Step-By Step Installation


Step-By Step Installation

Without a doubt, one of the most important accessories for any touring build is frontal protection.

Front bars or bullbars help protect the vehicle from animal strikes, can improve offroad ability due to an improved approach angle and also provide a mounting point for accessories such as winches, driving lights and communication aerials.

In the past, I would only have considered a full, hooped bullbar. But for the 300, I've decided to go with an un-hooped bumper replacement, for reasons I'll explain further down the page.

Affiliate link notice: This page contains eBay affiliate links, for which I may receive a commission if you click on a link and make a purchase of any item on eBay. The price you pay is unaffected. 


In the past, Ive always fitted traditional bullbars to my 4WDs. In almost all cases, they've been steel bars made by ARB.

I'd initially planned on doing the same again with the 300, but after some reflection on my own experiences over the years, my own usage requirements, and considering some the advantages of an un-hooped bar, that's what I've decided on for the 300. Specifically, I'm using an Australian-made steel bumper replacement from Bathurst-based manufacturer GMF 4x4.

The primary reason for a bullbar is for vehicle protection. So it may seem odd to go with a bumper-replacement bar that has reduced levels of protection compared to a full bullbar. However, in all the years I've been driving 4WDs, I've never experienced an impact that required the top of the bar. Probably because I avoid driving at dusk and dawn, when most animal strikes occur.

Bumper-replacement, or un-hooped bars, have a few advantages over full bullbars. Better aerodynamics and lower weight mean lower fuel usage than traditional bars. The lower weight is also a benefit for staying under GVM and axle limits. They are also safer for pedestrians in the unlikely event of an accident.

The primary downside of un-hooped bars of course, is that they provide reduced protection for the higher parts of the front of the vehicle.

If I lived in an area with high rates of animal strikes or drove a lot at dawn/dusk, then I'd likely to have gone with a full bullbar again, probably from ARB.


If you went back 20 years, there was a choice of only a few brands of barwork in Australia. There are a lot more these days, but most are little more than importer/retailers with no in-house manufacturing. They may do a little local design work, send the CAD file over to China or Thailand, and back comes pretty-looking barwork of often dubious engineering and manufacturing quality. We saw a number of examples of this with bar work for the 200 series LandCruiser, where inadequate engineering of mounting systems led to quite a few cracked chassis over the years.

In amongst these newer players though are a small number of really good quality Australian manufacturers, and that's the direction I’ve decided to go for the front bar on the 300 series.

I discovered Bathurst-based GMF when I first saw their nifty bonnet hinge aerial brackets. It turned out that the owner had a 300-series himself at the time, and they’d designed a fantastic unhooped front bar for the 300. So I visited the factory and decided on the bar even before my 300 had arrived.

There are a number of factors that steered me to the GMF:

  • The strong construction: An extremely strong mounting system supporting a 5mm centre section/winch cradle and 3mm wings;
  • The overall look and design of the bar, with the wings tapering up to the headlights rather than running straight across the car at grille level;
  • Strong and high driving light hoop, adding some additional protection;
  • Being a total bumper replacement, rather than reusing some small parts of the plastic bumper;
  • The integrated recovery points;
  • The integrated alloy bash plate;
  • Made in Australia, by a small Australian manufacturer.


As with all installations on modern vehicles, the front bar installation has a lot of steps. There's nothing particularly difficult about the install, but you'll need to allocate a couple of days for the installation, purely due to the number of components to be removed before installation, all the component connections and relocations, plus any time to paint the bar if required.

The design and engineering quality of the bar is excellent. It offers about as much protection as is possible for an unhooped bar, with an extremely strong channel section, high wings and a strong driving light hoop. The mounting brackets and integrated recovery points are an engineering masterpiece.

Looks are subjective, but it surely must be considered one of the best looking bars for the 300. The way the wings taper up under the headlights makes the bar look far more integrated than some of the other unhooped bars for the 300, which run straight across from the bottom of the grille, making them look like a slab of steel sitting on the front of the car.


The installation video should not be taken as instructions. The current supplied instructions from GMF should always take priority if information differs. It is simply a documenting of the procedure I followed for my own installation. No warranty is provided as to the accuracy of the information, and/or whether it applies in your situation or to your vehicle. If you're not qualified and/or don't have the correct equipment, have the bar fitted professionally.

  • There is the potential for vehicle damage if the flares are not installed correctly;
  • There are potential injuries if appropriate safety procedures are not followed.

If you undertake your own installation, you do so entirely at your own risk.


Links below are eBay affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may be compensated by eBay. The price you pay is unaffected.

LandCruiser 300 Front Bar installation

Please refer to the video and the supplied GMF instruction sheet for installation instructions. The below installation notes cover additional steps if you're painting the bar or grille.

Painting the bar

The bar comes supplied in a textured powder coat finish. This is very durable, but I wanted to colour-code most of the bar to match the vehicle. You can have this done at a paint and panel (panelbeater) shop, or do it yourself.

  • Open the bar kit, and get the four components to be painted: Both wings, the top centre trim and the bottom centre trim.
  • Sand the components smooth using 240 grit paper on a random-orbit sander;
  • Clean the components with wax and grease remover;
  • Apply two coats of suitable automotive acrylic primer;
  • Sand the primer lightly using fine (eg 1200 grit) wet and dry;
  • Apply several coats of colour, following the recommendations of the paint supplier. In my case this is 1G3 Graphite via custom tinted aerosol cans, which are available on eBay or from most automotive paint shops;
  • After the colour apply several coats of clear automotive acrylic lacquer. Again, available on eBay or from automotive paint shops;
  • After allowing the paint to dry for a day or two, use some cutting compound to bring out the gloss of the paint.

Painting the grille

The LandCruiser 300 grille design varies from model to model. The VX grille on my vehicle is made up of multiple chrome and silver horizontal stripes. I decided to black out all of these stripes, other than the ones that align with the daytime running lights/indicators. I used PlastiDip to paint the stripes, because it's durable, but also easy to remove if I change my mind.

  • Mask the sections of the grille that you don't want to paint using a quality masting tape;
  • Clean the grille using wax and grease remover;
  • Apply at least four full coats of plasti-dip, following the manufacturer's recommendations;
  • Allow the plastic-dip to dry completely;
  • Carefully run along the edge of the masking tape with a knife;
  • Carefully peel off the masking tape.

Promotional and advertising content declaration

Undeclared promotion is rife in the 4WD "influencer" industry. Project300 is different. In the interests of full transparency, every page on Project300 will contain disclosure of what -if any- benefits were received in the process of choosing and installing the listed product(s).

I plan on owning and driving the Project300 LandCruiser for at least a decade. I'll only ever choose and install products which I believe to be of the highest quality, and which will serve me reliably throughout the life of the vehicle.

Disclosure for this article:

  • GMF 4x4 supplied the front bar at a discounted price, after I chose this product;
  • No monetary payment was or will be received from GMF or any other company to use or recommend their product;
  • I have no obligation to only make positive comments, and am free to say or write whatever I choose about the products, now and in the future;
  • This page contains affiliate links to eBay and/or Amazon. If you click on a link and then purchase any product at eBay/Amazon within a 24hour period, then I will receive a small commission on the total sale amount. The price you pay is not affected;
  • This page contains advertisements from Google Ads, for which I receive a small payment based on views and/or clicks. I do not control the content of the advertisements and do not necessarily endorse the products being advertised.

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