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LR3 bumper time

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35 replies to this topic

#1
DHappel

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As my rear P-fab bumper nears completion it's time to turn my attention to the front of the truck. Currently I'm only aware of 2 bumper options. The ever-popular ARB, or the never-seen-it-in-person Tactical 4x4.

One part of me says get the Tactical just because nobody else has one. :)

Trying to apply some logic, it appears the ARB doesn't have any recovery points and is rumored to be a little weaker than the Tactical. I would also need to add a front skid as the piece they include is mostly cosmetic. But it does look a little better than the Tactical.

In Tactical's favor, it's supposed to be bomb proof and offers better approach angles. Plus it's more unique. But it's sort of ... ugly. At least in pictures.

Let's hear your opinions - because Pedram sure isn't going to make a custom front bumper for this rig!

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#2
JPerkins

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My suggestion would be to get the one based on the type of use you plan to but your LR3 thru. I personally went with the ARB. I viewed it this way - (1) recovery points on the bumper aren't really needed on the LR3 b/c there is already a recovery point up front and is a part of the frame. No bumper recovery point will be as stout as this. (2) Its a miss statement to say the ARB skid plate is cosmetic. Sure thicker steel would be better, but it by all means offers considerable protection and to say its mostly cosmetic just isn't correct. (3) in terms of "boom proof", the tactical is a 10 gauge steel (3.4mm) outer shell vs the 3mm steel of the ARB which equates to 11 gauge so not a huge difference. I personally don't plan to rock crawl my LR3, so to me the 3mm plate is enough and saves a little on weight. The more importance piece to understand is what gauge steel each of the bumpers' substructure is made from. Neither list this in their descriptions unfortunately . (4) as you've stated, the tactical front bumper just isn't pleasing on the eyes.

If your plan with the LR3 is to take on high rated technical trails, then you may want to opt for the Tactical over the ARB as the better approach angle and the slightly thicker steel will benefit you.

Edited by JPerkins, 29 May 2014 - 02:04 PM.

2008 LR3 HSE w/LUX, Cold Climate, and HD (aka rear locker) Packages

Additions: ARB front bumper, Warn 9.5 XP w/synthetic rope, Rover Specialties Sliders, Traxide Dual Battery isolator w/marine link switch & dual rear outlets, 285/60/18 Cooper Zeon LTZs, Bajarack LR3 Standard Rack, IPF 960s w/factory driving light switch, GVIF w/front & rear cameras, G4 Ladder, Rear swing out tire carrier

#3
DHappel

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Thanks for the info on the skid portions of the ARB. I haven't had a chance to actually compare them and was just going by what I had heard. While I do still think the Tactical is technically superior, I'm almost certain I'll go with the ARB. Hoping to make a final decision this weekend and get an order placed. I've got a wheeling trip planned to Sedona in July and I need to get things wrapped up before then.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#4
TomOwen

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David West has done a ton of research on comparing those two... and ultimately went with the ARB. Might be worth a chat...

:lr:
Tom Owen
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'96 Discovery I, 122k, 5sp, RoverWare Bumper, Winch, ARB, BFGs, LEDs, OMEs, SD, etc...

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#5
DHappel

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Oh yes, David and I have been talking a lot!

Going ARB. Tried to order yesterday from Sierra Expeditions but they were closed when I called. Since I won't be home to receive it I have to have them hold at a local terminal, so I actually need to talk to somebody when placing the order.

And it looks like the rear bumper is about 95% done, so hopefully I'll bring the truck home next weekend and get started on the rest of the goodies.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#6
Guest_Pedram_*

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2007 LR3 bumper and tire carrier:

Let me know if this works

Edited by Pedram, 19 June 2014 - 09:10 PM.


#7
DHappel

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Ha - I was just logging in to post some pictures of the unit fully done and found you beat me to the punch with a video!

Just for good measure, here's an album of pics once I got it home: http://s816.photobuc...ted rear bumper

And one still just to have on the board:

Posted Image

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#8
DavidW

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That looks AWESOME! Great job, Pedram and Don on that build. The finished product is very clean and the fitment is amazing - much nicer than the Kaymar. I know this was a pretty big project, but Pedram really pulled it off nicely.

Now I want my rear bumper - haha!
Posted Image
2013 LR4 (Discovery 4)
Full-sized Baja roof rack, ladder, front skid plate, tail lamp guards, 18" Compomotive PD1880 wheels with 265/65R18 BF Goodrich A/T KO2 tires, Tactical 4x4 rock sliders with steps, gas tank and transfer case skid plates, ARB front bumper with WARN XD9000 winch, RIGID Dually off-road lights, Kaymar rear bumper with custom tire swing-away, and a bunch of other stuff.

#9
Guest_Pedram_*

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I heard you finished your front bumper Don😁

#10
DavidW

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I heard you finished your front bumper Don😁


Don told me he was going to post photos today - I am eagerly awaiting!!! :-)

Pedram, how did the tie in with the stock headlight harness go? I am wondering if they had that weird relay kit the D4/LR4 kit had?

-David
Posted Image
2013 LR4 (Discovery 4)
Full-sized Baja roof rack, ladder, front skid plate, tail lamp guards, 18" Compomotive PD1880 wheels with 265/65R18 BF Goodrich A/T KO2 tires, Tactical 4x4 rock sliders with steps, gas tank and transfer case skid plates, ARB front bumper with WARN XD9000 winch, RIGID Dually off-road lights, Kaymar rear bumper with custom tire swing-away, and a bunch of other stuff.

#11
DHappel

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Yes, they had the relay kit. Honestly, I don't think relays are needed as you're not drawing any significant current unless you add extra lights later. The ARB wiring info was pretty poor; eventually I tossed it and just wired it based on logic and common sense. I did go ahead and use the relays just because they were there, but I'm sure it would have worked fine w/o them.

We made a number of other little mods, like disassembling the Smittybilt solenoid box and hiding the solenoid behind the bumper on a small bracket we tacked on, then drilled a hole in the front to mount the remote control plug. This way it's a nice clean look and the flat top of the bumper is open for say a 20" light bar in the future.

Pics and details later. I still have to fit the stone shields and take the final beauty shots.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#12
Guest_Pedram_*

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I just missed the fun of the wiring. Don had taken care of that stuff before I got there.

#13
DavidW

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I just missed the fun of the wiring. Don had taken care of that stuff before I got there.


I wonder if the LR3 stock light plate is similar to the LR4? Pedram, I still think your idea about the location of the off-road light switch was brilliant. I LOVE the location - so damn clean!

Hey Don, we installed some extra relay as well and that what was causing a bit of juice to go to the parking/indicator lights when I activated the turn signals.
Posted Image
2013 LR4 (Discovery 4)
Full-sized Baja roof rack, ladder, front skid plate, tail lamp guards, 18" Compomotive PD1880 wheels with 265/65R18 BF Goodrich A/T KO2 tires, Tactical 4x4 rock sliders with steps, gas tank and transfer case skid plates, ARB front bumper with WARN XD9000 winch, RIGID Dually off-road lights, Kaymar rear bumper with custom tire swing-away, and a bunch of other stuff.

#14
Guest_Pedram_*

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You should post a picture of the light switch.

I briefly explained to Don about the relay on yours. I think since your LR4 has LED running lights, with even a few volts feeding back into the system, you had something wrong with that diagram which caused all your parking lights to turn on with your indicators.

He also mentioned how ARB didn't have any idea what they are talking about with their instructions even with the relay kit. So he made his work. Since neither LR4 nor LR3 front bumpers came equipped with a parking or signal light on the actual bumper, ARB supplied a relay kit for the lights that their system uses. And the idea behind that is that your adding an extra light to the trucks factory wires so it will add a very little extra draw in voltage. A relay is supplied to remove that extra current and divert it into its own system. I really don't know what happened with David's relays but since I converted his parking light to an LED which would run with his original harness. This wasn't going to do any harm. The turn signal should be safe as well.

#15
DHappel

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OK, so let's add an ARB front bumper to my LR3. It's a bolt on...and it's an ARB, so you know it will be no problem.

First thing of note - the instruction manual is 21 pages/81 steps long. uh-oh, maybe this won't be so fast and easy after all.

But last weekend I tore into it anyway. I mean really, how hard can it be?

The tear down was easy enough, other than one annoying bolt that's difficult to reach on the driver's side, but still, tear down is tear down and I had it done soon enough.

Then I started the assembly. The first issue I ran into was some of the instructions were...unclear. It doesn't help that they are written for a RHD truck, so things like the battery and the wiring harness are reversed. But beyond that, the instructions are just poorly written in some places. You can figure it out, but I wouldn't want to go into this totally green figuring you'll just follow along step by step or you're going to be in big trouble. Back to the wiring. I'm not an electrical noob; I have 2 degrees in electronics and install pretty complicate systems in yachts regularly. But the instrucitons didn't quite make sense. In case maybe I was just tired and not seeing something obvious I asked Michele to take a quick look. Hey, she's an EE so she's not exactly electically-challenged either. Again, she couldn't follow what they had written. In the end, I ignored what they had written and simply wired the lights and relays according to logic and common sense. To tell the truth, I don't think the relays are actually needed given you're not adding a significant current draw to the system, but I installed them anyway. They also pre-terminate the battery leads with small ring terminals that don't fit the battery, so you'll be replacing those with new ones. Nothing big, just annoying.

Then I started installing the winch. Here I was expecting some issues as the ARB is built around a Warn and I have a Smittybilt XRC10. Further, ARB mounts their winches 'feet forward' instead of the more traditional 'feet down'. This meant I had to figure out how to clock the winch motor and clutch. I've never been into a winch before, so it took a little studying and I actually took apart more than I needed to, but in the end it wasn't too bad (if messy) and I was able to bolt the winch in and still have reasonable access to the clutch lever.

Clutch access-
Posted Image

The hawser however wasn't quite so easy. ARB expects you will be installing a Warn roller fairlead and even then they tell you to make certain mods and you have to remove the rollers to install it. For the hawser, there was no way It would simply bolt on. I ended up positioning it where I wanted it then drilling and tapping a couple of mounting holes. The steel there is fairly thick and the mounting base of the winch has a little space for the bolt to protrude without making contact with the winch feet, so it worked out OK.

Installed hawser-
Posted Image

Then I had to come up with a solution for mounting the solenoid. ARB provides a bracket to mount the Warn solenoid to the top of the bumper at an angle. Smittybilt provides a couple of brackets to mount the solenoid as well. Of course, none of these will actually work with this bumper/winch combo. So a little cutting and welding and I had adapted the two parts to work together and had the solenoid mounted in the recommended ARB area on the top of the bumper.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#16
DHappel

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Now it was time to bolt on the 'impact absorbers' (aka the frame to bumper brackets) and then mount the bumper to them.

Oh, but not before one other little bit of ARB/Aussi fun. One step of the bumper assembly says to 'fit the right and left hand buffers to the bar'. ??? What's a 'buffer'? After some head scratching, I figured that must be the rubber over-riders. Buffers. OK.

But back to our brackets.

The brackets have slotted mounting holes to allow for some adjustment. You are told to install them vertically and adjust them to have 815mm between the outer vertical mounting surfaces. Except I couldn't adjust them that far apart. Well...OK then, I'll just break out the die grinder and elongate the holes a little more. This doesn't seem right, but it's not that big a deal other than picking metal burrs out of my hands and clothes for the next 2 days.

Now it's time to offer up the bumper. With the winch installed, it's getting a little heavy and I only have Michele to help me so I drag out my old engine hoist and use it for the lifting. But I can't get the thing to line up. Not even close. The brackets are both way to far to the passenger's side of the truck even when adjusted all the way over. I removed them and slotted out the holes further but it's still way off. Plus now the passenger side bracket is starting to hit the a/c condenser. I bend it out of the way somewhat but still don't have any way to get the bumper brackets to line up.

Passenger bracket interference with A/C- (the vertical aluminum cylinder in the photo which has already been bent out of the way here)
Posted Image

Driver bracket-
Posted Image

The bumper is supposed to slide around the outside of the vertical parts of these brackets. The biggest issue with the mis-alignment is that the passenger side wants to go to the 'inside' of the vertical instead of the outside of it. And it can't go there because there are gussets that keep it from mating up.

Passenger bracket from above showing gussets on inboard side of vertical plate-
Posted Image


At this point it was getting dark and I was getting frustrated so I called it a day. I'd been playing with it for pretty much a whole day and had had enough for the time being.

Edited by DHappel, 23 June 2014 - 04:25 PM.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#17
DHappel

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During the week I spoke with Pedram about my bumper fun and he offered to come up and give me a hand the following weekend. I also emailed pics to ARB's tech support in WA but their response was basically 'yeah, that doesn't look right'. They didn't actually have any answers for me, though I think they would have sent me new brackets had I pushed for them. But I was already coming up with ideas for ways to resolve the issue on my own with Pedram's help. So yesterday he came up and we attacked the thing.

First I showed him the fitment issues just to make sure there wasn't something I had missed. Nope, he agreed that it simply didn't line up. OK then, let's get to work.

First, let's cut off the gussets on the bracket that are keeping us from bolting on to the inside of the plate.

Posted Image

So now we end up with something like this:

Posted Image

Technically, the bumper should now bolt up. But with that much metal removed it wouldn't be very strong. Time to weld in some new steel.

Test fit:

Posted Image

And break out the MIG:

Posted Image

I should note here I'm FAR from an expert welder. I can do it, but I don't trust myself for anything really important. So it was a big help to have Pedram standing over my shoulder while I was doing this.

Once that plate was on, time to add a couple of gussets like the factory had, just on the other side.

Posted Image

Now a quick test fit and what do you know? It looks like it will work! Throw a little satin black Rustoleum on it and let's move on to something else.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#18
DHappel

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While we were discussing the mounting solutions I had come up with for the winch and solenoid, Pedram had an excellent idea. Why not just toss the Smittybuilt solenoid box all together and just make a bracket to mount it behind the bumper? That way it will be somewhat protected; the wire runs will be slightly shorter (less chance of voltage drop); and it will free up the flat top of the bumper for a future light bar if I decide to go that way (and you know I will...)

So, a little test-fitting to find a good location-

Posted Image

Grind off the paint for a good weld-

Posted Image

Then weld on a small bracket and cut a hole for the remote control plug-

Posted Image

Posted Image

Next measure and cut down the supplied wires and install some higher quality ring terminals. Luckily, I have a large heavy duty crimper for wire up to 4/0 and a good supply of large ring terminals on-hand from my work with boats.

Then wire it all up-

Posted Image

It ended up like this-

Posted Image

Posted Image

Edited by DHappel, 23 June 2014 - 04:28 PM.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#19
DHappel

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Now to wrestle the bumper into place for the final time. It still doesn't exactly just 'pop on', but with some coaxing we finally got it in place.

Posted Image

About here I'm wondering why I didn't buy a Jeep-

Posted Image

For the winch connections to the battery we simply added a bolt to the positive terminal into an already present tapped hole. On the negative side, we drilled and tapped the terminal to take a bolt instead of just going to a chassis ground.

Posted Image

Don
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#20
DHappel

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By this time it was getting later in the afternoon and I figured all the hard work was done so Pedram went home. All that was left was to install the stone shields along the bottom of the bumper and clean things up.

But of course they didn't just bolt on...

I forgot to mention that one of the issues with trying to move the bumper brackets so far over was that the washer bottle no longer fit. We were able to work around that by just using a separate bolt and nut and a couple of washer as spacer for the mounting bracket. But when I tried to put the stone guard over it, there were clearance problems. Actually, I suspect there would have been problems here even without the earlier mods.

The washer hose was being crushed by the bottom of the stone guard. In this picture, the guard is not tightened fully. When it is, the hose is totally compressed.

Posted Image

Once again the grinder came out and clearance was found. However I wasn't able to install 2 of the cage nuts that help hold the inner fender to the stone guard. One I simply left out and one I zip-tied.

Posted Image

I did have to open up the slots on the two holes that hold the center stone guard to the truck as well, but that only took a few minutes with the die grinder to give an extra 1/8" or so of clearance.

Edited by DHappel, 23 June 2014 - 04:33 PM.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock





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