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Tales Of The Unexpected - Part 18

Tales Of The Unexpected - Part 18

So, continuing on with the same theme as last time, I had decided over the winter months that the standard lighting on my Land Rover Ninety was not really good enough for modern roads and driving conditions.

A couple of trips on the motorway in heavy rain, plus driving through a thick snowstorm, made me realise that I couldn't see a lot, and the vehicle was not very visible to other drivers.

Last time, I re-wired the headlights, and, having had them adjusted properly, and having driven with them for a bit, am very happy with the results.

I've got much better light output, even though I haven't made any changes to the bulbs - just uprated the wires and powered them through relays direct from the battery.

It's time now, to look at the rear of the vehicle.

def90-028.jpg

Although I like the old round rear lights on the Ninety, which after all have been much the same on all Land Rovers since Series One, they don't provide much visibility for other drivers, particularly in poor weather.

On a previous Land Rover of mine I replaced the standard rear lights with "trailer" type square fittings, which provided more light area, but didn't look particularly nice from an aesthetic point of view.

I didn't want to do that again, I wanted (if possible) to add more lights, without detracting from the character of the vehicle. Series owners who read this may be thinking "well it's only an old Defender, why bother" but as an ex-Series owner I still think the Ninetys and OneTens retain the essential Land Rover character.

Anyway, I finally decided to use Land Rover Series light units, set in the roof panel above the rear windows.

METHOD:

Firstly, I removed the spotlight from the back of the vehicle - I don't use it, as it has never worked since I bought the Landy.

I took a piece of stiff card, and held it to the back corner of the roof of the vehicle, and drew round it. This provided a template that I could use to mark out where the lights would go.

marking1-sm.jpg

I measured the dimensions of the new fittings, and marked up the card so I could find a center line for each fitting to use to drill the bodywork.

marking2-sm.jpg

When I was happy with where the lights sat, I took the card out to the vehicle and centre-punched the position of each light, and then drilled a pilot hole.

drilling2-sm.jpg

Then I took a 32mm Hole cutter (or tank cutter) bit and drilled out the holes for the back of the fittings. I had to file the holes slightly larger to get the lights to fit.

drilling3-sm.jpg

I put the fittings in place, and drilled pilot holes for the attachment screws, then used stainless steel self-tappers to fix the lights in place.

fitted1-sm.jpg

On the inside, they don't look too obtrusive at all.

inside1-sm.jpg

I routed the wires along the inside roof gutter at the back, and ran a length of 7-core trailer wire down to where the existing wiring loom appears in the drivers side rear corner, then it was just a matter of finding the right wires for each light and connecting them up using bullet connectors.

Bulbs and lenses in place, and see if it all works!

I think the new lights look quite good:

complete1-sm.jpg

complete2-sm.jpg


What do you lot think?
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alisterg
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