This was our Landy the day we collected it from the dealer. It had already received its first rust-proofing treatement.
While the inital rust-proofing at the dealer was important, it's not enough. First, the work wasn't carried out very well... Second, there are so many nooks and crannies underneath a Defender's shiny surface, that it's easy to miss some rust-prone spots. Third, depending on the material used, it needs refreshing from time to time. Wax may become cracked, oil may be washed off, both may be scraped or chipped off while offroading. So it has become an annual ritual to check the underbody and touch up where necessary.
Rust-prone cavites include - A-post, extending into upper bulkhead - B-post, lower section - hollow section below C-post - lower door section - rear cappings
Body panel surfaces to take care of include - front footwell boxes (part of the bulkhead) - space between footwell and wing and where wing attaches to A-post - door sills - rear wheel arches
Chassis areas that need protection: - everywhere! - inside and out - dont' forget: - where gearbox crossmember meets the frame - around shock mounts and fuel filter - rear crossmember - front bumber
Some areas of a Defender's underbody are collecting mud, stones and smaller cars like a hoover. It's a nuisance to clean these areas. There are several solutions to that:
- Your ordinary mud flaps, of course.
- Mud shields to protect the front outrigger and bulkhead, C-post area and rear crossmember. They are available e.g. from Gwyn Louis who also sell extended mud flaps. I bought the front and C-post ones from wmparts. For the rear lamps and crossmember area I made two-part shields from Makrolon and black Polystone PE-HD sheets (to try out different materials).
- Wheel arch liners for the rear. A renowned manufacturer is Lokari, who are making these for all kinds of cars (aluminium for the Defender). SRS-Tec offer plastic liners, but it's not clear if they would fit a 110. Or you could DIY them from a durable plastic.
Mud flap repair and improvement
If you haven't already replaced all mud flap brackets with stainless steel ones, (e.g. by Gwyn Louis or Nakatanenga, which set you back about 120€), you may want to repair them yourself. Drill out the rivets, remove loose paint, clean, apply rust inhibitor paint and use stainless nuts and bolts to put them back together again.
Also do the same to the front outrigger, where the front mud flap attaches. This is probably more important than wasting time on relatively cheap mud flaps... Anyway, it's a hobby, isn't it? Time flys when you're having fun ;-)
Put a fourth bolt into front mud flaps, to reduce the dirt-collecting gap between bracket and rubber.
When you reattach the rear mud flaps, it's a good idea to reinforce the wing with an aluminium angle. This prevents the mud flap to get ripped off the wing while offroading.
Shopping list for mud flap improvement:
- M6 stainless steel bolts and nylock nuts - stainless steel washers, e.g. 6.4x25mm - front bracket to outrigger: M8 + A2-EPDM 8.2x22mm washers
Propshaft Universal Joints should be greased every now and then. LR doesn't say so in the service schedule, but it's wise to do so for example before and after longer trips and offroading. This is one possible way to do it:
To relieve load off the UJs and to be able to turn prop shafts - chock wheels - select neutral gear - release handbrake
Use Lithium grease and a grease gun with long flexible hose - clean grease nipples and UJs - press grease gun until clean(er) grease exits - remove excess grease
rear propshaft - straight grease nipple
front propshaft - angled grease nipples, should point upward
While your hands and equipment are full of grease anyway, you can put grease under the drive flange water caps, too. This may lube the axle splines only a little but it helps keeping water out.
Engine Oil change
Insert engine oil change procedure here ;-) You may already see the engine oil service message in you instrument cluster. Regardless if you do, after changing the engine oil you should reset the internal oil change counter, to prevent the service message to be displayed too early:
1. Turn ignition ON, press both brake and accelerator pedal full down for 15 seconds 2. Oil light starts to flash 3. Turn ignition OFF, release pedals and leave it for a minute or two 4. Turn ignition ON to see if message has gone