In one of the Land Rover magazines recently, there was an interesting article on the fasteners used. The author was propounding his views on “pet hates” in old Land Rovers, specifically that many owners spend thousands of pounds on new chassis, engine work and suspension upgrades only to fix it together with completely the wrong fasteners. Trouble is the fasteners are, in the main, relatively cheap, so it’s a complete mystery why?
We are all probably familiar with seeing cars held together by coach bolts (which were designed for horse drawn vehicles) woodscrews and most worryingly the rusty worn out bolts taken off the vehicle in the first place.
Clearly there are plenty of other ways of getting it wrong with old vehicles. Even if you buy new fasteners, it makes sense to obtain a variety of sizes and lengths, rather than leaving 20mm of thread showing (or getting in the way). There is a lack of understanding of bolts and sets…. basically a set is a fully threaded , a bolt is part threaded (at the end). Clearly there are applications where a set is right, others where a bolt is correct, so both types are required. In the main, as the set gets longer, a bolt replaces it!
Most old vehicles, particularly Land Rovers, vibrate, so making sure they don’t loosen all their fasteners is rather critical. So once you have the bolts and sets, you need the right sort of nuts and washers. Self locking nuts work well if they are used once! Unfortunately the more they are used the less useful they become…we suggest replacing each time used. Spring washers bite into the nut/bolt preventing them moving, again use only once, or they simply become normal washers.
We can supply single fasteners, to box quantities, at very reasonable prices. We also stock selection bags of most used fasteners, in imperial and metric sizes.
Replacing defender mud flap brackets
One of the problems with Defenders of all ages is that they rust! As usual at this time of year I undertake a chassis check and decide on the level of rustproofing to undertake this year.
One immediate concern was the mild steel mud flap brackets, triangular pieces of steel which hold the rectangular mud flaps to the rear chassis member. The offside bracket was severely corroded, with the nearside also looking worse for wear. One of the problems being; whilst the triangular brackets are easily available, the correct looking fasteners are not. From the factory, the flaps are riveted to the brackets, with thick plastic washers inside. For most of us, using something similar is unlikely to be available.
So I had a look around our stockroom stainless area and came up with an alternative. I used a round headed bolt (M5 by 20) for each of the 6 holes, with stainless repair washers and lock nuts. You will need an 8mm spanner for tightening. I purchased the replacement brackets from bits4landys.co.uk, which were stainless, with black finish. They also come with a strengthener, which needs accounting for in the length of fastener.
From the rear, they are virtually identical to the original fasteners, doing the job perfectly. The rust colour is some copper-ease used to bed in the bolts to chassis. We can also supply the bolts for the bracket to chassis, which can corrode so badly that the hexagon rusts away leaving you to drill out the original bolt! Always best to replace in stainless.
Whilst checking the rear brackets its always worthwhile checking fronts, which are a similar set up. The same type of large rivet is used from the factory, but can be replaced in a similar way to the rears. Bits4landys also stock replacement stainless black brackets.
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