Armordillo AR Series Bull Bar Review
All that Matte Black Goodness w/ a Black Skid Plate FTW
So you’ve heard it already: Armordillo, they’re driven by “passion and innovation.” But also, they make a pretty mean looking Bull Bar. In fact, we’re pretty excited about the entire AR Series. But before I get too deep into it, let’s start at the top.
The TL;DR Version, Super Quick Review
We like it a lot-a lot. Armordillo’s new AR Series is all in matte black, which is the new hotness as far as we’re concerned. This AR Bull Bar is made from high quality materials using the best manufacturing techniques to strengthen and preserve the steel against everything from a fender bender to rust and weather damage. This is a top quality Bull Bar at an affordable price.
Top 3 Reasons You Need an Armordillo AR Bull Bar
#1 Protecting your Truck
This first one might sound obvious, but it is also likely the most important reason. Installing a Bull Bar, especially Armordillo’s AR Series, will protect the rest of your truck from any damage coming head on at it. Whether you live in deer country like us, or you just want to be safe cause you occasionally loan your pickup out to your brother, an AR Bull Bar will make sure your bumper and everything behind it has an extra long life span.
A little known fact that many of our customers are unaware of until it is too late is the often massive cost of replacing a stock bumper and/or your grill and radiator should you ram into a tree, a fellow driver, or a galavanting deer. Adding on an Aftermarket Bull Bar helps mitigate that issue. And since the AR Bull Bar is one solid piece of heavy-duty steel, she’s way more durable than your standard bumper. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be prepared just in case. Also, it looks pretty sick. Speaking of…
#2 Aggressive Bull Style for your Pickup Truck
Most of us are looking for that rugged look, and the AR Bull Bar has it in spades. If you want your truck’s front end to scream mean, and all those little hybrid cars on the freeway to get the hell outta your way, then giving your front end a Bull Style makeover is exactly what your pickup needs. Just look at her. She’s ready to climb that mountain, to take on the world. And the peace of mind from that added protection doesn’t hurt much either, does it?
One of the aspects we value most about Armordillo is that their form meets their function. By that I mean it is a durable steel construction that not only includes military grade protection but also looks sick as hell. And did I mention she’s made of heavy duty 3” tubing that is formed using a style called Mandrel bending? Oh, I forgot to say that. Well, let’s rectify this immediately!
Side Note: Mandrel Bent and Why You Should Care
First, a definition: Mandrel Bending is when a material, such a steel tube, is bent using a rod and a Mandrel bending machine. Okay, seems like my definition has the words I’m defining in it. So let me explain. A bar or rod is inserted into the end of the tubing, and the machine turns the pipe until it makes a smooth bend to the precise angle that the machine and computer is programmed to produce. This makes a perfect bend that is smooth and super strong.
Other methods of bending piping and tubing lead to crinkles. In exhaust systems this is very bad because it hampers air flow through the exhaust. In a Bull Bar though, crinkle bending and other cheaper methods of forming steel tubing weaken the material itself. If what you want is maximum durability, you’ve gotta go with Mandrel bent tubing. Since the tube is bent consistently, you get a nice smooth curve that’s visible in the image above at both the bottom of the AR Bull Bar (an important spot, indeed, since this is where the bar attaches to your truck) and all along the top most region.
Because of this Mandrel method of bending steel, Armordillo’s AR Bull Bar is made from two pieces of heavy duty steel tubing--one long one that comprises the whole of the bar from attachment point at or beneath the bumper to the top of the bull. The second piece is the cross section, shown welded onto the main tube in the image above, which is there for reinforcement and added protection against fender benders and the like. Mandrel bending is the only way to keep maximum strength in a steel product like this. Any other form of manipulation or bending will weaken the molecular structure and bonds within the steel itself.
TL;DR: In other words, Mandrel Bending Equals Max Strength!
Now, where were we? Ah, yes, the AR Series Bull Bar makes your truck look like a lean, mean, bull fightin’ machine. Nuff said. That Bull Bar gives your pickup that aggressive look we all crave. But how does it get along with all my other aftermarket parts?
#3 AR Bull Bar Plays Nice with Aftermarket Grilles & Other Parts
Let’s start with sick aftermarket grilles, like that laser cut billet grille in matte black, shown above. Note how the AR Bull Bar extends out in front of the grille but doesn’t hamper your view of it. We likey! First, you’re protecting your sweet looking grille. Let’s just admit it to ourselves: when we pick out aftermarket grilles, we rarely do it for the durability of the material. We pick our grille because it looks cool. This means that many grilles, especially mesh and billet grilles, aren’t super thick or strong. You need some added protection for them, and a bull bar does just that. But some bull bars and prerunners get in the way of your grill or hide it from view. What’s the point in getting a sick grille that you’re just gonna hide behind some other part? That’s where the AR comes in to save the day. Since she extends out in front of your bumper, but high enough to still protect your grille, you’ve got the best of both worlds. You can still see your aftermarket grille, but you also know that the more fragile grille is protected by your new bad ass AR Bull Bar.
But what about all my other aftermarket parts? It is rare that we talk about making sure all your accessories match. Seems like that might be a conversation between myself and my wife when we’re wearing our Sunday best out to some fancy party, right? That’s no convo for the boys talking about their trucks, right? Wrong! These days if you want your truck to be the sickest on the block, all your parts gotta match. And here’s our actual main reason for excitement with Armordillo’s new AR Series:
The AR Series comes in Matte Black, Ya’ll!
That’s right. She’ll match your OEM Matte Black parts as well as your kickass aftermarket Matte Black add ons. Matte Black is in, and she’s back to stay. So anytime we see a durable product, that’s well made, looks sick, and comes in Matte Black, we are all in, baby! And while we are all about that sheen, let’s not forget about what’s under it: the finish itself is a powder coating. What is Powder Coating, you ask?
Powder Coated for His Protection?
Electrostatic thermoplastic bath time. Wait, what? Powder coating is a process which mixes powder and pigment along with additional thermoplastics and polymers in order to form a protective skin layer over the top of say a metal Bull Bar, for instance. Not only does this process create a cool looking gritty surface that is way more rugged than smooth plastic or metal, it also protects the materials underneath, in this case, heavy-duty steel, from the elements. This means metals that are powder coated are not going to oxidize. In other words, no rusting whatsoever. Since the metal itself is never exposed to water and oxygen, you never have to worry about it rusting out. Don’t you wish your favorite classic pickup’s wheel wells had been powder coated years ago? Me too. For shame. For shame.
The good news is, this new technology will prevent those issues from ever arising again. And since powder coating can be mixed with pigment (a.k.a. the stuff that gives paint its color), we can have great products like Armordillo’s AR Series Bull Bars. Superior protection for your front bump that is also seriously protected from weathering and even UV ray damage. Powder coating FTW!
Skid Plate Integration
Just when you thought we were through, we remember the included Skid Plate. Some Bull Bars come with this as an option or an add on. Some aren’t even compatible with one. Sigh. But with Armordillo, you get your Skid Plate included. While the Bull Bar itself is designed to protect your bumper from damage while look pretty cool at the same time, the Skid Plate protects your undercarriage. I don’t know about you, but I’m always lookin’ out for my undercarriage, personally. We’ve all been there. You hit a big rock or run over something dead (or not quite dead yet) and then you ponder if you just jacked up your truck. A skid plate helps give you peace of mind for when and if this occurs. And if you’re going off-road, you definitely are going to want one of these bad boys. The added protection provided not just to your bumper but to parts of your engine and undercarriage could end up saving you a bundle in repairs in the long run. Just like we recommend a bull bar to guard your expensive bumper and grille, we highly suggest getting a skid plate to protect your undercarriage. And with Armordillo, it doesn’t cost any extra to add on this layer to shield you from accidental damage. The skid plate is included at no extra cost.
Can I get that with an LED Light Bar, por favor?
Si, senor! I mean, hell’s yeah, you can! In fact, one of the best aftermarket features of this Bull Bar is that it has several pre-drilled holes in that center horizontal bar just for that purpose--attaching a Light Bar to it. Whether you’re looking to combo in a Rigid Light Bar or one of our hometown proud Diode Dynamics’ Stage Series LED Auxiliary light bars, we’ve got all the lighting options you need. And since the holes already been drilled, Armordillo saves you the hassle and makes its AR Bull Bar compatible with a number of great lighting options. I’m losing track of the wins here. Maybe I should have made a top five reasons to buy this Bull Bar in the review? Edits, please?!
Bonus Points for Armordillo’s AR Series Bull Bar
So we’ve covered some of these, but thought we’d give you the quick and dirty version nonetheless and add on everything else we love about this Bull Bar in this sudden death bonus round. Here we go:
Previously Mentioned Mandrel Bent Tubing--Smooth and Durable
A Sick Matte Black Sheen
Max Corrosion Protection with a Powder Coated Finish
3” Steel Tubing Construction, for True Heavy-Duty Truck Armor
Easy, No-Drill Install utilizes existing holes with simple bolt-on process
Skid plate integration for added style and shielding against rocks and other road hazards
Ready for Aftermarket Light Bars, with holes pre-drilled for install
Armordillo’s AR Series Bull Bar may just be ready for anything! Whether you’re concerned about weather or corrosion, that powder coat finish has you covered. If your fretting about installing an auxiliary light bar, Armordillo’s made it simple. If you want all that style coupled with maximum protection for your truck’s front end, guess what--the AR Series has all that and more.
What are you waiting for?