Land Rover Defender Blog

8 Jobs You Should Be Doing to Your Land Rover

You need to be doing these 8 jobs to prolong the life of your Defender...

Ben Gribbin

Ben Gribbin

October 2, 2014

Hello, I'm the editor of FunRover. I'm a massive Land Rover fan. Currently own a TD5 90. 2015 MR Blogger of the Year


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Remember our last list of 8 things? It was an irreverent look at some of the modifications owners make to Land Rovers. The post was intended to be humorous, but as always, the internet will run away with things, and call you names. So, we've produced this post, 8 useful modifications and jobs to increase comfort for occupants and generally make your Land Rover run that little bit better.

Headlight Relay

The headlights on the Defender run through the switch gear on the steering column. This is ok, but it causes the switch to eventually burn out (the solder can sometimes heat up to the point of liquifying). The problem of dim headlights is quite common on Defenders, and drivers often rush out to purchase more powerful bulbs to remedy this. However, this puts extra strain on the wiring, which is sufficient from the factory at best - causing even more problems. The solution is to upgrade the wiring, by increasing the thickness of the cabling and adding a relay to control the lights. This will increase the output of the standard headlights, but also allow fitting of  higher power bulbs for extra brightness!

Wiring diagram:

Bolts and fixings

A lot of Land Rover fans upgrade their bolts to stainless fixings, these look great, but they do encourage galvanic corrosion (reaction between metals with differing galvanic series ratings and in the presence of moisture, which acts as an electrolyte). Whether you're happy with that is up to you, but swapping bolts for new mild steel original spec items (or galvanised fixings) always smartens the vehicle up no end. If you swap bolts, you can apply a good amount of copper slip to the thread to:

  • Make future removal easier
  • Slow down thread and bolt head corrosion

Or if using galv / stainless fixings, pick-up some Duralac Anti Corrosive Jointing Compound or similar. Many Land Rover owners report 4+ years of corrosion free stainless steel upgrades using this product.

Security hinges


If you own one of the 07 onwards Defenders, bonnet theft is an issue. The problem is that owners of older vehicles and rebuilds like the look of the power bulge bonnet and this fuels demand for second-hand parts and consequently some that are sourced less 'reputably'. So, to secure your bonnet, you can pick up some security hinges that should prevent this, as well as fastening a bike lock around the underside bracing to something sturdy, adding an extra level of security. MUD UK stock the GMB bonnet hinges that are extremely tough and well made.

X-eng x-trouser


Fed-up of ripping your trousers or coats as you climb into the Defender? You're not alone! Fortunately, X-Eng (now owned by Foundry 4x4) developed the X-eng X-trouser door striker. These door catches have no prominent lip for belt loops, pockets or clothing to snag on. Fitting is relatively simple and they are well priced at around £25 ($40) per pair. Not only does it save your clothes, it will also reduce the chance of the seatbelt becoming trapped in the door striker and improves the function of the striker too! We've had a set on our TD5 for a few years now, and not had a pant ripping incident ever since!

Foundry 4x4 now sell the X-trouser

Snow Cowl


A snow cowl isn't just an aesthetic mod, it does serve a purpose. They help keep the channel down to the heater matrix clear, meaning air can be drawn in freely no matter the conditions. The top of a Land Rover wing collects snow, but with the cowl fitted, the air is no longer drawn in from above. The intake is offset and pointing downwards. The result is that on a snowy morning, you still have full heater output and, if you seal the intake with sikaflex, less water and leaf ingress. This will all contribute to a much more effective heater blower when you need it most.

Grease nipples

There's quite a few parts on a Defender that would benefit from the addition of a grease nipple. The prop shafts already have them, so picking up a compatible grease gun if you don't already have one is a great idea. But, other components on the Defender, such as the Drop Arm Ball Joint and door hinges, benefit from adding a grease nipple too.

To add a grease nipple, you need to:

  • Drill a 5mm hole into the hinge pin hole (having removed the hinge pin)
  • Use a 6mm tap to thread the hole
  • Insert the grease nipple
  • Clear out the internal surfaces
  • Grease using the grease gun

And this makes a technically non-serviceable part last much longer. Land Rover blogger have a good article on fitting a nipple to a drop arm ball joint.

Rust proofing

Land Rovers rust, like mad! And newer models seem to suffer even more with the dreaded tin worm! So spend time rustproofing your vehicle. It's a long-term investment in your Defender that will protect the resale value and structural integrity of your Landy. If you don't have the time and space to rust proof yourself, you can employ the services of one of the professional vehicle rust proofers. However, this job is very DIY friendly and you can achieve excellent results with a bit of time and effort. Here's a guide on how to Waxoyl your Land Rover.


Regular servicing will keep your Land Rover working at it's best, increase the lifetime of parts and help you spot items that need replacing at the earliest (safest) opportunity.  Take time to swap your fluids, oils and filters regularly and enjoy a Land Rover that works reliably for years to come!

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  1. Thanks for the link to our blog Ben
    Cheers! james (landroverblogger)

  2. SmokeyStu says:

    I can add another to the list 🙂
    A good solid spare wheel carrier. After many kilometres of corrugated dirt roads and marginal bush tracks, the weight of the spare wheel becomes a bit too much for the back door on the wagons. The hinges get sloppy, the door structure starts to disintegrate, and the whole lot rattles enough to drown out all the other rattles and squeaks!
    Good post, I just discovered why the headlight relays need doing today, lol.

  3. Graham Parker says:

    Just a thought. Could you use Aluminium bolts for say checker plate to wing tops as they are both aluminium so as to slow down corrosion ?

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