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Sunday 22 July 2018

Solenoid bracket

These are brackets for add-on Hawk central door locking solenoids fitted to the front doors of a 1998 Land Rover Defender.

I fitted the central locking a couple of weekends ago, as detailed in my previous posts.

The central locking works fine but I am not happy about how much the very thin slotted bar bends when the solenoids activate.

I've designed and made a custom fitted bracket that I will use when I replace the doors.

My choices of metal and the tight corners conspired to make this an awkward project. The first job was to design and make a jig to form some of the tight bends.

The basic idea is to have an angled edge to prevent the steel flexing.
I did the tight steps first in the jig then the relatively easy job of bending the supporting edge over a bit of wood in my vice.

I have learnt that 1.2mm stainless steel is a little too thick for me to work with my tools. I like the idea of stainless steel (Inox) but I forget how much tougher it is than mild steel. I should have used 0.9mm mild steel, perhaps galvanised.

My plan was to fold the ends back on themselves to form a nice rolled edge. I could not do a tidy job with 1.2mm stainless, so I cut it off instead using an angle grinder with an Inox cutting disc.

The stainless steel was also hard on the tools. I got through too many cobalt drill bits making the holes and I wore out a dozen bits for the rotary tool trying to finish off the slots.

I persevered and I am pleased with the finished results.

I just have to wait for the new doors to come back from being painted before I can transfer parts over and fit these new brackets.


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