I know there are lots of threads here regarding brush guard
s and bull bars
and these two accessories are very different in intention and design.
The one common thing I'm seeing... is that even the expensive Black Horse (about $400 shipped) or an Aries (about $600 shipped)...brush guards don't seem all that much better in design or different then a cheaper no name brands on ebay. They are around $235 with shipping.
In all fairness I haven't seen the good bars next to the cheaper brands so I can't comment on tube thickness, proper welds, metal coating... such as cheap spay paint vs. powder coating or bed liner, so I don't want to just say they are the same.
Assuming you price shop around and get the same bar for the best price...what is the real difference?
I guess the issue is that the overall design really seems to be the same in the less then $500 price range. I considered one for my 2007 thinking it would be nice in the event I clip a deer, which is a real threat to my Commanders front end where I'm living.
Only none of the brush guards I've seen actually have a mounting brace that holds the top firmly in place, around the hood latch or so. I'm reading how brush guards jokingly have the nickname "damage multipliers" because a simple corner contact can just bend it back and wipe out most everything on the front clip. It kinda defeats the idea of a guard. There has to be something more then just aesthetics. Granted, they look pretty but I'd rather have a guard take the impact of a deer then my whole grille and fender.
I remember the brush guards on the US Army Blazers and pick ups back in the 1980's, they were kinda beefy and seemed to stay put if you plowed through thick brush and foliage.
Then when it comes to the bull bars
, it seems that they are available starting very cheap at around $120 shipped... up to four, five and six hundred bucks...and all kinda look the same.
They all certainly look beefy for pushing and stuff but wouldn't do squat for a deer jumping into the path of the commander at 35 mph...because they sit physically so low.
At the moment I'm leaning towards the bull bars because they seem like one could be useful if you were to be unfortunate enough to rear end a vehicle..but maybe they do more harm then good since the impact will be directed right to the frame rather then crumbling metal and plastic to ease the impact. Again, I'm only taking stuff like 35mph and bellow.
Then I'm reading about how a company like http://fawkesfab.com/FMD/off-road/products.htm
make a bull bar relocation package to relocate your current bull bar to where they are supposed to be...and honestly I dont even see a difference in what their product even does (no offense to the company)..but its just an example.
I want to protect my front end. I don't need a winch bumper or anything crazy... and not able to spend mega bucks to do it... but I want it to be functional and not just cosmetic. Does such an animal exist?
I think the brush guards have great potential but not if its just going to bend into my whole front end when bambi steps in front of me at 35mph.