We've been asking for a punch in the nose for years with this '99 Super Duty. For more than 160,000 miles, this Banks-enhanced diesel has been hauling 17,000-plus pounds of camper and car trailer over mountain passes at, shall we say, above legal-limit speeds. Usually, these runs take place at night, when the deer and the antelope play. We've had many close calls with that punch in the nose, but someone must look out for fools as we haven't received it ... yet. Thanks to some new products from ARB, now we are ready for it.
When we saw the lines of ARB's new Deluxe Bull Bar bumper for Super Dutys, we knew we'd found a noseguard with the looks we could live with for our trusty truck. We like the fact that all ARB bumpers are designed in Australia to deal with kangaroos and other road-warrior creatures found all over the highways Down Under. Like all ARB bumpers, the new SD unit is engineered to work with the truck manufacturer's safety mechanisms (airbags) and when installed, becomes a fully integral crossmember that adds strength and protection to the front of the vehicle. Weighing a hefty 150 pounds, the bumper is formed from cold-rolled sheet steel and 0.250-wall tubing. It can handle the winching loads of a 15,000-pound Warn winch-the only winch recommended for it.
Since the only 'wheeling our truck sees is snowy roads, we don't have a need for a winch. One of the nice things about an ARB bumper is that they look the same, with or without a winch. There are no gaping holes like something is missing. A clean cover plate is provided to cover the winch access hole in the top of the bumper, and the license plate covers the area where the fairlead goes. The bumpers are also equipped with light tabs for auxiliary lighting and this is a feature we did put to use.
New from IPF, ARB's auxiliary light brand, are 900XS HID Xtreme Sport Series lights. They feature High Intensity Discharge (HID) technology and, at $450 each, are among the most affordable HID lights on the market. These flamethrowers throw an intensely white light to the tune of 873,000 candlepower in the spotlight version. Candlepower is just a number, so to put these lights' power into real life-speak, consider this: If you are traveling at 60 mph, you are covering 88 feet per second. One HID Xtreme Sport spotlight (PN 900HIDS) gives 3,000 feet of visibility to an obstacle (such as the proverbial deer in the headlights). If you do the math, this means if you're driving with a 900HIDS, you have 34 seconds to slow from 60 mph and miss the deer. Bottom line, with auxiliary lights like these we feel a whole lot better flying over those mountain passes at night-for our sake and the deer's.
We installed two Xtreme Sports, one 900HIDS spot beam and one 900HIDD driving beam, on the provided light tabs on our new Bull Bar. They are an easy plug-and-play hookup with IPF's harness kit. A simple long-arm toggle switch mounted near our left knee and close to the truck's high/low beam switch allows us to flick our nightlighters off quickly if oncoming traffic approaches. You wouldn't want to flash someone with these, and, as with all auxiliary lights, you should check their legality for on-road use in the area you are traveling. Check out the photos of our install, and check out this 'bar if you are looking for nose protection.