One of the problems with Defenders of all ages is that they rust! As usual at this time of year I undertake a chassis check and decide on the level of rustproofing to undertake this year.
One immediate concern was the mild steel mud flap brackets, triangular pieces of steel which hold the rectangular mud flaps to the rear chassis member. The offside bracket was severely corroded, with the nearside also looking worse for wear. One of the problems being; whilst the triangular brackets are easily available, the correct looking fasteners are not. From the factory, the flaps are riveted to the brackets, with thick plastic washers inside. For most of us, using something similar is unlikely to be available.
So I had a look around our stockroom stainless area and came up with an alternative. I used a round headed bolt (M5 by 20) for each of the 6 holes, with stainless repair washers and lock nuts. You will need an 8mm spanner for tightening. I purchased the replacement brackets from bits4landys.co.uk, which were stainless, with black finish. They also come with a strengthener, which needs accounting for in the length of fastener.
From the rear, they are virtually identical to the original fasteners, doing the job perfectly. The rust colour is some copper-ease used to bed in the bolts to chassis. We can also supply the bolts for the bracket to chassis, which can corrode so badly that the hexagon rusts away leaving you to drill out the original bolt! Always best to replace in stainless.
Whilst checking the rear brackets its always worthwhile checking fronts, which are a similar set up. The same type of large rivet is used from the factory, but can be replaced in a similar way to the rears. Bits4landys also stock replacement stainless black brackets.
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