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2004 Toyota 4Runner - ARB Bull Bar & Superwinch Recovery Winch: Built to Last

Posted in How To on April 17, 2007 Comment (0)
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With an affinity for high adventure and quality equipment, we are always looking to accessorize our project vehicles with the toughest, most dependable gear we can find. So when the opportunity arose to bolt a new ARB Bull Bar and Superwinch's EP Series recovery winch to our Toyota 4Runner project, we couldn't resist.

There are countless bumpers and winches available for a four-wheel enthusiast to choose from, making for quite a tough decision when making this kind of a purchase. Considerations should be proper fitment, type of usage, and the quality of materials used in the construction of the bumpers and winches. ARB's Bull Bar has a long history of being not only a great-looking bumper but tough and dependable as well, offering excellent protection for any vehicle to which it's bolted. Each Bull Bar is designed to be application-specific, which produces an exact fit every time. Each piece is laser-cut and CNC-machined, and the bars are mandrel-bent for the highest levels of quality control. The pieces are then MIG-welded together for utmost dependability, then they are powdercoated for a long-lasting and great-looking finish. The bumpers are also designed to work with the vehicle's airbag system for continued occupant safety.

An integral part of the Bull Bar's design is the inner winch mount. This keeps the winch out of the way and doesn't affect airflow to the engine bay. The installation of the Bull Bar on the 4Runner is completely bolt-on with the exception of the turn signal, foglight, and winch wiring. The installation is relatively straightforward and can be completed by someone with moderate mechanical skills. We recommended that you have a buddy help you, since there is some heavy lifting involved.

Superwinch's EP winch has been a staple for hardcore four-wheel enthusiasts for as long as we can remember. Superwinch takes great pride in its product and doesn't cut any corners when it comes to using quality materials in its winches' construction and design. We wouldn't write this if we didn't mean it.

The selling point for the EP line of winches for us was the fact that the engineers at Superwinch have designed and engineered a totally sealed, performance-driven solenoid. The solenoid on other winches seems to be the weakest link and sometimes requires carrying spares for replacement in the field. The key feature of a Superwinch solenoid is the large, flat, round contactors. These make positive contact on a large surface area to transfer full power through the contactors and to the winch. Also, the contactors are plated with real silver to produce more positive conduction. Since this greater conductibility results in more heat, the pads are etched or scored so that the heat is dissipated quickly. The area of contact is substantially greater than on other winches, and like the gauge of electrical wire that is used, larger is better.

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Although other winch solenoids use four coils (one per solenoid), the weight of all four doesn't come close to the nearly 1/2 pound of copper (coil and bracket) in the Superwinch solenoid. The construction of this coil gives the plunger and points a strong positive push against the mating contactors for many years. These features greatly increase the dependability of the EP winch out on the trail and lessen the likelihood of failure.

EP Winch Specifications

Rated Line Pull (Single Line)
9,000 lbs (4,082 kg)
4.6hp, 90-degree-rotatable, series-wound
Three-stage planetary
Gear Ratio
Wire Rope
21/64 in x 100 ft (8.3 mm x 30.5 m)
Dimensions (LxWxH)
23.35" x 6.26" x 7.13"
108 lbs (49.1 kg)

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Off-Road Evolution
Fullerton, CA 92833
Putnam, CT 06260
Renton, WA 98057


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