How to Fit Front Wings on a Series 1 Land Rover

The time had come to fit the front wings on my Series 1 Land Rover 107. Previously I had fitted the rear tub and seat box. But before I got to fit the front wings I still wanted to finish off a few other smaller jobs.

Series 1 Vent Levers

The original vent levers were mostly intact and I had them electroplated. But the screws were broken and stripped. So we fixed the vent screws by replacing the threaded bar with some new threaded 5mm bar and then soldered them into place. I also had to tap a new thread into the barrel nuts that they screw into. A quick test fit of the screws showed that it was all going to fit and work fine.

Pork Pie Rear Lights

The original rear lights for this vehicle are the pork pie lights. I did not have the old ones and they are ridiculously expensive to buy. So instead I bought light clusters that I found from Holden in the UK. They look similar but also have an indicator included in a single unit so they will work nicely and look like they come from that period. After soldering some bullet connectors onto the wire ends I plugged them into the wiring harness.

When I came to test them something didn’t seem right. It all worked but there was something amiss. The indicators were different speeds and the brake lights only worked on one light and switched off the other light. I double-checked all the wiring connections and it all seemed fine. I narrowed it down to a faulty earth connection on one of the lights. Once I fixed that it all worked fine which was a relief.

Headlight Wiring with Relay Fuse

Before I fit the front wings, I needed to get the front wiring sorted out for the lights. I am connecting the headlights via this nifty duel-fused relay box specifically made for headlights. This way I can get the maximum current to the headlights to get the best performance. It also means that I reduce the current going through the dash switch and the headlights are now on 30A fuses for added safety. The trick was to fit this relay box close to the headlights but out of sight. So I put it just behind the Land Rover badge so you won’t see it. It was easy to wire up and worked perfectly first time.

How to Fit Front Wings

I got the bonnet and noticed that it was looking a little off centre on the radiator panel. But I ignored it and carried on to fit the front wings. Aligning all the body panels is always a challenge because nothing fits exactly right by itself. Somehow you have to get everything all together and then find the best fit.

In the end I managed to fit the front wings but the fit of the right and left wings did not look right. The left wing was far off and the gap to the bonnet seemed a bit much. On closer inspection, the radiator panel was not properly centered which is why the bonnet wasn’t centered properly.

I slept on it and the next day decided to sort it out. So I loosened everything again and centered the radiator panel properly. Then I could re-fit the front wings and this solved the problem and I had a nice even fit.

On the Series 1 the bonnet stay is on the left hand side and not the right like the Series 2 and 3. This presented a problem for the radiator overflow bottle which is off a Series 3. So I had to make a plan to fit it a bit lower to allow space for the bonnet stay.

Front Park Lights

With the wings on I could fit the front park and indicator lights and finish off the front wiring. I had bought a set of dual park/indicator Lucas lights. These are the original ones with the glass lenses. I connected them briefly to see how it worked. These were fairly simple to fit because it was just plug and play with the harness wiring. A quick test showed it was all working fine.

Fitting the Doors

Previosly I had removed and dismantled the old original door handles. Now they are coming back to life. They are very simple inside. Besides being old and dirty the springs were broken and rusted. So I found some replacements and had the handles and casing electroplated. I got them back together and they seem to work fine. But I must be honest they are still a bit old and rickety. I will fit them anyway and see how they go. If they don’t work well they are easy enough to change later.

I fitted them to the doors and could finally do a proper alignment on the lower rear cab section. Once I had the two doors on I could see that this rear cab and seatbox section needed to move forward and up on the left hand side. I still had the original spacers, so I loosed a few bolts and managed to move the cab section forward and insert the spacers on the chassis mount.

Then when I refitted the doors it was a much better fit.

New Seats

Earlier in the week I had received the seats that I ordered from Exmoor Trim. I decided to get new seats because I had virtually nothing left of the original seats. It was costly, but I am very happy with the decision. These new seats look fantastic with an original finish similar to how it would have left the factory.

For a full video on how to fit front wings on a Series 1 have a look at the video on YouTube

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