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Of back doors and wheel carriers....


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I'm working on the back of The 109 at the moment, number of things that I need to get sorted out.

She currently has the standard Series 3 back door, not in too bad a nick, but the bottom rail has gone at the hinge end. It's got the dovetail on it, standard S3 lock with seized barrel, and standard glass.

What I want to achieve.

Ultimate plan, I need a spare wheel carrier, that opens with the door, I want the door to have the same key as the other 4, so that means and anti-burst type lock which I already have, I want a heated screen and I want a wiper.

What should I do?

For the wheel carrier, I'm looking at a Masai one, I like the look of it, it's not a bad price I don't think. I could make my own, but time is very limited and it's just one more thing to do. I've been working on The 109 for nearly 4 years now and it was supposed to be ready for camping 2 years ago!

Peoples thoughts?

For the door, am I going to be best off going over to a Defender door of known vintage, already fitted up for anti-burst lock and screen wiper? If so, do the anit-burst lock's also take care of the the door rattle? I've had to remove the rubber dampers from the door catches on the other 4 doors because they wouldn't close properly. They don't rattle though, although I have other bodywork related issues that probably help that!

This is the carrier I was looking at:


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Granted, be to be honest, the centrally mounted wheel on my 88 carrier is a bit of a pain, perhaps compounded by my saggy springs. Using the towhitch can be a problem!!! I've just finally got the proper size 235/85/16 tyre put on the spare wheel....I now can't use the ring hitch Nato coupling trailer on the usual top hole on the DB because the wheel won't go over the hitch!

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I have had an older Defender rear door for years. Same glass as the SIII (so you can fit heated glass to a SII or III door if you like). I haven't had door rattles or a broken door, despite using the standard three prong carrier. The raised and off-centre Defender wheel position allows the hitch to be used, though it has to open downwards (upside down) because of the wheel. A new 235/85 BFG AT/KO sits snugly on the top of the NATO hitch when upright with the door closed, which is a handy way of takingt he weight off the door while driving, though it does create just enough friction to make closing the door that tiny bit harder (mine still doesn't need slamming, but doesn't have that nice easy gentle push unless I use a slightly worn tyre - just 1-2mm off - or leave the hitch inverted). I think the aftermarket carriers are over-rated and unnecessary, and have seen one with hydraulic damper crack a 300Tdi rear door anyway.

My NATO hitch is on the adaptor plate for a civvy cross member, but should be at the standard NATO hitch height as on a MoD vehicle as it uses standard LR parts. I don't have a drop plate.

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Perhaps i should put my love of symmetry to one side and get the masai one as it is a reasonable price and looks well made. It must be better for the hinges than a central one as the weight is held closer to the hinge if the wheel is offset to one side.

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