Introduction: Upgrading the Exterior Lights on a Landrover Defender to NAS. (Part 2 of 3)

Picture of Upgrading the Exterior Lights on a Landrover Defender to NAS. (Part 2 of 3)

After making up the leads in part 1 of 3 it is now time to move on to the actual installation of the new lenses.

Step 1: Remove Fascia.

Picture of Remove Fascia.

The first thing to do is to remove the fascia from around the headlight. This is necessary to cut holes in them for the new lenses and also to gain access to the wiring loom. The fascia is held on using the screws for the smaller lights as well as two screws nearer the radiator grill.

Step 2: Take Note of Wiring Loom Locations.

Picture of Take Note of Wiring Loom Locations.

In this picture we can see that the side lights are using the red/black pair while the indicator is using the green/black pair. Your installation might be different.

Step 3: Align New Lens Bases on Fascia.

Picture of Align New Lens Bases on Fascia.

The new lens bases will probably not align up with the old holes. Take the time to place both bases on the fascia and use a good marker to draw the new hole location. You will need to make sure that at least 2 of the new screw holes go into a secure location, i.e. do not place them too close to the edge.

Step 4: Draw New Holes With Marker.

Picture of Draw New Holes With Marker.

Self explanatory.

Step 5: Setting Up Jigsaw for Plastic.

Picture of Setting Up Jigsaw for Plastic.

If you use a power jigsaw, as I did, you should make sure that the blade moves as slow as possible while still making the cut. If the blade moves too fast the fascia will move too much and shatter.

The blade used should have small teeth for the same reason. I found a metal cutting blade worked best. This also means you do not need to change the blade for the next use.

Step 6: Clamping the Work Down.

Picture of Clamping the Work Down.

To hold the work steady it is probably best to clamp it down. This reduces the chance of problems. Take care to hold the work tight enough to stop the work moving, but not so much you shatter the fascia. I used a small piece of metal to spread the load.

Step 7: Lining Up Plastic Fascia on Bodywork.

Picture of Lining Up Plastic Fascia on Bodywork.

After cutting the holes in the fascia, put it back on the front of the vehicle. This will enable you to draw the positions of new holes in the metal wing itself.

Step 8: Jigsaw Speed for Metal.

Picture of Jigsaw Speed for Metal.

!! SAFETY NOTE !! - For cutting the aluminium in the wing you need to have the speed on the jigsaw set at maximum. Because the area surrounding the lights is not completely flat, the jigsaw foot may not be in complete contact all the time. This can induce pressures on the blade which it was not designed for and break.

Wear a pair of safety glasses as protection. Ear plugs might be a good idea as the noise generated is quite considerable. 

Step 9: New Opening in Wing for Side Lights.

Picture of New Opening in Wing for Side Lights.

As you can see neatness is not one of the things I'm good at. It is also not necessary as it'll all be hidden.

Step 10: Self Tapping Screws.

Picture of Self Tapping Screws.

It is not that easy to get behind the wing, to be able to do up nuts and bolts so I decided to use self tapping screws.

Use a drill slightly smaller than the screw being used so that the screw itself will make the threads. Be careful when starting, and make sure that the screw goes in straight or else the thread will be ruined and won't work properly.

You can always use small bolts if preferred. I would suggest you don't rely on the plastic plinth to hold the bolt head steady though. 

Step 11: Access Through the Main Lamp.

Picture of Access Through the Main Lamp.

For connecting the new bulb holders into the original wiring loom it is easier to remove the main lamp enclosures.

It is not possible to install everything before putting the main lamp back in, as the fascia
covers the main lamp, and the small light plinths cover the fascia etc.
   

Step 12: Fitting Front Lamps.

Picture of Fitting Front Lamps.

Connect the new wiring to the original loom and then replace the main lamp fittings.

The plinths are secured to the wings using the self tapping screws.

Connect the bulb holder to the connector and then use the small screws to secure them to the plinths.

Step 13: Final Fit. Look Good.

Picture of Final Fit. Look Good.

This concludes part 2 of 3 - Fitting front lamps. Part 3 of 3 will cover fitting rear lamps.

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