Like most things in life a bit of protection is always a good thing.
The troopy came fitted with a bullbar and side bars when we bought it. We planned on fitting a winch to the front just in case. Even if you never plan on using it, its always a good thing to have if your going to be 4wding on your own. Problem with this was that the previous owner had cut a big slot out of the front of the of the bull bar to fit a transmission cooler when they converted it to auto. We would still be needing the transmission cooler but where it was currently fitted was blocking the position for the winch. With a bit of handy work we removed the bullbar and the transmission cooler. Cut the grill out that had been welded in place and welded in a new plate to fill the gap. Clearly this on its own would not be strong enough to mount a winch so we reinforced it with another 4mm plate behind. It was then a matter of drilling holes to fit the winch and cutting a slot for the fairlead (where the winch rope goes through). Naturally it needed a few coats of paint after all the welding, grinding and drilling.
Before fitting the winch, which I took off the patrol before selling it. We took it all apart and gave it a good service. Clean out, regrease, new seals, new Thompson solenoid box, new winch rope (the old one got snapped short) and a lick of paint for good measure.
Next was figuring out where to fit the transmission cooler. We decided on fitting it in front of the radiator and behind the grill, which is pretty much the standard location on most cars. Because the old position had a lot more air flow, the previous owner also fitted a thermo fan behind it, we decided to back it up with a second cooler. Turned out I had a the perfect sized one in the shed which is a Subaru one that was fitted to my Volvo but now on the Toyota.
Anyway we fitted these all up and put the grill back on, it was a perfect fit, meant to be then bolted up the bull bar and wired up the winch.
Any Bullbar is not complete without some spotties and you can’t really skimp on a good quality pair. We went with the aussie made light force 170 striker spotties. They are incredibly durable, there is a video on their site demonstrating how tough the lenses are. They unload a 12 gauge Remington shotgun at about 15m, in super slow mo you can see the pellets bouncing off the lens. we don’t really expect to be deflecting shotgun shells, the AK is the weapon of choice in Africa anyway, don’t think any part of the car will have a chance in that case.
Also fitted with two small 6″ LED lightbars to complement the standard lowbeams which aren’t to great on the Troopy.
The side bars run from the bullbar all the way to the beginning of the rear wheel arch. They also have an integrated running board. Because of this they protrude from the sides of the vehicle quite a bit. This doesn’t make it easy for me getting into the car because I can’t get my wheelchair close enough. Its especially difficult if I want to take apart my wheelchair and put it in the car. We decided to cut a section out of it so that I could get my wheelchair closer to the car.