Days until our next trip

Safety devices roofrack mods

Written by ralph on 04/08/2009. Posted in Vehicle modifications

I have always liked the look and style of the Safety Devices ‘Highlander’ roofrack.  It was the only one which I felt suited the lines of the discovery and looked good.  Unfortunately they were horrendously expensive.

lroshow2002 In 2002, our club (Norfolk & Suffolk 4X4 Response) had a stand at the Peterborourgh LRO Show.  Safety Devices also had a stand and were selling off ‘seconds’ of much of their kit, including the roofrack.  The only problem was that the only versions they had were for the Series 2 discovery which is longer.

After much pacing and ‘should I’, ‘shouldn’t I’, I decided to bite the bullet and buy one for the princely sum of £250 Laughing.

It took a bit of skillful fitting to bring it home, and it looked a bit odd sticking out the back but I was chuffed.

roofrack_1 Now, the only difference between a series 1 and a series 2 roof is the section behind the ‘C’ pillar.  So after measuring 142 timesWink I cut each of the longitudinal tubes using a small pipe cutter.

I removed 7″ from each tube and then inserted 22mm ‘inner’ stub pieces with lots of araldite and (using several ratchet straps) pulled the whole thing back together.  To cover the join I used electric cable heat shrink which finished it off nicely.

All in all I don’t think it turned out too bad as you can see here.  Unless you specifically look for it nobody even notices. So far it has lasted well with only a bit of scuffing on the heatshrink.

I added some 1″ galvanised mesh as a floor which was initially ‘tie-wrapped’ down but more recently secured by jubilee clips.

One thing I didn’t like about the roofrack was the position of the light brackets.  There were 4 spaced evenly across the front of the rack.  I always preferred the ‘camel trophy’ and ‘G4 Challenge’ layout of 2 pairs on either side.

For the first few years I mounted the inner lights on some bent brackets shaped like ‘P’ clips.  This was never very successful as every time I went over 55mph they used to move and end up pointing into the sky like the ‘bat light’Embarassed.

roofrack2

During my recent ‘rebuild’ period I decided to take the opportunity to make some better ‘bracketry’.  I didn’t want to weld on the rack because this would wreck the powder coating which, despite the rough treatment it had had over the years, was still in pretty good shape.

I therefore hit upon a ‘cunning plan’.  By running a 30mm strip of aluminium between the inner and outer fixed brackets I could make a full length ‘shelf’ to mount lights anywhereLaughing.  Once it was sprayed black it was hardly noticable and gave me the flexibility that I wanted.

The two inner mounting points were used for my CB and VHF/UHF radio antennas.

Via good old ebay I acquired 2 sets of auxiliary lights.  They are supposed to be for a freelander, but they are just the right size and, with the Land Rover logo and stone guards, look the part.

One pair are long range driving lights and the other pair are fog lights.  This is the same arrangement as the original Hella units on the Camel Trophy Discoveries and give a good spread of light in front of the truck.  An additional bonus is that the clip on stone guards shield some of the stray light around the edges, so they don’t light up the dashboard as much as the old lights did.

front They are wired through 2 relays and operated by 2 Carling switches mounted on the dash.  Overall I am very pleased with the end result should below.

This is how the car remained during the trip to Morocco.  A Thulle roofbag was secured  to the rear and the Jackall was mounted of a Hi-Lift brackets alongside.

P2200019 The acquisition of the rooftent meant that some serious surgery had to take place on the roofrack.

The mesh was removed and the rear railing was cut away.

This gave me a flat surface to mount the tent.

P2260024 A sheet of 3mm chequer plate was shaped and fitted to the front ‘lower’ deck.  This was secured using ‘u’ bolts around the supporting tubes.

 

P4170039 I then fitted a defender spare wheel rear door mount using 2 M10 bolts. The mount came from Alan’s car who had acquired a swing awy carrier (and a new door).

 

P4170041 Nest to this I fixed a Stanley ‘Fat Max’ 28″ water tight toolbox.  I will store my recovery strops and shackles in here so that they are accessible even if the doors can’t be opened.

After getting stuck in Wales in an ever deepening mud hole I realised that this was a good idea.

 

 

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