Keeping with the Australian overland touring theme of our build, we considered several similar tourer-style bull bar bumpers including ones made by ARB, Dobinson and TJM. We ultimately chose Ironman 4x4’s bumper due to factors that are outlined in this article. Read on to see what we think of this bumper after a few months of use so far.

We greatly increased the level of protection and capability while changing up the looks of the OVR’s Land Cruiser 100 (LC100) project vehicle a few months ago by installing an Ironman 4x4 Classic Off Road bumper. Other than a lift, wheels and tires, a bumper is another way to instantly give your rig a new look while greatly increasing its capabilities.



Why A Bumper Upgrade?
Let’s first talk about why we went for a bumper upgrade at all. When we acquired our fourth-hand 1999 Land Cruiser 100 Series, one of the previous owners had already installed a hidden winch mount and winch behind its stock bumper. While this stealthily added recovery capability to the SUV, we sought a couple of extra benefits by going for a full bull bar bumper swap.


An aftermarket steel bumper can offer a load of benefits such as increased impact protection, an improved approach angle, more room for suspension and over-sized tire articulation, winch and accessory mounting capability, enhanced recovery and jacking points and we can’t fail to mention super-sized curb appeal too.


Choosing A Bumper
Just like with other accessories, there are many styles of bumpers on the market. While some drivers prefer the factory stock sleeper look, others may choose to go for a modern look that stands out of the crowd. We naturally gravitate towards the traditional Australian touring look so we looked solely at those styles of bumpers for the OVR LC100.


A touring bumper is generally pretty simple looking, features all steel construction and a rectangular shape. They don’t look as modern as other bumpers, but we like that about them. They usually feature a large squared off bull bar hoop that helps shield vital areas such as the headlights, grille and radiator from impacts.


This style of bumper also allows for the installation of a winch and depending on which brand you go with, may offer auxiliary lighting built right in. These classic style bumpers also offer accessory attachment points for additional lights as well as a 2-way radio antenna mount.

The corners of the hoops are perfect for attaching limb risers if that’s your thing as well. If that isn’t enough, a proper aftermarket bumper also includes recovery points and possibly dedicated Hi-Lift jacking points that you won’t find on any stock bumper. 


The Choice Is Made
We consulted the experts at RPM Off-Road Garage, a Toyota specialty off-road shop, as well as looked around and found similar looking bumpers made by a quartet of Australian companies including Ironman 4x4, ARB, Dobinson and TJM.

While each of these bumpers may look and function similarly at first glance, we ultimately decided to go with the Ironman 4x4 Classic Off Road bumper. This bumper fits all years of Toyota Land Cruiser 100 Series (1998-2007) as well as Lexus LX470 models. 


Ironman 4x4’s bumper offers many of the same features as the others – and more – but comes at a budget friendly price, especially when you take into account the seasonal discount offers that the company often offers on their website.

At the time of this article’s writing, the Ironman 4x4 bumper retails for $1,500 and can be had for as little as $1,275 or less after one of their discounts is applied. The OVR LC100 may be a budget build, but we didn’t choose the Ironman 4x4 bumper solely because it’s the most affordable of the four.


Ironman 4x4’s Classic Off Road bumper is packed with features that we were looking for and is a fantastic value for the price. Not only does it increase the Land Cruiser’s approach angle and opens up plenty of space for the wheels and suspension to do their thing without fear of rubbing even when fully articulated, it also comes with LED fog lights, LED turn signal and parking indicators and Hi-Lift Jack points built right in.


Our Ironman 4x4 bumper’s winch tray is installed directly to the Land Cruiser’s chassis by RPM Off-Road Garage.

The bumper features a two-part design that includes a winch tray that allows the winch to be installed independently of the bumper. The winch tray is anchored directly to the chassis which places it in the strongest and safest position for demanding recoveries.

RPM Off-Road Garage, who installed the bumper on our LC100, points out that the two-piece design also means a simpler bumper and winch installation process. Ironman 4x4 tells us that this design greatly decreases stress on the front of the vehicle and bumper during aggressive recoveries preventing any twisting of the bumper shell.


To keep the bumper protected from the elements and corrosion resistant, Ironman 4x4 finishes it with a thick layer of ultra-durable black AkzoNobel powder coating on top of pre-treated steel for rust resistance. AkzoNobel is a Dutch coatings giant that is known for its performance coatings. 


Safety Is Key
It’s also engineered for safety and complies with the stringent Australian Design Regulation (ADR). The bumper is crash safety tested and approved for full frontal and offset impact occupant protection and is SRS airbag compliant too. We like the abundance of safety it adds on and off the trail for ourselves and our passengers.

The touring style bumper’s tubular steel hoop can help deflect a strike from a large animal or other object while protecting you and your vehicle from major injury and damage. Another benefit that we’ve noticed is that we can see the outer front corners of the bumper’s hoop from the driver’s seat, which is a helpful point of reference when maneuvering the LC100 in tight spots. 


Our Experience
Although it’s constructed of heavy-duty steel, it only weighs about 107 pounds more than the stock Toyota bumper it replaced. The weight of the bumper is negligible and didn’t noticeably impact the LC100’s fuel economy.


The WARN VR EVO winch control pack was relocated to the top of the bumper.

Even though Ironman 4x4 has made it easy enough for anyone looking to DIY install it themselves, we had RPM Off-Road Garage install the bumper for us. Ironman 4x4 has a great install video that you should check out if you’re looking to do it yourself. RPM also installed a WARN VR EVO 10-S winch to the bumper and reported that the winch’s control pack needed to be relocated and mounted on top of the bumper.


The bumper is setup for an Ironman 4x4 winch and doesn’t have an opening for WARN’s control pack. WARN’s VR EVO control pack is relocatable so this wasn’t an issue. Our RPM tech drilled mounting holes into the bumper and placed it up top and centered it.The top of the bumper also features openings to either side of its center that allow you to access the winch clutch handle and inspect the winch line.


A pair of KC Hilites Flex Era 6” SlimLite LEDs mount perfectly to the bumper’s pre-drilled light mounting holes.

We also like that the bumper allows for plenty of accessories to be mounted to it. The top surface of the bumper features mounting holes for auxiliary lighting. In our case, we had a pair of KC Hilites Flex Era 6” SlimLite LEDs installed by electronics experts, Sponsored By Wifey. The 50W spot beams project incredible amounts of light in a slim package. At the top left corner of the hoop is an antenna mount, to which we routed our Midland MXTA25 3dB gain Ghost antenna to.


The bumper’s hoop includes an antenna mount that we mounted a Midland MXTA25 3dB gain ghost antenna to.


Ironman 4x4’s Classic Off Road Bumper includes a set of very bright LED fog lamps and turn signal indicators.

Also included with the bumper are a set of LED fog lamps and turn signal units, which give it a sort of OEM look that we are fond of. The fog lamps are plenty bright while the LED indicators shine white when on and flash amber when signaling a turn. We really like these details that Ironman 4x4 has included.


We installed Ironman 4x4’s optional Rated Recovery Points to the Land Cruiser’s frame.

On a side note, the two red Ironman 4x4 Rated Recovery Points you see mounted to the Land Cruiser’s frame did not come with the bumper kit but are optional accessories that Ironman 4x4 offers separately. These rated recovery points can help withstand and distribute great loads, increasing the safety of a recovery. Ironman 4x4 recovery points are rated and designed to be fitted in pairs, allowing an equalization strap to be used and provide multiple attachment points during a recovery. 



Final Thoughts
We’ve lived with this bumper for several months now and can report that we are very happy with it so far. The additional functionality and safety it provides the Land Cruiser are well above what the stock bumper would ever be capable of and we really like its classic looks as well.

Considering the bull bar’s quality of build and materials, the capability it provides and features it possesses, we’d be hard pressed to find another bumper that presents so much value. Even if the OVR LC100 wasn’t a budget build, we’d find little reason not to go with this bumper anyway. Ironman 4x4 Classic and Premium bumpers are also available for plenty of other applications including Toyota, Lexus, Jeep and Ford.


Ironman 4x4
Land Cruiser 100 Series/Lexus LX470 Series Classic Off Road Bumper


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