FRONT FIX

AN APT STEER­ING GUARD EN­SURES YOUR LINK­AGES STAY SAFE, BOTH ON THE ROAD AND OFF IT.

4 x 4 Australia - - Gear -

IRECENTLY fit­ted a pair of heavy­duty re­cov­ery points to the front of my De­fender, but in do­ing so I had to re­move the OE steer­ing guard, some­times re­ferred to as a wom­bat bar. The Land Rover wom­bat bar was an Aussie-mar­ket item de­signed to pro­tect the steer­ing link­ages from dam­age in the event of an an­i­mal strike. It con­sisted of a bit of tube steel with less-than-per­fect welds and was sit­u­ated be­low the rel­e­vant steer­ing com­po­nents. While it may have pro­vided some pro­tec­tion in the event of an an­i­mal strike, it cer­tainly wasn’t strong enough to pro­tect against big off-road hits, so I had planned to re­place it with a more sub­stan­tial bit of kit re­gard­less of the fact it had to go in or­der to fit the re­cov­ery points.

I had a look around at a few op­tions and set­tled on an Aussie en­gi­neered and made steer­ing guard from APT Offroad. The APT steer­ing guard is a well-made bit of kit and, im­por­tantly, is com­pet­i­tively priced. The kit con­sists of steel side skirts that mount to the ve­hi­cle’s chas­sis rails, and a re­place­able al­loy bash plate. The side skirts, made from 8mm 350-grade laser-cut steel plate with black pow­der­coat fin­ish, in­cor­po­rate re­cov­ery eyes, so now the De­fender has four re­cov­ery points up front.

The bash plate is made from 6mmthick 5083-grade alu­minium, which APT says is the thick­est and strong­est alu­minium that can still be folded. It has a num­ber of holes in it for drainage and ven­ti­la­tion.

The APT kit is sup­plied with high­t­en­sile bolts and is very easy to fit us­ing ex­ist­ing chas­sis holes. It’s com­pat­i­ble with most bull­bars on the mar­ket, too, and it cer­tainly pro­vides far su­pe­rior pro­tec­tion to the flimsy OE setup.

The fin­ish­ing touch is a sub­tle laser-cut APT logo in the front of the bash plate. It’s a great piece of kit that pro­vides ex­cel­lent pro­tec­tion at a good price.

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