FRONT BODY­WORK

Land Rover Monthly - - LRM Technical -

THE SE­RIES type front wings, bulk­head and front panel (ahead of the ra­di­a­tor) form a com­plex in­ter­con­nected struc­ture whose fas­ten­ers are not very ac­ces­si­ble, so pa­tience is needed here. The first task on Se­ries or De­fender is to dis­con­nect the wiring from the front lamps and the in­ner wings, and to re­lease the washer pipe sys­tem. On Se­ries mod­els, the ra­di­a­tor can be re­moved first or it can be lifted out com­plete with the front panel to which it’s mounted. The de­ci­sion may be af­fected by the num­ber of bolts found to be seized and, in my case, I fin­ished up tak­ing the front panel, ra­di­a­tor and a front If the doors are still on, they need to be re­moved now be­fore we lose stiff­ness from the front struc­ture. An im­pact driver will be needed. The SIII’S mud­shields are un­bolted from the bracket in the tops of the front wings. Cap­tive nuts on the back can be ac­cessed from above. The rear lower cor­ner of each in­ner wing is bolted to the bulk­head sup­port brack­ets. You can get two span­ners on from in the en­gine bay. wing off in one piece to dis­man­tle later on the bench.

Prob­a­bly the most awk­ward job here on the Se­ries ve­hi­cles is in re­mov­ing the mud­shield from un­der each front wing. They’re bolted at the bot­tom across the bulk­head footwells where the bolts rust heav­ily. Try ham­mer­ing a slightly un­der­sized socket on, or cut them off us­ing an an­gle grinder if nec­es­sary. The up­per bolts go into cap­tive nuts be­hind a bracket at­tached the un­der­side of the wing top. These take a bit of pa­tience. You can ac­cess the cap­tive nuts via the cut out at the back of the wing top from in With the grille re­moved, the front lamps harness on this SIII is dis­con­nected af­ter la­belling each con­nec­tor, even though colour-coded. Lower down, the mud­shield is bolted to the bulk­head footwell. The box (right) cov­ers the steer­ing box and needs to be un­bolted from the in­ner wing. The wing tops are held to the bulk­head by a sin­gle bolt into a cap­tive nut. If seized, try eas­ing oil on the nut, reach­ing un­der­neath. the en­gine bay, and it’s worth wire brush­ing them and leav­ing them to soak with pen­e­trat­ing oil be­fore try­ing to re­lease them. Too much bray­ing here may dam­age the soft alu­minium wing top, and us­ing an an­gle grinder in­side the wing is dan­ger­ous due to the con­fined space, and also risks slic­ing into the wing.

The Se­ries front panel can be tricky to un­bolt from the chas­sis at the right hand side due to the half-inch AF bolt head be­ing un­der­neath the horn’s mount­ing plate. It works to jam a socket, uni­ver­sal joint and wrench bar in there (see photo), or un­bolt the plate. In the en­gine bay, washer pipes and har­nesses are de­tached. Ca­bles are dis­con­nected from the front lights cir­cuit un­der the right wing. This mud­shield can’t be freed from the up­per flange, so it’s left dan­gling un­til the wing is re­moved to give ac­cess to cut the bolts safely. Un­der the front wheel arch, a ver­ti­cal line of bolts holds the in­ner wing to the body front panel. The nuts are reached from here.

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