front and rear bumper replacements where I will have to research which datum points are the best one's to use for the intended use of those products.

A-Bar Design
I, honestly, did not know the design already existed. What you might not be able to see is the two additional mounting points in the center, upper loop. This are two bolts that go through the bumper beam and give the top of the bar plenty to hold on to. Now, I fully acknowledge that the videos I am about to reference do not nearly compare to what one might encounter in an offroad situation, but it is demonstrating the bar and winch combination easily pulling the weight of the vehicle (neutral with all tires normally inflated) some 32 feet up a 4.5* slope/driveway. I know its not all that impressive but that is the only opportunity I've had to do anything close to a field test.
Part 1 =
Part 2 =
Part 3 = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIVMog6wZtc
Part 4 = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaMyIFd6jUM

With the eight mounting points beneath the vehicle and the two on/through the bumper beam, I am confident the bar would last longer than the winch, perhaps even with a snatch block in play. Of course, I don't know for certain and I am more than willing to openly disclose that. I am not advertising the bar as being capable of pulling a car out of a mud pit or anything similar.

Testing
I couldn't agree more with you point. And once I am able to find a car that I can mount a bar to and do some extensive stress/field test to I will post the outcomes - good or bad - with great excitement. Until then, I fully disclose that the winch / mount / bar have not been tested but they have been analyzed and built under advisement of experienced offroad drivers and fabricators who understand the limits and purpose the vehicle was designed for.

As I mentioned earlier, I sincerely appreciate your feedback and cannot discredit any of the points you make - again all very valid. I hope my response shows how we have thought through the design and purpose of the bar and winch to a degree that satisfies our customers. I know one of our Baja customers has posted a few stories of his offroading experiences with the bar where he has winched himself and other vehicles out of some interesting situations. I will make a point to touch base with him to see if he has any video or if he will take some video the next time he is out.

Anyhow, I truly respect your comments and really appreciate you taking the time to post them. Of course, I welcome more feedback to these thoughts as I am always looking to learn more.

Thanks again.




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