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Are LR stupid or am I?


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Just got a Genuine Parts towing electrics kit for the 90, costing the wrong side of £60 which I got because I'd decided that I would rather do a proper job while its still under warranty, than chop up the wiring harness (the newer ones have a multiplug in the rear wheelarch to fit the towing electrics so it's a simple plug in fit).

Simple plug in fit.

Har bl%dy har :angry:

Land Rover also thoughtfully provide a hole in the rear crossmember to fit the towing socket in to, on the Td5 age Defenders. Looked at that first, ok they don't provide any screw holes in there but thats ok, easy enough to drill the holes and use self tappers since I can't get to the back of the crossmember because of the tank guard.

Except that as far as I can see the socket won't #kin well go in ..... because the quick fit multiplug won't go through the hole on the inside of the chassis, or at least I'm darned if I can get it through after about 20 mins of poking wriggling and swearing, not unless I take the fuel tank out anyway, the plug is just slightly too big.

Has anybody fitted their electrics here? I don't think its possible which makes me wonder what the point is of having the hole in the crossmember, I don't believe that every Defender that passes through a dealership has the fuel tank taken out just to fit towing electrics, surely? I could try and dismantle the plug and just feed the wires through but it looks like it would get smashed in the process. Cutting the wires and re-joining them would introduce a weak point that will corrode and fail in the future so I don't want to do that, though it is probably the lesser of several evils.

There's no point at all fitting it on a plate below the crossmember because it'll get smashed the first time the rear end drops into a ditch and it would mean leaving the wires dangling under the crossmember which would also get shredded in a short space of time.

Am I missing something here :unsure: or is it just a bl%dy stupid design by some twit sitting behind a desk who had never actually tried to fit one :angry:

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Yeah I looked at RAVE too and drew the same conclusion, which makes you wonder what the point of the hole in the crossmember is....

Well 2.5 hours since I started the F thing is now fitted and I can say with confidence that it is NOT designed to go into the crossmember.....

1) The plug doesn't fit through the hole as already mentioned

Solution: cut about 5mm off the terminal side of the plug (i.e. the opposite end to the one the wires go in to) with a junior hacksaw, this will allow you to squeeze it through

2) the back of the socket has a very stiff bit of plastic trunking on the first few inches of the cable (you can see it in MOG's picture) which will simply NOT bend through the tight 90 degree bend required to clear the fuel tank

Solution: cut it back (with difficulty to avoid damaging wires inside) to about 3/4" from the socket then bind it up securely with insulating tape to protect the now-exposed wires, this will give enough flexibility to bend the harness round once it is in there.

3) there is far too much wire left over (must be enough to reach the drop plate) but this can be tucked up behind the cover that is inside the rear wheelarch. Needs to be looked at again to tidy it up but can wait till there is less mud in there :)

Finished result:


Worth the fannying around to end up with the required result, anything else would break in no time :)

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are you sure the hole in the cross member is for the towing?

might it be a throwback to the old series that had a hole for PTO stuff?

just a thought

Don't think so because:

1) The 300Tdis (i.e. 94-98 age) don't have the hole there


2) All Td5 Defenders have a fuel tank right in front of the crossmember therefore cannot have a PTO fitted unless you tube through the (plastic) fuel tank :)

The MOD vehicles here have got NATO towing electrics fitted in that hole in some vehicles, because in many cases the NATO hitch is straight onto the crossmember as shown on mine. Maybe the hole was included with those in mind.

The rusty towing plate is nothing to do with salt water, the vehicle doesn't go in salt water at all when launching the boat (but always gets rinsed off again anyway), the rear tyres just go to the water's edge and that is all. I would never put any halfway decent vehicle into salt water because it murders them.

Reason for rusty towing plate is due to sorting out this which consisted of taking off the now twisted backing plate, battering the crossmember with a big sledgehammer till it was straight, then battering the backing plate on a concrete floor with the same sledgehammer till that was near enough straight. Unfortunately there wasn't much paint on it after 20 minutes being sledgehammered, and I couldn't be bothered to paint it afterwards, hence the rust. One of those jobs I will do when I get a round tuit :)

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To save on metal.

The crossmember was already so thin from 1999 model vehicles that you could stick your finger through it, and the 2002 model year vehicles required a 3% saving in raw material costs to offset rising steel prices so the only solution was to remove some of the metal and recycle it into the big crossmember steel cauldron.

Probably ;)

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Fitted a gen wire kit on the last but one Defender,(04 110 DC) cost was around £ 15.00 odd, about 18 months ago, (also would not fit in the "hole" without pissing about !)

When i bought the current one, did not have a towbar, so ordered a gen one, again with the wire kit, around march this year,, came out at £ 60, for the same kit,, so was returned post haste,,

All i can work on, is that, even a gen volvo kit, which has a load more to it, is only £ 20 ish ,

Think LR are having a larf !! :(

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