Thoughts on Luverne Tuff Guard brush guard? - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 10:46:PM Thread Starter
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Question Thoughts on Luverne Tuff Guard brush guard?

Even a low speed deer strike is going to be an expensive repair. Ask me how I know. Looking for front end protection for the Transit.

I see a couple light weight 2" tubular guards from Black Horse and others in the $250 - $350 range. Someone has already posted a photo of one of these after it found a wood post. These all seem to bolt to the middle of the cross member behind the bumper.

Luverne has the Tuff Guard in the $740 - $800 range. Made with 3" x 14 gauge stainless steel. Shipping weight 88 pounds. Seems more stout. Also bolts to the cross member.

Then a huge price and structural jump to off-road bumper replacements from Aluminess and ECB Australia in the $2,800 range.

Even though Transit is going into its fifth model year, there's nothing in between. Ex-Guard looked good but went out of production.

Luverne Tuff Guard - https://www.luvernetruck.com/part/205530-205920

$739.99 free shipping - https://www.autoanything.com/grille-...d-grille-guard

There's currently a $100 rebate from Luverne through May.
https://www.carid.com/images/luverne...ebate-form.pdf

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 11:12:PM
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I was told by a body shop that usually brush guards result in more costly damage resulting from a collision than would occur otherwise. The brush guards are bent into the body upon impact and take out other surfaces that would otherwise not have been affected. If you install one it better be stiff as the cow catcher on a coal power locomotive.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 11:48:PM
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My 10 cents.
To mount my homemade 80/20 light bar I made several years ago, I used what looks like the same mounting holes as they're using for the brush guard above. I can tell you that there isn't much structure under there, and that when I hit bumps in the road, it's enough to giggle my relatively light Rigid driving lights.
I'm not so sure that unit would be very solid.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 12:17:AM
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FLIR would be a better investment.

Brush guards look nice, and will part the brush, but there is not enough structure in the bar or the van to manage the energy from a deer strike at highway speeds.

If this link is accurate, it shows how the energy of something that weighs 300 lbs being hit at 65 mph equals the energy of about 400 lbs. (not) of TNT. https://www.1728.org/energy.htm

Bye bye brush guard.

EDIT: Er, um, make that 1/20 of a lb. I'll blame the error on a lack of coffee. Still, a considerable force.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 04:19:AM
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Wow, One million Deer strikes a year in the US.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/20/a...-see-them.html

Out 50 years of driving I only saw it happen to a friend once, Me: I once hit a small bird.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 12:29:PM Thread Starter
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@Travlin According to the calculator, hitting a 300-pound buck at 65 mph is equivalent to the energy of 1.373 x 10 to the minus 5 power metric tons of TNT, which is 0.0302 pounds, or about half an ounce. Not an inconsiderable amount of 2,4,6,-trinitrotoluene. If you set off 400 pounds of TNT in front of your Transit, the insurance adjuster won't just be asking "What Transit?" She'd be asking "How's the fishing in that lake?" 300 lbs x 65 mph = 57,000 joules. A stick of dynamite provides 1 to 2 megajoules of energy. So something like 1/20 of a stick of dynamite?

Nonetheless, we all can imagine the carnage. I'm thinking about protection where there's some braking involved, so maybe 25 mph and a typical 150 pound doe, which is only 7% as much energy. That happened to my Jeep Wagoneer a few years back. Minor but annoying damage. The question is whether a brush guard would be effective in that situation. @JP4 's jiggly light bar suggests not.

The replacement bumpers have brackets that go back to the unibody structural beams. You have to take off entire bumper assembly. I'm guessing "easy installation" is the big selling point for the brush guards, so they purposefully avoid tying to the main structural beam ends to make them "consumer-friendly".
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 12:58:PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travlin View Post
FLIR would be a better investment. .
FLIR PathFindIR™ II system for existing vehicles. This is WAY cool.

https://www.flir.com/products/pathfindir-ii/

$2495

https://www.google.com/search?source...j0.skf3FJEt9BI

Wish list for winning the lottery. But definitely in the category of "worthy investment". Thx.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 01:13:PM
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Another thought on this topic. Since a brush or bumper guard is an aftermarket add on, if you are involved in a collision of any kind, could an insurance adjuster reduce the claim if they thought the damage was made worse by an add on accessory? Has anyone run into that scenario?


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 03:25:PM
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Plastic bumpers are nice for when you accidentally run into people or cars or poles, etc. If you're infallible a steel tube bumper is nice but if you're human... well.

Disclaimer: I ride a motorcycle and have a different opinion on solid steel bumpers!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 03:45:PM
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Over the years I've heard many anecdotes and had many experiences. The "brush guards" that look ruff'n'tuff are strictly cosmetic and will collapse into your grill/hood and cause a lot of body damage if you hit anything bigger than a 2" thick tree. They are convenient places to attach offroad lights, though. There ARE actual guards that will withstand a larger impact, and as mentioned they are much more expensive. But keep in mind these heavy duty functional guards transfer the impact force to your frame. In a head-on collision with another vehicle the crumple zones might not work like they're supposed to. when I see thin tube brush guards on a truck, I have the same impression as when I see a toupe on a bald head; all show no go.

That said, for my purposes in my van I'd like to have a BUMPER guard to leave a lasting impression on the people who back into me while parallel parking. I made one for my Tacoma that was a piece of 1/4" steel angle iron on end so it made a nice 1/4" crease in their plastic bumper if they were being assholey about their parking.
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