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Thursday 25 October 2018

D4 steering guard

As with all our Land Rovers it does not take long for us to start making them ready for off-road use. The tyres were the first thing and now I've fitted a steering guard.

I think this is generally called a front guard as the steering components are not as vulnerable on a Discovery 3 and 4 as they were on previous Land Rover designs.

There are a few choices of front under body protection available for this generation of Discovery they include some complete front to back armour options. For the sort of off-roading we are likely to do, we only need to protect the front of the car.

I chose the Prospeed front guard because it had additional supports that stop the front the guard being pushed up against the bumper. The brackets push up against the steel crash bar instead of the plastic bumper.

The disadvantage of the Prospeed guard is that it needs the bumper removed to fit the extra brackets.

To that end, today, I took off the bumper to fit the guard.

I watched a YouTube video to see how to remove the bumper. It's necessary to remove the grill, the headlamps, and the wheel arches in order to get to one screw either side to remove the bumper.

In addition there is a row of screws on the top with M8 heads and T30 bolts on the bottom and sides. There are also some posidrive screws under the wheel arch.

First job is to remove the small stub valences either end. These will not fit back on with the guard in place. There are three posidrive screws and one of the bumper bolts holding each of these on.

The trim covering the towing eye also does not get re-used. That comes off with 4 quarter twist clips.

Each wheel arch has two clips to the rear, a screw accessed from behind the head lamp and shares one of the screws that holds the end of the bumper.

Once the clips and screws have been removed, the wheel arches just pull off. There are a row of poppers round the edge.

All that is so that the two brackets can be bolted to the crash bar. They are supplied with hex key head bolts. The head goes on the inside of the crash bar and the nut on the outside.

The instructions say to discard the plastic trim that fits round the crash bar but I decided to cut it to fit round the brackets and refit it.

It was a bit tricky but with a bit of extra force it did clip back together.

With that done the instructions neglect to tell you that you have the refit the bumper BEFORE bolting the front guard to the car. As you can guess, I did not do that, so I had to remove the guard and refit it!

The guard is a bit heavy but I was able to fit it on my own.

I chose to use my own M10 nuts and bolts for the rear fitting rather than the captive nuts. For the front fittings, I used the supplied captive nuts and counter sunk bolts.

By the time I had finished, it was dark. In all it took me about 6 hours with interruptions. I'm sure it could be done a lot quicker if necessary. The front guard is a strong bit of kit and I am confident it will do its job.


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