Bull bar (nudge bar)

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Introduction

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Bull bar / nudge bar (terminology depends on a world region) is a metal or plastic bar grid, which is mounted on vehicle's front or rear end. This article will use the term "nudge bar".

There are various designs, and most are aftermarket products.

Front nudge bars (which mount in front of the front bumper) are much more common than rear nudge bars (which mount in front of the rear bumper).


Read more about nudge bars in this generic world Wikipedia article: "Bull bar".


The topic of fitting and using a front nudge bar is loosely associated with the topic of front bumper issues. That wiki article also contains explanations on various Jimny 3 (and 4 in the future) plastic OEM bumper types.


Note Icon.pngThe term "bull bar" is sometimes also applied to aftermarket-made metal "off-roader" front bumpers which entirely replace vehicle's OEM plastic bumper. This article does not deal with such bumpers.



Uses and purposes

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Nudge bars are a popular accessory on many 4WD vehicles, as they are closely associated with vehicle's perceived "ruggedness".


In some regions of the world (like Australia, Africa, Scandinavia etc.) nudge bars actually have utilitarian purpose of defending the vehicle in case of collision with large wild animals, which commonly roam around in those regions. However, in most other cases they are just fashion accessories.

Most nudge bars can be used as mounts for additional driving lamps, and that is very useful for Jimnys 3 and 4, as Jimny 3's and 4's factory plastic bumpers are useless on their own as mounting points for additional lamps.


Contrary to popular belief or impression, most nudge bars are actually undesirable for off road use (in general case). Primary reason is that most nudge bars mount onto the chassis below the bumper. That way, nudge bars actually decrease vehicle's approach/departure angle and ground clearance. This issue is especially prominent in Jimnys 3 with 2nd model front bumper, because that bumper already hangs quite low. A typical nudge bar worsens this to the level of rendering the vehicle almost useless off road.


Some nudge bars, being lower than the bottom of the bumper, also obscure the integrated OEM vehicle towing hooks. Thus they can interfere with the tow strap when attempting to tow the vehicle. This then requires an additional investment on extending the tow hooks somehow.

Warning Icon.pngA nudge bar MUST NOT be used as an anchor when towing or recovering a stuck vehicle!! It will rip off very easily. Most nudge bars also can't handle the weight of an idiot jumping on them.



Legal issues

Possession of a nudge bar on a vehicle is legally restricted in certain countries. Therefore, you should check the laws in your country before fitting a nudge bar. You should also check the laws in any country through you intend to travel in a vehicle which has a nudge bar installed.

The main reason for certain legal restrictions for the presence of nudge bars on vehicles is that most nudge bars will adversely impact the fate of anything that collides with them. The other reason is that some nudge bars interfere with the operation of vehicle's air bag deployment system in the case of a collision, putting you and your unknowing passengers at an additional risk.

As far as it is known, the currently valid European Union's directive regarding the use of nudge bars is the EU directive EC 78/2009 (issued in year 2009).

However, it is not known how each EU member country actually adopted it in practice - investigate on your own.

It appears that Britain adopted the EU directive EC 78/2009 as its own House of Commons directive SN-BT-1216.

The EU directive EC 78/2009 essentially dictates that only nudge bars which are certified according to criteria defined in it are allowed to use.

Another useful information resource regarding the use of nudge bars in EU is this web article.


Warning Icon.pngIf you have a traffic accident while driving a vehicle which has an illegal nudge bar fitted (no matter if the accident is your fault or not), you could face severe government penalties + lawsuits from other participants in the accident (for example, from a pedestrian or a child's furious parents whose bones your fancy nudge bar broke!)



Front nudge bars on Jimny 3

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OEM Suzuki front nudge bars

Suzuki used to make two models of special plastic nudge bars:

  1. Model 99000-990YC-580 (and also 99000-990YC-581) is designed specifically for the 1st model front bumper.
    • The actual difference between 580 and 581 is unknown - they look identical!
    • Additional note in OEM catalogues states that these nudge bars are only for petrol Jimnys.
      • It is unknown why they would be incompatible with diesel Jimnys.
  2. Model 990E0-84A00-000 is designed specifically for the 2nd model front bumper.
    • This nudge bar model is compatible with both petrol and diesel Jimnys.
  3. As far as it is known, Suzuki has never produced any kind of nudge bar for the 3rd model front bumper, nor any special edition of that bumper with an integrated nudge bar.


  • The primary purpose of those OEM plastic front nudge bars is fashion.
  • They have hardly any practical function or use, except possibly as "bump stoppers" in very mild collisions.
  • The main advantage with these nudge bars, being plastic and being OEM products, is that they should not have any legal usage restrictions nor legal ramifications after a collision.
  • The availability of the above mentioned parts depended on a country.


  • Front nudge bar model 99000-990YC-580/581 is bolt-on, while the mounting method for the nudge bar model 990E0-84A00-000 is currently unknown (perhaps glued on?).
  • Also, front nudge bar model 99000-990YC-580/581 additionally requires the front tow hook extension 99000-990YC-615 (or doing a DIY extension for the front tow hook).
    • Reason: That front nudge bar sits so low that it would interfere if you would try to tow the vehicle by attaching a tow strap to the stock OEM front tow hook.







Plastic OEM nudge bar 99000-990YC-580/581 for 1st model front bumper, demounted





Dimensions of the brackets
  • In many cases, second hand nudge bars 99000-990YC-581 are sold without any mounting brackets.
  • This picture with dimensions can help you to fabricate equivalent replacement brackets.
  • The measurements were done by someone on the Internet - their accuracy has not been verified.



Aftermarket-made front nudge bars

Introduction

There are various designs of aftermarket-made front nudge bars for Jimny 3. Most are made of stainless steel, while some are made of ordinary painted steel.

It is assumed (but not tried) that a certain aftermarket-made nudge bar can only be used with a certain OEM plastic bumper model. The assumption is based on the fact that the vertical length (depth) of 1st model, 2nd model and 3rd model OEM plastic front bumpers differs significantly. So, an aftermarket-made front nudge bar for 1st model OEM front bumper would probably collide with the bottom of the 2nd model OEM front bumper, because that bumper reaches much lower towards the ground than the 1st model front bumper. In the opposite case, the nudge bar would probably fit, but its bottom would hang too low compared to the bumper.


Stainless steel front nudge bar
  • Here is an example of a demounted aftermarket-made front nudge bar for Jimny's 1st model front bumper.



Examples with 1st model front bumper

Aftermarket-made front nudge bars for 1st model front bumpers are the most common, as they are the oldest, before the laws and regulations regarding nudge bars were "tightened".








Examples with 2nd model front bumper

Aftermarket-made front nudge bars for 2nd model front bumpers are not so common, as the laws and regulations regarding nudge bars became "tighter" during this era.






Examples with 3rd model front bumper

Aftermarket-made nudge bars for 3rd model front bumper are quite rare (at least in Europe). The reason could be that probably the EU laws and regulations are got so strict by the time when 3rd model front bumper was introduced in 2012, that nudge bars became (almost) entirely illegal as new installations.


There is currently one known aftermarket manufacturer of nudge bars for 3rd model front bumpers for Jimnys 3. Here is their commercial:


DIY-made front nudge bars

DIY front nudge bar
  • This is a (not too pretty) DIY-made front nudge bar on a 1st model front bumper.




Front nudge bars on Jimny 4

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OEM Suzuki front nudge bars

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Aftermarket-made front nudge bars

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Rear nudge bars on Jimny 3

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Introduction

Since all Jimnys 3 use the same rear bumper (exceptions are some Japanese domestic models and some Brazilian models), any rear nudge bar which was made for Jimny 3 should be compatible with any Jimny 3.


Note that most rear nudge bars collide with the tow bar (specifically, with the tow neck and/or the tow ball). Therefore, most rear nudge bars can not be used if the tow bar is already fitted, and vice versa. But there are always exceptions, like in one of the pictures below.


OEM Suzuki rear nudge bars

As far as it is known, Suzuki has not produced an edition of the rear plastic bumper with an integrated plastic nudge bar.

However, Suzuki did offer a rear nudge bar made of metal tubes, very similar to aftermarket-made models. It was probably one such model which was endorsed by Suzuki. The model offered by Suzuki had a disclaimer in Suzuki's accessories catalogues that it can't be fitted together with a tow bar.

Read the wiki article "Accessories for Jimny (genuine Suzuki)" for more details like part numbers etc.


Aftermarket-made rear nudge bars



Aftermarket-made rear nudge bar AND a tow bar
  • Here is an exception to the rule. Tow bar together with a rear nudge bar. It was probably a tight match.



DIY-made rear nudge bars

Add pictures of a DIY rear nudge bar here if you have them.


Rear nudge bars on Jimny 4

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Introduction

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OEM Suzuki rear nudge bars

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Aftermarket-made rear nudge bars

Info missing ...


DIY-made rear nudge bars

Info missing ...



Page last edited on 26/07/2019 by user Bosanek